Radnor Hills Drinks Range
Big news this time around: I’m pleased to tell you that ARN has been appointed a distributor of the Radnor Hills drinks range. This is a big deal for us, just as it is a big deal for them: if there’s one channel from which Radnor Hills is notable by its underrepresentation, it’s vending.
The Radnor Hills back story is a good un. The founder, William Watkins, came home to the family farm in mid Wales from Newcastle University, armed with a degree in Agriculture & Food Marketing. Whilst he’d been away, his dad had discovered a source of water on the family farm. He had Big Plans for this water, his dad. He reckoned if he played his cards right, he’d be able to provide, in-house, all the water his cattle needed. But young William had other ideas: the water tasted so good that he thought, ‘never mind the cows we can sell this’, or words to that effect. And so it came to pass that, just twelve months later, the farm was supplying British Airways with mineral water. Radnor Hills was officially launched in 1990.
The rest is history and if you like, you can get up to speed with the whole story HERE
We’ll be stocking around 50 lines, including 43 Radnor Hills drinks in just about every shape and format you can use in a vending machine. The deal also means that we’ll be selling some stuff we haven’t sold before; notably very posh, glass bottled water, the type that you find on the boardroom table with the crystal glasses when you go to a better kind of meeting. We can cover that now. We’ll also be offering Radnor Hills’ new healthier fruit drinks, which are aimed squarely at providing kids with a better kind of drink. New term, new semester… New line-up in your drinks machines?
Next, a bit of news that always goes down like a meat pie at a footy match. There’s a new Kit Kat Chunky Hazelnut on the way – it should be in stock in the next couple of weeks, so make room. These limited edition / limited availability lines always punch above their weight…
And now, dear readers, may I be the first to wish you all a very merry Christmas? I was listening to a random game on the radio in the car the other night and the commentator said, ‘it’s a fine late summer evening’. I thought, ‘how can it already be late summer? You still feel as though the sun will eventually come out, but then you realise it’s September, and Christmas is just around the corner.
Which brings me to my point. Eventually. Here’s something that might surprise you. After Cadbury’s Mini Eggs at Easter, can you name the product that has the biggest seasonal uplift at ARN? I’ll have to hurry you, it is… Burts’ Limited Edition, Maple Pigs in Blankets, Hand Made Potato Chips. To give them their full name.
The tag ‘limited edition’ is for real: they are basically made to order. They make a certain number of cases and when they’re gone, they’re gone. I know that last year, one or two operators were a bit miffed when we hung out the ‘Sold Out’ sign…
So, do yourself, and our colleague Mark, (from Burts), a favour. If you’re planning to repeat last year’s success with P’s in B’s, or if you’re determined not to miss out this time around, then get in touch with him. That way, they won’t under produce and you won’t be disappointed.
I spoke to Mark the other day and he told me that he’s asked two customers to pre-order. One asked for 200 cases, the other for 400. Which gives you some idea of the potential. It’s weird to think that a bag of crisps has the biggest impact of anything we carry at Yuletide, but there you are. We’ve been talking about it since the middle of last month!
Ah well. Time, like the mighty Toon, goes on and on, and it’s time for me to get back to work.
See you see soon, until then, gan canny.
John Crichton is the CEO of ARN, Automatic Retailing Northern Ltd
PV’s archive of John Crichton’s articles is HERE