TERMS & CONDITIONS
Bayou® Rum Distillery Enhances Experience with Visitors Center Expansion
9 August 2017
Lacassine, LA (August 8, 2017) – Bayou® Rum, a Louisiana-made, handcrafted spirit, today announced breaking ground on a distillery expansion, adding a barrel library, an event space and an outdoor entertainment venue to its Visitor Center, which Drinks International named “Best Largescale Visitor Center” in its 2017 Distillery Experience Challenge. Valued at more than $6 million, the expansion is planned to open in the summer of 2018.
The barrel library will be part-storage, housing thousands of batches of the latest creations from Master Blender Reiniel Vicente Diaz and Master Distiller Jeff Murphy, and part-tasting area, where visitors will be able to sample Bayou rums and learn more from the team behind the award-winning range. The event space can hold up to 300 people and is being designed for corporate events, weddings and everything in between. It is connected to the outdoor venue, complete with a stage and dance floor for hosting top entertainment acts from around the gulf region or those traveling through.
“In 2016, the Bayou Rum distillery hosted more than 35,000 guests. This expansion will allow us to better cater to new and returning visitors and offers an indoor and outdoor area for events that locals can enjoy,” said Joe Reese, Bayou Rum’s managing director, who has been leading the undertaking. “While the barrel library certainly enriches the visitor experience, the benefit for our production team is more room for current batches and for future innovations we’ve got in the pipeline.”
The distillery, which also was deemed 2016 “Attraction of the Year” by the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, is currently open Tuesday-Saturday from 9:30a.m.-5:30p.m. Tours include a short film on the inspiration for Bayou Rum, a gallery celebrating Louisiana’s historic role as a sugarcane producer, a guided walk through the distillery where visitors can see firsthand how the spirit is produced, a tasting bar, and the popular gift shop, which boasts Bayou branded gear and drinkware and merchandise from local artisans.
About Bayou® Rum
Bayou® Rum is handcrafted at its Lacassine distillery, using raw sugar from Louisiana sugarcane and the finest molasses to produce its signature sugarhouse recipe. The Bayou Rum family consists of four expressions – Bayou Silver, Bayou Spiced, Bayou Select aged rum, and Bayou Satsuma Rum Liqueur – that have been recognized more than a combined 100 times in tasting competitions. Learn more about Bayou Rum by visiting www.bayourum.com, or by following us on Facebook at facebook.com/bayourum, on Instagram at BayouRum, or on Twitter @BayouRum.
Amber Beverage Group Steps into tequila business
7 September 2016
September 2, 2016, Riga, Latvia. The largest alcohol manufacturer and distributor in the Baltics - Amber Beverage Group, a part of SPI Group, has acquired a significant equity stake in Fabrica de Tequilas Finos, a tequila brand owning and production facility based in the town of Tequila, Mexico.
Amber Beverage Group welcomed the partnership with Fabrica de Tequilas Finos and the opportunities it will offer us to expand distribution into the USA and South and Central America.
We possess over a century of experience in production and distribution of brands such as Moskovskaya® Vodka, Riga Black Balsam® bitters and many more. Amber Beverage Group has a strong and fast growing international business covering over 50 export markets operated from Riga, Latvia. Combining our expertise with a mastery of well-established Mexican tequila producers, we look forward to expand our portfolio of beverages in a new fast-growing category and establish even stronger global footprint.
The portfolio of Fabrica De Tequilas Finos consists of over 20 tequila brands including KAH, Don Camilo, Agave 99, Zapopan and Tonala tequilas.
CEO and Chairman of the Board
SPI Distribution (Latvia) changes its name to Amber Distribution Latvia
7 July 2015
Latvia’s largest alcoholic beverages wholesaler SPI Distribution (Latvia) has changed its name and from July will work under the name Amber Distribution Latvia.
According to Seymour Ferreira, Board Chairman of Amber Beverage Group, which is part of SPI Group, the new company name will reflect its affiliation with the leading wine and strong spirits beverage holding company in the Baltic countries Amber Beverage Group, and will strengthen the group’s unified corporate identity.
Amber Distribution Latvia is the largest alcoholic beverages wholesale company in Latvia, which distributes local brands produced and owned by Amber Beverage Group – such as Riga Black Balsam, Bonaparte, Riga Sparkling Wine, Moka, and world famous brands - Stolichnaya®, Moskovskaya, Remy Martin, Grant’s, Tullamore Dew, Metaxa, Jim Beam, Jagermeister, Zeljonaja Marka, Bosca, Concha Y Toro, KWV and others. The company also represents beer brands Amstel, Desperados, Latgales alus, Miķeļa alus, as well as non-alcoholic beverage brands - Red Bull, Vittel, Perrier, Pepsi and the coffee Cortese.
Amber Distribution Latvia represents a wine portfolio in Latvia of more than 450 various wines, representing 45 producers from the whole world.
The company has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience on the Latvian market. In 2007, the company was incorporated into the SPI Group and since October 2014 is part of the Amber Beverage Group holding company.
Amber Distribution Latvia (formerly SPI Distribution (Latvia)) had gross turnover in 2014 of more than EUR 87.5 million. The company has 150 employees.
Third Latvijas Balzams Concept Store Opened In Riga’s Old Town
27 May 2015
In Riga’s Old Town, at Audēju St. 8., the third new concept and design Latvijas balzams shop (part of the LB veikali shop network) was opened, offering a modern and comfortable shopping environment. Since last year Latvijas balzams veikali have invested EUR 180 000 in modernizing the network of shops.
To date, in the renovated LB shops that were opened in November last year and in March of this year, the average purchase has grown by 15%. This is evidence that guests in the city as well as local residents appreciate the new design, the modern environment and the wide assortment. By year’s end, it is planned to open an additional two Latvijas balzams shops, investing a total of around half a million euro.
A wider selection of products are available in the renovated LB shops and in addition to alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, Latvian souvenirs and sweets are on offer. The new shop solution will also please coffee lovers, offering hot coffee to take away and a “tasting corner” will operate at certain times, offering tastings of the shop's new products.
JSC Latvijas Balzams Marks 115th Birthday With New Logo
27 April 2015
JSC Latvijas balzams, oart of the Aber Beverage Group, marks its 115th birthday with a logo change.
Today the new logo, with a brighter and more contemporary appearance, was mounted on the production building in Riga, at 160 A. Čaka Street, reaffirming the old truth that what changes is also lasting.
As LB board chairman Guntis Āboltiņš-Āboliņš points out, the richer in traditions and older a company is, the more responsibility is placed on the company management and employees: “Our task is not only to hold a high standard of quality in producing historic brands already known in the world such as Allažu ķimelis, Riga Black Balsam, and Stolichnaya® Vodka, but also to develop as a modern producer. That means looking for the most efficient solutions for producing smartly, at high capacity and in accordance with international demand.”
In April this year, 115 years will have passed since the Riga State Spirits Warehouse No.1 (now Latvijas balzams) started work to supply the state alcohol monopoly that had been implemented in the Vidzeme province. April 30, 1900 is regarded as the birthday of the company, when receipt of the first shipment of rectified spirits at the warehouse was documented.
According to historical archives, by November 1903 there were 204 workers working at the company. Today, AS Latvijas balzams employs 600 employees at two manufacturing facilities, 160 A. Čaka Street and 7 A. Briāna Street in Riga.
The new visual identity is compatible with the change in design of Latvijas balzams’ retail shops, which started last fall. The first to bear the new visual identity are two new design and concept LB stores in Riga’s Old Town, whose facades are decorated with the renewed logo.
