Smirnoff extends vodka lead despite losses

Despite a year of down-trading Diageo’s Smirnoff has extended its lead over the rest of the vodka category, according to The Millionaires’ Club 2015.

Smirnoff’s sales shrunk 2% to 25.6m 9-litre cases, mainly due to heightened competition and bottle price increases in the US market in 2014, but its decline was slower than that of rival Absolut.

Pernod Ricard’s major vodka brand fell 4% last year to finish on 11.1m cases.

Making up the top five vodka brands were Ukrainian duo Khortytsa (7.1m cases, up 11%) of Global Spirits and Khilbniy Dar (6.6m cases, down 9%) of Bayadera Group and Alcohol Siberia Group’s Pyat Ozer, which fell 14% to 5.5m cases.

Meanwhile  Roust’s Green Mark, the category’s second largest brand in 2010, is now ninth, shedding over half of its volumes in four years to stand on 4.1m cases.

The Millionaires Club will be published in July as a supplement to Drinks International and on thereafter.