Me and My Brand: Wayne Thompson on new Barista Coffee Co.

Wayne Thompson, Business Unit Controller for Out of Home at FrieslandCampina, tells Asian Trader about new Barista Coffee Co.

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Can you please give an overview of your brand?

FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s largest dairy cooperatives, wholly-owned by 18,000 member farmers across the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. It has offices in 34 countries and employs over 23,000 people worldwide. In the UK, FrieslandCampina is best-known for YAZOO milk drinks and has recently introduced a number of private-label drinks, luxury chocolate milk drink Chocomel and brand-new Barista Coffee Co, a delicious on-the-go coffee drink.

How is your brand currently performing?

With a total product portfolio worth over £65m [IRI], we continue to innovate the soft drinks category and pull out all the stops to deliver brand-new and exciting offerings to UK retailers and wholesalers. Barista Coffee Co. only launched last month, and has already been incredibly successful, achieving 10 contracts, making it an absolute FrieslandCampina must stock.

Our new coffee drink appeals to people looking for an affordable cold coffee that doesn’t compromise on taste. Packaged in a stylish can, the product is guaranteed to stand out on shelf and tap into the ever growing on-the-go market.

How is the soft drinks market currently performing?

The soft drinks category is worth £8.5bn and continuing to grow. This is being led by health and premiumisation trends. Retailers need to ensure they offer choice to meet these different consumer needs.

Our trusted reputation comes from many years of hard work to build the confidence of retailers and shoppers alike. As the nation’s number one flavoured milk drink the brand has a responsibility to produce a product that is high quality and reliable and we’ve done this time and time again.

What marketing support do you currently have for your brand?

We’ve got a solid marketing spend to invest in the brand this year, however our priority has always been ensuring a strong product offering at a competitive price point. As a new brand we’ve prioritised securing listings and put into developing a product we’re sure will be a really attractive offering for retailer and customers. We’ll keep you posted with our marketing campaigns for 2020, and how we’ll be aiming to drive more shoppers in store.

Tell us about your latest new product development?

Coffee growth is stronger than ever before in convenience. RTD coffee (+30%) is rapidly outpacing growth in the total soft drinks market, up 9% [IRI, Kantar]. So, we took initiative and launched a ready-to-drink coffee.

Initially launching in two flavours of 250ml; traditional Caffe Latte, and Caramel Latte, we have plans to release more flavours before the end of the year.

Taking a strategic decision to launch Barista was a no-brainer; moving into this occasion firmly cements the company’s position as one that prioritises its partners and actively seeks to grow the category.

Most RTD coffees are at quite a high price point, but we’ve created a product priced at £1 – this outprices the competition while the product boasts the highest quality and standards.

How important are independent retailers to your brand?

Hugely important. Convenience and independent stores are our heartland, and we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in without them. We’ve worked incredibly closely with them to establish ourselves since we launched YAZOO over 30 years ago.

Today with our brand-new Barista Coffee Co, our commitment still lies with our retailers. We’re ensuring they have the best category advice to see their soft drink sales soar and that they’ve got the tools they need to sell soft drinks successfully, and drive profitability.

Our relationships with retailers help us build trust with shoppers – if you deliver consistently on quality and in store sup- port, they are more likely to stock any new product launches. Consumers are also more likely to repeat purchase from trusted brands that they know deliver on quality every time, like FrieslandCampina, leading to increased basket spends.

What three words would you use to describe your brand?

Innovative, premium, affordable.