With the amazing proliferation of vodkas hitting the market these days, a producer has to think long and hard about how another entry can get successfully established in such a competitive climate. Two concerns become paramount to success: creating an individual, distinctive style that makes your vodka different from everyone else, and creating a message that resonates with your target customer.
Sidney Frank Company, one of the most respected and successful beverage marketing companies in the United States, has now entered the Oregon market with a new vodka, so we’ll see those concerns put to the test in the marketplace.
American Harvest Vodka is obviously the end result from a company that has a great deal of expertise in marketing spirits. It should be: Sidney Frank is the same company that created one of the reigning mega-vodka brands, Grey Goose, before selling it to Bacardi. Frank also masterminded a huge success with the blockbuster breakout of Jagermeister, managing to make a bitter herbal liqueur often likened to cough syrup a phenomenon with the young LDA market.
This time, instead of popularizing a German liqueur or a French luxury vodka, Sidney Frank is championing an All-American, All-Organic—and in the case of Oregon—an All-Local Vodka.
American Harvest, in its classy and distinctive broad-shouldered cool blue-and-frost bottle, bills itself as an Organic Spirit, an OrganicVodka from Snake River, USA, made with Organic Flavor.
American Harvest is made entirely from sustainably managed family-farmed wheat in Rigby, Idaho, on the Snake River Plain, using deep aquifer water from the same area. It bears the USDA Certified Organic seal, along with the even more difficult to acquire distinction of being certified by Oregon Tilth. In addition to the sustainable farming approach, American Harvest uses green-energy wind power and lowers its carbon footprint by using recyclable glass.
That’s the marketing claim to get you to purchase the vodka—and if you’re passionate about a sustainable environment and organic ingredients, that could be a very compelling claim for you. But the inevitable question is…how does it taste?
American Harvest is a bit less definitive here, not saying what their “organic flavors” are; understandable, if you want to keep your formula proprietary. But whatever they are, the flavor and texture profile of American Harvest is indeed different. The vodka is soft, rounded, smooth and creamy, mouth filling and expansive, with some very mild floral components and a slightly sweet profile. Since everyone has their own preferred way of drinking vodka—chilled, iced, vodka & soda, vodka & tonic, or vodka martini—some sampling and experimentation may be in order to see how American Harvest fits your palate.
So…American Harvest has a story to tell, with a distinctive look and a distinctive style, and a savvy company behind it. Now the market…the consumer…the average vodka drinker…will make the decision. And for a spirit dubbed “American Harvest”, that’s the appropriate American way.
American Harvest Vodka is widely available in the OLCC system at $25.95/750ml. You can also find it in 50ml mini-bottles for $3.50.