Coca-Cola HBC Becomes Exclusive Domestic Distributor of Bacardi-Martini


Photo by Anders Nilsson - Sthlm /

Coca-Cola HBC Hungary has become the exclusive distributor of premium alcohol brands of the Bacardi-Martini company, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

As part of the agreement, the portfolio of the country’s largest soft drink firm is expanding with about 60 products from nine premium and super premium spirit brands as of September. Bacardi rums, Martini vermouth and sparkling wines, Bombay Sapphire and Oxley gins, Grey Goose vodkas, Patrón tequilas, St. Germain liqueur and Bacardi Breezer products (in the ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage category) are now available in the distributor's offer.

Under the exclusive distributor agreement with Bacardi-Martini, the company will carry out the sales and logistics activities of the brand owner’s products, while the agreement between the parties also includes marketing support for premium and super premium brands. As part of Bacardi-Martini’s business model, it works with a specific distribution partner in countries where it does not distribute its products through its own company.

The market of premium spirits has shown dynamic growth in Hungary in recent years; between 2019 and 2021 the value of premium alcoholic drinks increased by 22%. The size of the premium spirits market in 2021 has reached USD 650 million in value (26,1 million liters in 2021 in volume). Coca-Cola HBC Hungary and Bacardi-Martini will aim to become a top agent in the Hungarian premium imported spirits market in the coming years with the Bacardi brand already leading the rum category and Martini leading vermouth and imported premium sparkling wine categories.

“Hungary is a key market that plays a major role in achieving Bacardi’s ambition to be among the Top 3 companies of premium spirits by 2030 - in Central and Eastern Europe, Baltics, and Balkans cluster. We aim to continue growing our brands and winning consumers' hearts in all key geographies," says Ilya Kustov, Bacardi's country manager for Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

"Ambitious goals require a redesign of our organization and new strategic partnerships that allow us to gain significant positions in those markets. There is a clear opportunity to leverage Coca-Cola HBC Hungary's proven route-to-market capabilities, executional excellence, and decades of experience to increase the penetration of Bacardi’s portfolio and drive category leadership. Bacardi has always had a consumer-first mindset that allows us to push the boundaries and innovate within our sector to give people a seamless way to experience our brands and delicious cocktails," the country manager adds.

Márton Vajda, coffee & premium spirits business director of Coca-Cola HBC Hungary, notes, "Coca-Cola HBC has been present in the premium spirits market for 16 years in Hungary. Our business strategy aims to offer the right product to our customers and consumers at every hour of the day for each consumption occasion that arises. Thanks to the dynamic development of our premium spirits and coffee business, we have become a major market player in recent years, and we strive to be seen as a leading distributor in the future." 

"We are proud to be the sole Hungarian distribution partner of a globally dominant company that owns high-quality alcohol brands. Together, we will work to further increase the awareness and popularity of Bacardi-Martini products among domestic consumers," he explains.

Following the recent changes, the distributor contract between Coca-Cola HBC Hungary and the Campari Group which was signed in 2016 was officially terminated on August 31, 2022. Aperol, Campari, Cinzano, and Bulldog brands are no longer be part of Coca-Cola HBC Hungary’s premium spirits portfolio.

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