The Making of Smirnoff Sodas

Keeping it clean, crisp and full of flavour. Smirnoff Soda is the perfect addition to your fridge.

With the exciting new launch of Smirnoff Sodas, we caught up with Tim Norman, Senior Brand Manager at Lion to ask about the RTD boom and what makes a brilliant premix.

Why do you think RTDs have seen spectacular growth over the past two years?

"With the shift in consumers wanting a 'better for me' offering, people have been looking for drinks that align with these trends: this is a major factor in what has been driving the growth in light RTD offerings – they are less sugary, have less carbs and still taste great.

New Zealand – much like the rest of the world – follows similar life cycles when it comes to our drink choices, the growth in pre-mixed drinks aligns to what we have seen globally and very much in similar offerings, from UK to US to AU we have seen this rapid rise in sodas/seltzer drinks that now everyone is jumping on."

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Above: Smirnoff Soda is made with signature Smirnoff Vodka, citrus flavours and soda water with less than 2.5 grams of sugar per 100ml.

How long was the conception to can process for Smirnoff Soda?

"We brought the Smirnoff Soda conception to market in around eight months with its initial line-up of three flavours: Pineapple & Lime, Lime & Lemon, and Peach and Lime."

How important is the base spirit in RTDs?

"Extremely important! Smirnoff is our blockbuster vodka brand, and vodka is primarily driving the growth in this category. Consumers want to know what they are getting. We’ve seen some alternative base products within premix not resonate as much with consumers."

How did you come up with these three delicious flavours?

"We conducted market research on our concepts and on our liquid to ensure consumers will love it. With the Sodas we believe the Pineapple & Lime will be the standout flavour, but consumer testing rated highly for the whole range." 

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