Stock Spirits announced the Diageo deal today

Stock Spirits announced the Diageo deal today

Stock Spirits Group's CEO has said his firm's new alliance with Diageo is “complementary” and won't see the two companies' brands competing against each other.

Chris Heath, whose company today announced it will distribute Diageo's premium portfolio in Czech, said both sides had worked to ensure there will be “no direct clashes” when the deal starts in January. Stock Spirits is Czech's leading clear and flavoured vodka producer by volume, it says, with brands including 1906 and Orzel. 

Under the new distribution agreement, one of the Diageo brands it will handle is global best-selling vodka Smirnoff.

However, Heath told just-drinks today (13 November): “Smirnoff is relatively small in Czech but it's at a different price point so we've made sure there are no direct clashes.

“We don't want to do something that directly competes with each other but we see it as being much more complementary," he added. "Having similar brands at different price points and at slightly different positioning works very well.”

Heath said the agreement is similar to Stock's distribution deal with Beam Inc in Poland, announced in August.

He also said Russian Standard's takeover of Central European Distribution Corporation this year is unlikely to make much difference to the Polish vodka market. He said: “A change of management will change a few things along the way, but we see them (CEDC) as a very professional competitor and when you have professionals competing you tend to have a very healthy market.”