updated 10/5/2006 7:35:28 PM ET 2006-10-05T23:35:28

Real estate mogul Donald Trump is using his evocative image to travel from the top floor to the top shelf.

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A new line of premium vodka from Trump, already associated with a television show and lines of mens’ suits, watches, cologne and bottled water, will arrive in New York Friday in sleek designer bottles bearing the name Trump Super Premium Vodka.

Made by Holland’s Wanders Distillery, the vodka is the brainchild of Trump and Drinks Americas Holdings Ltd , a beverage start-up that sells Willie Nelson’s Old Whiskey River bourbon and Paul Newman’s Own Lightly Sparkling Fruit Juice.

“Trump Vodka will be a major player in the vodka arena,” Trump said in an email. “We expect it to be a contender on the highest level.”

The vodka, whose bottle dons a large “T” the color of Trump’s golden coif, will compete directly against other super-premium choices including Grey Goose, Belvedere, Ketel One and Chopin. They sell for $30 to $40 for a one-liter bottle, depending on the state.

Trump’s entrance into the market comes as sales of the most expensive spirits have been rising at a fast clip alongside a shift in U.S. consumer tastes from beer to cocktails and wine.

Sales by volume of super-premium vodka grew 13.7 percent in 2005, while the total vodka market grew 4.1 percent, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

“Consumers understand that the Trump trademark stands for over-the-top luxury, the delivery of a super-premium product, and a certain degree of fashionableness,” said Drinks Americas Chief Executive Patrick Kenny. “That premium trademark matches up wonderfully with the super-premium vodka category.”

Kenny said Drinks America has already received orders for 45,000 to 50,000 cases of the spirit, worth nearly $5 million, or two-and-a-half times its previous annual revenues.

“I had no idea how big it was going to be. It’s beyond all our expectations right from the beginning,” Kenny said, adding that the partnership plans to look at other areas, including premium spirits and nonalcoholic beverages. 

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.


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