Shaken and stirred: Vodka drinkers research brands amid Ukraine crisis

vodka drinkers check out brands amid ukraine incursion - Image by Carlien from Pixabay

New data has shown that UK vodka drinkers have increased their online activity to find out exactly where their favourite brands come from, in response to Russia’s horrific invasion of Ukraine.

Vodka drinkers brand research

Online searches for the term ‘vodka brands’ have soared by a colossal 490.83% in the month since the invasion began, suggesting consumers are checking what brands are Russian before buying.

Searches for ‘Russian Standard vodka,’ a Russian-owned brand that is now on the UK boycott list, rose by 412.85% as consumers checked out the origins of their favourite spirit.

Meanwhile, searches for ‘Stolichnaya vodka’ and its new moniker ‘Stoli’, a useful rebrand to water-down any perceived ties with Russia, jumped by 117.48% and 90.45% respectively.

Searches for ‘Smirnoff vodka’, owned by Britain’s Diageo despite its name, have risen by 177.74%, suggesting once again that drinkers are double-checking its origins before they buy.

Vodka Drinkers origin aware - Image by Warren Lee from Pixabay
Stoli folly: Most vodka brands like Absolut and Smirnoff are not Russian anyway.

Sweden and Polish searches rise

At the same time, searches for Sweden’s ‘Absolut vodka’ are up 16.25%, while ‘Polish Vodka’ searches have risen by 86.41% since the invasion of Ukraine.

The analysis was carried out by online search expert MediaVision, using its proprietary Digital Demand Tracker tool that analyses search data from AdWords and Google Trends.

It also found that searches for ‘vodka cocktails’ are down by 59.75%, suggesting that many casual vodka drinkers are shunning the drink entirely in the wake of the Russian invasion.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, online interest in ‘sunflowers’ (the national flower of Ukraine) has risen by 19.10% over the past three weeks.

Louis Venter, CEO at MediaVision, said: “Although the import of Russian vodka brands has now been sanctioned by the UK, drinkers were doing their research from the moment Russian troops set foot on Ukrainian soil.

“The data suggests that vodka is still a popular drink amongst UK consumers, but they want to be seen as doing the right thing while also enjoying their favourite tipple. 

“This will benefit the non-Russian vodka brands, and it will be interesting to see if this is a long-term trend or a flash in the pan moment driven by emotion.”