By Andrew Starke

Vok Beverages and Diageo Australia have ended their nine-year partnership with the former announcing ambitious plans to expand its range.

From February 2012, Diageo Australia will begin distributing brands including Dimple Scotch whisky, Ruski, Bulleit bourbon, Pimm's No. 1 Cup, Captain Morgan rum, J&B Scotch whisky, Vat 69 Scotch whisky and Haig Scotch whisky.

“As a business, Diageo is focused on growing categories. Adding brands like Dimple, J&B, Vat 69 and Haig to our already strong Scotch whisky offering that includes the world's number one whisky brand, Johnnie Walker, will help us to provide customers with total solutions across the whisky category. We're excited about bringing all these great brands back into our portfolio and expanding our spirits range,” said Diageo Australia MD Tim Salt.

“Vok has been a valued partner to us since 2002. We thank them for their support and wish them all the best for the future.”

According to Vok Beverages MD, Angelo Kotses, the mutual decision was not made lightly but will mark ‘the end of what has been a successful joint venture for both companies’.

He said that ending the partnership with Diageo would lead to a heightened focus on the expanding Vok Beverages range.

“Our company focus has shifted and our desire is to continue to build upon our current portfolio of owned brands as well as to speed up innovation for our loyal consumers.” Kotses said.

The company recently acquired ownership of Vickers London Dry Gin, Black Bottle Brandy and XO Brandy with a view to refreshing these trademarks and returning them to growth.

It also launched two ranges of Ready to Serve Cocktails earlier this year.

“We recently launched two new Vickers Gin’s RTD’s which are a refreshing twist on traditional ready to drink beverages, Gin & Tonic with a twist of lime and Gin & Pink Grapefruit,” said Kotses.

“Black Bottle Brandy and XO Brandy have a long history of delivering outstanding quality for their price points and we will be using these brands as key pillars for our future growth ambitions.

“Our goal is to become one of Australia’s largest privately owned beverage businesses therefore our focus is to grow our own brands as well as our joint venture wine brands.”

The company has an extensive wine portfolio acquired through a joint venture with Treasury Wine Estates and the partnership between Vok and Diageo was first established in 2002 when Vok become the exclusive distributor for a number of Diageo’s ‘tail’ brands.

From February 1, 2012, Diageo Australia will begin distributing brands including Dimple Scotch Whisky, Ruski, Bulleit Bourbon, Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, Captain Morgan Rum, J&B Scotch Whisky, Vat 69 Scotch Whisky and Haig Scotch Whisky.

In January this year, Diageo took back distribution of a number of brands and SKUs distributed by Vok including Bushmills Blackbush Irish Whiskey, Bushmills 10YO Irish Whiskey, Bushmills 16YO Irish Whiskey, Bells Whisky and Gilbeys Gin.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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