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Campari Posts Strong First Quarter, Revamps Skyy To Target Vodka Soda Trend

May 4, 2021

Campari Group saw sales jump 18% to €398 million ($479m) in its first quarter ended in March, with adjusted EBIT soaring 64% to €68.5 million ($82m). In the U.S., sales grew by 15%, led by Espolòn, Wild Turkey, and the Jamaican rum portfolio, as well improving shipments for Grand Marnier and Skyy. Additionally, Campari announced the formation of a new Rare division with a dedicated brand-building approach and route to market, aimed at “engaging the high-end trade and consumers in the super premium and above spirits market,” according to CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz.

Meanwhile, Campari’s Skyy Vodka brand is launching an overhaul of its core liquid and product line. Originally formulated in 1992 with the goal of creating the base for a perfect martini, Campari America took the brand back to the drawing board to hone a product suited to the most popular pairings today. The newly reformulated Skyy, which is rolling out now, aims to be the go-to pairing for consumers preparing vodka sodas through the use of water enriched with minerals from the California coast as its base ingredient.

“In vodka, traditionally, filtration and what you take out is the name of the game,” Andrea Sengara, head of U.S. marketing at Campari, told SND. “Instead, our approach is that what defines a premium liquid experience isn’t what you take out but what you choose to put into it. To that end, our vodka is now made with water enriched with Pacific minerals, specifically from the San Francisco Bay area and filtered through California limestone.”

The updated liquid, which will be the base of Skyy’s entire range of flavored Infusions in addition to the core offering, is accompanied by an updated bottle that preserves its Skyy blue color while adding details including fluting around the sides and a modernized logo. The launch will be supported by a suite of marketing efforts that will highlight a vodka soda with grapefruit peel as the signature cocktail of Skyy. “The Pacific minerals in the vodka actually release and enhance the flavors in the grapefruit peel,” Sengara said. “They enhance most all of the ingredients one would mix a vodka soda with.”

The new Skyy Vodka is available now at retailers nationwide for a suggested retail price of $13 a 750-ml. Last year Skyy was the ninth-ranked vodka brand in the U.S. at 2.4 million cases, according to Impact Databank.—Danny Sullivan

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