UK-based vodka group Solidarnosc has signed an agreement that looks set to boost the presence of flagship brand Solid XS throughout China.

The company said today (5 September) that it has struck a US$10m deal with Chinese conglomerate Nanpu Foods.

Solidarnosc said Nanpu, which already handles China's top-selling premium spirit Chivas Regal Scotch whisky, has a nationwide distribution network of 200 wholesalers.

Solid XS, the company said, has already become the "number one vodka" in Shanghai. Solidarnosc managing director Jeremy Toettcher said: "Vodka is a relatively new category and has only really started to gain momentum over the last 10 years in China.

"Our success has been based on not trying to replace the dominant brown spirits in the market, but to appeal to the younger, up-and-coming population that is rejecting tradition and experimenting more."

Jeremy Agnew, the company's creative director, said Solidarnosc would embark on a tour of 33 Chinese cities to boost awareness of the brand.

"The tour will appeal to the tastes of the new category of purchasers, those who look to flaunt their new wealth and enjoy new experiences and we have also entwined the brand with high-end, iconic, TV and fashion."