Distributing and marketing renowned international brands, G3 Spirits Group is one of the leading representatives and distributors of alcoholic beverages and global brands in the region.
The unique combination of established brands and the expertise of dedicated local teams, enable this company to operate successfully in its selected markets but always applying socially responsible practices and standards.
We asked Slavko Saric, Managing Director to tell us more about the challenges, opportunities and overall activites that have marked the year 2021:
This year has been full of challenges for us, and we at G3 Spirits have faced them as opportunities to further improve our business and enhance our market position, as well as to launch new projects.
Our response to the challenges was to increase our distributive influence in the market by launching an exclusive cooperation with one of the largest beverage wholesalers in Serbia, NT Bolero, and increasing investments in the market and brand development, which resulted in prosperity for both companies within a very short period of time.
Even though Brexit was announced and delayed several times, and that it required extensive planning for each of these announcements, the implications for our business were still significant. These implications include high protective stocks, financial exposure and overall unpredictability. Lack of bilateral agreement between the UK and Serbia resulted in introduction of tariffs on UK goods and reduced market competitiveness. Despite bilateral agreement signing 30% import tariffs stayed for UK goods that are not shipped and invoiced directly from UK to Serbia. Cumulation nor recognition of UK origin is not possible to be done by any of EU countries.
The work of the BSCC in Serbia is extremely important for our business, as well as the function that this body performs. In the previous 2 years, this cooperation gained additional importance and included extensive and frequent communication to understand the needs of group members, informing members about the status and progress of Brexit negotiations, as well as the role of the bridge that this group represents between the governments and regulations of two countries. G3 Spirits always strived to be a reliable partner to BSCC in Serbia throughout various areas of cooperation such as information sharing, assistance for events organization and logistical support.
One of the challenges that has been resolved in 2021 was harmonization of the calculation of excise duties on alcoholic beverages with EU regulations through the application of a single formula, which resulted in termination of practice of preferential position for individual stakeholders and domestic producers in the spirits market. As the final result, the competitiveness level of goods originating from the UK has been increased
Our business relies directly on the hospitality industry, as the primary channel for product placement, which barely survives in the conditions imposed by the governments due to corona virus pandemic, consequently negative impact for our business is very high. We are optimistic that the situation will soon return to what we used to call a “normal”.
We are proud on the successful launch of the first G3 Spirits own brand “Šamar” rakija. Our brand was launched in the former Yugoslavia region, and soon after that it was declared one of the most successful launches in our industry with many recognitions and awards such as the award for best product design at the prestigious event "SOF" in Ljubljana. “Šamar” is brand that honours heritage and tradition of brandy category while pioneering in urban, vibrant and modern night life. For the first time ever, brandy combines a secret dose of two fruits; the base is plum, which has been slightly slapped with a hint of quince; designed to serve one purpose only > creating the unprecedented drinking experience. We can proudly say that we have created liquid so smooth and brand so unique, allowing it to be the first rakija brand to be served by the bottle in the premium night clubs and bars, in the eye level with some of the biggest global icons, chilled on the rocks, in your favourite mix or cocktail.
More than 20 years of successful entrepreneurship and management of a carefully selected and well-balanced portfolio in an efficient organization enabled us to remain one of the leading companies in the region. Striving for constant progress our goal is not to become the biggest, but to remain the best.
Our continuous pursuit for quality positively affected G3 Spirits result in quantity as well. According to data from the latest report published by IWSR (www.theiwsr.com), a global leading source of information for the global spirit market, wine and beer, G3 Spirits has become the largest distributing company in the Western Balkans territory in the Standard and Premium price segments with over 3.8 million bottles sold.
One of the main contributors of such a success is William Grant & Sons, one of the UK's best-known distilleries, which continues to grow seriously throughout the ex-Yu region under G3 Spirits management, with the brands that have established themselves as market leaders in their respective categories. Hendricks Gin is the best-selling gin in the super premium segment in Serbia and regionally, with one of highest growth rate recorded in our industry. Glenfiddich is the leader in the single malt whisky category. Monkey Shoulder triple malt is the second best-selling after Glenfiddich and has been selected as number one in the world by the world's 100 top bars and confirmed as the world's number one by world’s 100 top bartenders.
As leading marketers and distributors with a focus on spirits, our mission is to join forces of internationally well-known brands with our local expertise and consumer insights. Now we're in a situation where we can say that we are very proud to what we have built so far. We are looking forward to 2022 and beyond, keeping our positive attitude and believing in ourselves and our devoted partners such as BSCC.