The vodka brands to watch in 2015

15th December, 2014 by Amy Hopkins

Will the flavour phenomenen continue to thrive or will consumers return to more classic expressions? We select the vodka brands and trends to watch in 2015.

Vodka brands to watch 2015

What will be the key vodka trends and brands to watch next year?

Changing consumer tastes, global economic headwinds and political turbulences have all impacted the global vodka market over the past 12 months.

While wacky vodka flavours have found an enthusiastic fan base over the past few years, analysts have warned for some time that the sub-sector may start to cannibalise the wider category as consumers experience “flavour fatigue”. Some producers continue to innovate in the flavoured arena, but the year ahead will most likely see a greater focus on marketing around provenance, heritage and authenticity.

Some flavoured brands such as Pinnacle will however continue to innovate on the flavoured front and attempt to offset US declines by launching in other international markets. In North America, the craft spirits scene is predicted to continue its monumental growth, with a large number of independent distilleries creating vodka or gin to fund longer-term whiskey creation.

In particular, an influx of new distilleries over the past 12 months has damaged the sales of established premium and super- premium brands, such as Absolut and Smirnoff. Discussing the end of year financial results, Pernod Ricard CEO Pierre Pringuet said: “We are not pleased with the performance of Absolut in the US. The reality is that there are several hundred new entrants in the market, and while 99% or more of these brands will not survive, the problem is that they do take market share.”

Investments

Diageo-owned Smirnoff also dropped 4% during 2013/14 due to a competitive marketplace in the US, but the group’s CEO Ivan Menezes pledged to continue to pump investment into the brand and push its super-premium extensions.

Meanwhile, in the UK, recent Nielson figures have suggested vodka may out-sell blended whisky as the best-selling supermarket spirit. In the year to August 2014, vodka sales were up 0.3% to 44.6m litres, with its rate of growth predicted to increase until 2016. On the other hand blended whisky sales slumped 1.7% to 49.7m litres.

International vodka producers will surely be turning their gaze apprehensively towards the east in the coming year, as tensions between Russia and the west remain. Spirits were exempt from president Putin’s ban on western agricultural imports, but some producers have admitted to preparing for the further deterioration of political relations, and the effect this could have on trade.

Next year will give a clearer picture of the wider effects of these actions as the situation plays out. For now, the outlook in Eastern Europe remains cautious.

5 Responses to “The vodka brands to watch in 2015”

  1. Chuck W says:

    Watch a US brand, small, local… Dry Fly.. #1 everywhere

  2. Terry says:

    Imported from Poland into the U.S. ZIM’S Vodka has been quietly gaining momentum in Michigan and now expanding into Pennsylvania, Illinois with Florida and Georgia to follow. Both products are gluten free and are fast becoming brands people are calling their own. Check us out at http://www.zimsvodka.com

  3. Jack says:

    Preve Vodka 100 proof and smooth enough to sip. They make it with patented technology that removes methanol from liquor. A fantastic, clean vodka. http://www.prevevodka.com

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  5. Now Brands says:

    Olde Imperial MYSTIC Hemp Infused Vodka, getting set to launch in spring of 2016. The premium product is Gluten Free, and is ultra smooth. Look for it in New York State. Go to market plan calls for distribution in FL, CA, CO and Washington State before years end.

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