Pernod Ricard UK is investing heavily in its newly acquired Stolichnaya brand, which it believes has potential to become the leading premium vodka in the UK.
Stolichnaya will be the focus of Pernod Ricard’s first strategic repositioning activity since it acquired a raft of spirits brands from Allied Domecq last year.
The drinks company plans to invest £500,000 on consumer PR, below-the-line activity, consumer tastings and other events in the next six months.
Its vision is for the vodka brand to be the number one premium vodka and it sees Absolut as its
main competitor.
Roger Harrison, head of marketing for Pernod Ricard UK, said: “Stolichnaya is now challenging Absolut’s leadership of premium vodka and is seen as the authentic Russian vodka.”
Harrison would not be drawn on whether the company would be increasing the price of the Stolichnaya brand to match the higher pricing of Absolut.
The usual retail price for a 70cl bottle of Stolichnaya is £12.46, compared with about £13.83 for Absolut.
The off-trade premium vodka market grew 13% in volume last year and 11% in value, according to ACNielsen [y/e December 24, 2005].