Scottish wholesaler buys craft beer specialist

Dunns Food and Drinks Ltd, the Blantyre, Lanarkshire-based delivered wholesaler and soft drinks manufacturer, today announced that it has acquired craft and world beer specialist Dameck Drinks Scotland for an undisclosed sum.

Jim Rowan, managing director of Dunns, said that the buy was part of the company’s strategy to strengthen its product portfolio and achieve a £25m turnover in 2015.

“Craft and world beer is a highly specialised category and as Dameck is already selling over 1,200 craft and world beer products into the Scottish on-trade, this acquisition will allow us access to a customer base and market sector in which we have little presence,” Rowan said.

Currently boasting a £22m turnover, Dunns, which is Scotland’s oldest drinks wholesaler (it was founded in 1875) takes control of the Bathgate-based business tomorrow (July 31) with its managing director Danny McGeough and his four-strong team transferring to Blantyre from where Dameck will operate as a standalone business for two to three months.

Rowan continued: “Dameck shares the same values as Dunns offering customers excellent products and service at competitive pricing, so this acquisition is a perfect for us given these synergies. We’re also delighted that Danny McGeough and his team will continue to introduce and develop innovative product ranges.”

Privately-owned Dunns, which has invested £100,000 in a new IT system to improve customer service and embarked on a £250,000 refurbishment of its 70,000 sq ft depot and offices in Blantyre, provides a one-stop shop for the licensed and foodservice sectors in Scotland.

A further £160,000 is being invested in the company’s 26-strong fleet while Dunns has also committed to invest around £40,000 on staff training and development over the next two years. Dunns has recently launched its own Wine Academy and become a member of The Society of Vintners in order to broaden its portfolio of world wines and provide customers with better deals and exclusive ranges.

“We’ve invested heavily in our people, IT and plant to enhance our offering in a competitive marketplace,” said Rowan. “Collaboration with suppliers has enabled us to expand our spirits portfolio and by joining the Country Range buying group we have bolstered our range of food and non-food ranges.

“However, there is a growing consumer desire for niche products, thus our decision to acquire a business which has specialist knowledge in the rapidly developing sector of craft beers. Despite an overall decline in UK beer consumption, the craft brewing sector has enjoyed growth craft beer and is a long way off from maturity. This is an exciting time for Dunns.”

The investment in Dameck comes after Dunns’ announcement that it would be investing £300,000 in a two-year marketing campaign for its flagship soft drink, Currie’s Red Kola.

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