Stock Spirits aims to treble UK sales

Stock Spirits Group, the leading central and eastern European branded spirits producer, is aiming to treble its UK business over the next two years with the roll-out of four of its brands.

Limoncè, the number one Limoncello brand globally and in Italy; Zoladkowa de Luxe, one of the key vodka brands in Poland; Keglevich, the largest fruit vodka based liqueur brand in Italy; and Stock XO Brandy, already in the UK retail sector are being rolled out in store, to the off and on trade and through wholesalers.

The company says following the introduction of the brands into the UK by the former commercial agent, Pinnacle Drinks in 2011, Stock’s UK sales of Limoncè are up by 133% in the past six months compared with the first half of 2014 and sales of Stock XO grew by 65% during the same period. It says both brands benefited from double-digit increases through being listed in Tesco.

Stock Spirits says it has identified the UK and Ireland as an opportunity for growth and, instead of working through Pinnacle Drinks as a commercial agent, has brought this function in-house to take full control. 

Steve Howard, one of the founders of Pinnacle Drinks, has therefore joined Stock Spirits as commercial director for the UK and Ireland market to oversee and develop the strategy.

Stock says sales of the Keglevich range of vodka-based liqueurs are already growing in Scotland, having been launched in on-premises last year, and are now in significant national distribution through student unions, bars, nightclubs and social clubs across the country. It says they have proved particularly popular with young adults, following sampling at music concerts - including Rock Ness – and, through working with the Northern Services group of student unions. Keglevich is now stocked and served in the majority of major bars in Scottish Universities.

Michael Kennedy, managing director International and Italy said: “Following the successful roll-out of our heritage brands across the UK, we have decided to take on direct management for the region and we are pleased to welcome Steve Howard, formerly of Pinnacle Drinks, as our new commercial director for the UK and Ireland.

“Furthermore, during the course of the next three years, we will be investing in both the structure of the business and our campaigns behind the Keglevich and Limoncè brands further enhancing our UK footprint and helping us to treble our UK business.” 

Stock has major operations in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Italy, Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. It exports to more than 40 other countries worldwide. Global sales volumes in 2014 totalled approximately 130 million litres.

Stock claims to be the market leader in spirits in the Czech Republic and says it has a strong market position in Poland, where it has invested in production facilities, and is one of the world’s leading vodka producers. This includes having leading vodka brands in Poland, Italy and the Czech Republic. Core Stock Spirits brands include products made to long-established recipes such as Stock brandy, Fernet Stock bitters and Limonce, as well as more recent creations like Stock Prestige and Czysta de Luxe vodkas.

Stock Spirits was created through the integration of two long-established businesses, Eckes & Stock and Polmos Lublin, in 2008 and floated on the  London Stock Exchange in October 2013.