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Stolichnaya joins gluten-free vodka trend

Stolichnaya Vodka is aiming to grow its market share in the US with the launch of Stoli Gluten Free, created using corn and buckwheat.

Stoli-Gluten-Free
Stoli Gluten Free is made using a mix of corn and buckwheat

With a “completely new gluten-free recipe to meet the needs of gluten-free consumers”, Stoli Gluten Free is made with 88% corn and 12% buckwheat as opposed to wheat.

The variant, which has been classified gluten-free by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), will be available in the US from next month.

“Innovating within the vodka category has remained an integral part of Stoli’s DNA for 80 years and counting,” said Patrick Piana, president and CEO, Stoli Group USA.

“As with all of our innovations, we conduct consumer research and discuss with our trade partners to identify unmet consumer needs in the marketplace. Stoli Gluten Free will resonate with younger legal drinking age consumers who have an active lifestyle and greater focus on the products they consume.

“Our distributors have given very positive feedback to-date. We believe that Stoli Gluten Free is an incredible opportunity for Stoli and that it will help us continue to grow our market share.”

While some experts have claimed that gluten peptide residues dissipate during distillation, the TTB will only permit gluten-free labels to products made with naturally gluten-free ingredients.

Stoli Gluten Free uses corn and buckwheat harvested from the Tambov region in Russia. It is distilled three times at Stolichnaya’s Talvis distillery and then filtered four times through quartz sand and birchwood charcoal, before being blended with spring water from Latvijas Balzams’ well in Riga, Latvia.

The bottle design for Stoli Gluten Free features a batch number and signature of Ronalds Zarinovs, production director of Latvijas Balzams.

Stoli Group USA will support the launch with an “aggressive marketing campaign” beginning in May 2016.

“In developing Stoli Gluten Free, we wanted to create a product that not only delivered on a consumer need, but also achieved Stoli’s incredibly high standards of quality and taste,” said Michael Oringer, senior vice president of innovation and trade marketing, Stoli Group USA.

“We experimented with a variety of gluten-free ingredients before finalising on a unique mash of corn and buckwheat. The result is delicious, old-world style tasting vodka that meets the needs of our consumers who live a gluten-free lifestyle.”

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