Maxxium UK, which distributes drinks brands such as Courvoisier cognac and Jim Beam and The Famous Grouse whiskies, is to be relaunched with a new name and an expanded portfolio.
From April 1, it will become Edrington-Beam Suntory UK Distribution Limited, reflecting how it is the UK sales, marketing and distribution joint venture of spirits producers Edrington and Beam Suntory.
From May 1, it will take on UK distribution of three more brands from Suntory: Effen Vodka, the Sauza Tequila family and Kilbegggan Irish Whiskey. They were previously handled by Catalyst PLB, part of drinks supplier Conviviality.
They will join a portfolio that currently includes The Macallan, Laphroaig, Highland Park and Auchentoshan single malts, Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark whiskeys, The Famous Grouse, Courvoisier, House of Suntory Japanese whiskies, Japanese gin Roku, Brugal 1888 rum and the Lucas Bols portfolio.
Maxxium UK managing director Mark Riley, who will continue in the same role for Edrington-Beam Suntory UK, said: “These additions to the portfolio complement our strategy of developing premium brands in growing categories and we are incredibly excited about their potential, building on the platform Catalyst Brands has created.
“Premium vodka continues to grow ahead of the market, tequila has been one of the fastest-growing spirits in recent times and Irish whiskey continues to go from strength to strength.”
Edrington-Beam Suntory UK’s strategy will see an upweighted focus and investment on two of the biggest brands, Jim Beam and The Famous Grouse, and investment in growing “contemporary whiskies” such as Maker’s Mark, Naked Grouse and Auchentoshan, capitalising on heightened interest in whiskies among younger drinkers.
It plans to build an even stronger presence in the growing luxury segment of spirits through The Macallan as well as Japanese whisky brands Hibiki, Yamazaki, Hakushu and the new single grain whisky, Chita.
Investment for Courvoisier, the UK’s leading cognac brand and one of the biggest UK spirits brands, will continue to grow its premium offering through VSOP and premium marques
Edrington-Beam Suntory UK will also continue to develop newer brands such as Brugal 1888 and Roku alongside the three newcomers, with further launches planned for 2018.
Mark added: “As Edrington-Beam Suntory UK, we will continue to work with our customers across all sectors to build a growing whiskies category that excites, innovates and offers great value for consumers, customers and suppliers.
“Alongside plans for our category-leading whiskies, we will continue to innovate in cognac and mixables, as well as in categories where we see consumer-led opportunities to innovate and add value.
“We are combining the heritage of both businesses from which we take our name and the long histories of the brands under our stewardship. This, together with our forward-looking approach to developing spirits to suit new tastes and audiences, will help us continue to grow with our customers.”