The power of Australia’s craft industry has been underlined by the latest business update from craft investor, Mighty Craft, which has delivered record receipts and record sales growth in its third quarter.

Mighty Craft’s receipts for the quarter were $10.8m, up 360 per cent on the corresponding period last year, while sales revenue growth (as opposed to cash receipts) were up 277 per cent for the quarter.

Mighty Craft CEO Mark Haysman told The Shout that the long-term strategy of the business was what had helped to deliver this record growth.

“We’ve spent a lot of time establishing the right platform for the business to grow. Be that with relationships with Bevchain and that alliance, be that really investing in our people to lead the business and really get our sales distribution, marketing, supply chain team going.

“So it’s really good to see the strong growth and both within the beer category and within spirits and RTDs. We invested ahead of the curve, but really starting to see that growth come now and outperform the market, which is excellent.”

It’s one thing to achieve record figures, the key for the business is to make sure it continues and Haysman explained how he was hopeful Mighty Craft could maintain this kind of growth.

“The calibre of our team is exceptional,” he said. “I think the relationships that [Sales Director] Cameron [Buckland] and [Marketing Director] Yolanda [Uys] have with the key retailers is really strong, so this top down approach and then continuing to innovate and bringing the best of craft to both the off- and on-premise and new news.

“Launching Seven Seasons and the Bush Apple Gin, getting out there telling that story and investing in the Kangaroo Island Distillery and getting that brand more broadly available too; there’s two examples of things we can continue to do, to fuel that growth, while continuing to keep the beer brands really thriving as they are currently.”

In terms of the relationship with Bevchain, mentioned above, Haysman told The Shout that this was part of Mighty Craft’s strategy to move to a distribution model, which will help drive growth in its own brands, but ultimately he is hoping other craft businesses will be able to benefit as well.

“Our distribution model within Mighty Craft is important because it simplifies how we do business with our customers. So we basically bring the product in and then we act as distributors and build the brands with our customers. It really simplifies the customer experience and that’s how we get to the consumer, so that’s critical and the notion is one invoice, one delivery and trying to simplify is really important to our customers.

“It’s been challenging and it will continue to be challenging to get it exactly right, but it is enabling us to more easily scale these brands in the market.”

He added: “Within Mighty Craft the brands that we own within our network we’ll continue to focus on and leverage this model to help them. But through Craft Hub, which we’ve talked about separately but not a whole lot, that’s really the notion of us extending an offer more broadly to the industry and brands that we don’t own, so that the whole craft industry can thrive and we try simplify their lives as well. So that’s something we are working on at the moment, to offer that distribution model to brands that we don’t own.”

Looking at what’s ahead for Mighty Craft, Haysman told The Shout: “That’s a big focus for us, but that said we do have a big growth ambition, so if the right opportunities come up we continue to be an acquisitive business, so we will continue to look at the right opportunities to bring scale and profit into our network and that fit our portfolio of brands. So it’s a duel focus for us over the next six to 12 months.”

He added: “I’m really proud of our growth profile, we do put our customers at the centre of our world, so we really work hard to try and please them. It doesn’t always go smoothly, but as we go through all this change we feel like we are getting into a better place to really deliver a great customer experience. Putting a digital platform under our business is something that we are continuing to work on, and really getting that going is important to make us easier to do business with. So we’re looking forward to expanding and growing our business with the support of our customers, and in the on-premise equally to the off-premise.

“We have a lot of growth ahead of us and I’m looking forward to telling that story in the years to come.”

As well as Seven Seasons and Kangaroo Island Spirits, other brands linked to Mighty Craft include Jetty Road Brewery, Slipstream Brewery, Ballistic Beer Co and Sparkke Beverage Co.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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