Bankers become producers of vodka

Andrey Kazmin and his wife became co-owners of the Organika Life brand.
Former chairman of the board of Sberbank Andrei Kazmin and his wife Alla Kazmina (formerly Aleshkina, former first deputy chairman of the board of the bank) became co-owners of the Evrika company, which owns the rights to vodka trademarks. This follows from the SPARK data. On December 6, they received 12.5% ​​each in Eureka. A company representative declined to comment.

The main owner of the Eureka was Renat Khuzin. This is a well-known person in the vodka market, previously he was a co-owner of the large alcohol company Gross Vodka Company. Now he has 25% of Eureka directly and another 50% from the company he controls. He declined to comment.

Kazmin and Aleshkina left Sberbank in 2007. After that, Kazmin headed the Russian Post, and Aleshkina headed the Svyaz-Bank enterprise. Aleshkina left Svyaz-Bank in September 2008, when the bank came under reorganization, Kazmin left the Russian Post a few months later. Since then, public information about their activities has not appeared, and their interests in the vodka market were also not known. Contact them "Vedomosti" failed.

"Eureka" is engaged in the advertising business, according to SPARK. She owns the trademark rights of Organika Life vodka. This vodka appeared on the market a few years ago, recalls the top manager of the vodka company. It is bottled at the Vladalko plant under a contract, the site says. This is a small factory in the Vladimir region, in 2018 it produced about 160,000 dal of vodka, says an employee of one of the alcohol companies. It was not possible to find out exactly how much Organika Life vodka is produced there - the factory representative did not respond to the Vedomosti request.

Organika Life is dedicated to rare species of animals - the Amur tiger is depicted on the logo, the brand website says. The producer associates the composition of vodka with Lake Baikal: water is taken from there to produce a drink and larch and sagan daila (also known as Adams rhododendron), which are part of the drink, grow on its shore.

Less than 0.5%

Super-premium vodka accounts for the vodka market, says Vadim Drobiz, director of the Center for Research on Federal and Regional Alcohol Markets. The most popular brands in this category are Beluga, Kremlin Award, Pure Dew, Gray Goose, etc.

Organika Life vodka costs 2000 rubles. and more per bottle of 0.7 liters, follows from information from the sites "Alphabet of Taste" and "Okay". This is a super premium price segment, says the manager of one of the vodka producers. Such vodka accounts for less than 0.5% of all sales of this drink, estimates Vadim Drobiz, director of CIFRRA.

Super-premium vodka in Russia is in deep stagnation, says Stanislav Kaufman, brand director of the Moscow Kristall factory: there are fewer and fewer rich people. In order to successfully trade such vodka in Russia, he said, a diversified portfolio of vodka was needed for both the inexpensive, middle and premium segments: then, due to large sales and developed distribution, you can compensate for the low demand for premium.

Selling vodka at such a price cannot be a big business - it is designed for a wealthy public, agrees Drobiz. Therefore, he considers such projects more fashionable than commercial.

The only way to earn serious money on very expensive vodka is to have large-scale access to foreign markets, argues Kaufman, and for this you need to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in promotion. The Organika Life website says that it has distributors in the USA, Belgium, Spain, Italy, etc.

In recent years, the entire vodka market in Russia has stagnated. In 2018, retail sales fell by 1.5% to 78.6 million decaliters, according to Rosalkogolregulirovanie. In 2019, they will decrease by about 0.5%, Drobiz predicts.