Bird and flying metaphors aside, a new economic trend portends a return to college-age sensibilities — and spending habits. While it might have been in vogue in boom times to pay more for vodka brands like Grey Goose and Ciroc, sadly, businesses and consumers alike can no long afford the mark-up, and a return to cheaper brands is now the norm.

"The so-called 'Grey Goose Effect' is dead and buried," James Dale, distributor of something called Wódka, said in a statement meant as a blatant product plug. "The age of overpaying — $50 for a liter — [is] over."

But the existence of the "Grey Goose Effect" as anything other than a company marketing ploy remains in doubt. A Web search of the term returned only a grainy (and disturbing) YouTube video of a drunken man vomiting while being insulted—and videotaped—by his angry wife.

Wódka claims liquor stores, bars and restaurants are "outing overpriced vodka brands in favor of cheap chic." Wódka was recently ranked as one of the top-value vodkas, and, according to the company, is now available throughout the country for as low as $8.99 per 750-ml bottle — half the price of a bottle of Absolut.

Ironically, while most other Vodka brands strive to get people drunk, Wodka’s highbrow mission is to "reinstate honest pricing for this segment, without sacrificing quality." 

Dale notes that as consumers seek to cut costs in their daily lives without sacrificing quality, it’s not just vodka that’s affected, but the entire "spirits category," as well.

Vodka Brand

Price

Approx. MSRP Size

Grey Goose

$30.00

750ml

Ciroc

$30.00

750ml

Absolut

$22.00

750ml

Smirnoff

$15.00

750ml

Stolichnaya

$25.00

750ml

Svedka

$15.00

750ml

Wodka

$9.00

750ml

Source: Bottled Death

Kathleen McBride contributed to this story.