November 14 2017  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Tito’s Handmade Vodka secures distribution in Africa

By Jas Ryat

Tourist destinations and duty free will be important in helping to establish Tito’s Handmade Vodka in Africa’s valuable spirits market

Tourist destinations and duty free will be important in helping to establish Tito’s Handmade Vodka in Africa’s valuable spirits market

Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the craft vodka from Austin, Texas, launches in Africa this month as it continues to expand its global footprint.

The brand is now available worldwide in all six populated continents.

Truman & Orange, a Cape Town-based premium spirits company, is to distribute Tito’s in South Africa, which is the forerunner for new trends in Africa and the gateway for expansion across the continent.

Vodka is the third-largest category in South Africa and has been growing between 7-11% annually over the past decade (source: IWSR 2016). The country’s burgeoning vodka market is being driven by its emerging millennial population which is keen to discover new spirits brands, especially those that are premium, authentic and have real stories behind them.

As an English-speaking country, South Africa is quick to take on trends born overseas, notably in the UK and the US, and this explains the recent boom of craft beers and spirits. Imported vodka, for example grew 40% from 2000-2015 (compound annual growth rate 2011-2015), representing approximately 10% of vodka sales.

Initially, the focus for Tito’s will be premium accounts in the on- and off-trade, with a primary focus on Johannesburg and Cape Town. Tourist destinations and duty free, catering to international visitors – in particular, Americans – will also be important in helping to establish Tito’s in Africa’s valuable spirits market.

Truman & Orange Founding Partner Rowan Leibbrandt said: “We are excited to introduce Tito’s Handmade Vodka to increasingly discerning South African drinkers and make it available to international visitors who will now be able to drink their favorite hand-crafted vodka in South Africa. South Africa has a well-developed premium retail channel and we anticipate Tito’s having national availability in a short space of time.

“We expect Tito’s will be well received by our growing millennial population who are looking for premium, craft spirits brands and take a particular interest in American-made products. From the USA is a strong provenance in South Africa and tends to stand for high quality.”

John McDonnell, Managing Director, Tito’s International, said: “Tito’s journey continues with South Africa. We are excited to reach this milestone and broaden our global footprint in a market that has demonstrated great growth potential for the vodka category and American craft brands. Truman & Orange is a great fit for Tito’s and we look forward to working with them to provide retailers and operators with a quality vodka that is in demand and will drive sales.”

Tito’s Handmade Vodka is made from corn rather than wheat or potatoes. This gives it a sweeter, rounder taste and also ensures it is naturally gluten free.


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