British craft gin company Warner Edwards scores stock deal for the biggest supermarket group in Germany

 
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Former City high-flyer Tina Keogh-Warner and husband Tom Warner, who founded the company (Source: Warner Edwards)

Independent British gin producer Warner Edwards has signed a deal to stock its products in Germany's largest supermarket, City A.M. can reveal.

Three of the craft distillery's gins will be stocked in Edeka, the biggest German supermarket corporation, across 1,000 stores.

Ernst Rusche, Buyer at Edeka, said: “Over the past few years we have seen strong growth within our artisan spirits category and Germany’s consumers continue to see an increase in the value of imported premium British gins. As pioneers in the flavoured gin sector in the UK, it seems an obvious choice to stock a good-quality, premium British product like Warner Edwards on our shelves.”

Read more: Brockmans toasts the UK's gin renaissance

Northamptonshire-based Warner Edwards is co-owned by former City high-flyer Tina Warner-Keogh, who previously worked in private equity for a decade.

She and husband Tom Warner own and run the brand which has experienced 344 per cent increase in turnover in the year to date, notching up almost £4.5m in 2017 so far compared to £1m last year.

"Gin's popularity may peak in about three years in the UK but the great thing is it's still massive compared to what it used to be," they told City A.M.

"Internationally it's starting to blossom. Germany's about to go gin-mad. They feel about where we were four years ago."

Read more: Craft beer's boom has led to a renaissance at Marston's traditional pubs

Specialising in flavoured gins, the company has won other major supply deals this year including an agreement with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London to stock its Victoria's Rhubarb gin in the gift shop - the only alcohol on sale in the store.

The rhubarb and elderflower variants will also now roll out across over 400 Marks and Spencer stores, while another flavour is set to hit the shelves of Waitrose.

The couple plans to grow the business, which is self-funded except for grants, through international expansions like the deal with Edeka. Warner-Keogh said that she thinks the company can maintain its current growth rate "for the next two years".

"The interesting thing about craft is nobody knows what it's going to do," added Warner. "The big lads [drinks companies] are shitting themselves.

"You've got all us idiots who have soul. We've got regionality, we've got blissful naivety which gives us ridiculous levels of innovation. There are no rules now."

Read more: That's the (craft) spirit: Distilleries are booming in the UK

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