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US: CEDC, Pernod sign Zubrowka deal

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Central European Distribution Corporation has renewed its distribution agreement for its Zubrowka vodka brand with French drinks giant Pernod Ricard.

The US-based group, which is the largest vodka producer in Poland, announced the deal today (29 June). Financial details were not disclosed. The "long-term" agreement covers "a number of key markets" around the world, including France, where Zubrowka is the number two imported vodka, CEDC said.

Pernod has held the distribution rights to Zubrowka since it agreed a deal with the brand's previous owner, Polish distiller Polmos Bialystok, which CEDC bought last year.

CEDC chairman and CEO Bill Carey said: "This new agreement will give us the opportunity to further develop the untapped potential of Zubrowka in key international vodka markets. We believe the combination of our new packaging and the support from Pernod's world class sales organisation should lead to an increase in the brand development of Zubrowka in these key markets."

Carey said the company was "in discussions" to secure a distribution deal for Zubrowka in the US, where demand for premium vodka is showing no signs of abating.

Carey added that it had struck distribution deals with distributors in the UK and Japan. He said: "Zubrowka is one of the fastest growing vodka brands in the UK, and is the third leading imported vodka brand in Japan. We would expect to increase sales volume by a minimum of 30% year on year for the next three years in Japan and the UK with our new distribution partners in these key markets."

Pernod officials could not be reached for comment as just-drinks went to press.


Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Pernod Ricard, Ricard

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