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The Warsaw Voice » National Voice » November 30, 2010
Finland in Poland
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Quality Vodka
November 30, 2010   
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Katarzyna Obuchowicz, senior brand manager at Finlandia Vodka, talks to The Warsaw Voice about the Polish market.

Why do Polish consumers have so much trust in the Finlandia Vodka brand even though Poland is a major vodka producer in its own right?
The chief assets of Finlandia Vodka are its quality and flavor, which result from unique production techniques and natural Finnish ingredients, including six-row barley, which ripens in the rays of the Midnight Sun, and crystal-clear water from glacial springs. All Finlandia Vodka is produced in just one location, Rajamäki, Finland. No other place in the world could ensure better conditions to produce vodka, such as crystal-clear glacial water and pristine, six-row barley. Water used to produce Finlandia Vodka is naturally filtered through moraine sands and gravel and as such, it requires no extra filtration. Finlandia is thus the purest vodka by nature.

The product’s high quality has earned the trust and loyalty of consumers who for years have considered Finlandia Vodka to be as close to the ideal as possible. Finlandia is a premium brand which, according to an International Wine and Spirit Research report, is number one among all vodkas imported to Poland.

The Finlandia line of products includes several types of flavored vodka. Are they popular with consumers?
Flavored vodkas started becoming popular several years ago. Finlandia Vodka expanded its portfolio with flavored variations addressing buyers’ expectations and was one of the first premium brands to do so. The first flavor was Cranberry Fusion from 1994, gradually followed by Lime Fusion, Redberry Fusion, Mango Fusion, Grapefruit Fusion, last year’s Blackcurrant Fusion and this year’s limited Christmas edition of Finlandia Tangerine Fusion, out since October. Interestingly, based on consumer research, the Grapefruit Fusion flavor was created specially for the Polish market. It became a hit in Poland, as evidenced by the number of awards it has won both in Poland and around the world. It was first introduced in Poland and only then on foreign markets.

Consumers also enjoy limited and Christmas editions, including special packages with gifts for buyers and the special Christmas flavor, Finlandia Tangerine Fusion.

All the aforementioned flavors are ideally balanced combinations of pure Finlandia Vodka with natural flavors, allowing consumers to relish the exceptional taste of fresh, juicy fruit. They are very popular, as consumers have grown to like natural flavors. Flavored vodkas also owe their popularity to the emerging practice of using such variations as an ideal base for exquisite drinks.

How important is consumer and market research for alcohol producers?
Monitoring consumer habits is an important part of market operations amid increasing competition. Attaining top sales in Poland and abroad has taken a huge amount of work. Seeking to maintain such high support from the consumer, you need solid foundations and efficient communication. The results are new records such as the fact that Finlandia Vodka sells over 3 million cases annually. At all times, however, we are faithful to our motto: “Keep your mind clear. Drink responsibly.”

Is good, flavored vodka easy to make?
Every new flavored variation necessitates a long and laborious process preceded by extensive market and consumer research, lab tests, analyses and trials. This huge amount of work aims to ensure the new vodka is ideal in all respects. Then consumers will acknowledge that. Polish consumers like trying new things and are keen to buy new flavors, as evidenced by the success of the grapefruit variation.

Finland is an amazing country with wonderful people and untainted nature, clean waters and crystal-clear air. It is also the producer of Finlandia Vodka, the number one vodka brand imported to Poland.
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