Stateways May-June 2014

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays Q Q May/June 2014 20 F or years now, the sight of your shelves teem- ing with bottles of vodka, spanning value brands and slick symbols of luxury alike, has been a familiar one. After all, vodka remains the country's most sought-after spirit. According to the Beverage Information Group's Handbook Advance 2014, vodka is still the industry warhorse, accounting for about 34% of all spirits con- sumed in the U.S. In 2013, vodka sales volume was 71.8 million 9-liter cases nationally, a 2.5% gain over 2012 totals. [In the control states, however, vodka showed a miniscule decline of 0.2%.] The wildly popular fl a- vored segment, already crammed with different fruit and candy-inspired permutations, but which shows no signs of relenting, now accounts for approximately 24% of all vodka sales nationally. Still, many observers note that stiff competition in the form of brown spirits is fi nally making a dent in vodka's massive appeal. On the other hand, the fact that the already saturated vodka category—one clut- tered with all these imaginative fl avor hybrids, as well as celebrity-endorsed newcomers, small-batch craft fi nds and reinvented classics—continues to thrive amid inter- nal and external competition is compelling. In the world of vodka, this race to the top isn't off-putting; in fact, it's an invitation for ambitious new rollouts and activa- tions. Make it, both distillers and marketers know, and the vodka lovers will come—no matter how many new Clear Profit Make it and the vodka lovers will come— no matter how many new options (or alternative spirits) they must contemplate in the process. By Alia Akkam

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