Swedish vodka maker hits Absolut record

Absolut Vodka smashed previous production records during the past fiscal year, shipping out 99 million litres of the popular distilled spirit from its factory in southern Sweden, the company reported on Thursday.

Swedish vodka maker hits Absolut record

Absolut, exclusively produced in the small municipality of Åhus in Skåne, broke production records during the past fiscal year, according to the annual report for Pernod Ricard, the parent company of The Absolut Company.

Both sales and sales volume increased by 6 percent.

This means that 11 million 9-liter cases, representing 99 million litres were produced, thus setting a new record for the distillery in Åhus.

That breaks down to more than 600,000 bottles produced every day.

Absolut Vodka, representing more than 400 years of vodka-making tradition, is produced from a hardy winter wheat found in Åhus.

Every bottle contains more than one kilogram of the grain.

The precursor to today’s Absolut Vodka, “Absolut Rent Brännvin” (Absolute Pure

Vodka), was introduced in 1879 by the Swedish entrepreneur and legend, Lars Olsson Smith, also known as “The Vodka King,” who used a continuous distillation process.

Since its launch in 1979, Absolut Vodka has risen to fourth largest spirits brand in the world.

It’s parent company, Pernod Ricard, claims a worldwide leading position in premium and prestige spirits, with more than €7,000 million ($10,000 million) in net sales and 18,000 employees across 70 countries.

Other brands owned by the wine and spirit giant include Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlúa and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, among others.

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Swedish Purity in Absolut Vodka brand battle

Swedish upstart distillery Purity Vodka has taken beverage giant Absolut to court, in an attempt to straighten out a branding and marketing dispute.

Swedish Purity in Absolut Vodka brand battle
The Absolute Ice Bar. File photo: Tom Godber/Flickr

Stockholm district court will look into a claim by small Swedish distillery Purity Vodka's complaint that Absolut used the word 'purity' in a marketing campaign that the former claims infringes on the Purity trademark. 

The Dagens Industri business daily reported on Thursday that Absolut Vodka has used the term 'purity vodka' in a series of advertisements targeted at the US market. 

"We thought they should remove the word 'purity', it is our trademark, but they refused," chairman and Purity Vodka co-founder Göran Bernhoff told the paper. 

The complaint lead to Absolut Vodka countering the act by suing Purity Vodka both in Sweden and in the US.

"I'm surprised that they want to scare us, we are a small company," Bernhoff commented. "But we won't give up." 

Absolut Vodka has a long past of fiercely guarding its trademark. 

In 2010, the Swedish distillers sued British broadcasters at the Absolute Radio station. The dispute resulted in a confidential agreement between the two companies, allowing the radio station to keep its name. 

READ ALSO:  Sweden axes new word after Google intervenes

Last year, a hairdresser in Washington state in the US had to re-brand his salon after the vodka giant objected to his use of Absolute in the business name. His British colleagues appear to have stayed clear of disputes so far. A quick yellow pages search revealed on Thursday that there are still scores of Absolute Beauty salons, from Stirlingshire to Cornwall.

In Sweden, meanwhile, there are Absolute Car Towers and Absolute Catering, among seventeen other entries on phone and address directory website spanning cleaners to dentists.

Absolut is owned by French drinks group Pernod Ricard, which acquired the famed Swedish brand in 2008 when it purchased the Vin & Sprit (V&S) group from the Swedish state for 55 billion kronor ($8.88 billion).