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Grey Goose To Enter Hybrid Product Arena With Cognac-Blended Vodka, VX

August 15, 2014

Bacardi USA will extend Grey Goose with the launch of a new Cognac-laced vodka called VX beginning September 1. Meant to be enjoyed chilled on the rocks in a Cognac glass, the 40%-abv VX will roll out to “an exclusive, select group of high-end bars and nightclubs,” Bacardi says. The new label will be produced in limited supply each year, carrying a retail price of $74.99 a 750-ml. Its launch will be supported by national print, digital and experiential programming.

Bacardi says the new luxury entry “embodies the ethos” of Grey Goose’s aspirational “Fly Beyond” global campaign, which has been running since last year. VX uses exclusively Grande Champagne Cognac grapes, which see up to two years of barrel-aging before being blended with Grey Goose vodka to create the final product. VX’s bottle contains cues from the core Grey Goose package, but is styled in the manner of an XO Cognac decanter with rounded shoulders and a heavy stopper.

The launch of VX comes amid increasing activity in the hybrid-product area of the drinks market. Among others, Pernod Ricard and Beam Suntory have been innovators in the segment. In 2012, Pernod introduced Malibu Red, a rum-Tequila hybrid, as well as Absolut Tune, which mixes vodka with Sauvignon Blanc. Earlier this year it followed with Malibu Rum Sparkler, a combination of Malibu rum and coconut water that’s infused with bubbles and bottled under cork. Beam Suntory, meanwhile, has been marketing Cognac-wine blends such as Courvoisier Rosé and Courvoisier Gold since 2011.

Bacardi will be looking for VX to help reenergize the Grey Goose brand in the U.S. market, where it slipped 5% to 3.3 million cases last year. Globally, Grey Goose’s volume rose 2.6% to 3.9 million cases in 2013, according to Impact Databank.

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