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Allied Glass – Emerging Brands update

Nolan Kane,s Head of Emerging Brands at Allied Glass, was asked about what inspired him to join Allied, his new team, and the category that he is so passionate about

Earlier this year Allied Glass launched a new Emerging Brands team to support some of the fastest growing and most exciting brands within the drinks industry. Leading the team will be Nolan Kane as Head of Emerging Brands. A few months into the role Nolan was asked about what inspired him to join Allied, his new team, and the category that he is so passionate about.

What attracted you to join AGC?
“It was a mixture of the fantastic history of Allied in Yorkshire and the potential of what we could do. Allied Glass has a history of partnering with brands and growing with them for over 100 years. Four years ago, when the UK started seeing a renaissance in emerging distilleries and brands I was given the opportunity to help take many of these brands to the next level through well thought out bottle design. Fast forward to today and we are partnering with some of the most exciting, growing brands in the UK and beyond.”

How have things changed over the past 4 years?
“The growth of new distilleries has been incredible – with every year consumers have received more choice from both local and non-local producers. Never has the appearance of your brand been more important, both to the customer and for the longevity of your business. Brands must work harder to win over consumers through traditional sales channels by ensuring they stand out on shelf, but now also have the ability to grow through previously unknown areas such as social media feeding into e-commerce. It highlights that eye-catching branding is key.”

Tell me about your new role and why this team has been created?
“Started by gin and soon followed by other categories, the disruptive nature and ability to challenge the norm caused by many emerging brands has changed the landscape within the drinks industry. Pushed by spirited individuals with a thirst to innovate and move quickly we have adapted to meet the specific day to day needs of these customers. Through working with many emerging brands throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe and North America we found that they operate differently compared to many of our more traditional customers. My new role will be leading up a team focussing on this. Making sure that we meet the day to day needs of our Emerging Brands customers to support there long term growth. We’re committed to supporting the brands we partner with and need to make sure our approach to our customers is right for them.

“I’ve taken a lot of pleasure in partnering with so many fantastic brands through their journey so far. We have also shown our commitment to the emerging brands channel through our Distillers Forum and Golden Ticket competition over the last few years. As the drink industry has had to adjust quickly to the changing landscape over the last few months more than ever it’s important that we have the right team in place to support our customers.

“Within the Emerging Brands team are two new account managers Hannah Grundy and Chris McGovern who both bring great enthusiasm and passion for emerging brands and all that they do. The Emerging Brands Team will extend beyond commercial support through to technical support and will help to navigate through the true heart and soul of the process of manufacturing and decorating glass and those responsible for making that happen.”

What’s next in the world of glass?
“Innovation from both manufacturing and design will continue to push boundaries. This married with a constant evolution in decoration techniques will see the industry continually evolving. Sustainability, ethics and traceability have also become a key conversation with all our customers. Consumers now want to know that they’re doing their part as ethically as possible when buying products. Allied is perfectly placed to support this through both our production techniques and locality of all three of our production sites in Yorkshire.”

What do you see as the trends within spirits over the next few years?
“Consumers are more open to experimenting and trying new things. Gin has done a wonderful job bringing spirits firmly back on-stream. This will carry through into other interesting categories such as rum, mescal, and vermouth. RTDs (ready-to-drink) will also have more of a mainstay as producers create interesting high-quality drink options evolving channels such as home consumption. Also, the NoLo (no- and low-alcohol) category will continue to challenge the norm as consumers seek to find health conscious alternatives. Glass will naturally play a big part within it all, not only for packaging innovation, but also through its sustainability assets.”

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