John Heynen, sales director, Molson Coors, called for the sector to unite to help independent retailers understand their USP (unique selling point) and illustrated his presentation with two initiatives undertaken by his company.
The first is exploiting the opportunity for independent retailers to increase their sales by offering cold beer, which he said could drive an extra one million shoppers into stores. He said it was a very simple concept but one that was right for the local independent store.
The second opportunity was attracting more women to drink beer. He said that by 2010 women would be drinking more than men but the beer industry had done an “appalling job at targeting that half of the population”, with less than one in ten women drinking beer at home.
In response Molson Coors has set up a business unit, called Bitter Sweet, entirely staffed by women.
Heynan said: “If we can get just half of the 18-34 year old women who do not drink beer currently to buy one four-pack from an independent outlet that’s pound;160m of sales.”