SPI Group - Official Statement in Response to Dutch Court Judgement
27 March 2015
SPI Group, parent company of Stoli Group, is extremely disappointed in the ruling as we firmly believe it is not correct in light of the facts and the relevant law. We are examining all of our options with our lawyers and next steps.
The ruling is only for the BeNeLux market and so the decision affects a very small part of our overall global marketplace. SPI Group still owns the Stolichnaya and Moskovskaya trademarks in over 190 countries across the world, but not in Russia. The Stolichnaya sold within Russia is a different vodka, owned by an unrelated state-controlled entity called FKP.
The decision is the result of a long effort by the Russian government to confiscate the Stolichnaya trademarks, purchased legitimately by SPI from private shareholders and not from the state. The trouble between SPI and the Russian Federation started with an order from President Putin in 2000. Since that time, SPI has been in litigation all over the world to protect its claim.
While the Benelux judgement is a setback for the company, we have had recent successes in courts in other jurisdictions in respect of the same trademarks, such as Chile, Austria and the United States.
Amber Beverage Group to distribute Beam Suntory beverages in the Baltics
3 March 2015
Amber Beverage Group, the leading wine and spirits company in the Baltic countries and part of SPI Group, is expanding its partnership with Beam Suntory, the world’s third largest premium spirits company.
From March 2015, the Amber Beverage Group will distribute the portfolio of Beam Suntory in the Baltic countries, including brands such as Teacher’s, Laphroaig and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Sauza tequila, Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons.
“Becoming ambassadors for and partners with one of the world’s leading spirits producers is a great honour and responsibility at the same time. Our partnership with Beam Suntory Inc. via our distributor companies in Latvia and Lithuania has already been active for several years and we are delighted to expand it from March, across all the Baltic States”, said Seymour Ferreira, CEO of Amber Beverage Group.
“By expanding this cooperation with Beam Suntory, we have taken a major step towards our development strategy in the Baltic region, adding powerful global brands to our range of international partners, which already includes William Grant, Concha y Toro and KWV,” Seymour Ferreira underlined.
The partnership with Beam Suntory will allow Amber Beverage Group, already known as the producer of the world-famous Stolichnaya® vodka and Moskovskaya® in Riga, to strengthen its leading position in the whiskey, cognac and tequila segments in the Baltic markets.
“We are looking forward to a mutual long-term cooperation with SPI Group to bring our business to the new level in Baltics. Strong cooperation will lead to growth for both companies,” said Torsten Helbig, VP EMEA Emerging Markets of Beam Suntory Inc.
Соболезнования родным и близким Бориса Немцова
28 February 2015
Вчера в Москве погиб Борис Немцов, один из самых ярких политиков России, основной оппозиционер Путина и многие годы мой близкий друг.
Мы были знакомы с 1990 года. Я многие годы поддерживал его партию СПС и в начале 2000х был в её избирательных списках. Борис был талантливый политик, который хотел сделать Россию свободной и современной. Прежде всего, он был верный друг и товарищ. Его смерть - это трагедия для России и для меня лично.
Приношу свои глубокие соболезнования родным и близким.
Condolences to family of Boris Nemtsov, former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia
28 February 2015
Yesterday night, Boris Nemtsov, one of Russia's brightest politicians and a major opposition leader to Putin, was killed in the center of Moscow.
We knew each other since 1990. I backed his political party and in the early 2000s was in the list of its election candidates. Boris was a talented politician who wanted to make Russia a free, democratic and modern country. To me personally, he was a very close friend for the past 25 years. He always supported our group in both the good and difficult times.
SPI Group, offer our deepest condolences to his family.
SPI Group announces Management Changes
20 February 2015
SPI Group is pleased to announce the appointment of new Group Chief Financial Officer, Rene Lek.
Rene, a Dutch national, is an experienced CFO with global experience in many countries (USA, Brazil, Russia, Norway, Netherlands) in companies such as Coca Cola, Pepsico, Xerox Corporation and Shell. His last position was CFO of Coca-Cola Hellenic in Russia. Rene has a wealth of experience in the drinks and alcohol industry including distribution of alcoholic beverages. Besides English and native Dutch, Rene speaks Russian, French, German, Portuguese and Norwegian languages.
Rene replaces Sebastiaan Boelen who, after six years with SPI Group, is moving to the UK to pursue private interests.
SPI Group is also pleased to announce the promotion of Rob Cullins to the position of CEO of Stoli Group and John Esposito to the board of Stoli Group. Val Mendeleev, CEO of Stoli’s parent company SPI Group, explained:
‘From the time I joined our company in August 2008 as SPI Group CEO and Stoli Group CEO, we have made a huge progress in developing and expanding Stoli as a premium, international vodka business. Since we left Pernod Ricard as a global Stoli distributor, we have established a new sales and brand management structure, new distributor relationships in nearly 180 markets, and more recently set up our own distribution business in the US.
In this journey, I was supported by Rob Cullins, who since joining Stoli Group as International Commercial Director in August 2011, has further spear-headed Stoli's global reach.
Also, in the US, John Esposito, who joined Stoli Group USA in January 2013 as its first President, built the team and sales infrastructure, preparing the company for future growth.
As the Group is now well positioned to benefit from further expansion, we are considering acquisitions of new spirits and wine brands, and entry into new categories. In order to facilitate further organic and corporate development of our group, we aim to improve the division of strategic and operational activities of our top management.’
Therefore, SPI announced the following changes:
Rob Cullins is promoted to the position of CEO of Stoli Group, which will encompass Stoli's global sales, marketing and logistics operations. Rob will continue to be based in Luxembourg.
Val Mendeleev will continue to oversee Stoli as Chairman of Board of Directors of Stoli Group, and also deal with strategic and M&A aspects of the business. The Board will also include the new SPI Group CFO Rene Lek and SPI Group Chief Legal Officer Ron Surbey. Also joining the Stoli Group Board will be John Esposito (based in the New York office).
In the US, a new President of Stoli Group USA will soon be recruited, who will report to Stoli Group CEO Rob Cullins. Stoli Group USA activities will also be assisted and supervised by John Esposito in his new capacity as Chairman of Stoli Group USA.
These changes are effective immediately.
Stoli® to sponsor TFWA China’s Century break
29 January 2015
The afternoon ‘coffee’ break session on the first day of this year’s TFWA China’s Century Conference will have a spirited touch thanks to sponsorship by Stolichnaya® vodka. The decision is part of an ongoing strategy by Stoli® in 2015 to develop the brand’s image and position within Asia and particularly China.
According to International Wine and Spirit Research (IWSR), the Chinese will buy nearly 7.7 billion litres of spirits in 2015, which represents an increase of 8% since 2009. While vodka is still a young market, with sales far behind those of whiskey, cognac, wine and Champagne, it is seen as having great potential – particularly among the new ‘80s and 90s’ generation.
Says Stoli Global Duty Free & Travel Retail Director JP Aucher: ‘China is traditionally not a vodka market, but as consumers are travelling more and becoming more aligned to the Western lifestyle, so consumer tastes are changing and this has been reflected by Stoli sales trend on the Chinese domestic market over the past years’.
‘We know that for the Chinese, purity, luxury and social standing are highly valued and vodka which can communicate upscale, exclusive and innovative qualities such as elit™ by Stolichnaya®and the elit™ pristine water series have significant potential.”
