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C&C advances brand partnerships strategy via Tennent’s Wholesale

Published:  21 April, 2022

C&C has explained how it is looking to advance its growth ambitions via growing its stable of ‘premium brand partnerships’ across the UK, after sealing the deal with French giant LVMH for exclusive rights to distribute its brands to the Scottish on-trade.

C&C showcased the wares of its Matthew Clark wholesaling arm at its new format, ‘Thirst For’ event in Shoreditch yesterday, where a mixture of brand-heavy, innovation-forward spirits sat alongside major new wine accounts, such as south of France pioneer Gérard Bertrand.

The business has been significantly upscaling its footprint in a post-pandemic, C&C-owned era, which saw the acquisition of Gérard Bertrand from Hallgarten Wines at the beginning of this year.

Perhaps its biggest asset however comes in the form of the exclusivity agreement with LVMH in the Scottish on-trade, where the Moët & Chandon and Hennessy owner is looking to use Tennent’s Wholesale’s footprint in order to boost expansion north of the border.

“We’re now focused on getting the best activations, the best product, the best relationship, the best terms and the best support, which we can do because of our strength in Scotland with Tennent’s Wholesale,” Harriet Kininmonth, wine trading director for C&C Group, told Harpers.

“We sell to a huge number of customers there. Historically, a lot of that is lager. In Scotland, brand recognition is extremely strong. So now, it’s about using our footprint to start selling not just LVMH, but also our other own brands with the right account managers, and making sure we’re aligned in terms of brand proposition.”

This large-scale ambition is one that Kininmonth hopes will continue to translate to the rest of the UK, too.

Having taken on two major accounts since the beginning of her tenure, she hopes C&C’s customers will increasingly view C&C as a brand-led investment partner. The business currently has strategic partnerships with Accolade Wines, Hatch Mansfield and LVMH, which each have a mixture of exclusive and shared wines across the Matthew Clark and Bibendum portfolios.

A number of new launches were also on show at yesterday’s tasting. Particularly on the spirits and wine-fusion side, the tasting showed a number of lively options for summer drinking which often riffed on gin’s botanical USP, with plenty of cross-category pollination.

Among them were the new Chandon Garden Spritz, an Argentinian Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sémillon sparkler made with an orange liqueur twist and Grey Goose’s new Essences Range (30% abv). There was also Wild Life Botanicals, a botanically infused low-alcohol Spritz-style beverage made from Spanish Airén (0.5% abv).