Belvedere has lined up its Polish vodka brand Sobieski for the US market.

The company said yesterday (25 September) that the launch of Sobieski in the country signifies its attempts to "overthrow overpriced vodkas".

With a suggested retail price of US$10.99 for a 750ml bottle and $19.99 for a 1.75-litre bottle, Sobieski will be available this autumn in major retail stores across the US. Distribution will be handled by Belvedere's Imperial Brands import unit.

"It's time vodka drinkers knew the truth about vodka," said Chester Brandes, president and CEO of Imperial Brands. "Consumers are spending between $30 to $60 a bottle for so-called super-premium vodkas. In essence, they are paying for fancy packaging and bloated marketing costs. It's time to get back to basics with an honest, premium vodka at a price that won't make consumers' heads swim.

"Sobieski Vodka can go head-to-head against competitors' vodkas that charge double or triple the price. We welcome consumers to taste Sobieski Vodka and decide for themselves," Brandes added.

Earlier this week, Belvedere reportedly closed the sale of two soft drinks brands owned by its Marie Brizard unit in France. The group has divested the Pulco brand of fruit concentrates and Sirop Sport cordial line to Orangina Group for EUR178m (US$251.1m), local reports said.