Sponsorship of the TFWA China’s Century Conference ‘coffee break’ is seen as the perfect way to reinforce the potential of Stoli to retailers and buyers not just from China but throughout the region. ‘During the break session, delegates will be able to sample a variety of Stoli cocktails and learn more about what makes this brand so unique,’ says Aucher.
Amber Beverage Group opens new Logistics Centre in Latvia
28 October 2014
A new logistics centre named Amber Logistics - part of the international spirits company Amber Beverage Group - has opened in Stopiņi county, near the capital city of Riga, in Latvia. The centre will specialise in the storage of alcoholic beverages and transportation services throughout the Baltic Region.
"Amber Logistics will initially provide services to the companies of the Amber Beverage Group in Latvia, mainly JSC Latvijas Balzams and SPI Distribution (Latvia) Ltd, to improve their cargo handling and storage operations. Next year we shall begin providing our services to other Group companies in the Baltic Region, and offer an outsourced logistics service for third parties," informs Aigars Germanis, Commercial director of Amber Beverage Group.
Amber Logistics will be one of the largest specialised logistics service centres in Latvia with a total area of more than 12,000 square metres. Over 500,000 Euros has been invested in the development and it is expected that the annual cargo turnover will be 35million litres, which is equal to almost 25% of all alcoholic beverages (except beer) transferred through Latvia in 2013.
In the vision of uniting SPI's Baltic businesses, the Amber Logistics centre will also accommodate the offices and warehouses of SPI Distribution (Latvia) - the largest distributor of alcoholic beverages in Latvia, representing brands such as Stolichnaya®, Moskovskaya®, Remy Martin, Metaxa, Tullamore Dew, Grants, Zelyonaya Marka, Bosca, Jagermeister, Jim Beam, Red Bull, Vittel, Frontera, Riga Black Balsam, Bonaparte, Rigas sampanietis and Moka.
Amber Beverage Group created to unite SPI Group’s Growing Baltic Business
21 October 2014
SPI Group’s Baltic Business Unit today announced the creation of Amber Beverage Group Ltd., a holding company, which will create cohesion across SPI’s Baltic companies and will be headquartered in Riga.
The Amber Beverage Group Ltd. will include the following companies: the alcoholic beverage producer JSC Latvijas Balzams, the beverage distributors; SPI Distribution Latvia, SPI Distribution Estonia and Bennet Distributors in Lithuania, the specialized beverage shop chain Latvijas Balzams in Latvia and Bravo Alco in Lithuania. A new logistics services company will join the holding company later this month.
“Our purpose in founding a Baltic-level holding company is to unify the governance of our businesses and to enable our ambitious development plans,” says CEO Seymour Ferreira, who added “our combined expertise, experience and resources in the Baltic’s provide the perfect platform for us to expand into new ventures and new markets”.
CEO of SPI Group, Val Mendeleev, who will assume the role of Amber Beverage Group Chairman of the Supervisory Board, comments: "This is an important step in the direction of our long-term strategy. It sets the foundations for Amber Beverage Group's expansion plans and will provide for greater flexibility as we grow".
The company name Amber Beverage Group and its visual identity reflects our unique Baltic heritage and symbolizes not only the Amber coast, but also our core values of entrepreneurship, tenacity, fun, speed and excellence supported by teamwork.
After the founding of the holding company, each business unit will retain their names and management.
Stoli partners with Favarger to launch first cross-brand promotion with Nuance
2 October 2014
Iconic brand Stolichnaya® vodka, (Stoli ®) has partnered with Favarger Chocolate to run an innovative new promotion exclusive to Nuance at Zurich Airport. Running on Level 1 of the Travel Retail departure shop, the promotion offers travellers the opportunity to experience the synergy between the smooth, crisp flavour of Stoli® Chocolat Razberi™ and the luxurious taste of Favarger chocolates.
Throughout the month of September, Stoli and Favarger are offering a unique experience to travellers, which includes sampling the combination of fresh raspberries dipped in a delicious Favarger Fondue, complemented with a shot of Stoli Chocolat Razberi.
At the same time, travellers can benefit from a special offer, giving them 20% off a Favarger Fondue Kit and a bottle of either Stoli Chocolat Razberi or Stolichnaya Premium. With striking POS material, the pop up stand uses a combination of red and white and large visuals to create a vibrant, eye-catching area. With a bottle of Stoli Chocolat Razberi on ice and pot of bubbling Favarger fondue to sample, travellers are sure to be tempted by this mouth-watering promotion.
Jean-Philippe Aucher, Global Duty Free and Travel Retail Director, Stoli comments, "This is an exciting first cross-brand promotion for us and is our biggest ever with The Nuance Group. We have found working with Nuance to be extremely easy and we are hoping that this will be the beginning of a very successful partnership. The use of cross promotion in travel retail is very under developed and it is an area that has great potential.
“Travellers are always looking for a great offer and using a cross promotion can increase their interest in a brand that they may have not normally considered. Working with such a high quality brand as Favarger Chocolate will not only raise our awareness with those who may have just been looking for a fine confectionary product, but should also help to boost our sales through a new target audience. It’s a win win promotion for all parties.”
Stoli ® Vodka Claims its Position as “THE Vodka” and Launches New Advertising Campaign
9 September 2014
Stoli ® Vodka today announced the launch of its new advertising campaign, “THE Vodka.” Produced by Richmond-based The Martin Agency. January 2014.
The campaign boldly celebrates the brand’s authenticity and places the spotlight on Stoli’s heritage as a trailblazer in the vodka category for the past 80 years. The creative aims to make a departure from an industry flooded with the superficiality of over-designed bottles and over-idealized lifestyles. Elements of the campaign capture what it means to be “THE Vodka,” a title reserved for Stoli as the original premium imported vodka, the first vodka brand in space and the pioneers of vodka flavors. The new campaign, which will be used across global markets as well as the U.S., toasts this iconic heritage and bold character, declaring to all that Stoli is “THE Vodka.”
“‘THE Vodka’ campaign firmly supports Stoli’s commitment to stay true to our longstanding heritage and unwavering focus on what is the most important—the spirit inside the iconic Stoli bottle,” said Lori Tieszen, CMO of Stoli Group USA, “This campaign represents what people crave from their vodka: something authentic; something bold; something real.”
“One of the best examples of Stoli's authenticity is their iconic label. Unlike the many over-designed vodka bottles you see on shelves today, Stoli has been consistent and stayed true to its character since the beginning,” said Jorge Calleja, Global Group Creative Director, The Martin Agency. “We wanted to showcase the iconography that has made Stoli ‘THE Vodka’ and explore the difference between what it means to be artificial vs. authentic. Do you want to have ‘a’ night or ‘THE’ night? Do you want to drink ‘a’ vodka or ‘THE Vodka’?”
The campaign launches today in the United States with a total redesign of the brand’s website, print campaign, and out-of-home advertisements appearing in major cities around the country including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, and Boston.
Creative executions will highlight the difference between being one of many versus being an original, including an ongoing series of animated videos made specifically for social media. The short, irreverent videos are illustrated by renowned graphic novelist and designer Andrew Rae, and will be released every week through the end of the year.
Special Edition Riga Black Balsam - Riga as 2014 European Capital of Culture
3 July 2014
This limited edition run of 120,000 0.5L bottles of Riga Black Balsam, with the special labelling celebrates Riga as a European capital of culture for 2014.
Riga Black Balsam is a symbol of Riga, a beverage that belongs to its history and culture, known worldwide and often chosen as a popular gift from Latvia. With an honourable history of more than 260 years, Riga Black Balsam has always been living with the times and events of this majestic city.
