Diageo, the world’s leading premium spirits, wine and beer company, and Wirtz Beverage Illinois announced today that they have renewed their longtime distribution relationship in Illinois. Under the agreement, Wirtz Beverage will continue as the exclusive distributor of choice for the Diageo portfolio of wines and spirits in Illinois.
In 2000, Diageo launched an innovative route-to-market strategy that was the first of its kind in the industry, with Wirtz Beverage becoming one of a select group of exclusive distributors for Diageo in 2002. Ten years later, Diageo has embarked on the next phase of this transformational route-to-market strategy, working closely with strategic distributors to establish a focused approach built on national programming and increased resources for growth areas.
“We believe that our successes to date and our investments in innovation have been integral to achieving results,” said Julian Burzynski, SVP Wirtz Beverage Illinois. “We are proud to be among Diageo’s elite strategic distributors in the country and look forward to working together well into the future.”
Under the arrangement, Wirtz Beverage Illinois will continue to distribute well-known and high-performing brands in the Diageo portfolio such as Captain Morgan, Smirnoff, Jose Cuervo and Sterling Vineyards.
“We are pleased to continue our relationship with Wirtz Beverage, and together, take the next step in our route to market strategy,” said Jeff Ivey, SVP, Commercial Strategy, Diageo North America. “Our shared commitment to growth areas such as multicultural and on premise, together with the commitment of both companies to innovation position us well for success in the future.”
Currently, Wirtz Beverage Illinois employs nearly 1,000 people. The company recently opened a new, state-of-the-art headquarters which includes a warehouse, training and distribution facility in Cicero, Illinois. Diageo employs more than 400 people in Illinois and maintains offices in Chicago and a world class bottling facility in Plainfield.
“Right now, there are a lot of exciting things happening at Wirtz Beverage,” said Burzynski. “Looking to the future, it will all lead to Illinois’ continued strength in the industry.”