Budweiser Brewing Group and Co-op pulled out all the stops to bring Ukraine’s most-loved beer brand, Chernigivske, to the UK and raise much needed funds to support those directly impacted by the conflict in Ukraine. Since the popular beer’s launch in April, Chernigivske has generated more than £1m in off-trade sales, with all AB InBev profits supporting humanitarian relief in Ukraine1.
Bringing a new product into a market is a huge endeavour, which normally takes at least six months. But the team at Budweiser Brewing Group knew that with the right partner on board, they could react quickly. Within just four weeks from the initial idea, Chernigivske was in UK stores, offering consumers the opportunity to directly contribute to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine.
The Budweiser Brewing Group team worked with Co-op round the clock, on top of an already busy workload. The Co-op team, spear-headed by head of beer buyer, Sarah-Jayne Wilson and many internal colleagues across the Co-op business, rose to the challenge including organising bar codes, loading the new product on to technology systems and communicating with distribution networks in record time.
Local stores also showed their support for Chernigivske, going the extra mile to get the beer into stores. The Salisbury store, which is the nearest to the factory where the beer is brewed, became the first to stock the product. Chernigivske was stocked across 2,500 Co-op Stores and well supported by the Co-op Society Stores across the UK promoting the 10pck on a promotional WIGIG display. More than 80,000 cases have been sold already, with all profits being donated toCaritas International and the Co-op’s chosen charity DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
James Morgan, Head of Retail and Convenience at Budweiser Brewing Group: “When we first spoke to The Co-op, we knew that it would be a big project to bring in a new product at such a great pace. As a business, we knew we could leverage our scale and expertise to introduce Chernigivske to the UK and support the humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. The reception from The Co-op was wonderful; the idea fits well with the company’s ethos, and they were very passionate about leading the way and making a difference for both chosen charities as soon as possible.
“There has been a lot of hard work and late nights to make this happen, but it just goes to show what can be achieved when everyone is working together for one cause.”
Simon Cairns, Head of Beer, Wines and Spirits at Co-op said: “We’re delighted to be able to sell Chernigivske in our stores and continue our efforts to support the people of Ukraine. It’s a great tasting beer, which has been enjoyed for decades in Ukraine and by purchasing this product, our customers and members will be directly contributing to humanitarian relief efforts.”