Welcome to our monthly Q&A series, where we sit down with a member of the Badger team to quiz them on everything from their favourite beer to their perfect holiday.
This February, we sat down with Senior National Account Manager, Amanda Beer, to find out more about her background, time with Badger, and discover what a standard working day looks like for a NAM in the alcohol industry. Here’s what she had to say…
I have worked at Hall & Woodhouse for nearly a year and within the brewing industry for most of my career. My role has always been within the Off Trade area, managing the likes of Tesco and Waitrose, to name a few customers. I spent 20 years working at Shepherd Neame and in January 21 I was approached by a small brewery called West Berkshire Brewery, so I left and joined the small team at WBB in May 21. After working there for 6 months it became very apparent that it wasn’t right for me, so I decided to look at what other opportunities were available.
My starting point was to think about companies that I admired and that I could see myself working for and I reached out to them. To my surprise a vacancy arose at Hall & Woodhouse for a Senior National Account Manager role in the Off Trade, I couldn’t believe it, what a great opportunity to become part of the Hall & Woodhouse team. I am not local to Blandford Forum, but I am regularly at the brewery.
I live along the South East coast in Kent and my favourite pastime is long walks with my two dogs, which I tend to do most weekends. My daughter Lily plays International hockey, so I also spend a lot of my weekends travelling the country. This year her international fixtures have me travelling to France, Germany and Holland, as well as regular trips to Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Telford (a nice 450 mile round trip!). I thoroughly enjoy watching the games so it has its positives over and above being the taxi driver.
My role is very varied and no one day is ever the same. I manage all aspects of our business relationship with the supermarkets, so this can involve so many different components, from cost price increase negotiations to liaising with them on new legislations (such as the Scotland Deposit Return Scheme), or working with our brand team to present our new products to them.
Hopping Hare, I love how refreshing and thirst quenching it is.
This is a difficult question to answer, as over the period that I have worked with the supermarkets there has been so much change. When I first started, the craft beer category hardly existed, it was in the main Premium Bottled Ale, Lager and Cider category. Then the craft category exploded and it has now overtaken the PBA market share.
The craft category has evolved during this time, starting with a single 330ml bottle, swiftly moving to a 330ml can, and now a 440ml can is the preferred format. I think the format now is very stable, but I would like more session craft products rather than the super high ABV products that currently dominate. Excitingly, we have a new craft range launching between March-July, so it will be exciting to see how it does.
Premium Bottled Ale is still hugely important, and what we as a business have identified, utilising an IGD consumer study, is that shoppers find the category complicated to shop – if their favourite brand isn’t available, they generally leave without making a purchase. Therefore, part of my job is to work with the supermarkets to help support them in this area. I am pleased to say that we are starting this journey already with Waitrose and it will be exciting to see this start to appear online and in-store from March onwards. You will notice that the shelf edge labels will include a Look/Taste/Smell ticket to help direct consumers to similar brands if a favourite isn’t available.
I think the craft category will continue to grow and gain more space, so we must ensure we are focusing on the growth areas, but also educating and recruiting new consumers into the PBA category.
Stand at the bar or sit by the fire? Sit by the fire
Sweet or savoury? Savoury
Dogs or cats? Dogs
Country pub or city bar? Both play a very different role, for a different occasion. City – when out, out. Country when relaxing with my hubby.
Stout or IPA? IPA
Football or rugby? Hockey 😉
Night in or night out? Both
Bitter or lager? Both
Poolside or action holiday? Poolside
Above or below 5%? Below