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Nov 22, 2019

In this episode, we’re joined by the founders of two innovative U.K.-based companies, cold brew coffee and oat milk brand Minor Figures and non-alcoholic brewery Infinite Session, who detailed their respective strategies for winning at home and abroad.

Launched in 2014, Minor Figures is known for its super-premium beverages, pastel packaging and playful illustrations. The brand is widely available in the U.K. and has a significant foothold in Australia along with a small, but expanding, presence in the U.S. In our interview, co-founder Stuart Forsyth spoke about why he describes the package design as an “exercise in restraint,” and why Minor Figures takes a brand-first approach to marketing. He also discussed how the company is leveraging the U.S. coffee community to build awareness and distribution, and how it’s managing growth in three global markets.

Later in the episode, we sit down with Chris Hannaway, the co-founder of Infinite Session, which was launched in 2018. The brand has won acclaim and built a loyal following in the U.K. for its full-flavored beer and lighthearted marketing. In our interview, Hannaway spoke about his background in non-alcoholic beverages and the creation of Infinite Session. He also explained why the products are designed to reach “flex sober” consumers and discussed the metrics for evaluating brand strategy.

Show notes:

1:44: Investors Want to Meet You. But Check Your Breath. -- The episode’s hosts riffed on Ray’s Worcester accent, crunched on upcycled chips and discussed the usefulness of Purell and Listerine breath strips at BevNET Live and NOSH Live. They also spoke about effective ways to network with investors at the events and why early-stage entrepreneurs should engage with strategic incubators, including Coca-Cola’s Venturing & Emerging Brands and General Mills’ 301INC units. Later, BevNET reporter Brad Avery offered insight into the recently announced partnership between beer giant Molson Coors and beverage incubator L.A. Libations.

17:05: Interview: Stuart Forsyth, Co-Founder, Minor Figures -- Forsyth met with BevNET CMO Mike Schneider at the 2019 Bread & Jam Festival in London for a conversation about Minor Figures, including the brand’s inception and how the current iteration of its package design was conceived. He also discussed how the company communicates coffee terroir  to consumers and how the team determined the right time to expand into international markets. Later, he explained why he views the brand’s U.S. distribution strategy as “dangerous” and why it maintains a consistent product lineup across all markets.

36:24: Interview: Chris Hannaway, Co-Founder, Infinite Session -- Schneider also sat down with Hannaway at the Bread & Jam Festival where they discussed the genesis of Infinite Session, the brand pillars and growing consumer interest in non-alcoholic beer. They also spoke about the formulation of Infinite Session products, how they’ve iterated upon the packaging, the evolution of the NA beer market and the company’s plans to enter the U.S.

Brands in this episode: Infinite Session, Minor Figures, Kor Shots, Hubba Bubba, Tic Tac, Big League Chew, Combos, Whoppers, Pimp Juice, Moxie, Cocaine Energy, In-N’-Out, Pulp Pantry, Olipop, Dixie Elixirs, Bottleshot Brew, Dalston’s, Ugly Drinks, Dash Water, The New Primal, Owl’s Brew, Wave Soda, Gloe, Clearly Kombucha, Keep Cup, Frosted Flakes, Heineken, Athletic Brewing, WellBeing Brewing Mikkeller, St. Peter’s, Brew Dog, Overly, Budweiser, Shock Top, John Smith’s, Boddingtons, Guinness