MIAMI 6 December 2023 ecoSPIRITS USA has announced that Breakthru Beverage Group, one of the largest North American beverage alcohol distributors, has joined the ecoSPIRITS Climate Partner Program as an Official Distributor Partner. Breakthru distributes a diverse portfolio of brands across many territories in both the United States and Canada and it already has spirits brands ready to be deployed in ecoTOTE format in Florida, followed by California in the coming months. The partnership will also accelerate ecoSPIRITS USA’s expansion in the state, bringing new brand partners, venues and distribution resources to the circular economy.

The premium spirit brands Coconut Cartel rum and Barr Hill Gin will be the first from Breakthru’s portfolio to be distributed in ecoTOTE format to venues in Florida.

The United States is known for its three-tier system – comprising of producers, distributors and retailers – for distributing alcoholic beverages, which was set up after the repeal of Prohibition. The three-tier system mandates that producers can sell their products only to wholesale distributors who then sell to retailers (and bars and restaurants), and only the latter group can sell to consumers. Distributors therefore play an essential role in the market, and while they have no involvement in manufacturing, they act as the representatives of the brand and supplier in determining their route to market. There are around 4,000 beverage alcohol distributors in the United States, with the 10 largest controlling more than 72% of the market between them. The largest multi-state distributors – such as Breakthru – differ from each other by offering a combination of size, service and portfolio.

The state of Florida has the second largest market for beverage alcohol in the United States.

Breakthru is a family-owned and operated beverage alcohol wholesaler and is one of the top three alcohol beverage distributors in the United States. It has a diverse portfolio of more than 6,000 wine, spirits and beer brands from many of the industry’s leading suppliers. The company, which is headquartered in New York, operates in 45 facilities across North America – including Canada and 16 U.S. states such as Florida, California, Arizona and Illinois – and has more than 9,000 employees. Breakthru will begin by distributing premium rum brand Coconut Cartel and the award-winning, super premium Barr Hill Gin in ecoTOTE format to venues in Florida. The state has the second largest beverage alcohol markets in the United States, with more than 23 million 9-liter cases consumed in 2022. Other Breakthru brands will be made available in ecoTOTE format in the coming months.

Will Fulghom, Region President East US, Breakthru Beverage Group

“Breakthru is very excited to work with ecoSPIRITS as a pioneering distributor partner and reduce our single-use packaging in the Florida market. While it is up to all of us to protect our planet, we as distributors have a special responsibility to work with our supplier and customer partners to undertake such eco-friendly efforts across the industry. We are proud to work with Coconut Cartel and Barr Hill Gin on this climate-friendly venture.”

Coconut Cartel is a 100% pure Guatemalan añejo rum cut to proof with coconut water. The rum, which was first launched in 2012, is aged in new, charred American white oak barrels for four to 12 years, and cut to 80 proof with freshly harvested coconut water. It has tropical aromas of fresh coconut with hints of banana, mango and vanilla, and upon tasting, there are notes of plantain, caramel, sandalwood and burnt brown sugar.

Coconut Cartel is made from rum aged in new, charred American oak barrels, which is then cut to 80 proof with coconut water.

Mike Zig, Co-Founder, Coconut Cartel

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to be better and grow our brand with visionary partners like ecoSPIRITS and Breakthru. As an emerging brand, we are nimble and therefore we can quickly activate innovations such as ecoSPIRITS’ sustainable packaging technology and we hope to inspire more brands to join the movement to help eliminate single use glass waste in the spirits and wine industry.”

Barr Hill Gin is made using organic juniper and is finished with raw honey from the local area in Montpelier, Vermont. The gin is one of the most awarded gins in the U.S. The honey adds a light sweetness to the gin, which also has hints of vanilla, clove and cayenne.

The multi award-winning Barr Hill Gin is finished with raw honey from Montpelier, Vermont.

