Absolut vodka is not going to take this passed out, I mean lying down
Steve’s breakdown: So Svedka is now #1. You know, ever since Absolut ditched TBWA/Chiat/Day, sales have gone down about a half a million cases. Does that mean they bring them back? Possibly but probably not. It’s time for new blood to put Absolut back on top!
NEW YORK, NY: After years of solid gains in an increasingly competitive U.S. vodka category, Constellaton’s Svedka has risen to become the market’s largest imported vodka, according to Impact Databank, overtaking longtime leader Absolut. Svedka increased 2.9% to 4.2 million cases in 2015, and since 2010 has added nearly 1 million cases to its total. Absolut, which retails at around $5-$8 more per bottle than its Swedish countrymate, depending on the market, slipped 2.1% to 4.1 million cases last year, and is down by about half a million cases over the past five years.
After Svedka and Absolut, the next-largest imported vodka players in the U.S. are French offerings Grey Goose and Pinnacle—both at around 2.7 million cases—and the Netherlands’ Ketel One, selling about 2.1 million cases.
Diana Pawlik, Constellation’s vice president, spirits & global imports, tells SND that recent additions Svedka 100-proof ($16 a 750-ml.) and Grapefruit Jalapeño ($13)—targeted primarily at the Millennial demographic—have boosted growth for the franchise. “Both expressions skew more on-premise. Grapefruit Jalapeño is found primarily listed in restaurants and bars more than any flavor launch to date. We’re extremely proud of that,” says Pawlik. “And with 100-Proof, we launched with the goal of bringing a quality vodka to the 100-proof category, which has been growing stronger than both 80-proof and flavored vodkas year over year.”
This year, Svedka is looking to build off the success of its recent innovation efforts with the launch of a new flavor, Cucumber Lime, intended to tap the recent popularity of cool, crisp cocktails such as the Moscow Mule and Gin and Tonic, as well as capitalize on flavor trends found within Asian and Mexican cuisine.
Flavors currently account for around 20% of Svedka’s total business. Cucumber Lime marks the 13th flavor for Svedka, joining Strawberry Lemonade, Mango Pineapple, Strawberry Colada, Colada, Orange Cream Pop, Grapefruit Jalepeño, Cherry, Citron, Clementine, Raspberry, Vanilla and Peach entries.