Central European Distribution Corp has hailed a welcome distraction from its recent troubles, with its Zubrowka vodka brand names as the fastest-growing spirits brand last year.

The launch of line extension Zubrówka Biala at the end of 2010 in Poland drove the vodka to the top of the IWSR's top 25 list of fastest-growing spirits brands, released yesterday (6 August). Zubrówka posted a volumes increase of 2.7m cases last year, the IWSR said, as Biala benefited from “significant marketing investment and price promotions”.

Another company in difficulty, Belvédère, saw its Polish vodka brand, Krupnik, rise by 2.7m cases in 2011.

Vodka brands accounted for almost half of the top 25, which is listed below.

“Many of the brands in the fastest growth list sell most volume in India, Russia, the Ukraine, or that seemingly unquenchable market, the US,” said The IWSR. “These are markets where the right combination of factors behind a brand can help it make great leaps forward very quickly.

“The local approach has proved best in terms of stimulating large growth. Of the vodka brands in the top 25 fastest growth list, all but Smirnoff sell over 90% in one market. Those markets are invariably Poland, Russia, the Ukraine or the US.”