Ryan Christiansen, Co-founder and President, Barr Hill Gin

“We’ve been cheering on the team at ecoSPIRITS, as they pioneer the enormous effort of eliminating single use packaging from the spirits industry. We’re honored to be invited to be a part of this important mission, and couldn’t be more excited to see Breakthru Beverage step up to the plate on behalf of our planet.”

Zdenek Kastanek, Managing Director, ecoSPIRITS USA

“At ecoSPIRITS, we are excited to have one of the national leaders in beverage distribution joining our efforts in transitioning the industry to circularity. With ecoSPIRITS’ technology integrating into Breakthru’s distribution network there will be a significant reduction in single use packaging ending up in the landfills of southern Florida or in carbon-intensive recycling facilities. The impact we can achieve together is exciting.”

Jessica Berry, Sales Director, North America, ecoSPIRITS

“I am thrilled to be taking my long-term working partnership with Breakthru to the next level and revolutionize the industry for a more green and sustainable future. Breakthru Beverage Group’s commitment to bringing closed loop packaging on board is sending a strong message that change is not only needed but it is possible, and easier than people think. I am proud to see the leadership at Breakthru commit to what we can do today for a better tomorrow.”

To find out more information about opportunities to partner with ecoSPIRITS in America, please contact Jessica Berry at [email protected]. For media inquiries or general information on ecoSPIRITS, you may contact Sonya Hook, Senior PR Manager at [email protected].

About Breakthru Beverage Group

Breakthru Beverage Group is one of the leading alcohol wholesalers in the United States and the largest broker in Canada representing a full total beverage alcohol portfolio of spirits, wine and beer. Breakthru is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and supports a wide range of notable organizations as well as local charitable initiatives across its North American footprint. Across all markets, Breakthru aligns a nimble and insightful approach to sales, marketing and operations. Family ownership is active in the business and committed to being stewards of heritage and champions of innovation.

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About Coconut Cartel

Coconut Cartel’s quality comes from decades of craftsmanship, fermentation and distilling methods, and a world-class aging house in Guatemala. Its innovation, however, is in the proprietary proofing process: Coconut Cartel’s rum distillate is aged in new, charred American White oak for up to 12 years. Instead of using filtered water to bring the cask strength rum down to bottle proof (40% ABV), fresh, locally sourced coconut water is used as the proofing agent. The natural minerals, sugars and salts found in coconut water smoothen the blend and add a unique viscosity to the rum, making it incredibly smooth and refreshing to sip. Coconut Cartel Special combines traditional, old school rum artistry and new school innovation. The result is truly one-of-a-kind rum that appeals to a wide spectrum of consumers.

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About Barr Hill Gin

Barr Hill Gin is the producer’s odd to the hardworking bees of the Northeast. The juniper-forward botanicals are brought to a perfect balance by the floral depth of the raw honey. The results are distinctive and unparalleled. Barr Hill Gin is distilled once in our custom-built botanical extraction still with hand-crushed, organic juniper, and then finished with raw honey from our region. The raw honey contributes botanical depth from the countless wildflowers foraged by the bees. How do we extract such complexity from simple raw materials? Our secrets are kept in the hive.

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About ecoSPIRITS

ecoSPIRITS is a circular economy technology company that has developed the world’s first low carbon, low waste distribution technology for premium spirits and wine. Our patent-pending closed loop system nearly eliminates all packaging waste in the supply chain. By dramatically reducing packaging and transport, ecoSPIRITS provides both a powerful cost advantage and a transformative carbon footprint reduction. Founded in Singapore in 2018, the ecoSPIRITS technology is now available in more than 23 countries across Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. More than 2,000 leading bars, restaurants, hotels and retailers have adopted the technology, including Michelin-starred restaurants, World’s 50 Best and Asia’s 50 Best bars and iconic hotels. ecoSPIRITS is now rapidly building a global network of closed loop service, with coverage to grow to 27 countries worldwide by early 2024. Together with our brand partners, importers, distributors, wholesalers, venues, and retailers, we are already making a difference. Each year, ecoSPIRITS and our partners are eliminating hundreds of tons of single use glass waste, planting tens of thousands of trees, and inspiring others to change.

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