Home International Trade Blackburn company raises glass to South Korean success

Blackburn company raises glass to South Korean success

Matt Ashton-Melia, head of sales at Sovereign Beverage
Matt Ashton-Melia, head of sales at Sovereign Beverage

The Sovereign Beverage Company, a Blackburn firm specialising in making exporting easy for customers, partners and suppliers, is celebrating after continuing to achieve remarkable sales in South Korea, selling over 300,000 bottles of beer in the country during 2016. The company’s success in the country follows its attendance of a Department for International Trade (DIT) trade mission to the country.

Sovereign exports to over 60 countries worldwide at present, representing the likes of Greene King, Marstons, Robinsons, Timothy Taylor and Innis & Gunn. The company’s aim is to help its partners maximise sales growth whilst reducing the complexity and risks associated with exporting.

Sovereign’s products are listed in Home Plus, South Korea’s second largest supermarket chain. In 2015, the company’s first year in the supermarket, it sold 382 hectolitres (115,746 33cl bottles) and in 2016 the company sold 1,000 hectolitres (the equivalent of 303,000 bottles of 33cl) across the Hobgoblin and Hobgoblin Gold brands.

Sovereign products are now present in over a hundred bars, with that figure expected to reach 250 during 2017. This will be achieved with the introduction of products available on draught, with the company also hopeful of winning a listing in E-Mart, South Korea’s number one supermarket chain.

Matt Ashton-Melia, head of sales at Sovereign Beverage, commented: “There are numerous reasons for our success in South Korea. We’re in a packaging format which suits the market. We’re competitively priced. The products have a good story and have characters on the bottle which differentiates the range from most other beer brands. The products have achieved great success in their domestic market and we offer value for money – the quality of liquid, packaging, and price represents an attractive proposition to a prospective importer.

“This year we’re due to launch a quintessentially British spirit portfolio which we’re really excited about and should be a natural extension to our current business.”

Paul Stowers, deputy regional director for the Department for International Trade North West, commented: “The Sovereign Beverage Company’s success is testament to its nous in seizing the global demand for British beers, resulting in record breaking numbers for the company. Matt and his team are a great example of how the expertise UK drink companies possess is in demand all over the world. I’d like to urge other businesses seeking new markets and wishing to expand in existing territories to follow Sovereign’s lead and take advantage of the tailored advice and support available from DIT and the Exporting is GREAT campaign.”

Exporting is GREAT is a government initiative to consolidate the export support available to companies. Businesses with ambitions to export are encouraged to visit DIT’s great.gov.uk , a single digital destination for trade and investment, bringing together and connecting UK businesses, international buyers and international investors.

Andrew Mann
After 34 years working in numerous operational and communications disciplines for three FTSE companies (Yorkshire Electricity; Meggitt and BAE Systems), at over a dozen locations, on 24 November 2016, I became the inaugural editor of Business Lancashire.Business Lancashire is a good news, Lancashire focused, business website and daily newsletter. It is a partnership between The Samuel James Group and the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.Over the years, I have written hundreds of press releases, features for trade magazines, copy for websites and brochures, edited in-house magazines and newsletters, as well as presenting a radio programme on Chorley FM. This experience has given me the ideal background for editing Business Lancashire.