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Bartender-designed spirits range lands in UK

New York-based spirits group, The 86 Co., has launched its range of bartender-targeted products in the UK, ahead of plans to enter Sweden and Canada.

86 Co.’s spirits portfolio will now be available in the UK and Sweden

Launched by former Pernod Ricard US portfolio ambassador Simon Ford in 2012, The 86 Co. offers a range of four spirits designed exclusively for the on-trade, both in terms of flavour and bottle presentation.

The collection includes Caňa Brava rum from Las Cabras Distillery in Panama, Ford’s Gin from Thames Distillers in the UK, Tequila Cabeza from El Ranchito in Jalisco, and Aylesbury Duck Vodka from Canada.

All four products are presented in an ergonomically-designed bottle, created specifically for bartenders’ ease of use. It features a long neck and groove around the middle for easy pouring, a scale up the side and peelable labels to allow the bottle to be reused, and no foil around the cap for quick, simple opening.

“We’ve had a lot of interest already; we’re in a very privileged situation that we had a successful US launch and been very well received over there with sales that are growing month-on-month,” said Dan Warner, European brand director for 86 Co.

Importer and distributor Cask Marketing is handling the portfolio in the UK, which is already available through Speciality Spirits. Trade prices start at £17-£24.

The portfolio is due to launch in Sweden in September, while 86 Co. has hopes for entering the Canadian market “in the near future” once government approval is granted.

The 86 Co. was founded by Ford, along with Malte Barnekow, former Absolut US marketing director, Dushan Zaric and Jason Kosmas, founders of Employees Only in New York, and Kris Roth, formally with ADP TotalSource.

The group has also recently appointed Sharon Bronstein, formerly of Legacy Marketing, as marketing manager.

Ford told The Spirits Business he intends to extend 86 Co.’s range by an additional three products, which are currently in the planning stages.

For more on the challenges the 86. Co faced starting up, and how it’s risen astronomically from seedling idea to iconic, cult status, see the August issue of The Spirits Business.

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