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Sainsbury's gives shelf space to Manchester rum maker

UK rum maker Rockstar Spirits has made a major new break into the off-trade market after signing a deal with Sainsbury's.

The Manchester-based company will see its spiced rums, Captain Webb's Two Swallows Citrus and Salted Caramel, on sale in 300 stores and available for home delivery on the supermarket's online shop from 1 March. 

The brand has started making larger 70cl bottles of its products specifically for Sainsbury's, which said the deal would support the growth in spiced rum sales it has seen in recent months.

In designing his Two Swallows rums, Rockstar Spirits founder Tom Hurst aimed to make a spirit that would mix well with cola. As a result, the company is now working with soft drinks brands including Coca Cola, Fentimans and Karma Cola to develop premium Cuba Libre cocktails served with Rockstar rum.

Hurst created the brand as a tribute to his relative Captain Matthew Webb, who became the first man to swim the English Channel in 1875. It has worked with companies including Selfridges, Booths and Majestic Wine and its spirits have been commended by GQ and ITV's This Morning.

Hurst said: "Sainsbury’s is a perfect fit for our business – we now have the scope to add our rum to consumers' weekly shops across the country, which is a huge leap forward for us going into our second year of trading."

Rockstar Spirits's expansion has been supported by GC Business Finance, which invested a five-figure sum into the company in summer 2018. Simon Truby, senior loan manager at the firm, said: "We’re happy to see Rockstar Spirits add another blue-chip retailer to its network of customers."


16 February 2020 - Bethany Whymark