AUSTRALIA – Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, an Australian family-owned company known for its premium drinks, has partnered with PepsiCo to increase the US distribution for the craft-brewed beverage brand, making it available in more than 400,000 stores, restaurants and bars across the country, as of March 26, 2018.

According to the company, this is a major step in the company’s global growth plans, as it will be outselling the market leader by nearly 3x per point of distribution.

Bundaberg is already the #5 Ginger Beer in the U.S. and #1 in California, and the brand has set its sights on accelerated U.S. sales through the increased distribution made possible by the partnership.

“We’ve built our own distribution network globally but given the rapidly growing demand of the U.S. consumer base seeking craft-brewed beverages, this was the ideal next step for Bundaberg,” said Derika Legg, General Manager Sales, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks.

“PepsiCo is a great partner because they believe in the growth of the category and have world-class national distribution capabilities that will allow us to make our products available to many more people.”

The partnership comes as the craft beverage industry continues to grow, largely driven by millennials searching for new beverage experiences and authentic brands, quality ingredients, and thoughtful production.

The craft beverage sector was up 3.1% as of January 2018, with the category expected to reach US$1.5 billion by 2020.

Craft sodas are redefining the carbonated soft drink market by providing an elevated consumer experience, either as a sophisticated alternative or as a quality cocktail mixer.

“Within PepsiCo’s broad food and beverage portfolio, Craft continues to be an important category for us,” said Scott Finlow, PepsiCo Global Foodservice Vice President of Insights and Innovation.

“Bundaberg delivers on what U.S. consumers are seeking, and by leveraging the strength and scale of our national distribution network, we are able to get Bundaberg’s iconic Ginger Beer and other refreshing beverages onto shelves and into the hands of people across the country.”

According to Legg, “Premiumization is a concept that has affected consumer perceptions in other categories including spirits, beer, and fast food.

Similar changes are now occurring in carbonated soft drinks, with adult consumers seeking more premium products that are a bit more special; drinks to be savored. Consumers are looking for brands that are authentic real and genuine.”