The limited edition is among the first to have been produced at the recently opened, rejuvenated Riga Black Balsam bottling line representing an investment of 440 thousand Euro.
The beverages of the Balsam Line are exported to more than 25 countries in the world, and the export volumes increase enjoy year on year growth.
Created back in year 1752, Riga Black Balsam is one of the oldest alcoholic beverage trademarks in Europe. The current recipe of the beverage has remained unchanged since 1950, when it was upgraded by the company's legendary technologist Maiga Podračniece.
Stoli® Wins Gold Medal - International Spirits Challenge 2014
19 June 2014
Another year and another award. Since our Gold medals in 1958 at the Brussels World Fair and again in 1963 at the Leipziger Messe World Fair - which we proudly wear on our label - Stolichnaya® Vodka consistently recieves awards and accolades, setting the benchmark for quality, character and taste.
We achieve the highest quality by selecting only the purest Alpha spirit from the distillation. We take what distillers call a “narrow cut” from the “heart of the run”, throwing away more (up to 4 times more than some other vodkas) of the “heads” and “tails” that are unpleasant to drink.
Selecting this much higher quality spirit, allows us to distil just three times which in turn means we retain the original character of our Russian wheat and rye (much of it grown on our own farms in the Tambov region of Russia). Some other vodkas throw away less and have to distil more to achieve an acceptable (but sometimes lower) quality – these multiple distillations usually result in the loss of all character.
After distillation and purification, our Alpha spirit travels to the Baltic city of Riga. Here, in the magnificent Latvijas Balzams distillery built by order of the Tsar in 1901, it is blended with pure artesian well water and filtered 4 times through quartz sand and charcoal, then bottled.
Only then is it ready to be called Stolichnaya, the original premium vodka.
Stoli® promotions with Heinemann Duty Free see 350% sales increase in Q1 2014
2 June 2014
SPI Group, brand owner of Stolichnaya® vodka (Stoli®) and Moskovskaya® vodka, has partnered with Gebr Heinemann to conduct its biggest promotional plan ever during Q1 2014 to support the launch of the Stoli Night Edition. “Heinemann is among our key duty free customers and we’ve been significantly growing our partnership since 2010 with both our Stolichnaya range and more recently Moskovskaya,” says Jean-Philippe Aucher, Global Duty Free & Travel Retail Director for SPI Group. “In promoting the launch of Stoli Night Edition to travellers we were very keen to create a great tasting experience enabling consumers to sample our range of vodkas.”
To bring Stoli Night Edition - the original ‘glow in the dark’ bottle - to the attention of travellers, SPI worked with Heinemann Duty Free to create tasting bars throughout various airports in Germany. Heinemann’s Main Shop at Hamburg Plaza, Frankfurt A+ Schengen Shop, Berlin Tegel and Schoenefeld airports saw Stoli tasting bars offering Stolichnaya Premium cocktails, Stolichnaya Chocolat Razberi™ and elit™ by Stolichnaya®. A specially designed elit pillar highlighted this ultra-luxury vodka.
This was the first brand activation for Stoli in all three airports and activations also took place throughout March in a number of smaller airports.
“We achieved great exposure with numerous direct customer contacts and multiplied our sales by 350% over the same period last year,” continues Aucher. “Of this, Stoli Night Edition accounted for around 60% of sales, but the activities certainly worked for our entire vodka range, raising consumer awareness of the brand and enabling them to experiment with the indulgent flavours.
Rüdiger Stelkens, Head of Purchasing LTC at Gebr Heinemann, adds: "We work with our partners to create intriguing brand experiences that resonate with our customers and the Stolichnaya Night edition activation is a great example of this. The Stolichnaya promotion at Hamburg Airport went very well and we are pleased about this successful cooperation and partnership."
“We worked very closely with promotional agency ‘We Can’ to activate this program and they have proved to be extremely efficient. Their performance really has been well beyond our expectations. We look forward to continuing our excellent relationship with Heinemann and further successful promotions for the future.” Adds Aucher.
Stoli® named as exclusive vodka for on-board pouring with Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia
2 June 2014
From May 1, 2014, Stolichnaya® Premium will be the exclusive vodka poured onboard by Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia for all its Nordic routes. In addition, Stolichnaya® vodka, Stolichnaya® Gold and Stoli® Hot Premium flavoured vodka will be offered to passengers within the inflight shop assortment.
Says Fredrik Borin, Managing Director of Fives Eyes, SPI Group’s distributor for the Nordics region, “We are delighted that Thomas Cook has picked Stolichnaya Premium as its on-board vodka. Stoli already has high customer awareness in the region but this opportunity will allow consumers to try the vodka in an environment linked to other positive experiences that they enjoy during the trip, which of course makes the connection stronger.”
Five Eyes has represented Stoli for SPI Group within the Nordics region since 2011 and has seen incredible growth for the brand during this time increasing sales by a massive 600% . Borin adds, “We have worked very closely with SPI Group during this time, running staff training programs and regular promotions to travellers through key customers such as Viking Line, Tallink Silja Line, Scandilines, Finnair plus numerous other ferry operators and airport stores. SPI has kept the offer fresh and innovative through expansion of the assortment which has most definitely been a great benefit to us.”
SPI’s Jean-Philippe Aucher, Global Duty Free & Travel Retail Director: “Five Eyes has done a fantastic job in building sales and distribution for Stoli brands in the Nordics; their hard work and field presence has been instrumental in our success. This new listing with Thomas Cook will further help to promote sales both through duty free and hopefully, domestically. Knowing that Stolichnaya is very well perceived by Scandinavian customers in the domestic market, we naturally see them as potentially being our best buyers for travel retail.”
Stoli® Celebrates Revival of the Legendary Moscow Mule Cocktail with New Stoli Ginger Beer
20 May 2014
Stoli® Vodka wants cocktail lovers to raise their copper mugs to one of the trendiest and most original drinks, the Moscow Mule. To celebrate the resurgence of this invigorating cocktail, the vodka maker is giving taste buds a kick with the launch of its refreshing new Stoli Ginger Beer.
Simple at its core, the Moscow Mule is a distinctive drink made from three ingredients of vodka, ginger beer and lime, served over ice within its iconic copper mug, giving it a cold, metallic tang.
“As the original premium vodka brand, we saw the opportunity to make the Moscow Mule our own,” said Michael Oringer, Sr. Vice President of Innovation & Trade Marketing at Stoli Group, USA. “Stoli Ginger Beer is the first mixer to take advantage of the rapidly rising Moscow Mule trend. Its bold taste, made with pure cane sugar and real ginger extract, was expertly blended to complement the smooth and robust flavour of Stoli® vodka, delivering the perfect Mule serve.”
To launch the new Stoli Ginger Beer, Stoli is inviting consumers to salute the Stoli Moscow Mule using the hashtag #RaiseYourMule. The campaign, launched in the USA, calls on consumers to trade in their usual drink for the spicy kick of a Stoli Moscow Mule - and join the resurgence of this cool-looking cocktail in its signature copper mug.
Marco Ferrari, Chief Marketing Officer for Stoli® Group adds, “This a fantastic innovation project generated in the USA that we will extend to several global markets in the near future. A truly bold initiative that drives a relevant drink strategy for Stolichnaya and affirms the brand’s pioneering spirit.”
