High-end cider brand Zeffer Cider has begun its transition to a more global brand, and it's putting the focus on Asia.
Zeffer Cider was founded in 2009 in Matakana, where it quickly tapped into the cider boom and gained momentum and popularity due to its use of fresh locally grown produce.
Now after eight years the popular brand is launching a Snowball Effect capital offer of up to $1.2 million to help fund its Asian export strategy.
Josh Townsend, sales and marketing director for Zeffer Cider, has been involved with the company since 2011 and says that now is the opportune time for Asian export.
“We have existing distribution partners in the Asian market. But we have recently signed with a leading Chinese distributor.”
Townsend says that they are involved with one of the largest craft beer importers and the partnership was a catalyst for the $1.2 million capital raising.
“[The capital] is largely being used to fund sales and growth by domestically and abroad. We’re putting three representatives on the ground in Asia.”
The investment by Zeffer Cider will not only focus on sales and growth but will help with brand building initiatives in our focus export markets..
“We will be looking into digital marketing oppurtunities and how we can best support our sales team on the ground.”
Zeffer is part of the Quench Collective and is sold in high-end bars, cafes, and restaurants around New Zealand, as well as in New World, Glengarry Countdown and Liquorland. Last quarter, it was the fastest growing cider brand in grocery, growing at 75 percent in the same period as last year.
Townsend says that New Zealand is an important market to build the brand and remain a core focus. Also stating that the company is expecting exports and domestic sales to be evenly split in three years."
“Export growth benefits us through increased revenue and profit margins but New Zealand is a great place to establish a premium brand."
Zeffer Cider started in Matakana but is about to make the shift down to Hawke's Bay. The company has no plans to take manufacturing out of the country.
“It’s important to us to keep our production in New Zealand,” says Townsend. “ ...We aim to stay true to out New Zealand branding and don't intend to change this."
The brand, which already exports to nine markets, currently sees the China and Thailand markets as having the most oppurtunity to the business.
“The midterm goal is to build export to over 50 percent of revenue in three years. And we are aiming for export sales to account for $3 million of revenue by 2020.”
Josh Townsend, sales and marketing director for Zeffer Cider