Production increase for Speyside Distillery following major distribution agreement for global duty free and Chinese retail markets
Speyside Distillery has signed a major new distribution deal which will lead to a 66% increase in production of its single malt whisky. The agreement with Luzhou Laojiao International Development (HK) Co., Ltd – a major force in the global duty free retail market – will see production rise from 600,000 litres to 1 million litres a year.
The deal will also see Luzhou Laojiao distribute the artisan distillery’s SPEY and Beinn Dubh brands in China, where sales of Scotch whisky continue on an upward trend, increasing by 34.8% in the first half of last year alone.
Owners Speyside Distillers Ltd said the increase in production would not lead to the introduction of any new automation processes, but it is anticipated that demand could result in up to two new jobs being created.
The deal will place the company’s spirits portfolio in duty free outlets across China, the United States and other key global markets, and Luzhou Laojiao will also handle distribution of Speyside Distillery products across China in its own retail stores.
John McDonough, chief executive officer of Speyside Distillers, said: “Although our brands have been present in China for a number of years, most of the distribution and sales activity has been within the southern provinces.
“This distribution agreement with Luzhou Laojiao will enable us to move to a completely different level and will help to meet the growing demand for single malt Scotch whisky from China’s urbanised, affluent young professionals.
“We anticipate that the supply demand for global duty free and duty paid within China will have a significant impact on production, which we forecast will rise by around 66% from our current 600,000 litres of spirit a year to 1million litres.”
Senior staff from Luzhou Laojiao signed the distribution agreement last week while on a visit to Speyside Distillery, located near to Kingussie at the foot of the Cairngorm Mountains.