Stoli Group USA will provide extended distribution for the Bayou Rum brands

Stoli Group USA will provide extended distribution for the Bayou Rum brands

The US arm of SPI Group has secured “master distributor” status for the Bayou Rum portfolio in the country, with international expansion also likely in the future.

Stoli Group USA said today it has signed a “multi-year agreement” with Louisiana Spirits to be national distributor of its portfolio, which comprises Bayou Select Rum, Bayou Silver, Bayou Spiced and Bayou Satsuma Rum Liqueur. The move marks the first third-party spirits addition to Stoli Group USA's portfolio, with Bayou set to sit alongside the Stolichnaya vodka range as well as the high-end Elit by Stolichnaya expression.

The Bayou rums are currently available in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Maryland, DC and Georgia.

Speaking to just-drinks today, Trey Litel, Louisiana Spirits' co-founder & president, said: “Previously, we were self-distributed through Republic National, and that's going to continue. Stoli is going to be acting as our master distributor and will play more of a supplier role in the US.

“We have found that it's very difficult for a small one-brand company to get distribution effectively throughout the US. Stoli has 70 people in its sales and marketing organisation in the US. They have all the relationships and the ability to get us distributed far and wide.

“They also have a strong international footprint as well," Litel added. “They'll be able to pick and choose the countries that it makes sense to bring Bayou rum into.”

Although he declined to give specific sales numbers, Litel said the company is “running at around 20% of our annual capacity of 125,000 cases”.

The agreement takes effect from 1 January.

Last week, Stoli Group promoted Lars Vestbirk to the role of international marketing director, with immediate effect.