Exclusiv Vodka On Track To Hit 250,000 Cases in 2012June 25, 2012
As competitively priced vodka imports like Sobieski achieve torrid growth amid a tough economy, one smaller player is starting to make headway in the segment. Exclusiv vodka, produced in Moldova, is set to more than double volume to at least 250,000 nine-liter cases this year, despite having a small distribution footprint in the U.S.
“We’ve reached the critical mass where the brand becomes visible and more people try it,” says Serge Chistov, founder and owner of Exclusiv’s U.S. marketer, Serge Imports. “Our retailers are very supportive—they’re giving the brand visibility in the stores.”
Last year, Exclusiv sold 106,000 cases and was available only in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida. In the first six months of 2012, Serge Imports expanded distribution into Maryland, Georgia, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. Exclusiv is distributed by the Charmer Sunbelt Group in all markets except Georgia, where it works with General Wholesale Co. Serge Imports is now in preliminary negotiations with distributors in Colorado, Arizona and Pennsylvania, but Chistov says there is no deadline for moving into those states.
“We’re looking to expand—but only if it makes sense to us and our partners,” Chistov says. “We’re targeting markets where we can overdeliver on quality, keeping the price where we want it.” Exclusiv has yet to see a price increase since its U.S. launch in 2007, and Chistov says there are no plans to raise it above its $9.99 price point.
In addition to Exclusiv Classic, Exclusiv also offers a number of flavor extensions—Raspberry, Citrus and Orange as well as recently released Coconut, Berry and Peach, all retailing at $9.99. Serge is also rolling out new line extension Exclusiv Rose—a blend of Exclusiv Raspberry vodka and Exclusiv Rose Moscato wine, also priced at $9.99. Exclusiv Rose is shipping now and will likely be available by August in all of Exclusiv’s markets except Maryland, where it will roll out about six months from now.
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