From The Spirits Business website 15 June 2015:
Many of our Brand Champions felt the harsh effects of Russian president Vladamir Putin’s minimum unit pricing regime, while Stock Spirits’ Zoladkowa Crysta de Luxe and 1906 in particular bore the brunt of Poland’s introduction of a 15% tax hike in January 2014, both of which delivered double-digit declines.
For international brands on the other hand, the landscape isn’t as bleak as some brown spirits backers may make out. The majority of international brands, particularly the premium and super-premium set, delivered at least very solid single-digit growth figures, among them Svedka (5%) and Grey Goose (3%). Credit must be given to Diageo’s Cîroc for leaping forward with an 18% increase in sales, which the brand attributes largely to the success of its new pineapple flavour, launched in the US in late 2014. Its sister brand and category leader, Smirnoff, didn’t fare as well, with the brand posting 2% decline.
But the ultimate kudos of winning a Brand Champion award goes to Zubrowka, for the second year running. Since being acquired by Roust (formerly known as Russian Standard) in 2013, the brand has positively thrived under its new parent company’s global distribution network, delivering a striking 18% growth last year. But it’s been Zubrowka’s bison grass USP, contemporary branding and premium positioning that, combined, have aided the traditional Polish brand in appealing to an international audience. Over the last five years, Zubrowka has added almost four million cases to its annual sales and risen to the position of fourth largest vodka brand in the world.