Purity Vodka launches low-ABV ‘vodka’ and enters gin market

Swedish vodka brand Purity Vodka is  set to launch a new low abv ‘vodka’, as well as branching into gin production for the first time.

The new 30% abv liqueur is a citrus-based variant containing orange, lemon grapefruit and bergamot that is based on the brand’s 34 x distilled vodka.

Mathias Tönnesson, chief spirit officer & CEO at Purity Distillery, said low abv was a big trend with consumer research showing women in particularly were interested in lower abv drinks.

Although a vodka needs to be over 40% abv in the US or over 37.5% abv in the EU to be termed ‘vodka’, Tonnesson said consumers would tend to view the new liqueur as a 30% vodka with flavour.

“There really is not such a big difference in taste profile between 30-40% if you have a flavour in there – and 30% abv is more or less the standard for low abv in the US,” he told db.

“It can be served as both a mixed drink, with Champagne, Prosecco or served as a spritz with mineral water or tonic, or can be drunk on the rocks – but in a 50-50 spritz, you come down to about 15% abv in your cocktail,” he added.

Pressure from gin

The company is also branching into gin for the first time, with the launch of three gins, a London Dry Gin, an Old Tom and a Navy Strength gin. The gins are based on its award-winning 34 x distilled vodka but will include an Scandi twist by using Arctic lingonberries and blueberries as botanicals.

Tönnesson explained that although its vodka sales had been strong on the back of growing interest in premium and organic product and the company had seen its best sales in the US in the last year, the growth of gin in the market was prompting vodka producers to be more imaginative.

“Still vodka is a big chuck in the market, but in Stockholm or Copenhagen or Spain, gin – especially craft gin – has a big following, which is a big trend in the market,” he said.

“So we’re launching three variations of gin based on our award winning vodka, which are being released as a direct result of the pressure we see of gin in the market place. It’s a natural thing for us to do – it’s quite easy for us to make a good tasting gin.”

All four products will be rolled out in Europe at the end of the fourth quarter, with the US following shortly afterwards.

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