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US vodka leader Tito's eyes UK expansion via Spirit Cartel

Published:  19 February, 2024

Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the largest vodka brand in the US, is officially expanding and formalising its presence in the UK by appointing Spirit Cartel as its exclusive distributor.

Established in the mid-90s by sixth-generation Texan Bert ‘Tito’ Beveridge, the vodka is distilled and bottled in Austin – the same US city which hosts the famous ‘SXSW’ (South by South-West) music and arts festival.

Now, the American craft vodka has its sights set on the UK market as premium vodka is set to experience nearly 60% growth.

“According to IWSR, premium vodka volume in the UK is forecasted to grow by almost +58% from 2022 to 2027,” John McDonnell, international MD at Tito’s Handmade Vodka, said.

“Clearly, the UK is an important market for a brand like Tito’s and so it’s imperative that we have the right distributor, a team that understands how to build brands and increase market share.”

Last year, Harpers reported that the vodka category is on the rise in markets like the UK, with countries such as the US and Australia using their abundant wheat fields to get in on the action. Innovative grain types have entered the scene, while brands like Grainshaker and Tito’s are taking their consumers on a journey from field to bottle.

“We’re seeing a growing awareness for craft spirits, particularly vodka. People are trading up from standard vodka brands, especially as they start to lose interest in gin. We’re not noticing the same growth levels in gin that we saw in previous years,” McDonnell said at the time.

Tito’s (£28.99 RRP 70cl) is distilled using gluten-free corn and is now available in over 140 markets, with Spirit Cartel’s appointment representing its most serious foray into the competitive arena of the UK. Spirit Cartel also represents brands such as Four Roses bourbon, Clase Azul and 818 tequilas and Worthy Park Rum.