That’s the spirit: Queen’s Award for Tonbridge drinks firm

THREE CHEERS: The staff of Atom Group celebrate Maverick Drinks' Queen’s Award for Enterprise

That’s the spirit: Queen’s Award for Tonbridge drinks firm

by Andy Tong | 21st March 2019

A DRINKS company from the town is raising a toast after receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade.

Maverick Drinks, the distribution arm of Atom Group, won the accolade for ‘outstanding short-term growth’ in overseas sales over three years.

The Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE, presented the award at the company’s headquarters on Morley Road.

Atom Brands produces a range of spirits including gin, whisky, rum, vodka and mixed cocktails.

Maverick, which was founded in 2014, has seen overseas sales grow by 499 per cent since 2016.

The proportion of total sales exported has more than tripled, and Maverick has broken into more than 50 new markets including the USA, Taiwan and Australia.

Maverick’s Managing Director, Ben Ellefsen, said: “Our vision is a world in which every single drink is as close to perfect as possible.

“Our exponential export sales growth over the past year is testament to one of our core values – zero compromise on liquid quality.

“This award is the highest that can be bestowed on a UK company, and product quality alone doesn’t explain this monumental win.”

TOP TIPPLES: (L-R) Atom Group managing director Justin Petszaft with Viscountess and Viscount De L’Isle, the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, and Deputy Lieutenant Jacques Arnold

He paid tribute to the sales team, headed by Nick Ravenhall, and the network of international distributors ‘who back our products to the hilt in an increasingly crowded, complex marketplace’.

Mr Ellefsen said quality was crucial in a marketplace where smaller manufacturers are challenging the well-known mass producers.

“The trend in the industry is, and has been for the last 10 years or so, towards ‘premium-isation’. People are drinking less, but better,” he said.  “Our brands are all in the premium to super-premium segment and crafted without compromise.”

So what does the future hold for this rapidly expanding business? “Maverick and Atom Brands will both grow hundreds of per cent this year, and this brings with it huge challenges.

“We have never been more excited about the potential for the future, and hope to bring yet more exceptional products to discerning consumers the world over.”

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