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Flavored vodka trend shows signs of waning, Restaurant Sciences LLC of Newton says

Sean Connery as  James Bond. 1982 file photo. Agence France-Presse -- Getty Images.
Sean Connery as James Bond. 1982 file photo. Agence France-Presse -- Getty Images.Credit:

It’s hard to know what James Bond might think. Once upon a time, the superspy and martini connoisseur preferred that his vodka be made with grain instead of potatoes. So he might have been a bit shaken and dismayed to hear about the recent flirtation with flavored vodkas by America’s nightclubbing public.

The Cherry Rose. A cocktail made with Cherry Noir vodka. Photo taken from the Grey Goose website.

But that trend could be so last year, suggests Restaurant Sciences LLC, a Newton-based company that collects and analyzes data about food and beverage consumption in restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and other foodservice establishments.

In a report with the headline of “The bloom is off the rose for flavored vodkas,” the firm said that its analysis of guest checks from restaurants, bars, and other “on-premise” venues found that the consumption of flavored vodkas has fallen off despite the fact that 46 new flavored vodkas have made their barroom debut since 2012. By the firm’s count, more than 600 flavored vodka brands are now available with the top 50 flavored vodkas accounting for 73 percent of sales.

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Nevertheless, sales of on-premise flavored vodkas fell 11.7 percent from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013, the firm said.

“Flavored vodka’s on-premise spirits market share peaked at 8.7 percent in Q3 2012,” Chuck Ellis, president and chief executive of Restaurant Sciences, said in a statement. “Since its peak, flavored vodkas have lost market share over the past 12 months to other flavored spirits such as whiskey. A few select brands, such as Grey Goose Cherry Noir, up 11.6 percent, and Smirnoff Cranberry, up 19 percent, are still showing excellent growth.”

James Bond movies often ask audiences to suspend belief. Still, it’s hard to imagine 007 asking a bartender for Cherry Noir shaken, not stirred, and served up in a deep champagne goblet.

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