818 Tequila and RTD supplier Sprinter – businesses launched by sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner – have set up a vehicle to support the brands’ sales and marketing.

The co-owned Calabasas Beverage Co. will be a “commercial front end” representing both 818 Tequila and Sprinter, Mike Novy, the CEO of both businesses told Just Drinks.

The 818 Tequila brand was founded by Kendall Jenner in 2021, while the Sprinter RTD was launched in March by Kylie.  

Calabasas Beverage Co. is owned fifty-fifty by both businesses. Novy will also hold the role of CEO at the new entity.

“Our sales and marketing teams and, kind of, executive functions are all harmonised with this new structure,” Novy told Just Drinks.

“What we’re really excited about with this new approach is that, casually, Sprinter has gained all the benefits of the past three-and-a-half years of experience of the 818 team, including Kendall. I’ve been in meetings where Kendall, as the older sister, has been sharing her experience in the alcohol beverage business with Kylie.”

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Calabasas Beverage Co. will employ roughly 50 people, many of which will be in sales and marketing, to try to grow the brands’ presence in “geographies and trade channels where we’re still underweight,” Novy said.

Novy added: “We literally just kind of kicked it off on Monday. We’re going through transitions. Everybody’s getting new emails set up and things like that right now.”

Sprinter eyes international growth

While 818 Tequila is already present in markets outside the US, the Jenners, Novy and the new unit are looking to expand Sprinter internationally for the first time. The RTD brand is on sale in 44 US states.

Novy said the company is already in talks with importers and distributors “around the world”, with Sprinter having received interest from potential customers in Australia, Canada and China.

“Now we have a more formal and very easy way of doing this, with this new Calabasas beverage company entity, versus two separate groups going and working with them,” he added.

Novy said the strongest interest for Sprinter outside the US is coming from Australia and 818 Tequila’s distribution partner Amber Beverage Group, which has said they would list the RTD if imported.

“I’ve been in this industry since 1989 it’s very rare to have a large customer say, you know, you don’t even have to present it to me. That never happens,” Novy said.

Since it was launched, Sprinter has had depletions of 65,000 cases and the company has set a goal for next year to reach 500,000 cases, followed by a million cases the year after.

818 Tequila is targeting depletions of 200,000 cases next year.

Sprinter is contract brewed in the US while 818 Tequila brand is made in partnership with Mexican distiller Grupo Solave.