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  • #978508
    JoshSt80
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    Importing Beverage for Distribution (Steps? Risks? etc)

    G’Day All,

    I’m currently looking at importing a well known non-alcoholic beverage into Australia which is well established in the USA & UK. I’m currently in discussions with the company/manufacturer in relation to obtaining exclusive distribution rights within Australia.

    However, I have absolutely no experience in the beverage sales arena whatsoever.

    As this is the case, I’m thinking the best way forward is speaking with experienced beverage distributors within Australia to see if they are interested in distributing the product. The company I’m dealing with is happy for me to name my business name the same as theirs, however mine being the “Australian arm” of their international business.

    I’m thinking when presenting my business name to the beverage distributors and showing them a sample, business plan, etc then it’ll kick off from there.

    I’ve obviously missed a lot of initial implementation/setup points and I’d love for anybody here to give me some pointers.

    Thanks!
    Josh.

    #1107623
    Avatar Consulting
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    • Total posts: 151
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    Selling beer in Australia

    Hi

    I wish you the best of luck as you have a lot of hard work ahead of you. With no beer sales experience you are right behind the 8-ball.

    Potential clients wont really care about your business plan, but they will care about: price of supply and timing to get order in sufficient quantities.

    You may not know this but pubs & hotels have strict territory supply contracts with current beer products and are not easily broken as the big beer sellers will fight hard to stop you taking market share. And I do mean fight real hard.

    You will need to show potential clubs that customers will want the beer and this will mean giving away hundreds of bottles/cans for free taste testing at many locations.

    Hope you have factored this in your costing of selling your beer products. The International company you are doing business with wont care if you go broke, because they have little investment in this venture as you are putting up all the money to advertise their product for them.

    I would advise you seek financial, legal and business advice before spending any money going ahead on this idea.

    #1107624
    Wolven Logistics
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    Sounds Fantastic and good luck!

    If you need help of advice on your supply chain (Importing, Distributing, Transpot etc) let me know and ill help where i can.

    Kind Regards,
    Ben Holmes
    CEO
    http://www.wolvenlogistics.com.au

    #1107625
    JoshSt80
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    • Total posts: 4
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    Re: Selling beer in Australia

    Hi Mate,

    Thanks for the advice however, I’ll be looking at obtaining exclusive distribution rights for a non-alcoholic drink, not alcohol/beer!

    What you said is all relevant I’d imagine anyhow, thanks :)

    Avatar Consulting, post: 119425 wrote:
    Hi

    I wish you the best of luck as you have a lot of hard work ahead of you. With no beer sales experience you are right behind the 8-ball.

    Potential clients wont really care about your business plan, but they will care about: price of supply and timing to get order in sufficient quantities.

    You may not know this but pubs & hotels have strict territory supply contracts with current beer products and are not easily broken as the big beer sellers will fight hard to stop you taking market share. And I do mean fight real hard.

    You will need to show potential clubs that customers will want the beer and this will mean giving away hundreds of bottles/cans for free taste testing at many locations.

    Hope you have factored this in your costing of selling your beer products. The International company you are doing business with wont care if you go broke, because they have little investment in this venture as you are putting up all the money to advertise their product for them.

    I would advise you seek financial, legal and business advice before spending any money going ahead on this idea.

    #1107626
    JoshSt80
    Member
    • Total posts: 4
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    What I need to ascertain are the typical steps from obtaining exclusive distribution rights to approaching the distributor.. what is the most common way to go about it?

    #1107627
    Avatar Consulting
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    • Total posts: 151
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    Selling imported products

    Sorry Josh, got your product mixed up with another in the forum.

    Most of what I replied will still count, as the beverage industry runs by the same rules and territory contracts.

    One thing I didnt mention and is important for beverage distribution is the product testing records to show it meets Australian food safety regulations and is allowed to be sold here in the first place.

    #1107628
    JoshSt80
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    • Total posts: 4
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    Re: Selling imported products

    Not a problem, thought it was quite relevant.

    The manufacturer has sent me some samples in order to get product testing/health approval however, who deals with this? How do I apply to get the product looked at, etc?

    Thanks.

    Avatar Consulting, post: 119535 wrote:
    Sorry Josh, got your product mixed up with another in the forum.

    Most of what I replied will still count, as the beverage industry runs by the same rules and territory contracts.

    One thing I didnt mention and is important for beverage distribution is the product testing records to show it meets Australian food safety regulations and is allowed to be sold here in the first place.

    #1107629
    Tall Trees Eco Store
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    Hey Josh,

    I own a lounge bar so I hope I can give some advice from someone who is at the end of the line.

    I think you will need to speak with independent wholesalers and distributors. The major guys won’t touch it unless it already has some street cred. Unless there is some marketing behind it and base sales figures in Australia, the big distributors will see it as a hard sell to the bars and clubs. Just because it’s big overseas doesn’t mean it will be just as big in Australia. And honestly, if they see value, they’ll just look at cutting out the middle man.

    You’ll most probably have to do the initial leg work, perhaps a marketing team and build brand following. You can’t sell it to wholesaler based on how well it has done o/s. So you’ll need to develop point of sale eg. it may mix well with a certain spirit or is perfect in some cocktail.

    I say this because I’ve seen plenty of products come through the industry. Some successful and some not so. When a product is presented to me, I want to see POS and I want to see brand support (on going marketing). The wholesalers won’t want to do this for you. And I’m not going to stock a new product if no one knows about it.

    This may not answer any of your questions but I hope it gives a some insight from a bar owner.

    I don’t know what the product is but you can have non-al bev contracts. I’m contracted with Schweppes (Pepsi) therefore I have to be very careful with any Coke products.

    Good luck! :)

    #1107630
    Blue Horizon
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    • Total posts: 6
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    Re: Importing Beverage for Distribution (Steps? Risks? etc)

    JoshSt80, post: 119417 wrote:
    G’Day All,

    I’m currently looking at importing a well known non-alcoholic beverage into Australia which is well established in the USA & UK. I’m currently in discussions with the company/manufacturer in relation to obtaining exclusive distribution rights within Australia.

    However, I have absolutely no experience in the beverage sales arena whatsoever.

    As this is the case, I’m thinking the best way forward is speaking with experienced beverage distributors within Australia to see if they are interested in distributing the product. The company I’m dealing with is happy for me to name my business name the same as theirs, however mine being the “Australian arm” of their international business.

    I’m thinking when presenting my business name to the beverage distributors and showing them a sample, business plan, etc then it’ll kick off from there.

    I’ve obviously missed a lot of initial implementation/setup points and I’d love for anybody here to give me some pointers.

    Thanks!
    Josh.

    Hi Josh, this is great to hear, I love it when people finally take that step into entrepreneurship. Have you thought of Business Plan in detail (ie customers, distributors, marketing channel, premises etc?) Also the legal vehicle of the company is important ie company v sole trader.

    At Blue Horizon we specialize in helping startups getting off the ground including:

    • setup of new business and incorporation
    • Construct Business Plan and Strategy & Budget
    • Legal and Regulatory lodgements
    • Business Coaching and advice

    Call for a free consultation or email with specific queries. Either way all the best.

    Santonu Ahmed
    Blue Horizon Financial Solutions
    Partner
    P: 02 8001 6209
    E: [email protected]
    W: http://www.bhfs.com.au

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