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Tuesday, 19 April 2022

How to Develop and Launch a Drink Brand

'How to develop and launch a drink brand’, the new book by Food and Beverage expert Richard Horwell is published on 21st March. 

The book is a definitive guide to launching a drink in the UK; a step-by-step guide covering everything from the idea to getting on the shelf in retailers. It will show you all the pitfalls and all the shortcuts. 

Since the pandemic there has been a huge increase in interest in food and drink, even the most unlikely brands have received considerable inward investment! Employees working from home and lining up at the supermarket have realised this is the industry they want to be in.

Our awareness and interest in health and wellness has grown and so has the Wellness and Functional Drinks sector. All this has led to a flood of new drink brands hoping to launch into this market, and swathe of entrepreneurs deciding this is the business they want to focus on. In short, it seems everyone wants to know how to create and launch a drink brand.

‘How to develop and launch a drink brand’ is there to answer the most common questions and help budding drink entrepreneurs get off on the right foot.

Drawing on over 30 years’ experience in the industry and having been behind the launch of over 130 brands, Richard Horwell shares his insights into the industry and what aspiring entrepreneurs need to know before they start spending any money on creating a new drink brand.

The book covers:

- Market Research
- Recipe Development
- Branding
- Packaging and Production
- Marketing to Buyers
- Export.

If you are thinking of getting into the Food & Drink Industry, you need to read this book.

It all seems so simple when you see drinks on the shelf or the ‘rise to fame’ of brands such as Red Bull. But it isn’t. Successful brands have years of hard work behind them before they appear on your radar and behind this there has been a lot of money and heartache. This book is the inside guide to what you need to do and know, if you are to have any chance of success in this very competitive world.

“I have been in FMCG for most of my life, having lived and worked in the UK, USA, Australia and the Middle East, I have had successful brands of my own that have sold, and also seen the downfall, of many great brands. I wrote this book to help budding entrepreneurs understand the journey they are about to embark on; knowledge is power, and the advice here will give you the best chance of success.” said the book’s author Richard Horwell.

Case Study: Launching a Canned Wine Brand and The Copper Crew

There has been a boom in canned wines, say Richard, with convenience being the driving factor.

But for a start-up there are a lot of issues you need to consider. Firstly you will be competing against big players with well-known brand names and very deep pockets. Secondly, to sell alcohol in the UK you need to be AWRS registered with HMRC and they don’t take this lightly, they look for well-funded businesses that have the infrastructure to be successful. Ultimately, it all comes down to money, so you need a lot more of it to launch a canned wine than you would in most other categories 

My feeling is that the trend will be flavoured wines. More flavoured wines will start to appear in cans as adaptations of Aperol Spritz or Kir Royal. There will also be more wine-based ready to drink cocktails in a can rather than just an unknown wine in a can.

The Copper Crew first launched their business in early 2020 - just as the country went into lockdown. 

A management consultant, academic and winemaker team, they had originally planned to build a word-of-mouth buzz and generate sales from attending outdoor events, such as concerts and festivals.

Forced to switch to an online-only model, they won awards and gained positive reviews from Jancis Robinson, Joe Wadsack and Ruth Spivey.

Their range was launched with a a white and rosé initially with the strapline: Not for the cellar. For everywhere else. A red and a special edition Sauvignon Blanc then followed to round out the offering.

Founder Oli says:

There is good growth in this sector but it is coming from a low base. The most explosive growth within drinks is found in RTDs in the UK; hard Seltzers are over-hyped and there has been significant stock shedding from big producers. However, the growth still remains rapid.

A lot of thinking in this space from conversations I've had with producers is you've got to just get out there and gain market share then worry about making money.

Convenience is a significant factor in the growth behind canned wine, but we've found the number 1 driver to be portion control. Therefore, canned wine has a perhaps unexpected resonance with older age demographics (50-80). Many of these consumers are actually more opened minded than people (younger age demographics) just getting into wine.

On a practical front, there many, many issues we faced as a start-up in this space and the biggest has been cashflow. In our business it's a tricky balance and is often the critical thing is simply keeping the lights on.

I think any book on setting up a drinks business must go through the fundamentals of accounting for duty and invoice financing

Book details

The book is available from Amazon and all good bookshops, plus direct from the Brand Relations website www.brandrelations.co.uk

The Author

Richard Horwell is the owner of Brand Relations, a specialist food and drink marketing and branding company based in London.

Over the last 14 years, Brand Relations has been behind the launch and development of over 130 brands in the UK. Richard has also built up and sold companies of his own in the Food and Beverage sector. He has over 30 years’ experience in marketing FMCG brands around the world, having lived and worked in the UK, USA, Australia and the Middle East.

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