October 12, 2012
CHICAGOVodka is the largest category within distilled spirits and it continues to grow due to its accessibility, mixability and range of offerings, according to a new report from Technomic. Constant product innovationespecially in the flavored segmentis driving both imported and domestic selections, infusing the category with excitement and intense competition.
According to Technomic's Special Trends in Adult Beverage (TAB) Report: Vodka Category Close-up", the flavored vodka category experienced a 23% gain that catapulted the segment to account for more than 25% of total U.S. vodka volume in 2011. Flavored vodka increased 3.3 million 9-liter cases in 2011 to rank among the fastest-growing segments of the spirits industry. The report also projects ongoing growth for the vodka category in 2012, with flavored vodka expected to fuel that expansion with another double-digit gain.
"With flavors ranging from citrus to peanut butter and jelly, and entries available in all price points, flavored vodka truly offers something for everyone," said Eric Schmidt, director of research for Technomic's Adult Beverage Resource Group. "Innovation around flavors is non-stop, which means suppliers are keeping consumers engaged by constantly bringing new offerings to the marketplace. Flavored vodka is one of the most dynamic categories in spirits today, and is growing in both the retail and on-premise channels due to its approachable and highly mixable positioning."
The report also found nearly three-quarters of the vodkas introduced in 2011 were flavored offerings, with Smirnoff leading the sector in product introductions. Interestingly, Pinnacle Whipped Cream grew 324.5% to rank as the leading flavored vodka brand, and significant volume increases were achieved by several other imported brands.
In terms of flavors, raspberry and citrus remained the most popular flavors, and vodkas with sweeter profiles gained traction; whipped cream vodkas surged in volume to rank as the third largest flavor.
The report examines the performance metrics for the overall vodka category, and includes insights into imported and domestic segment trends; leading brands and suppliers; price tier performance; and category and segment projections.
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