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Flavoured vodka sales begin to fall

The phenomenally rapid rise of flavoured vodka in the US, which has given birth to fantastical flavours such as bacon, salmon and cake, may now be coming to an end.

While sales of flavoured vodka declined in the last year, Grey Goose Cherry Noir bucked the trend

According to independent on-trade food and beverage analyst Restaurant Sciences, sales of flavoured vodka in the on-trade fell 11.7% from Q3 2012 to Q3 2013 as other flavoured spirits such as whiskey became more popular.

Data collected from more than 170 million drink orders shows that flavoured vodka’s market share peaked at 8.7% in Q3 2012, but went on to lose 1% in the subsequent year.

“Since its peak, flavoured vodkas have lost market share over the past 12 months to other flavoured spirits, such as whiskey,” said Chuck Ellis, president and CEO of Restaurant Sciences.

Ellis claimed only a handful of brands are still showing “excellent growth”, and cited an 11.6% sales increase for Grey Goose Cherry Noir, and 19% for Smirnoff Cranberry. Market leader Absolut Citron however, saw a 1.8% year-on-year sales decline.

Restaurant Sciences, which tracks more than 600 flavoured vodka brands in the US on-trade, saw sales for all other Grey Goose flavours decline between 8%-20%, while expressions for other category leaders such as Stolichnaya and Three Olives declined over 20%.

But despite the market softness, Restaurant Sciences reported the introduction of 46 new flavoured vodkas since 2012, which goes some way to explain Euromonitor’s recorded 20% increase in flavoured vodka volumes in the US in 2012.

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