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MacDuff appoints MSX as TR distributor

Scotch whisky brand owner MacDuff International has appointed Macintyre Scott Xtra (MSX) as its travel retail distribution partner in a move that aims to capitalise on the current ‘golden time’ for smaller, developing brands. 

The deal was signed at the TFWA exhibition in Cannes, which sees the biggest names in travel retail come together to do business.

MSX, which has been supplying whisky to cruise ships, ferries and travel retailers for the last 39 years, says MacDuff can expect to capitalise on the current demand for alternative whisky producers, which has been generated by a lack of supply.

According to MSX, the whisky shortage has opened up the travel retail market as core brands cannot supply enough volume to fulfill demand. As a result, it says smaller brands that are quick to capitalise can take advantage of the ‘open sales ground’.

Nicola Ridges-Jones, managing director of MSX, said: “As well as this shift, we’re seeing real opportunities for particular types of whisky. We were keen to work with MacDuff because we believe its blended ranges, Islay Mist and Lauder’s, will offer something new to consumers who have previously favoured single malts.”

Nicola adds that MacDuff’s Lauder’s Queen Mary is also likely to be a hit in the cruise market due to its name.

Sales Director John Scott, from MacDuff, added: “As a small, Glasgow-based blender we are able to innovate and react rapidly to the changing market. MSX shares those qualities with us, which is why we chose to partner with the company.

“We already have strong distribution and brand recognition for our Lauder’s and Islay Mist brands of Scotch whisky in Europe, especially the Nordic countries and Eastern Europe, and MSX is the ideal partner to grow our sales in UK travel retail.”

Nicola Ridges-Jones says: “Having identified the trends and where gaps in the market lie, we aim to use TFWA to bring on board brands that will help our clients take advantage of these changes, rather than be left behind by them.

“This latest deal with MacDuff is an example of how we are helping brands break into markets that have previously been thought of as a ‘closed shop’.”

29 October 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor