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Russian Standard drops First Drinks

Russian Standard vodka is ditching its UK distribution partnership with First Drinks Brands as it ends its agreements with William Grant & Sons in both Britain and Russia.

With effect from 1 July 2011, Russian Standard will no longer distribute William Grant & Sons’ portfolio in Russia while First Drinks Brands, William Grant & Sons’ UK distribution company, will no longer distribute Russian Standard Vodka in the UK from 1 January 2012.

A statement from William Grant & Sons said: “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.”

Since launching in the UK in 2007, Russian Standard has grown to become the country’s third-biggest vodka in the off-trade, with sales of £32 million in the year to 22 January 2011.

Russian Standard has not yet made any announcement regarding its future UK distribution arrangements.

Alan Lodge, 06.04.2011

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