2020 State of the Beverage Address: Old Orchard’s Bulk Program in Review
This year was not what any of us had expected back in January. Many of our craft beverage customers are located in the Midwest, which has been hit hard by COVID-19.
In our own little corner of the world, on the outskirts of "Beer City, USA" in West Michigan, we're not sure where all the time has gone. But before we say hello to 2021, here's a snapshot of what 2020 looked like for our bulk supply program:
- We started a new blog. With Old Orchard's new "Brew Blog", we hope to spark conversation on the wild world of fruity brews. For those of you who created an account with us and subscribed, we'll include links to new blog posts as part of our monthly newsletter.
- We welcomed 84+ new bulk program customers (and counting). Our fruit-forward family has grown a lot this year. As always, most of you are craft beverage makers—whether cider, seltzer, beer, wine, spirits, mead, or something in between. We're grateful to you all for making masterful brews when everyone needs them most.
- We expanded our team. We hired new folks in production and customer service. We only wish we could see their smiling faces more often from underneath those masks!
- We got published! (Sort of). We had the pleasure of sponsoring the Beer and Brewing Magazine where we printed full-page ads, in addition to sponsoring their stellar podcast.
- We made our big seltzer debut. Our craft concentrates are now used in various hard seltzer brands nationwide. And they taste mighty fine, we might add—garnering industry attention and rave reviews.
- We redesigned our bulk website. You may have noticed things looking a little more spiffy around here. We hope you find it easier to navigate our pages.
- We prioritized customers. Fruit family first. In order to keep the craft beverage world spinning, we decreased efforts in sales and marketing and increased efforts in production. We've paused our samples for the time being, but that allows us to focus on fulfilling regular orders.
- We started "Taproom Chats". We weren't able to chat in your physical taprooms this year, and we know you're all getting Zoom fatigue, so our phone chats are the next best thing. (We like to pretend we're still in the taproom.)
- We listened. We are thankful to all of you who took the time to tell us what you like about our bulk supply program, and what you would like to see updated. We are currently working on the most-requested changes, and we can't wait to tell you when they're ready.
- We put safety first. When able, our Old Orchard employees are working from home. For those working on-site, our COVID-19 safety plan keeps us open and operating safely.
- We hosted our first virtual tradeshow booth. BrewExpo may have been canceled, but Andrew Coplon (Craft Beer Professionals) did a great job of troubleshooting an online alternative.
We look forward to making many more brews and improvements in years to come. Happy holidays from Old Orchard's crew to yours.
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