New distributor set to grow Italian bitter brand in UK

Averna Amaro

Drinks company J Wray & Nephew has taken over UK distribution of premium Italian bitter Averna to capitalise on the growing interest in bitters.

It plans to increase sales of the brand “to the size and scale it deserves in the UK market”, building on the work done by Instil Drinks Co in the UK over the past 18 months.

Averna, which is the second best-seller bitter in Italy and one of the best-known bitters in the world, was acquired by Gruppo Campari in April as part of the larger acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Fratelli Averna. The brand is led by Averna Amaro, in 70cl bottles, with a cream variant in 50cl bottles.

Pietro Mattioni, managing director of J Wray & Nephew UK, said: “In light of the fast-growing popularity of bitters in the UK market, the addition of a product with such quality and heritage to our portfolio very much strengthens our proposition to the trade.

“We are delighted to add this great brand to our portfolio of premium spirits and to grow it to the size and scale it deserves in the UK market. We very much thank Instil Drinks Co for their continuous support and cooperation during the transition phase.”

Nick Rodgers, head of Instil Drinks Co, added: “We’ve enjoyed working with Averna for the last 18 months. The brand is steeped in history and has great complexity of flavours. It has been rewarding to help build its popularity and see the bottle appearing on many of the country’s best back bars.”

J Wray & Nephew UK, which is a fully-owned subsidiary of Gruppo Campari, also distributes brands such as Appleton Rum, Appleton Estate rums, Wray & Nephew Overproof rum, Koko Kanu coconut rum, Bulldog gin and Espolon tequila.

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