Flavored vodka fuels vodka volume and sales: report

Demand for flavored vodkas is growing: report
Dynamic flavored segment proves a primary growth driver of vodka, the largest spirits category

Consumer interest in flavored vodka is expanding, evidenced by the 23.3 percent gain that catapulted the segment to account for more than one-quarter 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, according to Technomic’s Special Trends in Adult Beverage (TAB) Report: Vodka Category Close-up. 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.

Nearly three-quarters of the vodkas introduced in 2011 were flavored offerings, finds the report. While raspberry and citrus remained the most popular flavors, vodkas with sweeter profiles gained traction; whipped cream vodkas surged in volume to rank as the third largest flavor.

Led by Smirnoff, all of the leading flavored vodka portfolios grew in 2011. Pinnacle Whipped Cream grew 324.5 percent to rank as the leading flavored vodka brand and significant volume increases were achieved by several other imported brands.

“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.”