Barry & Fitzwilliam hands Stoli distribution to Findlaters

Barry & Fitzwilliam has not renewed its contract to distribute Stolichnaya vodka with Luxembourg’s SPI Group and the brand has now gone to Findlaters Wine & Spirits as from 1st January this year.

“We made a decision not to renew contact with SPI when it ran out at end of last year and told SPI this,” commented B&F’s Marketing Manager Kevin O’Mahony.

B&F already has two vodka brands in Vladivar and Boru and it was decided to focus on these two in an increasingly competititive vodka market. Stoli is considered a premium brand and in the current climate premium vodka brands are under considerable pressure to perform.

As a result, consumers have enjoyed extremely low prices for brands such as Absolut, Smirnoff, Stolichnaya and Russian Standard which can retail for as little as €15 for 700ml or €20 for a litre bottle, prices which are not too dissimilar to ‘own label’ vodkas.

Absolut and Smirnoff enjoy huge marketing spends both Above The Line and Below The Line with Smirnoff holding some 65 per cent of the vodka market here and being used as a loss-leader in the multiples. The battle between Absolut and Smirnoff for market share has tended to obfuscate the other brands on the market.

As a result, many publicans have made the decision to stock only Smirnoff and Absolut.


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