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Boost gains distribution rights for H&W’s Rio brand


Simon Gray, founder and CEO, Boost Drinks.

Simon Gray, founder and CEO, Boost Drinks.

Simon Gray, founder and CEO, Boost Drinks.

Boost Drinks has secured a new sales, marketing and distribution agreement for Hall & Woodhouse’s Rio soft drinks brand.

From February 1, Boost Drinks will take on full responsibility for sales, marketing and distribution of the Rio brand in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Boost Energy was established in 2001 after founder and MD Simon Gray saw the opportunity to offer consumers a great quality energy drink at a fraction of the price of other brands at that time.

Two years later, Boost was launched in Northern Ireland and, driven by a strategy to focus on the independent convenience channel, has grown to such an extent that the company now owns the top two selling soft drinks in the local independent sector*, which covers more than 1,100 independent retail stores (excluding the large multinational supermarket chains).

Rio, owned by the 243-year-old Dorset-based regional brewers Hall & Woodhouse, was launched in the 1990s and has grown to become a top 10 fruit carbonates soft drink brand in the UK, supplying over 1m hectolitres.

Despite the difficult market conditions over the last 12 months, the brand is growing, seeing a 14% sales increase in the month of December compared to the previous year’s figures. This growth is set to continue through Boost’s extensive distribution network and its widely recognised expertise in the Independent Convenience and Wholesale market.

“Working with Hall & Woodhouse, Rio has been on our agenda for some time, not only as a brand with a strong consumer and trade proposition but as a brand with fantastic synergies with Boost,” said Simon Gray, founder and CEO, Boost Drinks.

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“Manufacturing strategy, customer base and a passion for the independent convenience channel make for a natural fit. In a changing world, we believe this progressive partnership will enable us to thrive as we work in close collaboration

“Rio is both a well-established and well-respected brand and we are all very excited about helping to grow the brand further through our widely recognised knowledge of the channel and our track record for delivering a portfolio that is tailored to the needs of retailers and consumers.

“We are very excited about growing the brand in Northern Ireland, a hugely important region in which Boost is particularly strong and Rio not quite so well known… at the moment!”

Matt Kearsey, managing director, Hall & Woodhouse, said: “We are extremely proud of the successful footprint Rio has established. Rio is a brand that consumers love and as the soft drinks market develops, we believe there are significant opportunities for it to grow and evolve.

“There has been a meeting of minds between Boost Drinks and Hall & Woodhouse from day one and we’re delighted to have found a partner which not only holds the same values as we do, but also sees a bright future for the Rio brand. We look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

* Source: IRI Marketplace Data Symbols and Independents 52 weeks unit sales to 6th September 2020.