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Every wondered what might happen if you crossed Willy Wonka with a global brand of super-premium Polish vodka? No? Nor did we. But it's happened and it's marvellous.
ODDKA was launched in the US in 2012, and the label's unique qualities quickly captured the imagination of vodka lovers here in the UK, as it arrived in supermarkets just last year. With flavours such as Salty Caramel Popcorn, Fresh Cut Grass and Electricity, ODDKA pushes the boundaries of this staple student spirit, and does so with such charming eccentricity that it's hard not to feel intrigued by the creative masterminding behind the brand.
We spoke to Global Assistant Brand Manager, Jonas Gustafsson to find out more about ODDKA's inspiration.
Well, first of all, we love all the odd things in the world! If you think about it, we all have something odd in us: a taxi driver sits in a car all day, driving around people that he or she does not know; a boat captain's working day takes place aboard something that weights over 60 tonnes and still floats! Quite odd if you ask me. We would like to encourage people to be curious and experimental. The human instinct to seek something new and find out 'what would happen if I do this' has led man to fly to the moon, sprint 100 meters in 9.58 seconds and ODDKA to create a great tasting flavoured spirit.
We love students and students love ODDKA. By the way, being a student is quite odd too if you think about it. First you read, read, read all day and then party, party, party all night!
My ideal ODDKA customer would be hard to pick. Celebrity or not - I would love to see all people over the legal drinking age enjoy an ODDKA drink. If I were to choose just one, I would like to make Liam Gallagher a Salty Caramel Popcorn drink. I hope he would not look back on it in anger...
Wit Oddoski, the charming character on ODDKA bottles, has humble origins. In the 15th Century, the Poles were some of the first people in the world to produce vodka, or 'little water' as it directly translates. It was in the 19th Century that vodka spread to the rest of Europe and our character, Mr. Wit Oddoski, is a tribute to all the Poles that made this possible. Wit is actually a 2D line drawing, so it is no big surprise that he looks at things quite differently. He finds inspiration for his flavour experiments everywhere - places he visited, people he met and dreams he dreamt.
We have to thank the curious minds of all our inspiring consumers for giving us new flavour ideas, whether we meet them on the street, in the bar or on Facebook. We always try to involve our fans in the flavour development. In the UK for instance, we recently ran a campaign 'Survival of the Oddest' in which our fans voted on which new flavour they would like to see on the shelves in the UK. When we come up with a new flavour idea, we imagine what it would taste like and ask ourselves 'would we drink it?'. If 'yes', we roll up our sleeves and start to distill.
ODDKA is different from its sister brand ABSOLUT. Even if we both work with a variety of flavours, we have different target groups and missions. ODDKA is mainly consumed by party people in their 20s, whilst ABSOLUT has a slightly older consumer group. When it comes to flavours... If ABSOLUT were to produce a strawberry flavour, we would go more 'odd' and make a strawberry milkshake flavour, for instance.
ODDKA has found particular success in the UK, maybe due to its stereotypically eccentric nature. The UK is ODDKA's lead market. I think the quirkiness of the brand and the British sense of humour make a great fit. We are about to launch a new flavour in the UK, keep your eyes open.
There are many ways students can incorporate ODDKA into their budget lifestyles. If you want something quick and easy, Twisted Melon mixes great with lemonade and Salty Caramel Popcorn goes perfectly with Coke. If you want to experiment a bit more I would suggest 'The Big Oddoski': Salty Caramel Popcorn with Kahlua, butterscotch, milk, Coke and salt - a crazy drink that tastes deliciously odd! Also, in Oddka Electricity there is a tingling sensation - a feeling of licking a battery. It is also slightly flavoured with ripened raspberries. You can find this recipe amongst others on our website.
If you have a favourite alcoholic drink beverage then it's time for a change. Try something new and escape old habits. I am certain you will enjoy ODDKA's oddness. Go odd.