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Polish vodkas top the IWSR’s fastest growth spirits brands list

CEDC’s Żubrówka vodka was the fastest-growing spirits brand in 2011, with fellow Polish vodka brand Krupnik following in second place.
A significant proportion of the top 25 fastest-growing brands was either stimulated by the launch of a brand line extension, or was itself the brand line extension.
Żubrówka’s growth is down to the launch of the brand line extension Żubrówka Biala, which, with significant marketing investment and price promotions, gained 2.72m cases in 2011, its first full year of sales. Similarly Belvédère’s Krupnik vodka was launched as a brand line extension to the long-established liqueur, helping the brand to grow 2.66m cases in 2011.
Vodka makes up nearly half of the top 25 with 12 brands featuring in the list. The local approach has proved best in terms of stimulating large growth. Of the vodka brands in the top 25 fastest growth list, all but Smirnoff sell over 90% in one market, and those markets are invariably Poland, Russia, the Ukraine or the US.
Belenkaya, the fifth fastest-growing brand and third fastest-growing vodka grew 1.27m cases and sells over 95% of volumes in its domestic market Russia. Pinnacle vodka, recently bought by Beam, has seen a growth of 1.3m cases in 2011, concentrated in the US market where again the brand has the perfect combo of packaging, price and marketing. Growth was stimulated further when Pinnacle introduced innovative flavours in its ‘whipped’ line.
Another common element of the mega-high growth volumes is meeting the exact needs – in terms of image, packaging, distribution, taste and price – of a single market with a large population and dealing with restrictions on the market that make it challenging for competitors to enter the field.
Many of the brands in the fastest growth list sell most volume in India, Russia, the Ukraine, or that seemingly unquenchable market, the US. These are markets where the right combination of factors behind a brand can help it make great leaps forward very quickly.

by S. C.
14 august 2012, World News > Europe