Altamura Distilleries, the Italy-based vodka producer, is lining up the launch of a range of RTDs.

The company, so far centred on selling its wheat-based vodka, is preparing to expand its product range, managing director Frank Grillo said.

“We are in the test phase and we hope to launch this summer our first three RTDs – a vodka soda, a vodka tonic and a vodka ginger beer with an Italian-based mixer brand that we’re collaborating with a lot,” Grillo said.

Altamura Distilleries and its partner Limestone plan to roll the RTDs out in Italy first but Grillo has already earmarked more territories.

“We know the market really well here,” Grillo told Just Drinks from his base in Puglia in southern Italy. “We’ll test here. We’ll launch this summer in Italy with the idea of then expanding to the US and UK next by the end of the year.”

Grillo suggested the RTD category is seeing distillers emphasise the presence of their spirits brands on the ready-to-drink products they release.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

“There are, I think, two trends in RTDs: the brand-based RTD where the RTD’s brand is in it and you have no idea who the alcohol is and then the spirit-based RTD where we’re calling out ‘look it’s our vodka in here’,” he said.

“I think the market started away from the spirit brand. It was just people buying vodka and soda in a can but you really don’t know what spirit is in there and we’re starting to see spirits brands get into it and say ‘if you drink us at the bar, drink us at home’ and that’s where we’re coming at it.”

Altamura Distilleries sells its vodka in more than ten markets, recently adding India, Australia and France to its roster.

Grillo said the company is unlikely to launch non-alcoholic drinks but is interested in expanding its stable of alcohol products.

“Certainly, we’ve thought about a gin. I am a whiskey fan and so doing some American-style whiskies here in Italy I think that’s where we’ll go with the brand. We’ll look at the range of things we can distil from the wheat while still expressing the wheat,” he said.

“As we look at the horizon today, by the middle of next year we’ll introduce our first gin and let folks here sample it and share it with some of our distributors. A very classic, reserve, London dry. What we’re trying to do is allow the wheat to come through in a gin format so we’re not trying to mess around with the classic gin flavour. We’re just trying to allow the texture that’s in our vodka to come through in the gin.

“We will distil a whiskey next year but that will be three to four years before it gets introduced because it’ll obviously go in barrel.”