Diageo in legal action against Vodkat

Diageo is taking legal action against Intercontinental Brands because it claims the company is passing off its successful Vodkat brand as full-strength vodka.

Vodkat is 22% alcohol by volume, well below the European minimum of 37% for pure vodka. ICB launched the brand in 2006 as a “premium vodka blend spirit mix” and has achieved spectacular success in that time, with sales up 66% in the off-trade in the year to Aug 9.

Diageo owns the UK’s best-selling vodka, Smirnoff, which leads a category which this year became more valuable to drinks retailers than the blended Scotch whisky market.