Vodka Brand Champion 2016
Vodka Brand Champion 2016: Smirnoff
The struggle and strife of the vodka category is a well-documented tale within the spirits industry, particularly the unrelenting decline of global brands. As the world’s largest vodka brand, Smirnoff has become a symbol for the wider sector and its consistent volume deterioration since 2012 has cast a shadow over its category cousins.
However, the Diageo-owned brand turned a corner in 2015, reporting growth for the first time in three years, hitting 25.8m cases. A number of comparatively smaller brands, including two-time Vodka Brand Champion Żubrówka, saw impressive double-digit gains, but we elected to give Smirnoff this year’s coveted title due to the broader significance of its performance.
The brand has managed to stabilise volumes despite continuing macro-economic difficulties in key markets around the world, the decline of flavoured vodka and rise of so-called ‘craft’ labels. According to Matt Bruhn, global brand director for Smirnoff, Diageo’s ambition to make its brands “accessible” has paid off, with strong growth in key emerging markets such as South Africa.
“In terms of Smirnoff globally, our philosophy is to think like a challenger and be part of consumers’ lives, not just appearing on a 30-second television advert but understanding the importance of offering a unique customer experience and really understanding the role we play in our customers’ lives,” he claims.
Looking to the year ahead, Bruhn adds that Smirnoff will seek “non-traditional occasions” it has not yet played a part in, including the shot market with its Smirnoff Electric range.
Elsewhere in the vodka category, a number of Russian vodka brands such as Pyat Ozer, Green Mark and Belenkaya suffered significant double-digit volume declines due to the impact their home market’s political tensions with Ukraine and the west has had on exports.
Meanwhile sales of Diageo’s grape-based Ciroc Vodka were hit by a new “replenishment model on innovations” in the US, which reduced shipments.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the rest of our Brand Champions 2016
|Khlebny Dar||Bayadera Group||–||–||–||6.60||6.34||-3.97%|
|Pyat Ozer||Alcohol Siberia Group||6.68||6.97||6.33||5.47||4.20||-23.22%|
|Krupnik||MBWS (formerly Belvédère)||4.50||5.10||5.00||3.50||4.00||14.29%|
|Magic Moments||Radico Khaitan||2.15||2.52||2.91||3.20||3.50||9.37%|
|Red Square||Halewood International||2.30||2.63||2.69||2.65||2.90||9.43%|
|Zoladkowa Czysta De Luxe||Stock Spirits Group||4.47||4.35||4.90||4.20||2.47||-41.19%|
|Sobieski||MBWS (formerly Belvédère)||2.80||2.30||2.20||2.00||2.00||0.00%|
|Wyborowa Family||Pernod Ricard||1.52||1.61||1.88||1.39||1.60||15.11%|
|Medoff||Eastern Beverage Co||–||–||–||1.69||1.59||-6.26%|
|Kozatska Rada||Bayadera Group||–||–||–||1.00||1.12||12.10%|