Brands Report: Vodka

04 January, 2018

There’s been little change in the best sellers, with the top brands all holding, says Hamish Smith

The vodka battleground has long been fought over by Diageo, Bacardi and Pernod Ricard. Diageo’s Ketel One, though, has held the high ground for six years straight in the Brands Report, easily fending off fading competition from Grey Goose and Absolut.

This year the Diageo/Nolet family-owned Dutch vodka was found to be the house pour in more than 30% of bars and on the regular roster in more than 60%. Grey Goose, which has been the second best seller in four of the past five years, is half as likely to be a house pour, our survey suggests.

The Bacardi-owned brand, though, is among the top three pours in 47% of bars polled. Absolut, which was the top-stocked vodka in 2010, is always in the running but never really threatening the top. This year only 9% of our sample said it was their house pour.

Owner Pernod Ricard, it should be said, has another vodka on the list in Wyborowa, which is up one on last year in seventh place. Belvedere has been making waves with its terroir vodkas this year, but any upswing from these launches will likely be felt next year – for now it is fourth, just ahead of non-mover Stoli.

Aylesbury Duck, part of the 86 Company portfolio, is again punching well above the weight of its investment – its currency is bartender love. The Brands Report’s sample has a smaller share of American bars (its home market) this year, yet the Duck has stayed afloat in sixth – evidence, perhaps of increasingly global appeal.

If the list is looking familiar, that’s because it is – the top six haven’t changed since last year. Just edged out of the top 10 were Beluga, Skyy and Cîroc.

Tito’s is gaining ground in third in the Top Trending list.

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Methodology

The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.





Comment

David Williams

What it takes to be admirable

Voting in this magazine’s redoubtable annual awards for the world’s most admired wine brands has forced me, as it does every year, to think about the subject of wine brands properly for a change.

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