UK: Halewood International eyes German gin growth as Spain slows

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The founder of Halewood International's Whitley Neill gin brand has said an influx of new entrants to the category has slowed growth in Spain.

Lambs Spiced was launched in Germany yesterday

Lambs Spiced was launched in Germany yesterday

Johnny Neil, who revealed new German distribution for Whitley Neill gin that he hopes will triple sales in the country, told just-drinks Spain is “still growing strongly” but “not as quickly over the past few years”. Most of the gin growth in the country is now at the top-end of the value chain, Neill said.

“It's because of the number of new entrants,” he added. “A lot of the new gins that come out go straight into Spain because they see it as an opportunity. They crowd the market.”

Neill, who launched Whitley Neill in 2005 before Halewood acquired it in 2009, said he has agreed a new distribution deal for the brand in Germany and Austria. The agreement, with Borco, starts today and includes Lambs Navy Rum, which Neill controls for Halewood alongside Whitley Neill.

Neill said the Borco deal builds on Whitley Neill's previous distribution tie-up with Bremer Spirituosen Contor, which launched the brand in Germany five years ago.

“We've been plodding along and growing every year but the time is right for a change,” he said. “We're looking to triple sales in the first year, maybe more.”

Meanwhile, Neill said Halewood launched Lambs Navy Rum extension Lambs Spiced in Germany yesterday. The launch follows an overhaul of the brand in April that lowered its abv from 37.5% to 30% and gave it a slightly sweeter taste profile.

Sectors: Spirits

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