Heroes Drinks Company, a spirit-producing social enterprise, is now stocking its premium British wheat grain vodka in selected Asda stores. Consumers can be confident that when they purchase Heroes Vodka in one of the 350 stores they will be helping support worthy causes at the same time as Heroes Drink Company is pledging to donate a minimum of 20% of all profits to UK Armed Forces’ causes. Chris Gillan, founder and military veteran, of Heroes Drinks Company, said: “The opportunity afforded to Heroes Drinks by Asda is simply incredible and I am grateful for their overwhelming support.
“The scale of opportunity has enabled Heroes Drinks to launch a super-premium vodka at an incredible price and the significant increase in sales will not only fast-track our ambitions of employing disadvantaged veterans nationwide but also greatly increase our financial support to our partnering charities.”
In 2015, Heroes Drinks Company became the first non-profit organisation in the alcohol sector and is founded on the mission of supporting the UK armed forces family and providing work placement programmes for former servicemen and women who have struggled with the transition to civilian life. Having established a relationship with Social Investment Scotland (SIS), the team participated in the first Asda Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy.
Funded through proceeds of the carrier bag charge, Asda’s Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy was launched in 2016, in partnership with SIS, with the aim of offering guidance to entrepreneurs on working with large retailers, as well as increasing the availability of social enterprise products for ethically-minded consumers, all during a series of workshops across a four day period.
Heroes Drinks also received access to a £100,000 loan from the Asda Community Capital scheme as well as a further £150,000 of finance from SIS, meaning that in just two years, Chris has been able to take Heroes Vodka from creation to a national supermarket listing.
“As one of the largest national listings of its kind, Heroes Drinks is a fantastic example of the benefits in working together with innovative social enterprises to make ethical and high-quality products more readily available to consumers,” added Heather Turnbull, buying manager for Asda.
“Our partnership with SIS is providing tangible results and continues to ensure that money generated by customers through the carrier bag charge is responsibly re-invested in charities such as those committed to supporting the UK armed forces’ community.”
Alastair Davis, chief executive at Social Investment Scotland, commented: “By promoting social enterprise products as viable alternatives to their commercial counterparts, we have a fantastic opportunity to significantly increase the revenues raised by the sector and, in turn, create much more sustainable and long term income for good causes.
“Asda’s partnership with SIS to deliver the UK’s first Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy is helping provide access to organisations like Heroes Drinks Company to the support, advice and investment they need to grow and supply a large retailer. We are looking forward to the second Academy this summer ,which will open for applications soon.”
Heroes Drinks Company is the second social enterprise to be listed with the supermarket, following the introduction of Brewgooder in November 2016.