WESTER Distillery, a rum distillery based in the west end of Glasgow, is celebrating a successful 2021 which saw its annual turnover increase from £200,000 to £1 million.
The 400% sales growth was achieved in part due to the business pivoting during the Covid-19 pandemic to focus on direct to consumer sales, with the closure or restricted opening of many trade outlets. This change in direction is something the distillery is looking to build on further this year, having already secured a customer base of 35,000 people across the UK last year alone.
With big aspirations, the distillery is aiming to at least double its customer numbers in the coming year, with a number of new products planned to further diversify its range. Recent production efficiencies will also allow an increase in production to help support new limited-edition batches, from the seasonal Winter Spiced Rum through to innovative products tailored to customer demand.
The Scottish company also has its sights set on international markets, with conversations currently ongoing with stockists in Germany and France. This, coupled with a renewed focus on reinvigorating relationships with trade stockists in the UK, will allow the distillery to further diversify its audience and achieve its target growth figures.
Over the past year Wester Distillery has seen a notable demand for its innovative rum products, with its Chocolate Rum, an indulgently rich spirit made using rum infused with discarded Dominican cocoa husks, proving to be a bestseller with 16,000 bottles sold since it launched in April 2021.
Commenting on the success of the business, co-founder Zander Macgregor said: “At Wester Distillery we’re united in our passion for creating the best possible rum variants to appeal to consumers across the world. Since setting up the business in 2017 we’ve seen steady growth but over the last year demand for our products has soared and we believe this is due to not only the high quality of product we produce but also our ability as a small business to adapt to changes in customer tastes and respond to the changing marketplace.”
“Over the past year we’ve focused on building our direct to consumer sales and with sales in the first two months of the year showing us as already being on track to hit our growth targets for this year, this is something we hope to build even further. We’re also engaging with potential trade customers to allow us to bring our in-demand products to consumers whether they are at home or in bars or restaurants. Our team has also grown to allow us to achieve further growth, with two permanent members of staff joining the business in our bottling and order fulfilment teams.”
“This year we have plans to bring even more limited-edition batches to our customers, allowing them the opportunity to try new flavour profiles and discover their perfect rum match. We have big ambitions for Wester Distillery and can’t wait to see what the rest of 2022 brings.”
The growth of Wester Distillery comes as rum continues to grow in popularity across the country. Figures from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association show that between April – June 2020 an extra 1.3 million bottles of rum were sold compared to the same time period the previous year. This, coupled with increased demand for flavoured and spiced rums, puts Wester Distillery in a strong position for continued growth.
For more information on Wester Distillery visit www.westerdistillery.com.