Former Heineken Marketing Chief Joins CBA

Ken Kunze

One of Andy Thomas’ oldest cronies has joined the fold at Craft Brew Alliance (CBA).

CBA announced Tuesday the hiring of Ken Kunze, who has been named the company’s new chief marketing officer, according to a release. Kunze, who has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the consumer packaged goods, beer and beverage industries, will start Monday and will report to Thomas, CBA’s president of commercial operations.

“With Ken on board, we are further reinforcing our commitment to finding new and exciting ways to bring our brands to life and advance our competitive edge as the only company to combine the soul of a craft brewer with the body of a big brewer,” Thomas said in the release.

In his new role, Kunze will help market and manage CBA’s portfolio of five brands: Widmer Brothers Brewing, Redhook Brewing, Kona Brewing Co., Omission and Square Mile Cider Company.

Kunze previously served as the CMO for Sabra Dipping Co., a PepsiCo joint venture. His marketing strategy drove the conversion of 26 million Americans into first-time hummus consumers, according to the release.

Kunze is well known as the developer of the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man In The World” campaign, perhaps one of the most memorable ad campaigns ever. During this time, Kunze was a marketing chief and Thomas was the president and CEO at Heineken USA. Now, Kunze returns to beer and again joins forces with Thomas.

“Consumers today are looking for flavor in everything they consume, and they are seeking out brands with interesting stories. This is true across categories, but it is especially true in beer,” Kunze said in the release. “CBA’s portfolio is made up of world class brews, all with interesting flavors, and the brands have great stories that are about to be amplified.”

The full release is below:

PORTLAND, Ore. — Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. (“CBA”) (Nasdaq: BREW), an independent craft brewing company, announced today that Ken Kunze has been appointed chief marketing officer. Kunze, a seasoned marketing executive with more than 25 years of leadership experience in the consumer packaged goods, beer and beverage industries, will join the company November 4, 2013 and will report to Andy Thomas, President of Commercial Operations.

As CMO, Kunze will be responsible for the marketing and management of CBA’s dynamic portfolio of brands, including Widmer Brothers Brewing, Redhook Brewing, Kona Brewing Co., Omission and Square Mile Cider Company, as well as oversee innovation and new brand development.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Ken to CBA,” said Thomas. “His extensive experience building and evolving well-loved consumer brands for leaders like Heineken and PepsiCo will be immensely valuable as we continue to grow CBA’s distinctive family of brands. With Ken on board, we are further reinforcing our commitment to finding new and exciting ways to bring our brands to life and advance our competitive edge as the only company to combine the soul of a craft brewer with the body of a big brewer.” 

As CMO for Sabra Dipping Co, a PepsiCo joint venture, Kunze led the marketing strategy that resulted in brand awareness growing +32%, household penetration jumping +80% and sales doubling in his three years. These efforts drove market share +18 pts for a market leading 60 share of the hummus category and converted 26 million Americans into hummus consumers for the first time.

During his tenure at Heineken USA, Kunze helped lead Heineken USA to be a top performing US beer company and was an Ad Age Top Ten Marketer of the year for his work on brand Heineken. Kunze oversaw the development of the long-running and award-winning “It’s All About The Beer” campaign for brand Heineken, as well as developed and launched the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man In The World” campaign. Other highlights include the launch of Heineken Premium Light, the Heineken Keg Can, Heineken Draft Keg, HUSA’s first Spanish language advertising and numerous movie tie-ins, including the first James Bond partnership and blockbusters like Austin Powers.

“Consumers today are looking for flavor in everything they consume, and they are seeking out brands with interesting stories. This is true across categories, but it is especially true in beer. CBA’s portfolio is made up of world class brews, all with interesting flavors, and the brands have great stories that are about to be amplified,” said Kunze. “CBA is a unique opportunity, and the portfolio is well-positioned for growth. I am excited to help bring the opportunity to life and honored to be part of the CBA team. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

 

Brewery: Widmer - Craft Brewers Alliance, Inc Website: http://www.widmer.com
Address: 929 N Russell St
Portland, OR 97227-1733
United States
Brewery: Kona Brewing Website: http://www.konabrewingco.com
Address: 75-5629 Kuakini Hwy.
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
United States
Brewery: Redhook Website: http://www.redhook.com/
Address: 14300 NE 145th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072
United States