Vodka strategy raises global profile of Mongolian drinks firm

27 August, 2008
Page 11 
Mongolian drinks group APU plans to use duty-free as a key part of a strategy to introduce its two vodka brands to international markets. For the first time, the privately-owned company, which posted a turnover of US$50m in 2007, exhibited at the TFWA Asia-Pacific show last month .

APU's only notable export market to date is South Korea. Key product launches for the show included Bolor, a well-established vodka brand available in Mongolia since 1981, and Soyombo, a new super-premium vodka that was launched last November.

According to APU, Soyombo is already the leading super-premium vodka in Mongolia. Featuring a modern black tinted bottle with silver and black graphics and a matching embossed gift box, the packaging of Soyombo is described as "masculine, minimalist". It is priced in duty-free at US$20.

Explaining APU's plans for duty-free, export manager Dambinyam Bolortsetgeg said: "Our strategy is based on two main factors: the first being the rapid sales growth of white spirits and vodka in the world with the trendy culture to drink cocktails.

"Secondly, Mongolia is getting significantly popular as a new travel destination among tourists.

"People are interested not only in our unique culture and untouched nature, but in ecologically clean products made here in Mongolia too."

Established in 1942, APU is Mongolia's largest manufacturer of alcoholic drinks, producing 4 million litres of spirits and 18 million litres of beer last year .

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