VOSS Growth Story:
In the U.S. (the company’s primary market), VOSS’ high-end brand presence is strongest in on-premise locations -specifically, top-of-the-line restaurants, hotels, and clubs. The brand has only recently begun penetrating the off-premise channel. In June 2007, Ole Christian Sandberg, VOSS’ founder and Head of U.S. Operations is considering how to grow the brand. The key question is whether VOSS should increase its distribution in the off-premise channel: Will this diminish VOSS’ high-end brand cachet? A related question is whether VOSS should begin expanding its portfolio by offering, for example, flavored water for the rapidly-evolving U.S. bottled water market. VOSS maintains it super-premium image through grass roots marketing and public relations and a Focused distribution approach that maximizes brand presence in accounts that reinforce what the brand is about. VOSS has a very low mineral content, giving it apure & clean taste.
VOSS over the last 6 years had accomplished the following:
- Built one of the strongest On-Premise distribution platforms for premium beverages in the US
- A customer base of 8,000 high-end accounts in the US and more than 1,000 in 30 other geographies
- Built the fastest growing premium water brand in the on-premise segment in the US
- Perceived as the most exclusive water brand worldwide
- A CAGR of more than 82% from 2001 to 2006 in revenues
New Challenges: 2008-2009 Recession
For the better part of the 2000’s, Voss was focused on brand-building and growth, rather than optimizing profitability. As a result, when the global foodservice industry and hospitality markets experienced a meaningful contraction during the global recession in 2008 and 2009, Voss’ on-premise business, like many others, was impacted by the challenging macroeconomic environment, leading to a substantial sales decline in 2009. To meet this challenge, Voss’ Board of Directors concluded that the Company should adapt by establishing a more balanced business model across both on-premise and retail channels, and implement a new focus on profitable growth. As a critical first step towards these objectives, Voss conducted a search for a new CEO with significant retail expertise and a track record of success building brands in the beverage industry.
New Era of Leadership: 2010 to Current
In early 2010, Voss hired Jack Belsito, former CEO of Snapple Beverage Group at Cadbury plc. Mr. Belsito recognized the exceptional brand equity to be leveraged, but also the scope of changes necessary to achieve the Company’s objectives. From the outset, he began to implement strategic initiatives across all aspects of the Company’s operations and activities, including its product offerings, branding, sales, marketing, supply chain and distribution infrastructure, among others, to reposition the Company for profitable growth.