STRIDING AHEAD: Bundaberg Brewed Drinks CEO John McLean
STRIDING AHEAD: Bundaberg Brewed Drinks CEO John McLean Mike Knott BUN111215JOHN2

Worldwide drinks business is regional at heart

KEEP calm and focus.

That's the modus operandi of the team at Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, who have recorded exceptional growth this year.

Company CEO John McLean spoke at yesterday's breakfast where he recounted some of the group's achievements and plans moving forward.

This year, after two years of negotiation, the company was able to secure a deal with global giant Pepsi Cola, an agreement that will grow the company exponentially.

"We will go from 15,000 stores in the United States to having the ability to service 400,000 and we've done that without selling the farm," Mr McLean said.

Germany has been another important alliance with exports there growing by a whopping 220%, while the much-loved Bundaberg Ginger Beer holds the number one spot in consumers' hearts in California.

What remains at the core of the business is family.

"I go to Dymocks and I'm looking for the book that says how to grow a global business from a regional town and remain family owned. I have one KPI ... and number one for me is family ownership," he said.

"Our international business accounts for 40 per cent of total revenue, domestic 60 per cent and Bundaberg less than half a per cent, so we put a lot of effort into where we're going but Bundy remains very strong to us.

 

Bundy 4 Breakfast Bundaberg Brewed Drinks CEO John McLean.
Bundy 4 Breakfast Bundaberg Brewed Drinks CEO John McLean. Craig Warhurst

 

 

"For us, the word Bundaberg is good. We take it around the world.

"The town Bundaberg has given us so much and we want to give back where we possible can."

It's no secret that Bundaberg's unemployment figures are unenviable. However, Mr McLean said since 2015 his company had recorded a 33% increase in employment.

"We are growing rapidly. Growth brings change, change brings changes," he said.

Mr McLean also spoke of the company's commitment to local producers.

"We use real ingredients. We grow ginger, we work with local ginger growers, we process every bit of ginger in this town. And just as we want to make our ginger beer, we grind it, we do not remove it, and we put it into a bottle which everyone thinks is dumb, stubby, dumpy, non-sexy and then put a cap on it that you need a PhD to open. But when you put all those things together you have an icon. And that's what's developed over time."



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