Stoli will take its Mule campaign trail across the country to engage fans with over 330 managed bar events across 12 markets including: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, Washington, D.C., and Northern and Southern California. Over 17,000 people are expected to receive samples of the cocktail in addition to Stoli-branded copper mugs and recipe cards. Fans are encouraged to share their mug shot selfies using the hashtag #RaiseYourMule on the Stoli Premium Vodka Facebook and Twitter pages.
Stoli Ginger Beer will come in a 4-pack and will be available in leading retail outlets and on premise locations.
Brands Of Latvijas Balzams Receive Nine Medals In USA
17 April 2014
JSC Latvijas Balzams (LB) in our Baltic Beverages Unit has been awarded nine medals in two prestigious industry competitions in the USA - the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2014 and Las Vegas Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Annual Convention.
"Our achievements in these competitions are a significant achievement in pursuit of the corporate export plans," says Guntis Aboltins-Abolins, Board Chairman of JSC Latvijas Balzams. He strongly believes that this opens new opportunities for the company in widening its exports to the USA as well as effecting new deals with distributors and wholesalers.
LB brands received four medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2014, which took place last month - gold to Riga Black Balsam, silver to Riga Black Balsam Element and Riga Black Vodka and bronze to Riga Black Balsam Currant.
Last week, representatives of JSC Latvijas Balzams took part in the large-scale Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America Annual Convention in Las Vegas, which gathered American alcoholic beverage distributors and suppliers from all around the world for the 71st year. LB brought 5 medals home from Las Vegas: double gold for Riga Black Balsam Currant; silver to the classic version of Riga Black Balsam and Riga Black Balsam Element, Riga Black Vodka, and Moka Coffee. At its stand, the company presented the Riga Black Balsam line of beverages, liqueurs, vodkas and other new brands specifically created for export.
"The USA is one of our key strategic markets and currently represents 2% of the direct exports portfolio of Latvijas Balzams. Our ambition is to increase this percentage several times over in the next few years. We are already exporting Riga Black Balsam and Riga Black Balsam Currant to the United States where, according to the results of the competition, they are highly appreciated among the professionals. The participation in the competition in Las Vegas is valuable not only for the five medals, but also for several new cooperation projects we have already started working on," emphasises Valters Kaze, Commercial Director of LB.
Last year, the brands of Latvijas Balzams also won similar success at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition 2013 and New York Wine & Spirits Competition 2013.
SPI Group sees positive results for Stoli® in US following Chase International appointment
15 April 2014
SPI Group brand owner of globally successful Stolichnaya® vodka (Stoli®) which includes Stolichnaya® Premium flavoured vodka and ultra-luxury elit™ by Stolichnaya®, reports ‘very positive results’ for its Americas business in the last six months since the company took domestic distribution in house and appointed Chase International as its distributor for the US duty free/travel retail business.
Says SPI’s Global Commercial Director - International Rob Cullins: "Chase International was an obvious choice to expand our presence and visibility within the US travel retail sector; the company’s experience in and understanding of the business in the US is without precedent. It has quickly proved to be the right choice; Chase understands the brand and the results are already paying off notably in international airports."
The appointment of Chase International is an important element of SPI’s decision to take greater ownership of the Stolichnaya brand within the US – in both domestic and travel retail, with a target of being in the Top 10 US International airports along with cruise-ships and border stores North and South.
“Since September 2013 we’ve significantly invested in resources to ensure the brand’s forward momentum and growth,” continues Cullins. “Including focussed programs of price promotions, tastings and staff incentives and of course the appointment of John Karem as North American Duty Free Director.”
Says John Karem: “Chase is very much the lynch-pin between SPI and retailers, presenting the brand and implementing programs designed to suit the specific customer profile. Specifically, the customers and consumers vary across the different segments. What works in the airports is not necessarily what works at the border stores. Different customers and consumers with different needs require a tailored approach to product offerings and pricing strategy. Getting this right is critical to success.”
Adds Chase International president Chase Donaldson: “It’s been a busy half year for Chase and we’re delighted with the initial response from retailers to our marketing efforts for the Stolichnaya portfolio. Stoli is not only a global brand, it’s also one of the most innovative and original vodkas in the market place today with its limited editions, exclusives and strategic support program. It’s going to be a great year for Stoli in US duty free.”
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14 February 2014
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SPI Group Appoints John Karem As North America Duty Free Director
5 November 2013
SPI Group, owner of Stolichnaya® vodka, announces the appointment of John Karem as North America Duty Free Director.
In his new role, John will be responsible for SPI’s duty free business in the region with a strong focus on Stolichnaya® vodka and the ultra-luxury elit™ by Stolichnaya®.
"John’s expertise in the travel retail space and spirits industry savvy, coupled with his extensive background in global business development and sales management will be a huge asset to our expanding duty free sector in North America,” said Jean-Philippe Aucher, Global Duty Free & Travel Retail Director.
John joins SPI Group from Bibo Mundi, where he served as Principal and specialized in identifying winery and distillery purchase opportunities, negotiating terms of sale, financial modeling and designing strategic solutions from white board to bottle to shelf. Prior to Bibo Mundi, John was director of global business development at Phillips Distilling Company. Before that, he was VP of brand development at Liquidity LLC, the creator of Pinky Vodka, the second-best-selling luxury vodka in London Heathrow Duty Free. John will be based in Miami and report directly to Jean-Philippe Aucher.
SPI Group Appoints Silvio Oscar Alberto as the CEO of Achaval Ferrer
22 October 2013
SPI Group announces the appointment of Silvio Oscar Alberto as the CEO of Achaval Ferrer, thus adding another key component to the structure that will manage the multiple award winning Argentinian winery.
Mr Alberto joins Achaval Ferrer from Diamandes Winery, where he served as General Manager and the first winemaker, overseeing the company’s finance, administration, retail and tourism departments. Prior to that, he was winemaker and production manager at Andeluna Cellars S.R.L Bodega de Ward Lay Winery.
In this new role, Mr Oscar Alberto will oversee all activities at Achaval Ferrer and will report directly to Val Mendeleev, CEO of SPI Group. “His knowledge of the wine industry and its dynamics will be essential as we expand SPI Group’s wine portfolio in Argentina and beyond” said Mr Mendeleev.
Mr Alberto’s main objectives will be to grow the Achaval Ferrer brand nationally and internationally, with an uncompromising approach to quality, to expand the business and to increase its production capacity - both organically and through M&A - consolidating the reputation of this iconic winery and taking it to new heights. Mr Alberto’s appointment is effective from Monday, 21 October 2013.
Santiago Achaval continues as President of the Board and winemaker of Achaval-Ferrer, and will support the company’s global PR activities.
SPI Group Appoints Alejandro Rivara as CFO of Achaval Ferrer
16 October 2013
Today, SPI Group announces the appointment of Alejandro Rivara as CFO of Achaval Ferrer, the award-winning boutique winery located in Mendoza, Argentina. In his new role, Alejandro will lead the financial strategy for the winery and will be based in Mendoza.
SPI Group expanded their wine holdings in 2011 by acquiring a majority stake in Achaval Ferrer. This was the group’s second successful venture in the premium wine sector following the acquisition, in 2006, of a significant stake in the prestigious Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, Castelgiocondo and Luce della Vite estates, all part of the Marchesi de'Frescobaldi family holdings.
"Alejandro’s previous financial management experience and deep-seeded knowledge of the wine industry will be precious to growing our business within key markets both regionally and globally.” said Val Mendeleev, CEO of SPI Group. “I am very happy to welcome Alejandro to the group."
