New vodka brands for First Drinks
First Drinks has added a range of new vodka brands to its portfolio - CEDC’s Green Mark and Żubrόwka.
The group, which is owned by William Grant & Sons, lost out on distributing Russian Standard vodka to Whyte & Mackay at the end of last year.
Green Mark is Russia’s biggest-selling vodka, and sells around 10 million 9 litre cases globally. Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka is CEDC’s flagship export brand, which is made in north-eastern Poland. It sold approximately 1 million 9 litre cases around the world in 2010.
Chris Mason, managing director of First Drinks, said he was looking forward to a “long-term partnership” with CEDC. “We have a strong track record of building premium brands and have big ambitions for 2012 to be in the position to offer our customers the most desired portfolio of authentic vodka brands of any UK distributor.”
William Carey, president of CEDC, said: “We believe First Drinks Brands will contribute to further expansion of Green Mark which, as an authentic, high quality vodka from Russia has great sales potential in the UK, where vodka is the largest spirits category. We also look forward to strengthening the position of Żubrówka which is our key export brand and has already won recognition in the UK market.”
CEDC’s Kauffman, an ultra-premium vodka brand recognised as the first vintage vodka, will also be joining the First Drinks portfolio in 2012.
First Drinks will start distributing Green Mark and Kauffman vodka from the first quarter of 2012 and Żubrówka from the third quarter.
Marblehead, the firm which has distributed the flavoured vodka Żubrówka in the UK for the past 13 years, will cease distribution on July 1.
Marblehead has a strategic partnership with Proximo in the UK working on Kraken Spiced Rum and is also developing a portfolio of wholly-owned brands including Davna Czeri Vodka and Skipper Rum.
CEDC already represents the William Grant & Sons portfolio in Poland and Hungary.