Bundaberg Brewed Drinks broadens footprint through PepsiCo distribution partnership

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Bundaberg general manager of sales, Derika Legg, says the PepsiCo partnership is 'the ideal next step' for the company.
Bundaberg general manager of sales, Derika Legg, says the PepsiCo partnership is 'the ideal next step' for the company.
Australia's Bundaberg Brewed Drinks has entered a distribution partnership with PepsiCo, bringing its craft sodas to more than 400,000 US stores, restaurants, and bars later this month.

Bundaberg will remain a separate business entity, and will continue as a family-owned company, craft brewing beverages in Bundaberg, Australia.

The company brews its drinks over three days to capture the flavor of its main ingredients like ginger and blood orange. Its label instructs consumers to ‘Flip, Rip and Sip’ by first turning the amber-colored bottle upside down to disperse the cloudy sediment at the bottom and then use the unique rip-top cap to open the beverage.

The PepsiCo distribution agreement includes six varieties of Bundaberg: ginger beer, diet ginger beer, root beer, blood orange, peach, and guava sold for a suggested retail price of $6.99 for a 4-pack.  

Betting on craft soda trend

As the traditional carbonated soft drinks market continues to decrease, craft soda was up 3.1% year-over-year at the end of 2017, according to SPINS IRI data. Playing into this premium, craft trend, Bundaberg has become the fifth best-selling ginger beer in the US and No.1 selling brand in California, shown by SPINS IRI data for the 52 weeks ending Jan. 28, 2018.

“We’ve built our own distribution network globally but given the rapidly growing demand of the US consumer base seeking craft-brewed beverages, this was the ideal next step for Bundaberg,”​ Derika Legg, general manager of sales, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, said.

The US appetite for premium, craft beverages has helped position Bundaberg’s soda line as a “sophisticated alternative”​ to conventional CSDs or a quality cocktail mixer – according to Bundaberg, the popularity of the Moscow Mule cocktail has fueled ginger beer sales in recent years.

“Premiumization is a concept that has affected consumer perceptions in other categories including spirits, beer, and fast food. Similar changes are now occurring in carbonated soft drinks, with adult consumers seeking more premium products that are a bit more special; drinks to be savored,”​ Legg added.

PepsiCo said the partnership will help support its focus on the craft soda trend, having launched Stubborn Soda and 1893 premium soda lines in 2016.

“Craft continues to be an important category for us,” ​Scott Finlow, PepsiCo global foodservice vice president of insights and innovation, said.

“Bundaberg delivers on what US 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.”

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