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Diageo launches cinnamon and gold leaf vodka

Diageo is introducing Smirnoff Gold into the UK market – a luxury liqueur that is a blend of Smirnoff No.21 premium vodka with natural cinnamon flavouring and visible flakes of edible 23 carat gold leaf.

Already available in global travel retail but in a 1litre size only, this month it is being launched into all UK channels supported by a £4.5m integrated through-the-line campaign.

The new variant is designed to appeal to consumers seeking new flavours, and is set to drive incremental sales into the vodka category, which is growing at 3% year on year in the UK off-trade, according to Nielsen figures.

The edible 23 carat gold leaf ‘suspended’ in every 75cl bottle gives the product a stunning premium look, creating strong stand-out on shelf. The gold branding is printed on a clear pressure sensitive film label to give a 'no label look' and to show off the abundance of gold flakes inside the bottle.

Until 2008, Diageo owned Goldschlager, a 40%ABV cinnamon schnapps liqueur with 24 carat gold flakes suspended in its distinctive a bell-shaped bottle. The product is produced by DOI Spa, Italy, and is now a spirit in Global Brands portfolio. However, Gold is a very different product, according to Diageo, as one is schnapps-based and the other vodka-based. Gold also uses a "unique technology" to suspend the gold leaf within the liquid while Goldschlagger’s leaf does not sit within the liquid and, therefore, it requires to be stirred up manually before pouring. The cinnamon flavouring of Gold is also lighter on the palate than that of Goldschlager.

Goldschlager’s RRP is £24, while the 37.5%ABV Smirnoff Gold RRP is quoted as £21.95.

Karen O’Shea, marketing manager for Smirnoff Western Europe at Diageo, says: “Smirnoff is leading the way in innovation within the vodka category and this new premium offering represents a significant opportunity for retailers to grow their vodka sales by encouraging consumers to trade up.”

Signature serve

To coincide with the unveiling of the new variant, Smirnoff is launching a new signature serve – Smirnoff Apple Bite – a blend of Smirnoff vodka, lemonade and apple juice, which will inspire consumers to enjoy Smirnoff in new ways. The innovative Apple Bite can be enjoyed with any vodka from the Smirnoff range, including Smirnoff Gold for an ‘Apple Bite Gold,’ offering consumers the chance to experiment with different flavours from across the Smirnoff portfolio.

Pre-mix can

Smirnoff Apple Bite will also be available in a pre-mix can, which offers the opportunity for convenience retailers to increase sales as pre-mix is the fastest growing alcohol segment in the off trade (Neilson).

Karen O’Shea continues: “The launch of Smirnoff Gold and our new signature serve, Smirnoff Apple Bite, builds on our ‘drink inventively’ positioning; encouraging consumers to experiment with different flavour combinations, and driving category growth by attracting new and existing Smirnoff consumers with a highly unique, premium offering.”

Diageo has also announced the launch of Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon in the US. This new variant will be available from September 1st at RRP US$21/75cl bottle.


19 August 2013 - Felicity Murray