Fizzing over fund­ing boost to aid move

The Napier Mail - - OUT & ABOUT - CHLOE WIN­TER

A Kiwi cider pro­ducer is hop­ing to raise $1.2 mil­lion to fund its move to Hawke’s Bay — where the heart of its pro­duce comes from.

Zef­fer launched a crowd­fund­ing cam­paign on Wednes­day, mark­ing the be­gin­ning of its hope to be­come a global brand.

The com­pany wants to move to Hawke’s Bay to save more than $200,000 a year it spends on de­liv­er­ing freshly crushed ap­ples to Auck­land.

On top of that, the com­pany wants to fo­cus on two key ex­port mar­kets - China and Thai­land.

If the cam­paign is suc­cess­ful, new share­hold­ers will own 21 per cent of the com­pany.

Zef­fer has 30 days to at­tract the in­vest­ment. In just over 24 hours, 118 in­vestors had pledged more than $600,000.

Zef­fer sales and mar­ket­ing direc­tor Josh Townsend said cider was one of the fastest grow­ing al­co­hol cat­e­gories in the world, so the com­pany had de­cided to fo­cus on two key ex­port mar­kets.

‘‘Main­stream beer brands have stalled in re­cent years as con­sumers have be­come more ed­u­cated and de­mand­ing of more premium or craft beers.

‘‘We be­lieve the same trend to­wards pre­mi­u­mi­sa­tion will emerge for cider.

‘‘Whilst cider is still a rel­a­tively new con­cept for China and Thai­land, we’ve no­ticed its now re­ally start­ing to take off,’’ Townsend said.

‘‘Given their re­spec­tive free trade agree­ments, cli­mates, bur­geon­ing mid­dle class and their de­mand for craft bev­er­age now boom­ing, it presents mas­sive op­por­tu­ni­ties for us to cap­i­talise on.’’

Zef­fer had teamed up with a ‘‘re­ally good’’ Asian dis­trib­u­tor, which would help them tackle the mar­kets they want, he said.

Zef­fer be­gan in 2009, when its cider was be­ing sold in small batches at the Matakana Farm­ers Mar­ket.

Since then, it had grown to be­come the largest in­de­pen­dent cider com­pany in the coun­try, Townsend said.

The com­pany pro­duces more than 300,000 litres of cider ev­ery year, which is the equiv­a­lent of about 1000 bot­tles a day. Its cider is ex­ported to nine coun­tries, as well as be­ing sold in New Zealand.

New Zealand would re­main a test mar­ket for new prod­ucts.

Some of the Zef­fer team: Josh Townsend, left, Sam Whit­more, and Han­nah Bower.

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