Budvar turns to social networking

Budvar is looking to increase its marketing spend by 26% in 2010.

A new-look website will be operating by May and the brand will use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to reach more consumers.

Marketing manager Ian Moss told OLN: “The website is being completely revamped and we’re going to be more consumer-focused in our marketing approach. We are moving into areas where Budvar hasn’t trodden before.”?Budvar’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival sponsorship will continue in April and there will be a competition for consumers in September.

Public relations controller Denis Cox said: “Budvar has always been slightly hidden but using digital media means we can be on more of a level playing field with the bigger brands.”?Moss said off-trade volumes for the brand had increased by 4% from last year.

“The off-trade used to represent 46% of our volumes but now it’s gone up to 51%. We knew that was going to happen because of pressure on the on-trade. The off-trade is more and more a key part of the business.”?The collapse of First Quench has left “a big hole in volumes that has got to be filled”, he said.

“We didn’t lose much money – around £7,000-£8,000 in the end – as we managed to negotiate a deal when we first found out it was in trouble.

“But in terms of volumes, it’s a loss of around 30,000 cases a year – we had a lot of focus in Thresher.

“I don’t think we will make up the full amount but it depends on what stores get picked up by other retailers,” added Moss.