Pernod Ricard (Thailand) Co, the importer of Absolut Vodka from Sweden, will spend 400 million baht on advertising and promotion in the next five years to make the product the market leader.
Charaspan Srisawadi, the company’s marketing manager for wine and white spirits, said younger Thais had shifted to drinking more vodka, leading the vodka market to grow by 20% the past few years, higher than the rate for whisky.
“Most vodka drinkers are in Bangkok and major tourist destinations like Phuket and Samui,” she said.
Last year, Thais bought between 120,000 and 130,000 cases of vodka and this is expected to rise to 150,000 cases this year and 170,000 next year.
Absolut ranks second in the local vodka market with a 35% share, trailing Smirnoff. The brand does well in supermarket and hypermarket channels.
Ms Charaspan said Thailand was among the fastest-growing markets for Absolut after China and India. During the first nine months of this year, local sales of Absolut jumped by 37% while the overall market expanded 19%. By year-end, its sales are expected to total 40,000 cases.
Pernod Ricard aims for Absolut to become the market leader with a 45-50% share in the next five years, and part of its marketing campaign is a 30-million-baht investment to celebrate the winter season with Absolut Parc, an outdoor vodka bar at Siam Paragon from Nov 10 to Dec 3.
The highlight will be the Absolut Iceberg ice bar, where customers can spend 10 minutes experiencing temperatures of -10 Celsius.