Primeline Group launches Alcoholic Beverages Division

Paul McInerney, Director of Brands & Marketing, Primeline Group.

Primeline Group, Ireland’s largest independent provider of logistics, sales and marketing services, has launched Bevella, an alcoholic beverages distribution and brand-building business to service the on and off trade on the island of Ireland.

The business will champion new and existing brands in accessing the local market and developing on-trade and off-trade sales channels, where it can be difficult to achieve a national footprint, given the challenging route to market.

Bevella is a new and adventurous offspring of Primeline Group, and will work with innovative Irish and international brands seeking opportunity to enter and grow within the Irish marketplace.

The vision is to be Ireland’s leading independent brand-led distributor, bringing new and exciting brands to customers, while keeping a close eye through international alliances on global trends and emerging alcohol categories.

The Bevella business is headed up by Paul McInerney, who has over 20 years senior management experience with leading Irish and international FMCG and alcohol brands such as PepsiCo, Heineken Ireland, O’Brien Fine Foods and Coca-Cola HBC, including over 10 years’ experience in the on-trade.

According to Paul McInerney, much time has been invested in hand selecting a compelling local range and assessing trends such as the emergence of tequila in the US and the developing rum categories in the UK.

“The vast independent network that Bevella has access to means the right range can be offered to Irish trade customers for their consumers”, McInerney says.

Connacht Whiskey Distillery, Blood Monkey Gin, Two Stacks Whiskey, Xoriguer Mahón Gin and Donegal’s Muff Liquor Company portfolio are among the first key brands announced as part of the Bevella offering.  Designed to bring diversity, energy and new consumer experiences to the sector, there are a substantial number of additional local and international propositions currently in discussion.

Primeline has a strong logistics background in the alcoholic drinks market, acting for companies including Molson Coors, Edward Dillon and Heineken and operating a bond out of Ashbourne, County Meath.

Through its Primeline network, Bevella is able to deliver to every town in Ireland and Northern Ireland, every day of the week, giving a real opportunity for market penetration right across Ireland, the business principals maintain.

Five new recruits from across the drinks industry are being appointed to an experienced team at Bevella, to work across its branded drinks portfolio with key partners.  They will work alongside the established Primeline Sales & Marketing team of over 30 key account and field-based colleagues.

Paul McInerney joined the Primeline business in early 2019 and most recently took on the role of Director of Brands and Marketing across Primeline Sales & Marketing.  He will retain this responsibility alongside the Bevella role.

Speaking of the Bevella launch, Paul McInerney, said; “In Primeline we have an amazing logistics, customer service and brand management business already servicing the on and off trade for leading brands.  It makes perfect sense to use this scale to offer brands a genuine alternative to achieve national distribution, and to credibly speak to all customers, large and small.

“We will use our international relationships to give Irish brands the opportunity to develop markets through our international partner network, which is reciprocal.   We can both choose from a menu of great brands for the Irish market, as well as getting our Irish based brands onto international menus.”

At Bevella, as the tag line suggests, the business is embarking on an adventure, McInerney adds.

“Premium beverages is about choice, discovery, provenance, enjoyment and exciting options for the Irish consumer to enjoy good times responsibly.   Our knowledge and precision sees us study customer trends and analyse gaps in the market so that, with the brand principals, we can deliver brand awareness, consumer trial and trade profitability.”

Welcoming the new business division, Sean McNaughten, Managing Director of Primeline Sales and Marketing, said Bevella was specifically created to build exciting and differentiated beverage brands in the Irish market, bringing diversity, opportunity and new experiences to the sector as it emerges from the challenges of lockdown.

McNaughten has a strong background in the drinks industry, having worked for multinational companies including Heineken, where he most recently had responsibility for the brand’s Global Duty Free and European Export from Amsterdam.

“The passion and expertise of the team at Bevella is outstanding and is based on three robust pillars that are understanding consumer trends and identifying tactical brand openings; partnering and planning with brand custodians; and developing reliable, supportive, interdependent relationships with retailers and publicans alike”, Sean McNaughten commented.