Alejandro joins SPI Group from Familia Schroeder Winery, where he was CFO. Prior to Familia Schroeder Winery, Alejandro worked at Clos de los Siete S.A, managing all financial aspects of the vineyard and winery.
SPI Group recently announced that the company is looking to expand its global wine business and the appointment of such new talent is a solid move in that direction.
SPI Group sells vodka brand Kremlyovskaya
7 October 2013
SPI’s decision is part of an overall global strategy to focus attention on its key international portfolio – at the core of which is Stolichnaya® vodka – by divesting non-primary assets in line with the vision of SPI Group.
In 2008 with the separation from Pernod Ricard, until then Stoli’s global distributor, SPI Group decided to take full control of the brand. More recently SPI Group has decided to further strengthen such control by setting up its own importing company in the US. The New York based company was setup earlier this year and will formally commence distribution on January 1st, 2014.
SPI Group has owned Kremlyovskaya (or Kremly as it is known amongst its loyal consumers) since 2003 and has secured the ownership of the trademark across nearly 200 countries throughout the world.
Classic International has been established by a private financial trade group with a purpose to develop select alcoholic brands. The company has already obtained a license to sell the brand in Russia from the State Enterprise “Torgoviy Dom Kremlevsky”.
“Following the recent sale of our property development business in Russia, we continue to consolidate efforts on the core business and new exciting opportunities”, says Val Mendeleev, CEO SPI Group. “The capital generated by the sale of the Kremlyovskaya brand will be deployed to acquire premium wine assets”.
Kremlyovskaya was the first international post-perestroika premium Russian vodka. Created in the early 1990s, with an attractive premium bottle designed by a renowned UK design studio Claessens, Kremlyovskaya, at its peak, sold over 5 million 9L cases. The Kremly brand today can count on an extensive range of distinctive flavours, a segment in the vodka category that has enjoyed tremendous growth in the last decade - plum, melon, grapefruit, chocolate, apricot, blackcurrant and vanilla.
Many will recall Kremly’s frequent appearance on Fashion TV, building its glamorous position in the premium vodka world thanks to its popular advertising campaign called “Toast of New Russia”, thus becoming the symbol of modern Russia.
SPI Group looks to expand the company’s global wine business
26 September 2013
Today SPI Group announced that that it is looking to grow its global wine portfolio. The company, which owns Stolichnaya® vodka, is planning to further diversify its spirit portfolio through the acquisition of exclusive and premium wineries located throughout the world.
SPI Group, who has a tremendous passion for super-premium wines and frequently travels to key wine-making regions, is personally spearheading this initiative. The company, which is currently evaluating opportunities in California, Spain, Portugal and Chile, plans to complete potential acquisitions in the next couple of years.
“We have seen terrific growth within our world-class wine holdings since entering the business in 2006,” said Val Mendelev, CEO of SPI Group. “We are carefully evaluating multiple opportunities which will allow SPI to enrich its portfolio of jewel wines and develop this part of our company.”
In 2006, SPI Group acquired a stake in the prestigious Tenuta dell'Ornellaia, Castelgiocondo and Luce della Vite estates, all part of the Marchesi de'Frescobaldi family holdings. These three vineyards continue to produce some of the world’s most highly sought after wines.
SPI expanded their wine holdings in 2011 by acquiring a majority stake in Achaval Ferrer, located in Mendoza, Argentina. The award-winning boutique winery produces some of the highest rated Argentinians wines which have consistently earned scores of 95-99 by Robert Parker and made the Wines Spectator’s top 10 list.
SPI Group exits real estate development business in Russia
28 August 2013
SPI Group announced the sale of "Sovremenni Kvartal’’, the company’s property development group in Russia. The transaction included SPI’s property management and development units as well as a construction site with appropriate building permits and approvals.
Following this divestment, SPI Group is currently focusing its real estate activities on the development and construction of Z-Towers, a prestigious multi-function complex in Riga, Latvia - one of the largest and most modern construction projects in the Baltic region. The futuristic development, which features two distinctive 30-story towers rising at 123m high, will be comprised of luxury residential units, A-class offices, retail, conference facilities, restaurants, fitness & spa, bars and kindergarten. As part of the development program, SPI is also restoring surrounding Unesco historic buildings located in the heart of historic Riga.
Residential sales in the North tower will be announced soon. You can follow on up to date information on www.z-towers.com
Stolichnaya® vodka parent company SPI Group appoints Chase International Inc. as new, exclusive US Duty Free distributor
19 August 2013
SPI Group, a world leader in global wines and spirits production, today announces Chase International Inc. as its new exclusive distributor of Stolichnaya® vodka and elit™ by Stolichnaya® Ultra-Luxury Vodka range in the U.S. duty free market.
Chase International has more than 20 years of experience in North American Travel Retail business, representing numerous wines and spirits labels along with leading confectionery brands.
Rob Cullins, SPI Global Commercial Director commented: “Chase International has an excellent understanding of the American market. They were a natural choice for us, and we are delighted to be working with them as we build our brands in this strategic marketplace."
“We are delighted and honored to have been chosen by SPI as their partner to represent and distribute their premium range of Stolichnaya Vodka brands in the U.S. Travel Retail market,” said Chase F. Donaldson, President of Chase International."
Stolichnaya is a globally recognized brand, and the Chase team is already hard at work exploring every opportunity to expand its presence and visibility in the U.S. Travel Retail area. We are very excited to be part of SPI’s new organizational plans. Our strong marketing efforts will be singularly focused on re-establishing and enhancing the image, prestige and presence of Stolichnaya in all U.S. international airports and on every major cruise line. With our extensive duty free and travel retail experience, and our proven success at marketing premium brands, we look forward to partnering with SPI to achieve their objectives in the U.S. Travel Retail sector.”
Incumbent, William Grant & Sons U.S. Duty Free, will hand the remit to Chase International as of September 1st this year.
An Open Letter from the CEO of Stolichnaya Vodka to the LGBT community
25 July 2013
The recent dreadful actions taken by the Russian Government limiting the rights of the LGBT community and the passionate reaction of the community have prompted me to write this letter to you.
I want to stress that Stoli firmly opposes such attitude and actions. Indeed, as a company that encourages transparency and fairness, we are upset and angry. Stolichnaya Vodka has always been, and continues to be a fervent supporter and friend to the LGBT community. We also thank the community for having adopted Stoli as their vodka of preference.
In the US, the brand’s commitment to the LGBT community has been ongoing for years. Among the best examples, I can cite the series produced by Stoli in 2006 called “Be Real: Stories from Queer America” which featured short documentaries on real life stories depicting the challenges and accomplishments of the LGBT community in the United States (www.logotv.com/shows/dyn/be_real_series/series.jhtml).
Stoli is very proud of its current exclusive national partnership with Gaycities.com and Queerty.com in search of the Most Original Stoli Guy. This is a fantastic program that started as a local initiative in Colorado and became a national platform. Previous national initiatives included serving as the official vodka of the Miami Gay Pride Week as well as ongoing events with focus on Pride month.
Some great examples from other parts of the world are the support to the Durban Gay Pride, in South Africa (www.durbanpride.org), the Pride Parade in Vienna, in cooperation with HOSI and CT, the largest LGBT communities in Austria and the Tel Aviv Pride Parade, taking place this weekend.
This letter also gives me the opportunity to clear some of the confusion surrounding the Stolichnaya brand, based on facts found online that often inaccurately link our company to the Russian Government. The Russian government has no ownership interest or control over the Stoli brand that is privately owned by SPI Group, headquartered in Luxembourg in the heart of Western Europe.
