Since my last update back in April (below) we've had some great results over the past few months.
You will also see that during the 'buy' process we have a 'Europe' button and 'North America' button, and that's because we successfully launched Equiano's 750ml bottle into the US market on June 23rd.
Forbes ran an exclusive here, with 50+ other media announcing the following day, see our total coverage here. On top of this, The Wall Street Journal will feature us as one of five exciting rums in the world right now, this article is due to come out next week and it will certainly help our US drive.
Whilst most of the US on trade market is closed and the off trade is focusing on selling though the established brands they stock, we are incredibly proud of the result we have had, selling through our first pallet direct to US consumers in under a month. Our job now is to focus in on building Equiano through Florida and the New York state, as and when it's bar and hospitality industries open back up, whilst maintaining national awareness in the media to continue the growth of our DTC sales that we are currently experiencing.
In terms of Canada, we have appointed our GM and we are already down to the final stages of being selected for listing by the LCBO (liquor control board for Ontario), one of the biggest purchasers of wine and spirits in the world. This is one of thirteen government run bodies that are responsible for regulating the sales and distribution of alcohol in the country. Of course, landing the largest control board will naturally help us roll out across other provinces as we proceed.
I am also pleased to say that we have launched in Germany (at the end of April) and Slovakia (at the end of May), both importer / distributors have seen month on month sales increase and we're delighted to have received larger follow up orders for us to service this month.
Around fathers day we saw a spike in sales through our online retailers, as well as our own website. This was mainly driven by:
GQ - “An ideal summer spirit’’
Grazia - “Insanely delicious''
Metro - “Proper luxury for the true connoisseur’’
The Spectator - “Hailed for its purist approach to rum making and it’s philanthropic aspirations"
The Handbook- “Tasting as gorgeous and sophisticated as it looks"
Hello Magazine - ''If your dad is looking for cool points, this award winning rum is spot on''
This press has also helped us in Russia as one of the biggest premium retailers is looking to list us in 100 stores in Moscow and St Petersburg.
In the UK, we're now pleased to have appointed IWSC's 'sales agency of the year' - Spirits Cartel, who will look to promote us in the on & off trade, growing both our national presence and volume for the latter part of this year. A trade press release about their appointment is due to run in the coming weeks but we're excited to have a dedicated team representing us who are passionate about our liquid and brand.
Finally hats off to Ian who continues to spread the Equiano gospel, the live stream tasting that we did back in May (see here) helped us engage with 22,000+ rum fans, customers and the UK trade during lockdown, as we sent out 50ml samples to key barman and venue owners around the country.
As well as this he also produced an Equiano rumtini on Channel 4's Sunday brunch (see here) giving us some great national TV coverage and an uplift in UK sales.
Thanks for taking the time to read this update, we appreciate your continued support and should you have any questions then please do let us know.
Oli and the Equiano team.