Absolut - A top selling brand
Photo: AP

'Vodka Belt' expands to Israel

Experts say Israel now among world leaders in per capita consumption of vodka with annual market of over $83 million. 'If you had told me several years ago that people in Israel would be buying $100 vodka, I would have called you insane,' says connoisseur

Over the course of the past year alone there has been a 30% increase in the quantity and quality of the Vodka being imported to Israel, said Nir Gladstone of the Wine&More network of high-end liquor stores.


"We carry almost 50 brands of Vodka. In the Allenby St. area (in Tel Aviv) there's a similar number of brands I've never even heard of. The cheap vodkas have been pushed into the supermarkets and the quality brands, the premium and super-premium vodkas dominate the market today. If you had told me several years ago that people would be buying $100 vodka, I would have called you insane."


The annual market for vodka in Israel is currently estimated at over $80 million. The Tiv Taam supermarket chain reports annual sales of some 850,000 bottles a year and carries hundreds of brands in its stores.


'Israelis willing to invest in brand names'

According to the chain, Israel is among the top six nations in the world in terms of vodka consumption. Israelis, the chain says, are also willing to invest in brand names – a testament to this is the fact that 50% of all vodkas sold in Israel are premium brands while 10% belong to the super-premium class.


"The top selling brands in Israel are Absolut, Finlandia and Smirnoff. Those looking for a super-premium
brand often buy Kauffman, which is over $100 a bottle, or the vintage – which is over $250 a bottle and is only for oligarchs "says David Biton who manages Tiv Taam's alcohol department in Rishon LeZion. Most consumers do not drink their vodka straight, however, and prefer it in cocktails.


"Israel is the second highest per-capita consumer of vodka in the world, with the Russians in first place," says Biton.


פרסום ראשון: 02.17.08, 22:00
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