Flavored vodka drinkers want ‘true-to-fruit’ flavors, says Absolut

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Absolut vodka Vodka Pernod ricard spirits flavored spirits Flavor Flavours Flavors Flavour

Absolut Vodka has refreshed its flavored vodka range: improving flavor profiles and updating bottles to better signpost each flavor.

The relaunch began in February in 2022 and is now rolling out across other global markets. It covers the 12 flavors in the range, also includes the launch of a new passionfruit flavor outside the US.

The refresh has been about harmonizing the range of flavors and honing in on authentic flavor profiles, explains Elin Furelid, global head of product portfolio and innovation for Absolut.

As premium expectations for cocktails and spirits-and-mixers continues to grow, so do expectations around the spirits involved: and so the company has updated the liquids and ABVs for its mandarin, vanilla, mango, citron, peach, raspberri, pears and peppar flavors.

Traditional Absolut vodka comes in at 40% ABV: but while the team knew that the fresh top notes of the citrus work well at this strength; sweet and spicy flavors are better slightly lower.

“The updates were developed in response to rising consumer demand and preference for authenticity and true-to-fruit flavors,”​ said Furelid.

“To deliver on this and develop the new flavors, our team of sensory strategists, experts and flavorists undertook an end-to-end process from consumer sensory profile analysis through to liquid optimization and testing. 

"Part of this process involved harmonizing the ABV levels to suit each flavor. For example, all sweet and spicy flavors have been enhanced for flavor to stand out better with a lower ABV level at 38%, with Citron and Mandrin being enhanced with increased citrusy top notes of freshly squeezed fruit. This makes them the perfect accompaniment to mixers such as soda water, that we’ve seen grow in popularity, which demands more from a flavored vodka."

Packaging overhaul

The Pernod Ricard brand has also updated its packaging to make the flavors clearer and easier to identify.

“The entire range is now visually harmonized to help customers find and explore it more easily,” ​said Furelid.

“As well as the enhanced liquids, we’ve made a number of artistic updates to the bottle itself. Using brush strokes of color on the bottle clearly differentiate the different varieties, making it easy for consumers to find, trial and experiment with the new flavors. Handwritten information about the source stays true to Absolut’s history of using the bottle as a canvas and pays homage to our quality credentials of provenance, heritage, and authenticity.

It is important to us that consumers are excited, inspired and intrigued by our bottles. With a wide range of choice, standout colors are important both to catch attention, and to tell a clear story of the flavor sensation inside. Our packaging update clearly signposts the new taste profile to consumers, helping them find their favorite flavor and explore new ones.”

The total range covers 12 flavors: Absolut Vodka, Absolut Mandarin, Absolut Vanilla, Absolut Mango, Absolut Citron, Absolut Grapefruit, Absolut Peach, Absolut Watermelon, Absolut Lime, Absolut Raspberri, Absolut Pears, Absolut Passionfruit and Absolut Peppar.

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