Russia is famous for its vodka, but many types of vodka that are popular today are produced across the globe, even some in the United States.
However, the popularity of Russian vodka in the U.S. might be over.
As economic warfare is being waged between Russia and the U.S. through sanctions, if the flow of vodka from Russian into the U.S. were cut back to only a trickle, the likelihood is that most American consumers would not even take notice.
In 2013, the quantity of vodka that was imported into the U.S. from Russia dropped by 70% compared to 2012, based on U.S. government data. In addition, no Russian vodka is in the top 10 selling brands of vodka in the U.S.
One expert in the industry said there are more than enough brands from the U.S. that the Russian ones will not be missed.
The Russian brand that is most popular inside the United States is Stolichnaya or Stoli, which actually is not made in Russia but in Latvia.
The top five bestselling vodkas in cases sold during 2013 were Smirnoff, Absolut, Svedka, Grey Goose and Skyy. Grey Goose is from France and Skyy is from the U.S.
While the largest producers of vodka continue to be the dominant force in the market, crafter distillers from the U.S. are making gains.
The biggest gains in the vodka market were by Tito’s with its sales growth volume increasing by 68%. Experimenting with a number of flavors of vodka continues to be the popular choice amongst craft vodka makers.
While Tito’s is not planning to experiment with vodka in different flavors, Hangar 1 vodka, which is based in California, produces flavors like Maine Wild Berry and Mandarin Blossom.
During 2013, 65.8 million cases of 9-liters bottles of vodka were sold inside the U.S., which generated more than $5.6 billion for distillers.
For many decades, vodka has been a synonym for Russia, but it appears now that Americans have decided to say “nyet” to Russian imports.