Consumers Embrace the "Truth": Sobieski Vodka, Poland`s #1 Premium Vodka, Topples All Prior Records for a New Spirit to Achieve the 255,000-Case Sales Milestone, Continuing to Prove the Quality is in the Bottle, Not in the Price

Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:02pm EDT

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Dramatic Sales Growth Earns "Hot Brand" Award of the Year
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.--(Business Wire)--
Sobieski Vodka, Poland`s #1 premium vodka, today announced that the brand had
broken all prior records for a newly-introduced spirit to reach the 255,000-case
sales milestone, as of the end of calendar year 2008. Through its creative
"Truth in Vodka" campaign, Sobieski Vodka urges consumers to focus on what`s in
the bottle-authenticity, quality and heritage-not gimmicky marketing nor fancy
packaging. This straightforward message debunks the myths surrounding overpriced
vodka and has clearly resounded with consumers who have embraced this honest,
back-to-basics spirit in record numbers. 

Sobieski Vodka`s U.S. market success was documented by Impact Magazine, a
leading spirits trade magazine, which recently published a summary of Sobieski
Vodka`s sales, as well as a spirits market review. The magazine also named
Sobieski Vodka as its "Hot Brand" Award winner for its outstanding achievements
in sales and marketing in the beverage alcohol industry. 

"We are honored to have Sobieski Vodka`s remarkable accomplishments recognized
by this esteemed award," said Chester Brandes, President and CEO, Imperial
Brands, Inc., the exclusive importer of Sobieski Vodka and a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Belvédère S.A. "Our sales success proves that consumers are taking
our truthful message to heart, namely, that they don`t have to pay a king`s
ransom for a premium quality vodka. The recent figures by the Distilled Spirits
Council (DISCUS) support our success trajectory --- premium vodkas are up
strongly and super-premiums have slipped. We are one step closer to achieving
our goal of being the fastest new vodka brand to reach the one million-case
sales milestone." 

"Especially during these difficult economic times, now more than ever, consumers
are seeking a premium vodka that is affordable," said Timo Sutinen, V.P. of
Marketing and Business Development, Imperial Brands, Inc. "In 2009, we will
continue to `spread the truth` to an even wider audience through our strategic
integrated marketing campaign to help consumers overthrow the tyranny of
overpriced vodkas. In addition, we plan to extend the Sobieski brand to include
unique, naturally-flavored vodkas that will please both consumers and the
mixology community…so stay tuned." 

About Sobieski Vodka

Sobieski Vodka, the #1 premium vodka in Poland and one of the world`s
bestselling and fastest growing vodka brands, makes no compromises on quality
and exemplifies the height of Polish craftsmanship and authenticity. Building on
a noble heritage, Sobieski Vodka is produced exclusively from the revered
Dankowski rye at a distillery dating back to 1846. 

In summer 2007, Sobieski Vodka launched its "Truth in Vodka" campaign, declaring
that consumers don`t have to pay a king`s ransom to get superb vodka. Their
back-to-basics approach to marketing, which focuses on what goes in the
bottle-tradition, heritage, authenticity and taste-is in marked contrast to
competitors who rely on lavish packaging and gimmicky ad campaigns that have
resulted in a deluge of overpriced vodkas. 

In fall 2007, Sobieski Vodka was ranked the #1 vodka in the premium category by
the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) in a blind-tasting of 108 vodkas, the
largest review of vodkas in its history, and earned a Gold Medal and Best Buy
Award. It was also ranked #1 in a blind-tasting of 25 major international vodka
brands conducted by La Revuedu Vin de France, one of France`s top wine and
spirits publications. Sobieski Vodka`s suggested retail price is $10.99 for a
750 ml bottle and $19.99 for a 1.75 liter bottle. For more information, please
visit www.vodkasobieski.com. 

About Imperial Brands, Inc.

Imperial Brands, Inc. is an importer and marketer of distinctive wines and
spirits. Headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., it is a U.S. subsidiary of
Belvédère S.A., one of Europe`s largest producers and distributors of white
spirits and wines. Belvédère S.A. operates production and distribution units in
Poland, France, Bulgaria, Lithuania and the U.S. and additionally owns
subsidiaries in Russia, Canada, Spain, Scandinavia and Brazil. Belvédère S.A.
purchased Marie Brizard & Roger International in July 2006. 

Imperial Brands, Inc. also owns Florida Distillers Co., which has two production
facilities located in Florida. This provides bottling capacity of 5 million
(9-liter) cases of distilled spirits for the company and a base on which to
coordinate its expansion across the U.S. For more information, please visit:
www.ibrandsinc.com. 

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