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The international head of Tito's Handmade Vodka has admitted that despite success in the US recognition of the brand elsewhere remains a “challenge”.

Titos sold 1.3m cases in the US last year

Tito's sold 1.3m cases in the US last year

Tito's sold an estimated 1.3m cases last year, while in August Pernod Ricard CEO Pierre Pringuet blamed the vodka for causing a drop-off in sales for its Absolut brand in the US. However, speaking to just-drinks last week, the international MD for Tito's owner Fifth Generation said that outside of the US “there's a lot of hand selling still to be done”.  

“It's nice that they (Pernod) take notice,” John McDonnell said. “But if you think the whole world knows about Tito's, that's not the case. In some western European countries it's still a challenge.”

McDonnell said Tito's is about to expand its presence in the UK market with a new listing in Majestic Wine's 205 stores. The brand is expected to go on sale with the chain next week, as well as in Harvey Nichols.

McDonnell was speaking to just-drinks at the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) exhibition in Cannes, which ended on Friday. The former Patron Spirits global COO has ramped up Tito's world-wide footprint from four markets to about 40 since joining Fifth Generation 15 months ago and the brand is now available in regions including Guam, Thailand and the UK.

“It's been a great ride,” McDonnell said.

To read a blog of the first three days proper of TFWA, click here.


Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Pernod Ricard

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