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

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

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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). 


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