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Final 12 months was a difficult one for the spirits trade, with venues closed and shoppers dwelling underneath lockdowns. However 2021 has proven the resilience of the sector. Right here, we kick-start our listing of manufacturers to look at in 2022 by looking at vodka.
“Vodka has been on the decline, or static, for a variety of years now,” notes Spiros Malandrakis, head of alcohol analysis at Euromonitor Worldwide.
The Brand Champions 2021 report confirmed mainstream million-case-selling vodka manufacturers had been those that struggled to develop gross sales, however these specializing in Japanese European areas excelled.
Smirnoff, for instance, skilled a ten.1% quantity decline in 2020. Pernod Ricard-owned Absolut had a good more durable 12 months, with volumes down by 14.1% – and Bacardi-owned Gray Goose reported a 17.9% fall.
In distinction, Ukrainian vodka model Nemiroff noticed gross sales leap by 18.3%, International Spirits-owned Morosha skilled a 13.5% surge in quantity gross sales, whereas stablemate Khortytsa elevated volumes by 6% and Roust-owned Żubrówka additionally grew by a stable 6%.
Previously 12 months, it’s turn out to be plain to see that vodka has been taking cues from gin, which has been on a continued upward trajectory for a while. ‘Botanical vodkas’ have been flooding the market, and vodka producers have additionally been combining this with one other main pattern: low-ABV.
In February this 12 months, Bacardi focused conscious drinkers with Grey Goose Essences, a variety of three 30% ABV expressions infused with fruit and botanicals.
Brown-Forman’s Finlandia adopted swimsuit, and launched Finlandia Botanical in August – additionally a 30% ABV vary infused with botanicals and fruit. Pekka Pellinen, Finlandia’s international grasp mixologist, stated on the time: “Finlandia Botanical combines the flexibility and mixability of vodka with the craftsmanship of botanical infusions in a approach beforehand solely related to gin.”
For Malandrakis, vodka could possibly be at a turning level with its new strategy to flavour and enchantment to these seeking to drink ‘much less, however higher’.
He says: “It could be reaching the underside of this cycle of consumption, and it may possibly have the chance to start out rising as soon as once more to supply luxurious choices for individuals who can afford it, and in addition trading-down choices for individuals who can not. It ought to embrace this polarisation.”
With the challenges of the pandemic set to proceed, he believes the vodka class shall be well-placed to navigate evolving shopper behaviours and spending habits.
“Vodka has the benefit of being extraordinarily versatile as a drink, versatile and positioned in virtually all important worth factors,” Malandrakis provides. “It has the pliability to navigate the uneven waters of the following couple of years. Will it obtain it? That continues to be to be seen.”
Scroll down to find our decide of vodka manufacturers to look at in 2022.
In November, Roust agreed to sell nine Polish vodka brands, together with Żubrówka. They had been snapped up by Maspex in a deal valued at virtually US$1 billion. For the reason that acquisition, Żubrówka, which was the third-biggest-selling million-case vodka in The Brand Champions 2021 report, has launched Żubrówka Rosé. That is the primary line extension from the model in a while. It is going to be attention-grabbing to see what different improvements may are available in 2022.
The previous 12 months have been lively ones for Moët Hennessy’s Belvedere Vodka. Previously 12 months, the model has launched a variety of ready-to-drink vodka sodas, its first certified-organic flavoured vodka vary, referred to as Belvedere Organic Infusions, and a malted rye spirit drink, Belvedere Heritage 176 (pictured above). The Polish model additionally opened a biomass facility to cut back carbon dioxide emissions by 2022.
Firm mergers can sign huge adjustments for manufacturers. This 12 months, Nordic drinks corporations Altia (proprietor of Koskenkorva Vodka) and Arcus (proprietor of Linie aquavit) accomplished their merger to turn out to be Anora Group. With the creation of Anora Group, the corporate’s purpose is to pursue progress alternatives in and out of doors of the Nordics area. Due to this fact, we may see an additional push to develop Koskenkorva’s international footprint subsequent 12 months.