Pernod Ricard looks set to go head to head with drinks producer Moët Hennessy UK in the battle to establish the super premium vodka segment in the UK's off-trade.

The French drinks giant is launching Wyborowa Exquisite in the UK, using the brand's Polish heritage and premium production techniques as its point of difference. Wyborowa, which will be priced at £29.99, is likely to vie with Moët's Belvedere brand in the battle for off-trade listings.

Luxury drinks producer Moët said last month it was eyeing premium off-trade retailers in the UK with the aim of developing a super premium vodka segment on the back of on-trade success for its Belvedere brand, which also plays on its Polish heritage but has a lower price tag at £25.99.

The super premium segment - lines priced at more than £25 a bottle - has been steadily growing in the UK's bar scene, but this has so far been slow to filter into the off-trade.

Wyborowa, established in 1823, is produced exclusively from a single variety of premium rye, Dankowskie Zlote Zyto (Golden Rye), which is grown in western Poland in an area long associated with high quality grain and vodka production, according to Pernod.

Architect Frank Gehry, who is of Polish decent, was commissioned to design the bottle in a style which aims to convey a fusion of Polish heritage and modern design.

A spokeswoman for Pernod said the producer planned to seek out luxury retailers for the brand, as well as the UK's most sophisticated bars and restaurants.

Also last month, one of Russia's leading players in premium vodka, Russian Standard, announced it was embarking on an expansion programme with the UK as a potential target market -from high end bars and off-licences to supermarkets.

The company said it believed it could change the UK's habit of drinking vodka as a mixer. "When the vodka is good people will drink it as a shot," said chairman Roustam Tariko.