Top 10 best-selling vodka brands

Vodka has suffered of late, not only eclipsed by the runaway success of gin, but suffering from turmoil in several of its biggest markets. However as our top 10 global vodka brands reveals, there is still growth to be found.

Vodka accounts for around 29% of the spirits category, but sales of the versatile white spirit have been hit in recent years, falling -4.3% in the last year, according to the IWSR. This is primarily due to a slowdown in key markets including Russia and Poland which are its largest markets. Volumes in Russia for example fell 9.3%, the IWSR reported.

“The weight of the category is still in Eastern Europe and Russia is dragging that global figure down,” Spiros Malandrakis of Euromonitor explains. “The situation is different to that in the West for although it is embedded in the culture, it has lost kudos [among younger drinkers] – it is the drink of a different generation and the economic issues and legislation has has created a perfect storm, causing volumes to go down. The best case is that we will witness low single digit growth.”

Malandrakis also points to the “huge potential” in China, which has still not sufficiently materialised.

“It obviously has a historic association with white spirits but the Chinese consumer has yet to adopt that – it’s been around for a while and it’s yet to be realised.”

The UK is seeing stronger growth, along with the US, particularly for premium vodka. According to the most recent Nielsen data vodka sales increased across the UK off-trade by 1.1%, £12.3m in the 52 weeks to 12 August 2017, with flavoured vodkas taking the lead, accounting for 36% of growth, even though it makes up just 4% of the market. Similarly premium brands accounted for 76% of the UK growth, growing at 9.2% despite being only 9% of the market, compared to 0.3% for standard brands.

Premium vodka has also shifted its focus, moving from the celebrity-endorsed aspirational focus of the past to embrace a brand’s provenance, sourcing and production credentials, while the craft cues are starting to make themselves felt in flavoured vodkas, even though it may have passed it peak in terms of popularity.

“Now it is about organic and natural associations that have a connection to the narrative of the brand or the place it comes from, rather than saccharine waves of flavour that helped destroy the category and probably drove the mainstream brands [down],” Malandrakis points out. “So we will continue to see vodka flavours, but at a moderate pace.”

Click through for our round up of the top 10 best-selling vodka brands….

(Figures are based on the number of nine-litre cases sold globally and wherever possible, figures have been obtained directly from brand owners)

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