Ukrainian vodka brand Nemiroff expects to sell around 55m liters of alcoholic beverages in 2014 after it broke into the global duty free Top 10 of best-selling vodka brands in 2012.
The company has manufacturing facilities in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, and Yakov Gribov, chairman of the board, told this site that in Q1 2014 it sold 2.5m liters of products (vodkas and other spirits) in Russia alone.
IWSR Magazine revealed in October that Nemiroff had cracked the global Top 10 in terms of vodka volumes sold via duty free – coming in eighth behind Absolut, Smirnoff, Finlandia, Grey Goose, Danzka, Russian Standard and Stolichnaya with 111,900 nine-liter case sales in 2012, a rise of 54.7% on 2011.
Side-stepping a question about whether the political situation made Russia a difficult market to trade in, Gribov said the company increased its market share recently despite a general fall.
Despite Gribov’s bullishness, the Russian vodka market is in bad shape – legal vodka production fell 28.3% in the first half of 2013 as the government raised minimum prices for strong spirits and increased duty levels.
Last year Nemiroff released flavored vodkas including Spicy Strawberry, Rustic Apples and Cedar on Honey variants, and Gribov said such products were finding favour in Ukraine and abroad.
He played down the significance of a protracted boardroom power struggle that began in 2011 and led to a production shutdown in August 2013 – insisting it was limited to Nemiroff’s factory in Nemirov, Ukraine.
Production restarted in Nemirov this month after $1.5m was spent on bottling lines; and Nemiroff’s stated aim is “continuous brand coverage extension”, as it exports products to 80 countries.