Less than a year after it was acquired by Dutch beer maker Bavaria N.V., Latis Imports has announced plans to mutually end a sales agency agreement with Radeberger Gruppe USA (RGUSA) that began in January 2014.
In a press release, Latis Imports, which was founded in 2007 and imports products from Palm Belgian Craft Brewers and Rodenbach, said the partnership with RGUSA would conclude on September 30, 2017.
Latis co-founder David Van Wees told Brewbound that the two companies originally agreed to combine sales forces when the arrangement was first established. Under the partnership, Latis had paid Radeberger – which sells its namesake pilsner, Schöfferhofer Grapefruit Bier and Clausthaler non-alcoholic beer, among other offerings – on a per case basis for sales representation with wholesalers and retailers.
Following its sale to Bavaria N.V., however, Latis Imports determined that it wanted to oversee sales of the Palm and Rodenbach brands, in addition to the new Bavaria brands, such as Hollandia, that it was now tasked with selling in the U.S.
“The overall alignment of our business — whether it was market type, channels or geographies – just wasn’t as aligned as it was three years ago,” Van Wees told Brewbound.
According to Van Wees, Latis Imports plans to employ as many as eight sales representatives and territory managers, who will work directly with wholesalers and retailers to sell the company’s expanded portfolio of offerings.
“I think Bavaria is quite interesting,” he said of Latis’ new parent company. “They are like a 300-year-old teenager — a lot of energy and very interested in developing and growing in the U.S. market.”
Existing distribution agreements will not be impacted by the separation from RGUSA, Van Wees added.
A press release with additional information is included below.
Latis Imports and Radeberger Gruppe End Its Successful Partnership
Latis Imports and Radeberger Gruppe USA (RGUSA) announced today that they have mutually agreed to end their successful partnership as of September 30, 2017 in order for both companies to focus on their respective growing portfolios. For the past four years, the two companies have collaborated on Belgian imports PALM and RODENBACH. Latis handled importing and marketing, while RGUSA managed the wholesale and retail sales execution.
Today’s news follows Bavaria Group’s recent acquisition of Latis Imports. Under those terms, Latis Imports became the US importer for Bavaria brands, responsible for a wider portfolio of products. In addition to its recent success of RODENBACH’s latest offering (Fruitage), Latis Imports has been responsible for the increased distribution of Hollandia beer and the emerging Habesha brewery from Ethiopia. With a wider range of products and an ambitious growth strategy, Bavaria is committed to putting an infrastructure in place to support sales and distribution throughout the US.
RGUSA is an importer of brands of its parent company Radeberger Gruppe in Germany, the leading German brewing group. Its distribution in the US includes Radeberger Pilsner, Schöfferhofer, Clausthaler, DAB and BraufactuM. In recent years, the RGUSA portfolio has experienced solid growth via successful new product launches, such as Schöfferhofer Grapefruit and Clausthaler Dry Hopped leading RGUSA to look for ways to drive greater focus on its own portfolio.
“I have the utmost respect and appreciation for Radeberger Gruppe and all they’ve done in forging paths for our Belgian beers over the years,” said David van Wees, founder of Latis Imports. “At the same time, Bavaria’s commitment brings new excitement around sales, distribution and marketing as we look to expand our presence in the US market.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Latis to represent some of the finest Belgian brands for the past four years.” said Hans Schliebs, President of RGUSA. “The enthusiasm we are seeing around our brands, especially Schöfferhofer Grapefruit, proves there is significant opportunity amongst our current portfolio yet to be realized. Our wholesale and retail partners will benefit from our full focus on our brands which are vibrant players in the growing import and NA categories.”
About Latis Imports
Latis Imports is the US Division of Bavaria, N.V. an Independent 300 year-old family-owned brewery, run by the Swinkels family for seven generations. It is the only major brewery in the Netherlands that brews its beer with pure, natural mineral water from its own springs. Its portfolio of brands includes the iconic BROUWERIJ RODENBACH, PALM brewery and a variety of imported beers including Hollandia, Habesha, Bavaria and others. Purchased by Bavaria, N.V. in 2016, Ridgefield-based Latis Imports is run by 25-year beer industry veteran David van Wees, who is responsible for expanding the Bavaria N.V. portfolio throughout the US market.
About Radeberger Gruppe USA
Radeberger Gruppe USA is an importer of brands of its parent company, Radeberger Gruppe, Germany’s largest brewery group belonging to the family business Dr. August Oetker KG in Bielefeld. With a clear commitment to the regionality and the high emotional boosting of its brands, Radeberger Gruppe is cultivating German beer and beverage diversity and is actively developing the German beer and drink market with an innovative company model. Radeberger Gruppe USA’s distribution includes Radeberger Pilsner, Schöfferhofer Grapefruit, Clausthaler, DAB and BraufactM.