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The Family Behind Grey Goose Launches New Vodka

on 15/04/11 at 11:18 am


The company that gave birth to high-end vodka is back for another round.

Sidney Frank Importing, the New York-based spirits giant that introduced the world to that $30-a-bottle wonder known as Grey Goose, has announced the launch of American Harvest Organic Spirit, a “vodka-like” specialty – essentially, a flavored vodka – that’s “handcrafted in small batches from organic winter wheat” and made with a “propriety blend of organic ingredients.”

It’s a big deal in the booze world because of what Frank represents – namely, a savvy maker and marketer of spirits that’s often ahead of the curve when it comes to determining what Americans want to drink. Back in the mid ‘90s, the company realized there was room for a vodka that was more “top shelf” than even Absolut, the behemoth in the premium ($15-20) category. That led Frank – as in Sidney himself – to fashion a vodka with a certain cachet and back story. In fact, Frank determined the name of the brand and the country of origin – France – before he actually started making the vodka. His instincts proved right: Grey Goose went on to become a runaway success and spawned countless imitators. Frank sold the brand to Bacardi in 2004 for the hefty sum of $2.2 billion. (Frank passed away two years later at the age of 86, but his company continues to be run by his family.) Because of the terms of the Bacardi deal, the Frank family was prohibited from going back into the vodka biz – until now.

{Full story via WSJ}

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