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The Smirnoff brand, that boasts of the world’s number-one selling premium spirit and the top-selling flavoured vodka in North America, traces its heritage back to 19th century Russia. As the most awarded vodka brand in the world, Smirnoff has always been known for quality and is enjoyed in 130 countries around the world.

FACTOIDS

  • Presence in 130 countries around the world
  • Smirnoff Sours vodkas introduced in 2014
  • Diageo’s market share – around 78 per cent in the vodka segment.

BLAZE TO BRILLIANCE
Smirnoff vodka owned and produced by the British company Diageo. The Smirnoff brand began with a vodka distillery founded in Moscow by Pyotr Arsenievich Smirnov (1831–1898). It is now distributed in 130 countries. It is produced in several countries including India, Ireland, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. Smirnoff products include vodka, flavoured vodka and malt beverages. In March 2006, Diageo North America claimed that Smirnoff vodka was the best-selling distilled spirit brand in the world.

FAITH FACTOR
Diageo, the parent company of Smirnoff is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. These brands include Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s, Windsor and Bushmills whiskies, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

ENGAGEMENT THAT ENTHRALS
The Smirnoff company had the naming rights to the Smirnoff Music Centre, a concert amphitheatre in Dallas, Texas, from 2000-2008. They also sponsored the Smirnoff Underbelly, a major venue at the Edinburgh Fringe. In the late 1990s, Smirnoff introduced a series of new products onto the UK and later the European and North American market, which quickly became popular among young people. In a 2005 New York Times blind tasting of 21 world-class vodkas, Smirnoff won as the “handsdown favorite”. In 2010, Smirnoff introduced the Cocktail Range: Pomegranate Martini with Meyer Lemon flavoured Liquor and pomegranate juice, Mojito with a dash of mint and kaffir lime, and Grand Cosmopilitan with cranberry juice. Tuscan Lemonade and Savannah Tea were later added.

INNOVEDGE
Smirnoff brand also serves the entry level of the vodka segment, while Ciroc and Ketel One brands cater to the premium-end of the segment. The latest addition are the Smirnoff Sours vodkas, introduced in 2014. Flavours available are Fruit Punch, Watermelon and Green Apple. Diageo, which also sells brands like Ciroc and Ketel One, has a market share of around 78 per cent in the vodka segment and according to an IWSR report, the vodka market in the country stood at 7.9 million nine litre cases.

BRAND EQUITY
A sales promotion agreement with United Spirits, the country’s biggest spirits firm, in which its parent company Diageo has acquired 54.78 per cent stake, has boosted the Smirnoff’s reach in India. With the recent launch of Smirnoff Black vodka and focus on driving core brands. The company is also getting the Smirnoff Black vodka manufactured by third party arrangement in Aurangabad.