Stoli’s production process involves both Russia and Latvia. Stoli is made from Russian ingredients (wheat, rye and raw alcohol) blended with pure artesian well water at our historic distillery and bottling facility Latvijas Balzams (www.lb.lv) in Riga, Latvia (formerly part of the Russian Empire and then of the Soviet Union). Latvijas Balzams did not recently become part of the Stoli heritage, but has been one of its main production and bottling facilities since 1948. This has allowed the brand to deliver the outstanding quality it is recognized for consistently across the years. What changed in the last years is politics, with Latvia becoming an independent state part of the EU.
We fully support and endorse your objectives to fight against prejudice in Russia. In the past decade, SPI has been actively advocating in favor of freedom, tolerance and openness in society, standing very passionately on the side of the LGBT community and will continue to support any effective initiative in that direction.
Chief Executive Officer
SPI Group appoints Romain Ambrunn as Asia Pacific Regional Director
10 July 2013
Today, SPI Group, owner of Stolichnaya® vodka, announces the appointment of Romain Ambrunn as Asia Pacific Regional Director. In his new role, Romain will be responsible for the pan-regional commercial development of the SPI Group portfolio, with a strong focus on Stolichnaya® vodka and the ultra-luxury elit™ by Stolichnaya®.
"Romain’s previous Asia Pacific experience – coupled with deep expertise within the beverage industry – will be instrumental in developing Stolichnaya and elit® Vodka, within key markets and further building its regional and global success,” said Robert Cullins, global commercial director of SPI Group. “I am very pleased to be welcoming Romain to the group."
Romain joins SPI Group from Group Belvedere – Marie Brizard, where he was the Regional Director of the AsPac region. Previous to Group Belvedere, Romain worked in Asia with GBH Group and has also held increasingly senior roles in the automotive industry with Audi and Peugeot as well as with Illy Coffee in the United States. He will be based in Shanghai and report directly to Robert Cullins.
SPI Group Announces Baron Philippe De Rothschild As New Distributor Of Stolichnaya® vodka In France
8 July 2013
SPI Group, owner of Stolichnaya® vodka, announces a joint distribution agreement with Baron Philippe de Rothschild France Distribution (RFD) effective July 1, 2013. The contract enables RFD to market and distribute all expressions of Stolichnaya throughout France, which includes:
Stoli is recognized worldwide for its award winning character, impeccable clarity and is long considered a benchmark for quality in vodka. elit® Vodka is the ultra-luxury expression of the brand, a vodka of unprecedented excellence, consistently rated the finest white spirit in the world.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with Rothschild France Distribution which will accelerate our growth in France,” said Val Mendeleev, CEO of SPI Group. “Their expertise in marketing and branding in this region will help our portfolio excel in all distribution channels.”
“This alliance is the result of both companies’ desire to create a stronger presence for Stolichnaya in the French market,” said Géraud de la Noue, General Manager of Baron Philippe de Rothschild France Distribution. “We are confident that the brand will fit seamlessly in our portfolio and look forward to the momentum it will bring to the wine, champagne and spirits market here.”
Stoli Group USA announces three leadership appointments
1 July 2013
Today, Stoli Group USA, the North American subsidiary of SPI Group and producer of Stolichnaya® vodka, announces the appointment of three individuals to the leadership team: Tom Schlachtenhaufen as Senior Vice President of Sales; Mark Corcoran as Vice President National On Premise Accounts – East; and Liz Lister as Director National On Premise Accounts – West. These appointments follow the decision by SPI Group to establish Stoli Group USA to manage its premium spirits portfolio directly throughout the U.S. and Canada, beginning January 2014.
“We are excited to have these three senior leaders join our company.” said John Esposito, President of Stoli Group USA. “Their track record of success in building great brands, along with their strong industry experience working with our distributors will be instrumental in bringing Stoli to the leadership position it deserves in the market.”
Tom Schlachtenhaufen will report to John Esposito, CEO and be responsible for leading sales for Stoli Group USA. Tom has over 20 years of drinks industry experience with Nestle Waters and Diageo where he held leadership postions in sales, trade marketing, commercial strategy and national accounts Most recently Tom served as Vice President of Sales with Palm Bay International. He holds a BA from Saint Lawrence University and an MBA in Finance from Fairfield University.
Mark Corcoran will report to Tom Schlachtenhaufen, SVP Sales and be responsible for all On Premise National Accounts throughout eastern half of the US. Mark has over 30 years of experience in the beverage industry with Heublein, Seagram’s, Schieffelin & Somerset, Moet Hennessy USA, and most recently at Bacardi where Mark served as Vice President of National Accounts. Mark’s extensive experience has enabled him to build strong relationships with our distributor partners and key national accounts.
Also reporting to Schlactenhaufen is Liz Lister, who will be responsible for all on premise national accounts throughout the western half of the country. Liz has more than 20 years industry experience having worked with American Wines and Spirits and Treana and Liberty School Wineries (now known as Hope Family Wineries) and most recently developed an international account brokerage company, Double L, working with companies such as EJ Gallo and TOG Wines in Asia. Liz has developed strong and successful relationships with Stoli’s distributor partners in addition to major national account chains.
Stoli Group USA Announces Three New Leadership Additions
26 June 2013
Today, Stoli Group USA, the North American subsidiary of SPI Group and producer of Stolichnaya® vodka, announces the appointment of three individuals to the leadership team: Michael Misiorski as CFO/Senior Vice President of Finance; Lori Tieszen as Senior Vice President of Marketing for U.S. operations; and Brad Gietter as Regional Vice President of Sales for the West.
These appointments follow the decision by SPI Group to establish Stoli Group USA to manage its premium spirits portfolio directly throughout the U.S. and Canada, beginning January 2014.
“We are excited for this group of extraordinary leaders to join our new company,” said John Esposito, President of Stoli Group USA. “Having had the privilege of working with all three in the past, I know that they have exceptional leadership skills and the values that will help Stoli Group USA build a strong company and meet the vision we have for the future. All three have extensive experience working with our distributors and building some of the best brands in the world. I am confident that together with our distributor partners, we will bring Stoli to the leadership position it deserves."
Michael Misiorski will be responsible for leading all financial activities for Stoli Group USA out of the New York office. With more than 25 years of financial leadership experience in the drinks industry, Misiorski joins Stoli Group USA from Bacardi where he was formerly CFO/SVP of Finance for North America. He previously worked with Seagram’s and Absolut. Misiorski holds a BS in Finance and Accounting from the University of Arizona and an MBA from the University of Miami.
Lori Tieszen will be responsible for leading all marketing activities for Stoli Group USA out of the New York office. Tieszen has more than 25 years of marketing experience in the drinks industry and brings valuable insight and understanding to the new company as it develops its core team. She joins Stoli Group USA from Wines of Chile USA where she was most recently Executive Director. In addition, Tieszen has worked with many iconic brands including J&B and Hennessy and has held senior marketing roles with Finlandia Vodka and Schieffelin & Somerset, now known as Moet Hennessy USA.
Brad Gietter will be responsible for leading Stoli Group USA’s West Regional Sales team and will work closely with distributors to drive brand growth across all channels. Gietter has more than 25 years of marketing and sales experience in the consumer beverage industry with companies including Seagram, Diageo, Moet Hennessy and Tanteo Spirits. He has a successful track record of working with distributors and leading both sales strategy and execution to build brands.
