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United Wines goes Global with exclusive NI drinks distribution deal

04.12.2023

CRAIGAVON-based United Wines has agreed an exclusive deal with drinks company Global Brands to distribute its popular ‘ready to drink’ (RTD) brands VK, Hooch and Shake Baby Shake in Northern Ireland.

The agreement will see United Wines, one of the biggest drinks distributors on the island of Ireland, expand Global Brands’ presence in the Northern Ireland on- and off-trades by securing listings across the retail and hospitality sectors.

Global Brands are the biggest branded supplier (by volume) of packaged cocktails to the off trade across Britain, owing to impressive demand and distribution for their RTD portfolio including VK, Hooch, and Shake Baby Shake (Nielsen, GB Off Trade RTD Market to 26.08.2023). VK has recently been voted the UK’s number one RTD by students, for ten years in a row (NUS Drinks Tracker).

Andrew Hollywood of United Wines is excited to work with what he describes as some of the most exciting and innovative drinks brands in the Northern Irish market.

We are thrilled to announce our exclusive distribution partnership with Global Brands, a company known for its innovative and high-quality beverage offerings,” said Andrew.

The ‘ready to drink’ market is enjoying significant growth at the moment with people who love the convenience of pre-mixed drinks and cocktails that look and taste great – and Global Brands are leading the way in this sector with an amazing and exciting portfolio of RTD brands.

 “This collaboration aligns seamlessly with United Wines’ commitment to provide the Northern Irish market with the best and most exciting options in the drinks industry today.”

Global Brands International Sales Manager Ross Jones added: “Northern Ireland is a very important market for Global Brands and we are very excited to join forces with United Wines to bring our well-loved brands, VK, Hooch, and Shake Baby Shake, to even more consumers in Northern Ireland.

We believe that our agreement with United Wines, a company with almost 40 years’ experience and expertise in the Northern Ireland drinks industry, will enable us to enhance our reach and impact in the region, providing consumers with increased access to our innovative and enjoyable beverages.”

 

THE BRANDS

About VK

Known for its vibrant and flavourful range of ready-to-drink cocktails, the award-winning VK brand was founded in 1997 and has gained a huge following amongst consumers seeking a refreshing and easy-drinking beverage option. VK has been the No.1 RTD for students ten years running in Britain and, under the new partnership with United Wines, has already been listed in the Students’ Union at Queen’s University Belfast. Northern Ireland consumers have a wide range of flavours to choose from including VK Blue, VK Strawberry & Lime, VK Orange & Passion Fruit, VK Tropical Fruits, VK Ice, VK Apple & Mango, VK Watermelon, VK Black Cherry, and VK Raspberry & Peach.

 

About Hooch

Hooch, with its iconic lemon brew, is a fun brand that began life in the 90s when it totally shook up the drinks industry, selling 2.5 million bottles each week in Britain. After a 10-year hiatus, the brand came back with a bang in 2012 and is still loved by its original drinkers, and a new generation of consumers who like great tasting, easy drinking beverages. Available variants in Northern Ireland include the classic Hooch lemon, along with Pink Hooch and the all-new tropical Blue Hooch.

 

About Shake Baby Shake

Shake Baby Shake really shook up the canned cocktail scene in 2018 with its stylish look and incredible flavour.  The brand is synonymous with fun and creativity, offering a range of indulgent and playful cocktails that cater to a diverse consumer base.  Available flavours in Northern Ireland include the popular Passion Fruit Martini, Raspberry Mojito and the classic Strawberry Daiquiri.

Founded in 1985, United Wines, a subsidiary of Heineken Ireland, is now one of the biggest drinks distributors on the island of Ireland.  Operating from an 80,000 square foot warehouse in Craigavon, with 55 staff on its books, United Wines distributes an extensive portfolio of beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks to more than 1,000 bars, restaurants, hotels, off licenses, cash & carries, regional wholesalers and national multiples throughout the country.

Global Brands is the UK’s leading independent drinks business, owning, marketing and distributing a collection of award-winning products across the RTD, premium soft drinks, spirits and beer categories in the UK and internationally.   Founded in 1997, having spotted an opportunity in the booming RTD category, Global Brands shot to success with RTD brand VK and has subsequently generated a portfolio of market leading products and brands such as Hooch, All Shook Up, Shake Baby Shake, Beviamo, Kick Energy, Lustre, Franklin & Sons premium soft drinks, sodas and tonics, and Amigos Tequila Beer.

For more information on United Wines’ ‘ready to drink’ Global Brands portfolio, visit https://unitedwines.co.uk/brands/

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