Bibendum creates separate spirits arm

UK wine merchant Bibendum has launched a separate business, Instil Drinks Co, to manage its growing portfolio of spirits, beers and liqueurs.

InstilThe company will be headed by Nick Rodgers, head of spirits at Bibendum, who will oversee a newly recruited team.

This includes head of sales Paul Scarratt, former commercial director of Venus Wine & Spirits Merchants; marketing manager Jay Iwanowski, former marketing director at Funkin; and rum expert Paul McFadyen.

In addition to managing the sales and distribution of its portfolio, Instil Drinks Co will offer the trade up-to-date insights into trends and consumer behaviour, as well as staff training and marketing ideas to help improve both footfall and profitability.

Confirming that the company is “actively looking to expand the portfolio in the coming months”, Rodgers stressed: “our focus is on high quality, passionate producers rather than mass market brands.”

The current portfolio features brands including Plantation Rum, Citadelle Gin, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, Daron Calvados and Coopers Ales.

It also represents Crystal Head Vodka, which was created by Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd, is filtered through diamonds and comes in a distinctive skull-shaped bottle. The brand is sponsoring the Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park, London, this weekend.

Explaining the decision to create a separate company, Bibendum’s managing director Michael Saunders said: “Launching Instil Drinks Co gives us a powerful platform to build the reputation and distribution of our spirits and beer agencies across the UK trade.

“The business model and target customers are fundamentally different to Bibendum’s and it makes sense that we differentiate the two companies.”

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