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Authors:
James G Gallagher (Edinburgh Napier University)
Published in:
2019
Version:
18-Feb-2019
Revision date:
04-Apr-2019
Length:
22 pages
Data source:
Published sources

Abstract

This is part of a case series. As Chase’s Tyrrells Chips grew, Chase was searching for the next step. In 2004 whilst travelling in the USA, looking for packaging equipment for the chips, he stumbled on a small distillery making potato vodka and thought this would be a great new chapter to life. He returned home, and decided it would definitely be more fun making vodka. He researched the market and found it to be full of a lot of 'twee' marketing stories or large corporate companies. So he thought there would be a market if he could make a quality product and sell it with provenance and pedigree. He sourced a traditional type of still to make the vodka base. But, he needed a bespoke rectifying column. Chase, the founder of Tyrrells Chips, who sold his potato chips business for an estimated GBP40 million in 2008 to private equity firm Langholm Capital began his distilling business. 'I thought if we could do the same story we did with Tyrrells, but with distilling - where we've actually got a farm and we're making it ourselves - people would buy into that. I'm really into provenance.' From the idea in 2004, it took us until April fool’s day 2008 to harvest the first of his potatoes, making the first batch of vodka in June 2008. Upon tasting the very first drop from the column before filtering, Chase was so enamoured and proud of it, he decided to call it Chase Vodka. And so Chase Distillery was born. Chase then found that where he thought he had a contract with Tyrrells after its sale this was not so 'When they bought it they had a contract with us to keep supplying them, but then they found they could get them cheaper elsewhere.' Furthermore, they forced Chase to rebrand his fledgling distillery, which was a 'bit of a bugger', he says, but also a blessing in disguise: 'You don’t want a premium drink associated with snacks.' Chase then started the work of implementing his strategy for building the Chase Distillery and brand.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses.

Topics

Entrepreneurship; Start-up and early expansion stage; Product development and positioning; Market building strategy; Branding an innovative customer value proposition; Heritage brand; Organic and natural foods

Setting

The events covered by this item took place in 2004-2017.

Geographical setting

Region:
Europe
Country:
United Kingdom

Featured company

Company name:
Chase Distillery
Employees:
51-200
Turnover:
GBP 25 million
Type:
Self-owned
Other keywords:
Chase Distillery; Gin; Heritage product; Organic Gin

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