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Saturday 21 May 2022

Pete’s Natural bottles up revenue growth

10th March 2022 By Jonathan Mitchell | | @foodtickernz

Drinks company Pete’s Natural has seen revenue jump during the pandemic and is now preparing to dust off the export plans put on the back-burner because of Covid.

Former bakery owners Marleen and Pete Suy founded Pete’s Natural 12 years ago.

The Motueka-based natural beverage manufacturer, founded by former bakery owners Pete and Marleen Suy, increased revenue by up to 30% last year, despite Covid-19 lockdowns and disruption decimating the hospitality sector.

The 12-year-old company stocked up to 800 outlets, with 80% of its sales from foodservice, largely bakeries, delis and cafes. The balance is split 10% from grocery including New World, FreshChoice, Pak’nSave and Moore Wilson’s, and 10% from online orders.

Marleen Suy said the revenue increase was spread across all channels, with online sales tripling in the past two years, the addition of Night ‘n Day convenience stores in the past six months to its grocery footprint, as well adding cafes and restaurants to foodservice.

“The aim of every business is to grow, so we are working very hard on that and getting new customers on board,” she said.

“A lot of it is door knocking – it’s time consuming and not easy but it’s working. And we are also trying to grow sales from our current customers.”

Pete’s Natural’s range has grown to 12 SKUs

Pete’s Natural’s team of eight now produced 1500 litres per day into around 5,500 300ml bottles, with production running five days a week. Its portfolio comprised 12 SKUs, with a new addition launched this week of a hop-based lemonade.

While the plan was to continue to chip away at New Zealand, Suy said the company was also dusting off the export plans that were shelved when Covid-19 hit.

The company was working with a consultant and was confident it could firm up plans to head abroad in 2023.

“So far, Australia, Malaysia and China have come out as good markets, so we will be looking into those and seeing where we get,” she said.

For the past five years, the company had been producing its range of natural sodas at a 150 square metre solar-powered factory in Motueka, Suy said, after initially leasing the space, they bought it about three years ago for an undisclosed sum.

Pete’s Natural also acted as a contract bottler, which contributed 10% of overall revenue. The company currently had around half a dozen contracts, including bottling for Waimak Water and Eden Orchards.



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