Americans are buying vodka at a record pace and there seems to be no end to the trend in sight. Vodka accounts for more than 26% of all distilled spirits sold in the U.S., eclipsed only by the combined sales figure for all whiskies — Scotch, Irish, Bourbon and Canadian.
But that doesn’t tell the whole tale. The vodka category grew by an impressive 6.8% last year, and according to Adams Beverage Research it is expected to maintain this upward spiral through 2007. Conversely, whiskies, with the exception of Irish, are steadily losing ground. If reality is to be trusted, Americans have clearly selected vodka as their spirit of choice.
But why? What does vodka offer consumers that the other spirits apparently don’t? Paul Fuegner, vice president of marketing for Skyy, contends that vodka is the champion of the cocktail culture. “Its popularity is due in large part to being mixable and clean. Vodka offers bartenders [and consumers] a great base for preparing an amazing variety of cocktails.”
Tim Clarke, ceo of Infinite Spirits, makers of ultra-premium Shakers Vodka, agrees. “Good vodkas today are smooth and refreshing and don’t overpower the other ingredients in a cocktail. The great ones also deliver wonderful taste and character, all without sacrificing a smooth finish.”
VERSATILITY, FLAVORS, ACCESSIBILITY
While versatility and flavor adaptability are undoubtedly factors, Brit West, brand manager for T