Red Star Brands, the specialist independent sales and marketing distributor, is introducing alcohol to its portfolio, by signing two innovative brands to kick off 2021.  

Beer Lao – brewed in the country of its name, and the US-produced, flavoured alcoholic beverage brand Four Loko, are the first in a range of exciting alcohol labels being launched into the UK market by Red Star this year.  

Known for representing pioneering soft drinks and disruptive snacking brands, Red Star’s move into alcohol is part of the company’s long-term vision to continue to bring the next generation of brands from around the globe, to a UK-wide consumer.  

Managing director, Clark McIlroy, said: “As many people shifted their on-trade alcohol expenditure to off-trade last year, all the evidence suggests that the new trend for creating occasions at home is here to stay for 2021. Red Star wants to be a part of that by doing what we have always done – introducing innovative, exciting, and authentic food and drink brands from around the world, to British shoppers.”  

Created over a decade ago by three college graduates, Four Loko has established itself as a leading RTD brand in the US, creating ‘Epic Stories’ for millennials and Gen Z consumers. Red Star aims to recreate that success by building the brand through events and experiences aimed at its target consumer, later in the year. 

Clark said: “Within the UK’s growing premium RTD category, Four Loko provides an opportunity within grocery and convenience channels, to offer shoppers the perfect at-home full flavoured ‘pre drink’ solution in a convenient can format.  

“And as World Beer is growing three times faster than lager, the authentic BeerLao brand offers an opportunity for real engagement in the category by attracting new shoppers who are happy to pay more for premium taste and flavour and are drawn to a genuine import brand.”

Red Star launched the premium non-alcoholic cocktail mixer Master of Mixes in 2020 providing the segue from its portfolio of innovative soft drinks to its new alcohol division. 

Clark added: “As off-trade continues to grow and on-premise businesses get back on their feet following a year like no other, it’s great to be offering new and innovative brands to market, which are going to be genuinely exciting for UK consumers.

“Red Star is about brand-building and nurturing relationships to develop these brands within the sales channels and with the retailers. We work with ambitious companies who have something unwaveringly different to offer. 

“Both BeerLao and Four Loko have an established track record within their Asian and US markets, and we’ll be looking to emulate that in the UK as quickly as possible.”