PB&J Vodka? Unusual Flavors Launched to Boost Sales

Bakon Vodka
Source: Black Rock Spirits
Bakon Vodka

Stir in one part candy store, one part alcohol and a splash of cocktail risk taking. For many vodka producers, this is a recipe for success as they seek to capture the American consumer and draw attention to their brand through creative new flavors.

Flavored vodka accounts for approximately 27 percent of leading brand vodka volume and continues to grow in popularity as total vodka sales also increase, according to market research firm Technomic.

In 2011, David Ozgo, senior vice president of economic and strategic analysis at the industry’s trade group, the Distilled Spirits Council, counted 115 different flavors in the vodka market.

“They included everything from the basics like orange, vanilla and lime to the more exotic: ginger, pepper, horseradish, bacon and wasabi,” Ozgo said. “Such flavors allow trained mixologists and at-home bartenders alike to develop new and interesting cocktails.”

Brand marketers use new flavors to drum up press coverage for their companies and to keep their brands top-of-mind for bartenders when they’re mixing up new cocktails, said Donna Hood Crecca, Technomic’s senior director in the Adult Beverage Resource Group.

“There are some really wild new flavors coming out, and a lot of them relate to very sweet flavor profiles, which is different from a few years ago,” Crecca said. Before, the focus was on more savory flavors.

Today’s top three best-selling vodkas are all sweet: White Rock Distilleries' Pinnacle Whipped Cream, Pernod Ricard'sAbsolut Citron and Diageo's Smirnoff Raspberry, Crecca said.

Click here to read about some of the most unusual vodka flavors on the shelves.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com. Follow Katie Little on Twitter @katie_little_.