Even With Fewer “Icings” Going Around, People Still Buy Smirnoff Ice… In Costa Rica

smifnoffA little more than two years ago at a friend’s wedding, my now husband entered the ballroom handing out bottles of Smirnoff Ice to the tune of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby.” While “icing” was fairly popular back then, the looks on unsuspecting guests’ faces as they took a knee to chug the super-sugary drink was one of disdain and contempt. That reaction may be duplicated by millions of consumers faced with a fridge full of only Smirnoff Ice today, but some consumers, mostly in far-flung locales, just can’t say no to the citrus-flavored malt beverage.

A new report from the Washington Post’s Wonkblog set out to examine findings from Euromonitor International and determine just where Smirnoff Ice is popular.

The beverage enjoys the most lovable relationship with Costa Ricans, who consume on average 17 ounces of the drink annually. That rate translates to about a bottle and a half per person each year.

And Costa Rican’s love affair with the beverage doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, Euromonitor reports. The country’s yearly sales of the drink are currently the highest in the world and are projected to continue growing.

Coming in just behind Costa Rico is New Zealand, where residents are drinking about 16 ounces of Smirnoff Ice each year, despite an ongoing decline in sales.

The third and fourth most Smirnoff Ice-loving countries are Canada and Australia.

For the most part, America’s love affair with the beverage has ended, with consumers drinking less than one bottle per year on average. That rate’s low enough to barely make the top five for countries drinking Smirnoff Ice.

In fact, sales of Smirnoff Ice in the United States have fallen each year for the last seven years, down by more than 52% since 2006.

Outside of the top five, no country recorded consumption equal to at least one bottle per person. Still, several of those areas may soon break the top five, as their yearly sales of the beverage continue to climb. Countries such as Japan, Thailand and Colombia have all seen a drastic spike in sales over the last year.

So, while you might be hard-pressed to find someone at the local watering hole being “iced” on a regular basis, you might just see someone casually enjoying their sweet drink – you know because they actually like it. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Where in the world people still drink Smirnoff Ice, the famously bad malt beverage [The Washington Post]

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