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'PowerPoint can be painful!’ Tesco soft drinks buyer warns entrepreneurs

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By Ben Bouckley+

11-Jul-2014
Last updated the 11-Jul-2014 at 17:57 GMT

The head of Tesco’s soft drinks buying team David Beardmore has urged aspiring brands not to turn up at the retailer’s HQ with a lengthy PowerPoint presentation but to do something different.

Speaking with BeverageDaily.com editor Ben Bouckley at the recent DrinkPreneur Live! 2014 event in London, UK – an incubation event and competition for startups – David Beardmore, who is Tesco’s category buying manager for soft drinks and juice, also said the wider industry needed to learn about multi-channel retailing.

3,000 store distribution – The Holy Grail?

“Everyone thinks the Holy Grail is 3,000 store distribution – you’ve got to target it much more and really understand the customer and the format that you’ve going after,” he says, in this video shot by MyDrink Beverages, who organized DrinkPreneur with Zenith International.

“Do I think the industry really gets multi-channel? No. But that’s an issue for entrepreneurs as such, it’s a wider industry issue – how does social media play, how do you integrate a restaurant chain within a retailer, make sure you have a different format, packaging formats for dotcom,” Beardmore says.

“The offer has to be relevant for each of the channels you’re in,” he says.

You need a concept that’s scalable and profitable

Alongside urging brands to do something different when pitching to his buying team, Beardmore warns: “This is an incredibly competitive market that we operate in. You’ve got to have a concept that’s scalable but also works from your own profit and loss point of view.

“One thing we’ve seen certainly, is that if you don’t get the financing right – most the businesses that fail do so because they run out of cash. And having really solid financial backers and an understanding of the costs involved in the industry is critical," he adds.

Click here to read more about DrinkPreneur Live! 2014 .

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