Russian Standard and First Drinks to part company

05 April, 2011

Russian Standard vodka and First Drinks are to end their UK distribution deal for the brand on July 1.

First Drinks owner William Grant is also ending the agreement which currently sees Russian Standard Corporation handle the Scotch whisky producer’s brands in Russia.

A joint statement from the two companies said the parting of the ways had been reached “by mutual consent”.

It added: “Both companies have helped each other build their brands in their respective markets, with Russian Standard vodka in the UK and Grant’s in Russia both performing strongly and holding leading positions in these markets.”

From a standing start with First Drinks in 2007, Russian Standard has become the number three vodka in the UK off-trade, with annual sales of £32 million in the year to Jan 22 (Nielsen) and growth running at 28%.

Russian Standard has not announced its new UK distribution arrangements.




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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