A ‘golden year’ for RSV in travel retail

By Doug Newhouse |

Russian Standard Vodka has reported ‘a golden year’ in the Asia Pacific travel retail market, with overall sales volume up +45% in 2010 compared with 2009, with a +40% result in South East Asia led by Singapore (+41%), Thailand (+36%) and Malaysia (+16%).

The company says that in West Asia, the brand is growing at an even faster pace, especially in Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, and is also progressing well in Australia and New Zealand.

Contributing to this excellent performance has been the launch in travel retail of Russian Standard Gold, which joins Russian Standard Original, Russian Standard Platinum and Imperia to complete the premium portfolio.

Russian Standard Gold is a unique combination of Dmitry Mendeleev’s classic vodka recipe dating from 1894 made using the finest Russian ingredients, and carefully selected extracts of Siberian ginseng, or ‘golden root’ in Russian, providing it with an exceptionally soft taste.

Russian Standard Gold is now listed in most of the key airports in Asia, including Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Tokyo.

Walter Kooijman, Commercial Director Global DF & APAC Russian Standard Vodka said: “Russian Standard Vodka is a new brand in Asia, yet it is already perceived as a perfect premium gift. Russian Standard Gold in particular has really taken off. We did not develop it specifically for the Asian consumer, but its red and gold colours are of course very appealing to them as they represent happiness, vitality, wealth and good fortune.”

In Australia, a special promotion in Melbourne and Sydney airports, featuring a giant Russian Standard Gold gift box, helped to drive sales which have increased by over 250% since the start of the promotion.

As Luke Maga, Global Travel Retail Manager Australia, Beam Global commented: “The Russian Standard Gold activation has become one of the best duty free executions throughout the region. It highlights the premium brand that it is and offers passengers a point of difference with the luxury gift box.”

Russian Standard Vodka launched Russian Standard Gold in Japan with a high-profile promotion in the FaSoLa Shop at Tokyo Narita South Terminal. A hostess in a specially designed uniform was on hand to assist with tastings and a mini-cocktail shaker was offered as a gift with every purchase of Russian Standard Gold.

Over at Hong Kong International Airport a similar promotion was run with a 5cl Russian Standard Gold gift for every purchase of Russian Standard Gold, meaning people could purchase a gift while enjoying a little taste themselves.

Another introduction in the super premium-gifting segment in 2010 was the IMPERIA Tsar Alexander III 1.75L limited edition. In Hong Kong CLK airport all 20 limited bottles were sold in record time at a retail price of HK$1,500 ($192.72) each.

Kooijman continues: “Chinese consumers increasingly are looking for authentic products of high quality. They clearly recognized the superior quality and premium image of IMPERIA and rushed to purchase these collectors items. We are extremely grateful to Sky Connection for the opportunity they have given Russian Standard Vodka. They are experts at premium retailing and they understand perfectly the needs of the Chinese PRC travellers.

“With these significant successes in Asia Pacific we are extremely positive about 2011. Sales growth momentum is expected to be maintained, with planned extensions of the Russian Standard Gold launch planned for Singapore and Vietnam, innovative promotional activities planned around twin packs for Russian Standard Original, and sampling events for consumers to taste the authenticity of a true Russian vodka.”



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