Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Ya khochu Pivo!

According to the Washington Times:
Russia's national drink is suffering from an image problem on its home
Young people are drinking less vodka and more beer as health
considerations, better brews and good marketing are reordering the domestic
     That means that Russians, this year for the first time, are on a pace
to spend more on beer than on vodka, according to market-research firms.
     "It's definitely going to happen," said Vicky Darwin, marketing
director at Concise Business to Business Information, an England-based
market-information and -analysis group.
     It's a big change in the country that says it invented vodka. (Poland
also claims the honor.) The very word stems from "voda," Russian for water.
(In Polish, it's "woda.")
     "Vodka is Russia's national drink. It is drunk in quantities that
amaze and horrify many visitors to Russia," says an analysis published last
year by Euromonitor International, a global research company.
     But vodka has been steadily losing sales. And the trend away from
low-quality cheap vodka, which makes up the bulk of alcohol sales, is
expected to continue even as Russians continue to drink more, Euromonitor
     Russia consumes more units of alcohol per capita than any other nation
on earth, according to Euromonitor, and alcoholism rates are troublingly
high, health organizations say.


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