Consumers 'drinking less but better' says KBE COO

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Rebranding: KBE COO Shaun Goode (pictured) has big plans for the drinks distribution company
Rebranding: KBE COO Shaun Goode (pictured) has big plans for the drinks distribution company

Related tags Beer Spirits Branding + marketing

Distribution business KBE Drinks has set out a five-year strategy to bring its premium brands, such as Kingfisher and Yeastie Boys, into the forefront of the on trade as consumers desire for premiumisation continues to grow, according to the company’s chief operating officer (COO), Shaun Goode.

Since he took over as COO of KBE Drinks two years ago, Goode has set about reinstating KBE’s strategy with the on trade and aimed for sales within the organisation to double over the next few years, starting with a rebranding campaign for one of its flagship products, Kingfisher beer.

He said: “[We’ve had] to look at the different streams in which we were operating and move into new incremental revenue streams, focusing in different sales channels.

“Historically, with a brand like Kingfisher, it's been very much centred in the British curry channel.

New drinking occasions

“We're fortunate enough to inherit a new branding, but then for us, it was a new proposition of how do we take Kingfisher into the on trade pubs and bars channel to create new drinking occasions for the brand when, historically, consumers would have only engaged with it accompanying Indian food, whether that be at home, or out in the trade? So that's the large focus.”

This comes as last month KBE entered the spirits category for the first time, with the launch of its premium Makai Spiced Polynesian Rum​, the first of many new projects in the pipeline according to the COO.

Goode said: “We needed new revenue streams for KBE drinks as a business and spirits is a category we hadn't worked in previously, but for us, we needed to decide what was the first brand we wanted to create within their spirits category and it was only through the consumer insights and trends we were looking into that we decided on the rum​ proposition.

“However, we were very conscious to be credible as a distributor, we needed to have other spirit brands; we now have five spirits within your organisation but a general premiumisation in the on trade, across all categories, is something we're seeing without question.”

Furthermore, Goode stated this growing consumer desire for premiumisation​ in the on trade, meant it was “critical” KBE continued to support its pub customers by offering a range able to make the most of this trend.

Drinking less but better 

He added: “We’ve been looking into insights and trends as to where the consumer is looking to go post pandemic.

“It’s about ensuring [pubs] have the range available for all drinking occasions and they're giving consumers the opportunity to trade up.

“Ensuring [pubs] have a range available which enables [them] to take advantage of that retail selling​ price opportunity​ and occasion is absolutely critical going forward.

“’Drinking less but better’ is a phrase we're all getting to understand and it's something we're seeing on a day-to-day basis.”

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