Blog: Vodkat - Is this problem really an opportunity?
Olly Wehring | 29 January 2010
Diageo’s legal victory against 22% abv 'vodka look-a-like' Vodkat last week has been hailed as “a major step in the legal protection of the vodka category” by the Gin & Vodka Association (GVA).
Vodkat brand owner Intercontinental Brands (ICB) is still mulling over a possible appeal against the High Court ruling that it was passing Vodkat off as a full-strength vodka, but what will the longer-term knock-on effects be of the Vodkat saga?
The brand sold nearly 9m litres, netting revenues of over GBP50m, in the period from its launch in May 2005 to late 2009 – making it the fastest growing spirits brand in the UK in that timescale.
Diageo and the GVA will argue that much of that growth was spurious, based on the mistaken consumer assumption that they were buying a regular vodka. But, it’s still hard to escape the conclusion that there is demand for low-strength, mixable 'light spirits' like Vodkat.
At a time of unprecedented social concerns over the effects of strong alcohol, and with wine and beer both exploring lower-strength alternatives, is the time ripe to develop a mid-strength mixable category – stronger than wine, but weaker than full-strength spirits?
Given the Vodkat decision, it’s hard at this stage to say what this category will look like, since it appears it can’t even allude to a full-strength product like vodka or, say, gin.
But could a Vodkat-like product – albeit one with a less controversial name – be a hit with consumers? And who might emerge to lead this pioneering new category? A rebranded Vodkat from ICB? Or a brand-new product from a company like Diageo?
Major wine players flocked to China ready for online giant Alibaba's 9.9 Global Wine and Spirits Festival, which took place on 9 September....
In May, Heineken's CEO, Jean-François van Boxmeer, called Vietnam the "poster child" for international beer thanks to strong demographics and growing demand....
Heineken is known for its flashy adverts. Now the brewer has given the star treatment to a new recruitment drive with a glamorous and highly-persuasive ad that, quite frankly, had the staff here at...
Move over iPhone 7 headphones-gate, there is a new Apple product causing a stir. Or a shake. Or just a shot....
- Experienced hands hold firm at CCEP - Analysis
- What do US wholesalers think of spirits trends?
- Why sports drinks fail to ride the Olympic wave
- How the craft economy is loosening alcohol laws
- It isn't just men who like beer - Comment
- Diageo Australia's commercial head to step down
- Luxury and e-commerce a "natural fit" - Diageo
- Stoli Group CEO Rob Cullins to step down
- William Grant sees 2015 sales, profits lift
- Diageo merges US, Canada spirits units
- Global gin insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- The Next Seven Big Beverage Markets
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global rum insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends