Written by: Trade Interchange

Posted on: 04/10/19

National Vodka Day: Get in the Spirit!

It’s time to get into the spirit for National Vodka Day; a celebration of Cosmopolitans, vodka martinis and Moscow Mules. No matter your taste there is something for everyone, the variety of flavours and concoctions mean vodka is far from the odourless, colourless, tasteless spirit originally defined by the Bureau of Alcohol.

While it has been claimed vodka’s inception occurred in the Middle Ages, Russia and Poland’s equal claim to the beverage leave its country of origin unclear.

Candyfloss, chilli and cookie dough spirits are a far cry from vodka’s original purpose of fighting the cold in 8th Century Eastern Europe, yet our penchant for cocktails and vodka with mixers make the beverage no less popular.

In the last five years alone over 115 new flavoured vodkas have been introduced to the market with countless weird and wonderful tastes, such as bacon, marshmallow, and even smoked salmon. While these unusual additions may not be to everyone’s taste, or dietary requirements, the multitude of flavour, ingredient and cocktail options ensure there is always something to whet your whistle.

Vodka now accounts for almost 25% of spirits sold in North America alone, while a vodka brand is the second-largest alcohol company in the UK turning over almost £500 million per year.

23% of consumers claim vodka is their favourite tipple according to the WSTA, and with the spirits’ 3.3% annual market growth there is little sign of the drink’s popularity slowing down.

Traditionally, potatoes or grains have been fermented, mixed with water and distilled to produce the spirit, yet increasing numbers of batches made with cereals or other fruit, and new concoctions could introduce a range of potentially deadly allergens to dampen the celebrations.

While customers expect accurate and clear labelling displayed on the food they eat, less thought is given to alcoholic drinks. In the UK, beverages with an alcohol content higher than 1.2% ABV do not, by law, need to detail their ingredients or nutritional information.

Potential allergens, such as wheat and gluten used as part of the manufacturing process also remain unlabelled, not to mention the host of other potential threats in flavoured vodkas.

Increasingly aware consumers are requesting more information about the ingredients and provenance of food and drinks they consume, suggesting voluntarily labelling alcoholic drinks’ ingredients helps to ensure customers trust their brand; therefore protecting both businesses’ reputation and profits.

A review of alcoholic beverage labels identified five elements which would be useful to include on the labelling for alcoholic drinks, the first two of which were ‘a list of ingredients’ and ‘nutritional information’, which came first and second respectively. Milk and sulphites are common allergens used in many flavoured vodkas, such as chilli, bubble-gum and sour apple, however, remain unlisted due to the drinks (much higher than 1.2%) alcohol content.

While collecting product-specific information, such as potential trace ingredients and nutritional information can often be difficult, laborious and time-consuming, supplier management software such as the ARCUS® platform places the responsibility on to the supplier to upload all relevant information, tailored to a company’s requirements.

By automating the collection of all ingredients, companies have confidence in the ingredient and allergen information provided by the supplier, while enabling businesses to accurately label their products while increasing consumer trust in the brand.

National Vodka Day is the perfect celebration for vegans and vegetarians across the globe, as the majority of unflavoured vodka is free from animal products.

That is, of course, with the exception of Doom vodka which is produced using smoked bone marrow for those with an acquired taste. However, there is no guarantee this assumption extends to the entirety of the vodka market; suggesting companies must do more to accurately list their ingredients and potential traces, garnering support and trust for their brand.

ARCUS® Product Information Management (PIM) is able to track all supplier information and potential allergen risk.

By automating the process of collecting and reviewing all product information, companies are able to save time while easing the administrative burden. Responsibility is placed on the supplier to complete and upload all relevant information and documents specifically tailored to a business’ requirements, such as insurance policies, modern slavery statements and industry-specific certifications.

All information is stored in a suppliers’ individual portal, which can be remotely accessed by all key stakeholders to provide evidence of due diligence throughout the supply chain.

ARCUS® PIM can be used to collect product-specific information directly from suppliers about their ingredients or flavourings, such as allergen information, potential contaminates, ingredients and nutritional details.

This is stored alongside all other supplier information, providing you with transparency and confidence in your supply chain.

PIM can be in integrated with other 3rd party systems, such as recipe management and other downstream systems which ensure all ingredients and allergens can be correctly labelled on menus and in bars.

ARCUS® Connect API allows information to be shared with both internal and external systems, eliminating the need to re-key data ensuring transparency and accuracy.

The Thirst for Vegan Alcoholic Drinks

Why keeping on top of this plant-based trend is more important than ever for the drink industry.

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Allergens White Paper

Why allergens continue to cause concern, and what you can do about it.

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PIM Factsheet

ARCUS® PIM is an innovative module that automates the process for collecting detailed information about supplier products, while providing a shared view for all departments.

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PIM Video

Find out even more about ARCUS® in this short video.

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