By Andrew Starke

Suntory Australia has signed a five-year contract with SPI Group to distribute vodka brands Stolichnaya, Elit by Stolichnaya and the rest of the Stolichnaya range throughout Australia.

Suntory previously distributed the Stolichnaya brand locally on behalf of William Grant from March 2009 until the end of last year, and has retained the right to continue to distribute the portfolio.

“We have the utmost confidence in Suntory Australia’s brand building ability and its capacity to drive volume growth as they have a proven track record as one of the leading distributors of spirits and liqueurs in Australia,” said SPI Group’s regional director Asia Pacific Frank Cohen.

“In 2010, Suntory’s focus in Australia was to regain the trade’s faith in the Stolichnaya brand and to recommence brand building with the consumer, resulting in a 44 percent growth against the previous year.”

2010 also saw Stolichnaya as the official spirit sponsor of the Sydney Film Festival as well as collaboration with ACP magazine FHM for a Summer Mix-Up Party event.

In addition, Stolichnaya began a foray into social media with the launch of the Australian Facebook page.

Suntory Australia is set to support the brand in 2011 with more sponsorships and brand alignments.

“We look forward to our new partnership with SPI Group and we are committed to building the Stolichnaya brand in Australia over the next five years,” said Suntory Australia managing director Ian Atherton.

Suntory (Aust) Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Suntory Limited Japan, has a portfolio of high profile premium spirit and liqueur brands in the Australian market such as Midori, Jagermeister, Cointreau, Sierra Tequila, Remy Martin and Louis XIII cognacs, Piper-Heidsieck and Charles Heidsieck champagnes and Mount Gay Rum.

The Shout Team

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

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