“Our strategy of one source and just-in-time production gives Absolut a unique advantage in an increasingly crowded market,” says Bengt Baron, CEO of Absolut parent V&S Group of Stockholm.
A saturated market is more like it. Absolut pioneered the premium vodka segment in 1979, using stylish packaging and clever advertising to convince consumers to shell out an unheard-of $20 a bottle. After two decades as the undisputed king of the heap, Absolut is now feeling the pinch as a slew of new brands and flavors hit the market. In recent years, more than 100 vodkas have launched in the U.S. alone, helping knock Absolut’s share down from 58% in 1999 to 36.5% in 2004.
(Hat tip to the GZ Expat.)