SPIRITS BUSINESS APRIL 2017 #86
Noteworthy information according to Spiritsfully
Dear curious reader,
.... ready to dive into the world of vodka ??
As usual I never know if it means spirits business was bought by vodka brands during the whole month of April. True though that talking about many brands may mean there is some independent journalism still going on.
Please no misunderstanding, I think spirits business is doing a great job, there are no so many ways to be regularly informed about the industry. However I feel the adverts are so strongly linked to the topic of the articles or winner of award, that I keep my critical glasses on.
This said, lets stop the digression now and dive into …. VODKA !
p. 6 TRANSPARENCY AND VODKA
A most welcome article about the category and how opaque it still is and how it has to open to grow. How many people are still telling me with great pride that vodka is made out of potato ? I’m asking: how many brand really bother to make vodka out of potato when it is so much easier to make is out of grain. Anyway this is not exactly what the article is about, sorry, another digression, but the article details the several point where producers have to work on (ingredients, number of distillation) to make the category less blurry and more consistent. The arrival of many boutique quality minded producers is a good sign of needed changes, as they would certainly push into that direction. This is something spiritsfully is totally supporting, we want to know what behind a label and inside bottles. The article mentions also the possibility of appellation (like in other spirits see Cognac) or further categorisation recognizing the work some producers put into their products over others.
p. 9 FUN (but relevant) FACT
The Baijiu category has overtaken whisky to become the world’s most valuable spirit by market share !
p. 21 CONTERFEIT VODKAS
A great story about how bootleggers and copies is a real issue in Russia nowadays and how brands can counter act.
For those more into figures and economy : a great article starting p. 28 about vodka in different markets. Super up to date, WSET students, rejoice those figures need to be known from you but are hard to get !!!!
p. 34 ABOUT WHAT’S INSIDE
Following up on my comment on the first article p. 6 about Vodka categorization, a great article by Kristiane Sherry about base materials. "Indeed vodka brands have historically been unable to convey the importance of raw materials to consumers, preferring what some see as gimmicky marketing tactics". In this article she "explores whether the market is ready for a grown up conversation on base ingredients”.
Of course this is something spiritsfully is happy to read about. Years of describing and explaining the importance of base materials for good spirits. Distillation can’t erase everything and often purity is a myth. Moreover how to make the category evolve if the only conversation is about the number of distillations ?
Of course the question remains of this is only a trend, or a long lasting mostly niche market. Many ingredients have been try and it is gonna be difficult to find a material that is groundbreaking or exceptionally different ! The article even mentions a vodka made of human tears ???
P. 61 SUGAR OR NO SUGAR
an interesting and contemporary debate and great arguments !