InterContinental Brands has outlined plans for the “fine-tuning” of Vodkat following last month’s High Court ruling that branding of the 22% abv drink could mislead consumers into thinking it was vodka.

At a hearing yesterday, the company said changes to the product’s presentation would highlight its alcohol content and ingredients – but stressed that supply to the trade would continue as usual in the interim.

“As we have robustly maintained all along, we have never sought to mislead consumers with the branding of Vodkat,” said ICB director Paul Burton.

“ICB will now be taking further steps in its labelling, advertising and trade information to make it absolutely clear that Vodkat is not vodka, which by definition should be at least 37.5% alcohol by volume.”

He added: “Until changes to the presentation of the brand are resolved, it is business as usual. The fine-tuning will in no way affect continuity of sales of the product, which over the last five years has established itself as a favourite with consumers and has a retail value of £24m.”

Diageo had hailed January’s court ruling as a “landmark” win, with the Smirnoff maker arguing that vodka required protection from ‘lookalike’ products.

Read more
Diageo wins legal battle over ICB’s Vodkat tag (19 January 2010)
Vodkat gives bottles new updated look (1 August 2009)