The top 10 best-selling vodka brands

21st June, 2017 by Annie Hayes

1. Smirnoff

2016: 25.50m
2015: 25.80m
% change: -1.16%
Place last year: 1

Last year we named Diageo’s Smirnoff as the Vodka Brand Champion, reporting that it has “turned a corner” as it reported growth for the first time in 36 months. But in 2016 the world’s best-selling vodka just couldn’t quite manage to build on those volume gains that had secured it the accolade. So what went wrong? The brand seemed to be doing everything right, from introducing innovative cross-category hybrids like Smirnoff Cider to tapping into the trend for real fruit with Smirnoff Sourced. “Our philosophy is to think like a challenger,” Matt Bruhn, Smirnoff global brand director, told SB in 2016 – a clue, perhaps, to the squeeze the brand feels from those disruptive ‘craft’ players flooding the market and wooing consumers. Will Smirnoff manage to claw back growth in the 2017 calendar year? Recent initiatives suggest the brand is taking that mindset seriously.  Its low-alcohol RTD launched for the Korean market shows a thoughtful approach to local trends, while its ‘Russia-gate’ US ad speaks to a politically aware irreverence usually the mainstay of smaller, edgy producers. But with a Diageo budget behind it, there’s no excuse for Smirnoff not to tap into and capitalise on these niches.

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