Distributor Q & A

Below you can find a few answers to questions we have gotten from distributors in the past. They may help you in developing the brand you want to launch in your region. Feel free to share your own experiences with us for future reference.

We want to distribute Buss Spirits products in our region? How do we discuss a partnership?

If we start discussing a partnership, some first questions we will have are:

  • Which of our products are you interested in?
  • What kind of distribution you are talking about? Try to give us an insight in how you work. How do or will you distribute, sell, activate the products in your portfolio?
  • What kind of clients do you have? Do you work mainly on-trade or off-trade? Or both?
  • In which regions (countries? provinces? cities?) are you active?
  • How large is your current relevant client portfolio for the product(s) you want to develop?
  • Do you see growth potential for our products in your region? Is there a local trend you can use in your strategy? A hype maybe? A celebrity?
  • Can you give us an idea of the selling price of large competitive brands in your region? (Price benchmark) – At which consumer end-price would you like to position our products in your region?

Based on your logistic model and sales structure we can provide you with a price list of our products.

We are interested in distributing your products, can you send us samples?

We have to slow down the amount of samples we are distributing because this is starting to cost us a lot of money. I hope you understand. Please specify the amount of samples you would need, and of which products precisely?

Our method now is to sell the samples at distributor pricing and when you place the first order for distribution, we will deduct this amount from your first invoice. Does that work for you?

Can you please provide us with a price list of your products for distribution in XXXX (country)?

Thank you for your interest in our products.

You can find our product price list included. I have also added our product sheets for your reference.
Please note that these are distribution prices, so they do not include any taxes or duties and are all ex-warehouse.

Can you provide us with an activation planning of how you want to roll out these products? We may be able to support these activities from our side. Feel free to ask us any questions.

How can Buss Spirits help us with marketing?

Practically, we can help you with:

  • The basic development of POS materials: flyers, postcards, posters, table tents, roll up banners, … –> for this we can deliver our English Adobe Indesign templates (packages with all source images and fonts).

You can have these translated and adapted by any professional designer in your network using Adobe Creative Suite or Creative Cloud.

This means you will have only minimal development costs (translation and print cost) to create your own translated POS materials.

  • Standard gift packages, signature glasses and sample packaging: we can sell you the support materials and packages that we create for our market (always in English) at cost price to facilitate the introduction of our gins in your market.

Again you will have only minimal costs to create a great presentation of the products.


The export price model that you received from us should be giving you a very good profit margin, enabling you to develop brand activation activities in your own region. This marketing budget is actually calculated in your margin. Contact us if you want to discuss this.

If you require us to invest an actual budget in the brand activation of our products in your region, we will renegotiate the price model between us.

In which markets and channels is Buss Spirits selling now?

Our local market is best developed, of course: Belgium and part of the Netherlands: Our key strategy here was on-trade activation. We have good contacts with top bartenders and mixologists and a strong network of specialty store + bar & restaurant clients which we visit regularly (we have a brand ambassador for this purpose) to activate sales, introduce special promotions and introduce new products we are launching. + we have a partnership with a strong distributor that pushes our product through the activities of their own sales team.

Other countries where we are selling our products:

Denmark: we have a distribution deal with Kjaer & Sommerfeldt for Gin, Rum and Tonic.
Hungary: we have a distribution deal with Agria Drink for Gin, Rum and Tonic.
Italy: we are selling gin and tonic via Roby Marton.

We also have recurrent orders from large clients in Germany (Berlin area), France and the UK; and we are trying to set up distribution deals there as well.

There are some sales to tax-free areas via a partner in The Netherlands as well.

How do we start distributing in our own region?

First canvass your market

Logically, starting up a brand demands a specific knowledge of your local sales region. You are in the best position to retrieve this kind of information and to assess the risks. That is your responsibility as a distributor.

We advise you to do your own research on the actual demand and competitor pricing of the product you want to launch. And we advise a somewhat wide range survey of different niches. Do not limit yourself to the places you know or your existing client base, although that is a great place to start.

