The former boss of drinks giant Diageo has been snapped up as an adviser for fast-growing premium gin business Brockmans, the company has announced.
Paul Walsh, who ran Diageo for 13 years until 2013, will join the start-up to help bosses with their five-year expansion plan.
Brockmans, which is currently sold in 45 countries and costs around £30 a bottle, is particularly keen to break further into the US.
Co-founder and chief executive Neil Everitt said: “I am delighted that Paul has agreed to join us on the exciting next leg of our journey.
“His industry knowledge, experience and contacts will help us achieve our ambition of doubling sales and becoming the best super-premium gin business in the world.
“Paul’s success in developing a multinational business will be particularly relevant as we grow Brockmans’ international presence.”
He added that ultra-premium gin sales in the US were up 25% in 2018 but believes the Stateside market is still in its infancy.
Brockmans entered the US market in 2014, extending its presence from New York, New Jersey and New England to states including Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Colorado, Michigan and Illinois this year.
The additional states, coupled with the appointment of Blue Ridge Spirits and Wine Marketing as a nationwide distributor in September last year, helped boost 2018 sales by 50% in North America, which also includes a small, but rapidly growing presence in Canada.
Mr Walsh said: “I have watched Brockmans’ progress with admiration, over the past few years, and I look forward to playing a part in the next exciting phase of its growth.”
Brockmans announced record results at the start of July, showing revenue grew 26% to £10.3 million in 2018 driven by a surge in sales in the UK, which overtook Spain as the company’s biggest market.
Total sales volumes increased 37% to almost 85,000 nine-litre cases, enough for 30 million G&Ts, helped by new listings with supermarket giants Morrison’s, Asda and the Co-op.