Vodka giants experience change of fortuneBy Amy Hopkins
The world’s two best-selling vodka brands, Smirnoff and Absolut, returned to growth last year, but a number of other leading names in the category witnessed significant losses, according to Brand Champions data.
In 2017, Diageo’s Smirnoff vodka increased its volume sales by 2%, hitting 26 million nine-litre cases. Meanwhile, Pernod Ricard’s Absolut brand posted growth of 2.7% to 11.3m cases.
Both brands have struggled to retain growth in recent years due to changing consumer trends. In 2016, Smirnoff recorded a decline of 1.2%, while Absolut’s volume sales fell by 0.2%.
The figures have been revealed as part of The Spirits Business’s Brand Champions report – an analysis of the world’s best-selling spirits.
The supplement shows that elsewhere in vodka, brands that previously performed strongly experienced difficulty in 2017.
Notably, Diageo’s super-premium Cîroc reported a hefty 16.7% loss to 2m cases following a poor performance in the US. Bacardi’s Grey Goose brand also saw a double-digit decline (13.3%) to 3.4m cases.
Overall, the vodka category experienced marginal volume growth of 0.2% in 2017, according to market research provider Euromonitor. Value sales are rising much quicker – up from US$64.61 billion in 2016 to US$67.49bn in 2017 – suggesting continued premiumisation throughout the category.
The Brand Champions 2018 report was published in the June 2018 edition of The Spirits Business magazine, out now.