What are Buss Spirits' experiences in launching a spirit brand in a new region?

It has been our experience that spirits often require a sometimes lengthy on-trade introduction before closing an off-trade retail deal in a second phase. The advantage of spirits is the good profit margin you get from the start, so it is an interesting market to start selling in, even in smaller volumes. This gives you a good incentive to further expand the brand to other channels.

This is not a general rule. The spirits trade in some regions is handled by larger distributors, working mainly on off-trade deals.

We want to distribute the BUSS N°509 gins. How do we start?

The gins we advise to start with are the three top sellers:

  • BUSS N°509 Raspberry Gin – 37,5% – 700ml
  • BUSS N°509 Pink Grapefruit Gin – 40% – 700ml
  • BUSS N°509 White Rain Gin – 50% – 700ml

We call this our central Author Collection and they are great for catering the needs of all sorts of gin drinkers.

  1. The Raspberry is a gateway spirit, an easy introduction for first time gin drinkers. Our most feminine gin.
  1. The White Rain is a real manly and more classic gin. The high alcohol content makes it a real treat for gin connoisseurs.
  1. The Pink Grapefruit is the perfect bitter gin for both men and women.

What are Buss Spirits' experiences in launching a new soft drink brand in a new region?

Launching a soft drink is putting yourself in direct competition with big commercial players (in the case of tonic: Fever Tree and Schweppes) so we advise to work out a strategy that will allow you to position yourself next to them from the start.

Soft drinks in general are volume products and need to go to off-trade a lot quicker because of the smaller profit margins. In Belgium we have seen that our off-trade efforts are actively blocked by our competitors (like Fever Tree and Schweppes) to ban us from selling our tonic at the same locations they are selling their products at. As you may know, Belgium is a small market where these protectionist mechanism of bigger brands are very active.

So for the time being we keep working more on an on-trade level for our tonics, focusing on the premium quality for mixologists, because we can handle the distribution locally. Until we find an opening in the walls that our competitors have built around the off-trade network.

>> the problem with a product like tonic is ‘margin’ because it generally is rather small. It is a true volume product so it is in fact meant for a wide retail distribution where you make money on the large and growing volumes and not on the pure margin. And that is where you can not win the battle with the big brands (schweppes, fever tree) as they will always outbid you in brand activation and event promotion budgets.

  1. To launch a tonic you will need an activation plan that can function parallel to the sales trajectories that the big commercial brands are following.
  2. Or you need a well defined niche that will allow you to quickly expand to other niches and find a gap in the wall to enter the off-trade market.
  3. Or you need a partner that can provide you with large activation budgets to compete with the big commercial brands in the off-trade sales channels.

Volume is crucial.

Can you send us free sample bottles for a tasting event we are organising?

We love the idea of tasting events to introduce new products to your clientele. If we had the means, we would love to help out every bar in the world but we can not just send out free sample goods to anyone that asks us. (Trust us, we get this question ‘a lot’). Our products are not cheap to make or market and shipping costs for small volumes are often steep because of the weight of our products. But more importantly, we do not always have distribution deals lined up for the regions that send us these requests, which will not allow us to realise any follow-up to a one time action such as your event.

So even if your event helps raise brand awareness for our products (which we would love), we can not convert this into recurring sales and will need to disappoint the very people you are serving our products to on you event. We hope you understand our position as a growing brand. We need to be very careful with our investments and focus.

Everything changes if you can hook us up with a distributor that is willing to set up a partnership for your region and wants to start working the area. So feel free to send us your suggestions and before you know it, we might be doing great business together.

But we don’t want to leave you hanging, of course, because we do greatly appreciate your interest. We have done small volume sales to new regions for similar tasting events and offered our products at a reduced price for that specific order to make it worthwhile for all involved. Let us know if this option might interest you and we will provide you with a price model. Try to give us an idea of how many bottles of each product you would like to order. Then you can still decide if you think it is a good deal.

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