(Portland, OR) – Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. (“CBA”) (Nasdaq: BREW), an independent craft brewing company, announced today that Ken Kunze has been appointed chief marketing officer. Kunze, a seasoned marketing executive with more than 25 years of leadership experience in the consumer packaged goods, beer and beverage industries, will join the company November 4, 2013 and will report to Andy Thomas, President of Commercial Operations.
As CMO, Kunze will be responsible for the marketing and management of CBA’s dynamic portfolio of brands, including Widmer Brothers Brewing, Redhook Brewing, Kona Brewing Co., Omission and Square Mile Cider Company, as well as oversee innovation and new brand development.
“We are extremely excited to welcome Ken to CBA,” said Thomas. “His extensive experience building and evolving well-loved consumer brands for leaders like Heineken and PepsiCo will be immensely valuable as we continue to grow CBA’s distinctive family of brands. With Ken on board, we are further reinforcing our commitment to finding new and exciting ways to bring our brands to life and advance our competitive edge as the only company to combine the soul of a craft brewer with the body of a big brewer.”
As CMO for Sabra Dipping Co, a PepsiCo joint venture, Kunze led the marketing strategy that resulted in brand awareness growing +32%, household penetration jumping +80% and sales doubling in his three years. These efforts drove market share +18 pts for a market leading 60 share of the hummus category and converted 26 million Americans into hummus consumers for the first time.
During his tenure at Heineken USA, Kunze helped lead Heineken USA to be a top performing US beer company and was an Ad Age Top Ten Marketer of the year for his work on brand Heineken. Kunze oversaw the development of the long-running and award-winning “It’s All About The Beer” campaign for brand Heineken, as well as developed and launched the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man In The World” campaign. Other highlights include the launch of Heineken Premium Light, the Heineken Keg Can, Heineken Draft Keg, HUSA’s first Spanish language advertising and numerous movie tie-ins, including the first James Bond partnership and blockbusters like Austin Powers.
“Consumers today are looking for flavor in everything they consume, and they are seeking out brands with interesting stories. This is true across categories, but it is especially true in beer. CBA’s portfolio is made up of world class brews, all with interesting flavors, and the brands have great stories that are about to be amplified,” said Kunze. “CBA is a unique opportunity, and the portfolio is well-positioned for growth. I am excited to help bring the opportunity to life and honored to be part of the CBA team. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
About Craft Brew Alliance
CBA is an independent, publicly traded craft brewing company that was formed through the merger of leading Pacific Northwest craft brewers – Widmer Brothers Brewing and Redhook Ale Brewery – in 2008. With an eye toward preserving and growing one-of-a-kind craft beers and brands, CBA welcomed Kona Brewing Company in 2010, and then launched Omission beer in 2012 and Square Mile Cider Company in 2013.
When Kurt & Rob Widmer founded Widmer Brothers Brewing in 1984, they didn’t confine their brewing exploration to strict style guidelines. To this day, Widmer Brothers continues to create craft beers with a unique and unconventional twist on traditional styles that are award winning and please a wide range of craft beer lovers. Redhook began in a Seattle transmission shop in 1981 and those colorful roots are reflected in the brand’s personality to this day. The eminently drinkable beers consistently win awards and please crowds across the United States. Kona Brewing was founded in 1994 by the father and son team of Cameron Healy and Spoon Khalsa, who dreamed of crafting fresh, local-island brews with spirit, passion and quality. As the largest craft brewery in Hawaii, Kona personifies the laid-back, passionate lifestyle and environmental respect of the Hawaiian people and culture. Omission beer is the first craft beer brand in the United States focused exclusively on brewing great tasting craft beers with traditional beer ingredients, including malted barley, that are specially crafted to remove gluten. Square Mile Cider was inspired by the fortitude and perseverance of the original pioneers and reinvigorates an enduringly classic beverage with its blend of apples hand-selected for the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
For more information, visit: www.craftbrew.com.