Diageo finds distributurs to develop and launch drinks brands

pampero J&B

Diageo has formed new distribution partnerships to help build brands ranging from Pampero rum and Amer Picon aperitif to whiskies J&B Rare and Crown Royal in the UK.

It has signed an agreement with Marblehead Brand Development to look after Amer Picon, a French bitter aperitif made from oranges, quinine, cinchona and gentian that dates back to 1837.

It has also engaged Marblehead to introduce Crown Royal, a leading Canadian blended whisky, to the UK market.

A separate partnership with Catalyst Brands includes leading blended whisky J&B Rare and Venezuelan rum Pampero, with a range comprising Blanco, Especial and Anniversario.

Catalyst Brands is also taking on Jeremiah Weed Cider Brews bottled alcoholic drinks, made up of two products: Jeremiah Weed Sour Mash Brew and Jeremiah Weed Root Brew.

Both agreements take effect from March 1 and cover both the on- and off-trade. The brands will remain owned by Diageo, but the new partners will be responsible for distribution, sales, marketing and promotion in Great Britain.

Andrew Cowan, country director for Diageo Great Britain, commented: “We are confident that we have chosen two great partners in Marblehead and Catalyst Brands. Catalyst have proven brand-building expertise and have delivered strong results in the past two years.

“Having worked with Marblehead on the distribution of Ypióca in the UK, we believe this is a successful model for growing some of our smaller, and more specialist, brands in this marketplace.”

Emma Wykes, managing director of Marblehead, said: “After our success with the UK launch of Ypióca and the ongoing building of that brand, we are delighted to now have the opportunity to do something exciting with the both Amer Picon and Crown Royal in the UK market. We feel confident, with our breadth of expertise, that much success lies ahead for both of these brands.”

Gary Squire, managing director of Catalyst Brands, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Diageo on these venture brands, and see this as the start of a long-term collaboration.

“Our track record of growing brands in both the on- and off-trade gives us confidence that we can accelerate the performance of J&B Rare, Pampero rums and Jeremiah Weed Cider Brews in the UK market.”

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