US: Craft Brew Alliance hires ex-Heineken exec as CMO

By | 30 October 2013

The group is eyeing growth with the appointment of a CMO

The group is eyeing growth with the appointment of a CMO

Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) has recruited a former Heineken executive as its chief marketing officer, a newly-created role. 

Ken Kunze will start with the Pacific north-west brewing group on Monday (4 November), it announced late yesterday (29 October). Kunze, most recently CMO at PepsiCo and Strauss JV, Sabra Dipping Company, will report to CBA's commercial operations president Andy Thomas. 

Kunze, who was also previously Heineken's US marketing chief, is charged with overseeing CBA's portfolio, including Widmer Brothers Brewing, Redhook Brewing, Kona Brewing Co, Omission and Square Mile Cider Company. 

Thomas said: “With Ken on board, we are further reinforcing our commitment to finding new and exciting ways to bring our brands to life and advance our competitive edge as the only company to combine the soul of a craft brewer with the body of a big brewer.”

Kunze said: “Consumers today are looking for flavour in everything they consume, and they are seeking out brands with interesting stories.”

He added: "CBA is a unique opportunity, and the portfolio is well-positioned for growth.” 

In August, the company reported a rise in sales but remained in the red. CBA will announce its third-quarter numbers next Thursday (7 November). 

Expert analysis

Craft Beer Market in the US 2012-2016

The analysts in this report forecast the Craft Beer market in the US to grow at a CAGR of 17.46 percent over the period 2012-2016. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the changing consumer taste and preference for craft beer. The Craft Beer market in the US has also been witnessing an increase in canned craft beer production. However, lack of awareness about craft beer among consumers could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

Sectors: Beer & cider, HR – personnel

Companies: Heineken, PepsiCo

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