A social enterprise, which supports the armed forces, has secured the largest ever listing of its kind with a national supermarket.

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 per cent of all profits to UK Armed Forces’ causes: The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, RAF Benevolent Fund and ABF The Soldier's Charity.

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.”

Supported by social enterprise

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.

Asda partnership

 “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.”

Heroes Drinks Company is the second social enterprise to be listed with the supermarket, following the introduction of Brewgooder in November 2016.