Sobieski Is Fastest Vodka Ever To 1 Million Cases In US

Has anyone tried this one?  I like Belvedere, but I don’t think I’ve ever even seen this one?  They are pitching that good Vodka doesn’t have to be expensive.  Interesting, b/c when I do drink vodka, I get the “premium” stuff because I really do think it tastes better. Maybe they are truly breaking the mold.  If so, I’m all in! Plus, Die Hard Bruce is a sponsor and partner…I think that’s better than Diddy, no?

Belvédère SA’s Sobieski vodka brand shipped more than 1 million cases in the U.S. during the 2011 fiscal year, making it the fastest vodka ever to reach that mark, according to Impact Databank. Sobieski, imported by Belvédère’s U.S. subsidiary Imperial Brands, made its U.S. debut in 2007, depleting 50,000 cases that year. By 2010, it depleted 765,000 cases, and had earned Impact “Hot Brand” honors for three straight years. Last year, it depleted 950,000 cases, with shipments topping the million-case mark.

Sobieski has been supported in the U.S. by its ongoing “Truth in Vodka” campaign, featuring celebrity spokesperson and minority stakeholder Bruce Willis (Willis acquired a 3.3% stake in Belvédère in 2010). Priced at around $11 a 750-ml., the brand’s flavor line includes Orange, Karamel, Raspberry, Cytron, Vanilia and the recently launched Espresso, Cynamon and Bizon Grass.

Sobieski could be the fastest spirit brand overall to reach 1 million cases in the U.S., pending the final tally on Beam Inc.’s Skinnygirl, which only launched in 2009. Beam said last summer that Skinnygirl had a chance to reach 1 million cases in 2011 as well, but hasn’t yet released year-end figures for the fast-rising premix cocktail label.

Source: Shanken News Daily

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By Bill Sweeney

Bill is a guy that's been working at home since 2008. What does that mean? It means he runs a business, has a blog, takes care of the kids and house, and doesn't really have much more time left in the day. Piece of cake, but wouldn't have it any other way.

2 replies on “Sobieski Is Fastest Vodka Ever To 1 Million Cases In US”

A must-read article for anyone who believes that more expensive vodka is actually better vodka – better quality, better ingredients, better anything – must read “The Cocktail Creationist” from New York Magazine. Google it – it’s free to read. And it’s a sad story about how we’re really all sheep following not just one marketer but the marketers chasing that tail as well. Outside the US there is no such thing as a $30 bottle of vodka, because it’s an idea that’s been manufactured by American marketers and hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing feeding on our gullibility that more expensive means better. Sobieski is the real deal. It’s a great vodka, and it’s the leading premium vodka (yes, there are cheap vodkas that are bad vodkas) in Poland, where they know a thing or two about vodka. A million cases a year in such a short period of time is proof that there are plenty of people tired of being hosed, and are happy to keep their money in their pockets while still enjoying something premium. It’s a well-earned accomplishment.

There was also a piece by ABC’s 20 20 in May, 2007 worth reading, in which a whole group of folks who’d sworn they could tell the difference between inexpensive and premium vodkas ended up preferring…well, I’ll let you see for yourselves but you can probably guess it wasn’t what they’d expected.

PS – even if SkinnyGirl hits a million cases, it’s not the same thing. It’s a pre-mixed cocktail topping out at 15% ABV in the bottle, not a pure spirit of any kind (Sobieski and most vodka is 40% ABV or 80 proof). Pre-mixed cocktails are an entirely different category from spirits. And SkinnyGirl actually has 3 products based on entirely different products – a tequila-based margarita, a vodka-based cosmo, and a sangria (not even spirits-based). None of those individually are close to a million cases (which is not to put down the geniune success of that brand, just a statement of fact).

Thanks for this well thought out and informative reply. It’s much appreciated and I hope you come back again offering some more great insights. Nice job!

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