Pernod CEO says gin will not overshadow vodka

30th August, 2018 by Melita Kiely

Pernod Ricard CEO Alexandre Ricard has said “there is room for everything” and that he does not believe vodka will be pushed into gin’s shadow.

Absolut

Reported sales of Absolut rose 2% during Pernod Ricard’s 2018 fiscal year

Speaking at a roundtable meeting in London this morning (30 August), Ricard was asked if in light of gin’s boom – and in particular the growing demand for pink expressions, such as Beefeater Pink – vodka risked being pushed aside in consumers’ minds.

“There is room for everything,” he insisted. “That’s the beauty of humanity – we don’t all love the same tastes. There are some who love gin, and some who are really on vodka.

“Today in the US, vodka is still just behind whisky as the second largest category and it’s extremely competitive. It’s not growing as much as whisky, or Cognac, or Tequila, but it’s still there.

“Then Absolut, outside the US it’s growing at 6% [organically]. So there’s still a lot of room for vodka, in particular premium vodkas.”

As reported in Pernod Ricard’s full-year sales to the year ending 30 June 2018, reported sales for Absolut, which take into account exchange rate movements and acquisitions/divestments, were up 2%, though the brand continued to decline in the US.

Also speaking at the roundtable, Laurent Pillet, managing director of Pernod Ricard UK, said key activities for the company’s 2019 strategy include increased investment in Absolut, as well as Jameson Irish whiskey and gin.

Absolut tapped into the trend for low-alcohol libations earlier this year with the launch of two flavoured expressions bottled at 35% abv, called Absolut Juice Edition.

The brand also revealed its more humorous side back in February with a new global campaign featuring naked employees to emphasise Absolut’s transparency.

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