15 December 2014 12:51

KWV to Handle Distribution of Stolichnaya Vodka

KWV is set to take on the white spirits market as the new distributor of Stolichnaya Vodka and elit by Stolichnaya, for Stoli Group, part of the SPI Group who own these two brands. At the same time, KWV announces that it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with SPI for the Baltics (Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia) where SPI will distribute the KWV wine and brandy portfolio in these markets.

Robert Cullins, Global Commercial Director of Stoli Group had this to say: "After significant growth across the world in 2014, we are very excited to embark on this new pan-regional deal with KWV. We see enormous potential for Stoli, and look forward to bringing our products to new customers in the market with exciting consumer promotions and a dedicated trade engagement program."

According to the 2013 SAWIS report on Liquor Consumption Patterns, the vodka market has seen structural change over the past two years with an increase in 'super premium' products selling at R150+ per bottle. In 2010/2011 these products had only 1.8% share of the vodka market, but this has now increased to 7.5%.

"The South African market is very receptive to premium vodka compared to some other markets and the segment is showing massive growth in South-Africa where it is becoming increasingly popular," says Anneke Mackenzie, KWV's global portfolio manager, spirits. "Stoli is currently the world's 5th largest premium vodka brand, showing substantial growth and an increase in footprint and we are delighted to add this authentic brand to our distribution portfolio," says Mackenzie. "Both companies are very positive in building a strong relationship and we will look at expanding our cooperation in other areas."

KWV has big plans for the Stoli brand in SA. "We are excited to re-introduce South Africans to this much loved international brand," says Mackenzie. "We have big aspirations for Stolichnaya Premium and the unique flavour range, but there is also a very exciting ultra-luxury expression planned for launch next year."

"The SA liquor industry has become extremely competitive, with new trends, categories and brands entering the market," says Werner Swanepoel, KWV sales director, spirits. "With globalisation, the SA consumer is looking for new and trendy products, mainly driven by international brands. With international brands like Stoli and Lucas Bols, a leading international liqueur (for which KWV has also signed a distribution agreement) added to the KWV portfolio, this extends our entry into new categories and new channels. These products also contribute to our drive to increase our overall premium offering."

Swanepoel adds: "The appointment as exclusive importer brings huge excitement and responsibility to the KWV team, as we endeavor to further build this wonderful brand. KWV is world famous for award winning brandy and wine. This brand experience is going to help us with the successful distribution of this well known vodka brand. KWV has well-established structures for sales, marketing and distribution of own and representative brands. KWV currently covers all channels in both the on and the off trade. Combining KWV and the Stoli Brands will create synergy and a great offering to our customers and consumers."

KWV intends to bring more world famous brands on board in the near future. "We are currently investigating other distribution opportunities, to include international and domestic Brands," says Swanepoel. "We are however very selective, and want to establish long term partnerships to the advantage of both parties."

Rob Cullins, Global Commercial Director of Stoli Group International

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