A Prestonian has turned his experience and passion for the drinks industry into his own business.Advertisement
Daryl Moss, 43, has seen Freddies – his fruit lager firm – grow rapidly in the last 12 months.
We caught up with Daryl, who is based in Barton, to find out more about his company.
Why did you decide to start the company?
Having worked in the Alcohol category for the last 20 years I have seen how the demand for sweet and fruit based alcoholic drinks has grown. Having helped launch Kopparberg in the UK I have seen what this has done to the fruit cider category and I feel there is a similar opportunity in the lager category
Where did your inspiration come from for the product?
I wanted to develop a product that had the fruitiness and refreshment of fruit cider but without the sickly sweet after taste. Last year I tried products from all over the world and the inspiration for Freddies Fruit Lager came from a product I found in the Far East where fruit lagers are also becoming more popular.
When did it start?
Development of the brand started in the summer of 2013 when I had the idea for a fruit based lager. I then spent the next eight months working with breweries and flavour companies creating the product so that it tasted exactly how I wanted it. During this period I also had secure investment for the product and develop a strategy for taking Freddies to the market. Our first production run was at the end of April this year.
What was your background before starting the company?
Since leaving University I have worked in the drinks industry. I worked for 9 years at Whitbread in various roles working with brands like Stella Artois, Heineken and Boddingtons. I then worked with a company called SHS who own the WKD brand and in 2008 I left to help set up Kopparberg Cider in the UK. As the UK Sales Director I helped build the brand from nothing to a £100 million brand in the space of six years.
How have things been going so far?
We have had an amazing response with Freddies Fruit Lager, especially on the taste. The product tastes unlike anything else on the market and it has been great to see the reaction on peoples faces when they sample the product.
Are you stocked anywhere in Preston?
Initially my focus had been on key northern cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield but recently I have given more focus to Preston and the surrounding area. So far I have secured listings in key venues such as Baluga and Stratos in town and Owd Nells in Barton. However a huge success in the past week is a listing in the Source bar at UCLan. Freddies Fruit Lager is heavily involved with Freshers week and I hope this propels the product to a different level . I have also secured a national listing in 620 Bargain Booze and Wine rack stores which now makes Freddies Fruit Lager available all around the UK.
Do you employ any staff/turnover/other figures etc?
I have thee other investors in the company who work with Freddies on a part-time basis. I also have a sales team in other areas of the country who are working on a commission basis.
Plans for the future?
In the short term I am focusing on the north of England to establish the brand in the right outlets. Freddies Fruit Lager is all about the taste so it is important that I get as many people trying the product as possible. Next weekend we are sponsoring the Ramsbottom music festival, with Soul to Soul headlining on the Sunday. Also that weekend we have a stand, and will be doing sampling at the Liverpool Food & Drink Festival. Longer term the plan is to build a credible brand that becomes established both in the UK and globally. I am already in talks with the major supermarkets and some of the National Pub chains. I am also exploring opportunities in Dubai, Australia and Canada.
Have you tried a Freddies? Let us know in the comments below