Dunns spices up with acquisition

Deal helps wholesaler to beef up premium spirits offer

Acquisition trail: Dunns MD, Jim Rowan.
Acquisition trail: Dunns MD, Jim Rowan.

DUNNS Food & Drinks, the Lanarkshire-based delivered wholesaler, has moved into the realm of premium and small-batch spirits with the acquisition of specialist spirits supplier Hotsauce Drinks.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, has seen the five-strong Hotsauce team relocate to Dunns’ Blantyre headquarters, where they have begun trading as Hotsauce at Dunns.

Hotsauce founder Michael Lovedale is working with the firm for a time to oversee the transition before leaving to pursue other interests.

Speaking to SLTN, Dunns managing director, Jim Rowan, said the acquisition is the company’s latest move to develop specialist expertise in response to changing demand in the licensed trade. It follows Dunns’ acquisition of craft beer supplier Dameck in 2014.

He said the deal will benefit existing Dunns customers, as well as those dealing with Hotsauce.

“They (Hotsauce customers) will see a greater range of products,” said Rowan.

“They’ll have more access to different lines. They’ll see more competitive pricing – we’re bigger so we have critical mass. And the level of service will be better because we’ve got more delivery options. At the moment Hotsauce delivers three times a week. We deliver six times a week.

“So there’s an opportunity for customers to get an expanded delivery service and expanded range of products.

“Hotsauce is a well-kept secret and we want to expand it and open it up to other people. We also want to open it up to our own customers. Some of our customers don’t have an expansive cocktail list – and this will allow them to access a range and recipes online to allow them to get that list.

“So it’s a three-pronged thing: better service, better pricing and more access to a bigger range.”

And the Hotsauce acquisition is unlikely to be Dunns’ last.

Rowan stated that the firm is “very much on the acquisition trail” and will be looking to add a specialist wine supplier to its books in the future.