Australian-owned Bundaberg Brewed Drinks is taking a major step in global growth plans through a newly announced distribution partnership with PepsiCo that will significantly increase U.S. distribution for the craft-brewed beverage brand, making it available in more than 400,000 stores, restaurants and bars across the U.S.
The partnership comes as the craft beverage industry continues to grow, largely driven by millennials searching for new beverage experiences and authentic brands, quality ingredients, and thoughtful production. The craft beverage sector was up 3.1% as of January 2018, according to SPINS data, with the category expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2020. Craft sodas are redefining the carbonated soft drink market by providing an elevated consumer experience, either as a sophisticated alternative or as a quality cocktail mixer.
“We’ve built our own distribution network globally, but given the rapidly growing demand of the U.S. consumer base seeking craft-brewed beverages, this was the ideal next step for Bundaberg,” said Derika Legg, general manager of sales for Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, in a release. “PepsiCo is a great partner because they believe in the growth of the category and have world-class national distribution capabilities that will allow us to make our products available to many more people.”
Bundaberg, which said it is the No. 5 ginger beer in the U.S., is seeking accelerated U.S. sales through the increased distribution made possible by the partnership.
“Within PepsiCo’s broad food and beverage portfolio, craft continues to be an important category for us,” Scott Finlow, PepsiCo’s global foodservice VP of insights and innovation. “Bundaberg delivers on what U.S. consumers are seeking, and by leveraging the strength and scale of our national distribution network, we are able to get Bundaberg’s iconic ginger beer and other refreshing beverages onto shelves and into the hands of people across the country.”
Bundaberg will remain a separate business entity, and will continue as a family-owned company.