Energetic approach to Scottish retailing

Norrie Donaldson, Carabao sales director for Scotland has big ambitions for the energy brand in convenience

Carabao partner of Hearts and Hibs football teams
Carabao is working with Edinburgh football rivals Hearts and Hibernian

ENERGY drink brand Carabao has big ambitions in Scotland, and it has not been afraid to invest in activity that’s tailored for stores north of the border.

Norrie Donaldson, sales director for Scotland at Carabao, said that there is a major opportunity for his brand – and Scottish retailers – as the energy category continues to soar.

“Scotland is growing faster than the rest of the UK, and Carabao is now growing faster than the Scottish energy market.

“Stats wise, the Scottish market is up 16.4% by value in the last quarter, and the UK is up 11.4%.

“Our Scottish year-on-year growth is higher than that,” he said.

Carabao has been expanding its distribution and now covers just about every wholesale and retail channel in Scotland.

The brand has also been reaching out to independent retailers, with the launch of a 69p price-marked pack which Donaldson reckons is ideal for the convenience channel, as well as a recent competition giving stores the chance to win a £5,000 prize.

But it’s the brand’s latest football sponsorship deal, with Edinburgh rivals Hearts and Hibs, that is sure to catch the attention of consumers.

Donaldson said that the brand has enjoyed great success with its sponsorship of the Carabao Cup –  the league cup competition in England – and now wants to replicate that in Scotland.

Teaming up with the two Edinburgh clubs has given the brand a host of options in Scotland, Donaldson said, from club-oriented competitions to branded FSDUs for retailers in the capital.

“We’re trying to build an audience through their supporter base and build up a three-way association between the clubs, the fans and our brand,” he said.

Looking to the future, Donaldson said he wants to see even more distribution for Carabao in Scotland, as he reckons the brand’s rate of sale shows great potential.

“If we take our current rate of sale numbers and widen the distribution, get in a position where more people have tried the product and are happy to repurchase, then that’s got to be great for us,” he said.