Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2018 Contents 74 | FEBRUARY 2018 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
JOHN KOLLARAS, MANAGING DIRECTOR
KOLLARAS & CO
WHAT WERE THE HIGHLIGHTS FOR
KOLLARS & CO IN 2017?
2017 was an excellent year for Kollaras
& Co on many fronts. We are particularly
excited that our brands have really started to
gain well deserved attention in industry and
non-industry media recording great results in
blind tasting and recommendation panels. The
past 12 months also saw us really focus on
clarifying what Kollaras is about, culminating
in the launch of our new website to make our
business model much more accessible to our
customers and consumers.
WHAT WERE THE MAJOR
CHALLENGES YOU FACED IN 2017?
We have really had to think about how we
go to market and how we best communicate
our value proposition as an organisation, and
how we ensure our brands deliver a point of
difference to our customers in a market that
is so busy. Our business has evolved from a
focus in the domestic market largely driven
by a wholesale offer to a brand solution led
offer, keeping an eye on how effective we are
in this space is an important challenge for us to
remain aware of.
As an exporter and national operator,
we have also found the NSW CDS to be
very challenging. As I write this, we are still
concerned with the significant impact this will
cause our export (cruise and international)
business on the basis that the regulatory
framework that supports the CDS lacks a great
deal of foresight and detail.
WHAT SEPARATES KOLLARAS & CO
FROM ITS COMPETITORS IN THE
RETAIL LIQUOR INDUSTRY?
Our business model is unique in many ways;
we are unique because at our core we start by
working backwards from a customer need – we
overuse the term ‘solutions specialist’ in our
business, but really, that is what we are. We
are unique in the sense that we create an offer,
be it a product portfolio or a service model,
completely based on what our customer needs.
We are passionate about bringing the right
brands, products and producers together
to service our clients, and the ever-evolving
demands of consumers. We understand the
importance of providing our customers with
a point of difference, so that shoppers are
motivated to visit stores and spend – not just
once, but continuously. Our brands are an
important piece of what sets us apart. We help
deliver success and prosperity to retailers,
whose own success we depend on.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIG
TRENDS FOR 2018, AND HOW WILL
KOLLARAS & CO ADDRESS THOSE?
We certainly agree with the general view that
premiumisation is a real trend but we aren’t
seeing it just in price. We see it happening
across all price points and are responding
with a focus on encouraging our customers to
experiment with products that are meeting the
needs of a more open-minded consumer.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MAJOR
OPPORTUNITES FOR KOLLARAS &
CO OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?
The broader Kollaras Group includes business
units which we see as very complementary to
our beverage business. A pocket of growth in
our liquor business over the last 12 months
has been our tobacco offer, our owned
tobacco brands through sister company TIC
have delivered excellent results on the P&C
and grocery channels and this success is being
recognised by many of our liquor customers.
Watch this space as we really focus on
bringing this offer to more customers over the
next 12 months.
Perhaps most excitingly is our focus on
independent exclusive beer brands. We talk
about being solution led in our business, and the
launch of Indie has already been a real success.
HOW WOULD YOU SAY THE RETAIL
LIQUOR LANDSCAPE HAS EVOLVED
IN RECENT TIMES?
We notice that our customers are asking for
more category lead and consumer insight
driven solutions which we are very focused
on. In the independent trade particularly,
our customers are also asking us to spend
more time to talk through our findings and
recommendations with them.
In our industry, it seems most are spending less
time in venues due to the expense in doing so.
Our business has been very focused on countering
this trend by investing significantly in customer
contact over recent years, to really improve our
ability to respond to our customers’ needs. We
are also using this to help drive better outcomes
on our portfolios that are exclusive to the
independent channel which significantly improves
margins for our customers.
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