SPI Group appoints Seymour Ferreira as CEO of SPI Baltic Business Unit
6 March 2013
SPI Group, the owner of Stolichnaya® Vodka, has announced the appointment of Seymour Ferreira as CEO of its Baltics Business Unit.
Seymour has over 25 years of extensive senior level experience in alcoholic beverages and consumer goods industry with Maxxium, Allied Domecq, UDV (Diageo predecessor) and Mars across Asia, Eastern and Western Europe.
Over the past 4 years, Seymour has operated as an entrepreneur, consultant and co-founder/Managing director of two start-up alcoholic beverage businesses, based out of Amsterdam. Prior to this, Seymour managed business units at Maxxium for 7 years, first as Managing Director South East and North Asia based in Singapore and later as Managing Director Venture Europe, Maxxium’s largest business unit. Earlier, Seymour spent 6 years with Allied Domecq in regional and country leadership roles in Asia Pacific, based in Tokyo, Singapore and Manila, from where he oversaw local markets, production and distribution joint ventures. Formerly, with UDV, Seymour served in Asia, Japan and Australia sales development roles based out of Hong Kong, and as a Commercial Director of the UDV/Moet Hennessy Joint Venture Riche Monde, based in Taiwan.
“We are pleased to welcome Seymour to our Company and look forward to working together to grow the SPI Baltic business in the current challenging environment” commented Val Mendeleev, CEO SPI Group.
Robert DiMartino appointed as HR Director of Stoli Group USA
11 February 2013
SPI Group, owner of Stolichnaya® vodka, has announced the appointment of Robert DiMartino as Vice President of human resources for its US operations. Starting in his new role from Monday 11 February 2013, Bob will be responsible for leading the recruitment process to fill the structure of SPI’s importing company in the US and will be based in New York.
The appointment follows the decision by SPI Group to establish SPI North America to manage its portfolio of brands directly, throughout the US, starting from 1 January 2014.
Bob has several years’ experience working in the drinks industry and brings valuable insight and understanding to the new company as it develops its core team. Having led multiple HR teams throughout his career spanning 25 years, Bob will work closely with SPI North America President, John Esposito. Prior to working with SPI Group, Bob held senior positions, most recently with Bacardi – Martini, Inc, Polo Ralph Lauren and Schieffelin & Somerset (later known as Moet Hennessy USA).
John Esposito, President, SPI North America comments, “I am very happy to have a seasoned professional like Bob to join me at Stoli USA. His vast industry experience and understanding of what excellence looks like, will enable us to recruit the very best team to this exciting venture”.
Bob states, “I’m excited to have this unique opportunity to join such an iconic brand as Stoli, as we build a winning organisation with exceptional talent in order to drive Stoli's growth in the North American market".
SPI Group appoints John Esposito as President of SPI North America
25 January 2013
SPI Group, owner of Stolichnaya® vodka, has announced the appointment of John Esposito as President of its US operations. This follows the decision taken by SPI to establish its own importing company in the United States and manage its portfolio of brands directly, starting from 1st January 2014.
John Esposito is a veteran of the US drinks industry, having over 20 years’ experience holding leadership positions in the retail, distribution and brand owner segments of the sector, most recently as President and CEO of Bacardi North America. Prior to that, John was CEO of Moët Hennessy USA, President of Schieffelin & Somerset and, on the distribution side of the business, President of Premier Beverage in Florida. John started his career as Sales Manager with the Seagram Company and his history of managing and directing the growth of great brands throughout his career makes him an excellent choice to lead the Stoli brand.
John’s vast and diverse experience in the wine and spirit industry has provided him with a holistic perspective, from building brands and empowering teams to developing strong and profitable businesses. At SPI North America, John’s first priority will be setting up a high-performing organization of sales, marketing, finance and supply chain professionals across the US. John starts in his new role on January 28th and will be based at the Stoli US headquarters in New York.
“We are very proud to have John build and lead our US operations. He is one of the most experienced and respected executives in our industry. I am confident that John will be a very successful leader to drive the Stoli business forward in the US, Stoli’s largest market, and face all the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead,” commented Val Mendeleev, CEO SPI Group.
“Stoli is one of the most iconic brands in the category. I’m thrilled to be part of this exciting project,” said John. "I look forward to forming a strong way of working with William Grant & Sons – the current distributors of Stoli in the US – to ensure a smooth transition of the brand, while building the Stoli team in the US that will guide the brand for the future".
SPI Group and William Grant & Sons Agree to Not Renew Contract for Stolichnaya in USA - SPI Group to Establish Importing Company
14 November 2012
William Grant & Sons and SPI Group announce that their current contract for the importation, distribution and marketing of Stolichnaya Vodka in the United States will not be renewed when it expires on December 31, 2013. The decision is a result of SPI Group’s desire to manage its portfolio of brands directly; SPI Group will therefore be establishing its own importing company in the United States during 2013, commencing operations on 1st January 2014.
“Stoli is a remarkable and storied vodka, the crown jewel of the SPI Group and the fastest growing premium vodka in the world,” shared Val Mendeleev, CEO, SPI Group. “As a Company with strong entrepreneurial spirit, the time has come for us to make our path forward on our own in the US. We are therefore delighted to announce that we will be creating our own importing company. We thank William Grant & Sons for their contributions to Stoli, we wish them well on their owned brands, and we look forward to what will be a continuing future of innovation and success for the Stolichnaya brand.”
William Grant & Sons assumed responsibility for the importation, distribution and marketing of the iconic Stolichnaya brand, often referred to as Stoli, in January 2009. Despite a very challenging economy and heavy competition within the spirits industry, William Grant & Sons and the SPI team returned the trailblazing brand to growth through pioneering initiatives including new creative that declared the Most Original People Deserve The Most Original Vodka, and developed innovative 360° programming to bring that message to life.
“Stoli is an excellent brand and we are proud of the many accomplishments William Grant & Sons has contributed to the success it has enjoyed, and for the part we have played in the history of this iconic brand,” stated Simon Hunt, President & Managing Director – North America, William Grants & Sons. “We wish SPI Group the very best for the future of Stolichnaya. As for William Grant & Sons, our owned brands are enjoying unparalleled success, with growth in double digits on all of our core global brands. We are excited for the future and will now be focusing our attentions to continuing to grow those remarkable and celebrated brands.”
SPI Group celebrates re-launch of Stolichnaya® Vodka and elit® Vodka in Delhi and Mumbai
10 April 2012
SPI Group® has celebrated the re-launch of Stolichnaya® vodka and the ultra-luxury elit™ by Stolichnaya® in Mumbai and Delhi. The brand celebrated a new distribution agreement with Aspri Spirits Private Ltd. by throwing a star studded party with local celebrities including Indian film and theatre actor Boman Irani, film actor Jimmy Shergil and acclaimed Bollywood choreographer Terrence Lewis. SPI Group partnered with India’s leading import, marketing and distribution company; Aspri Spirits from the start of February 2012 to distribute Stolichnaya® Vodka in India.
Val Mendeleev runs SPI Group, the owner of iconic Stolichnaya® Vodka, and commented “we are delighted to be bringing Stolichnaya® Vodka and elit® Vodka into India alongside Aspri Spirits. We have already seen a great response to both Stoli and elit and are looking forward to expanding the breadth of awareness throughout the country with Aspri’s strong distribution network.”
Aspri Spirits Private Limited is one of the leading distributors of premium wines, spirits and beer in India and was established in 2004. With head office based in Mumbai and branches in Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderarad, Aspri Spirits will be working with SPI Group to build the brand in India across the domestic and duty-free markets.