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Jägermeister MD: Cold brew trend to hit UK

The managing director for Mast-Jägermeister UK is hoping to encourage a new way for drinkers to enjoy Jägermeister by focusing on the growing coffee trend.

Michael Cleary managing director at Mast-Jägermeister

After posting successful growth in the year 2021, with record sales after reaching 8.7 million nine-litre cases, Mast-Jägermeister’s CEO Michael Volke said the company was planning to  leverage its “marketing prowess in the global spirits industry”.

Speaking exclusively to The Spirits Business, Michael Cleary, Mast-Jägermeister UK’s managing director, also voiced major ambitions for the brand, and explained the reason behind its successful adaption to the on-trade conditions post-pandemic – especially given that in the UK, the brand’s sales “are about 75% on-trade”, he explained.

So, what happened to us during lockdown is that the main part of our business was closed,” he said. “We repurposed our CRM system. CRM measures the type of bar, the outlet, who visits them, whether they’re listed.

“Back in 2021, we knew outdoor would be so important, and our CRM system never had outdoor spaces registered. We had no beer gardens, or boxes to tick like that, but repurposed in about six weeks. We built a network of about 1,500 bars.”

Cleary noted that while a part of the brand’s success in bar orders was down to an “incremental shot” of Jägermeister being added to a round of drinks, the Jägerbomb is still the predominant serve being ordered – a serve made by dropping a shot of Jägermeister into an energy drink, typically Red Bull.

“In Anglo-Saxon markets in the world, Jägerbombs are the brand’s serve. Jägerbombs took off 10 years ago and just stayed in the market,” he said.

The brand is attempting to push a new way to drink Jägermeister, however, which is simply in straight form.

“We have a big effort behind our brand to push the perfect serve, which is serving it in a shot, at -18ºC. We’ve done an awful lot of work, and estimate 30% of our sales in the UK are behind the ice cold shot,” Cleary added.

New campaign

Jägermeister’s campaign, The Secret Is Ice Cold, was rolled out in November 2021 in the UK, and has benefitted the brand, according to the managing director.

When the on-trade started to open up again after the lockdown, “customers were demanding more Jägermeister”. As a result, the brand increased its stock in the UK.

“So, it was at a cost to us but what we promised ourselves that we will not go out of stock on our consumers. It’s our right as a brand owner to make sure that we can supply the product when the consumer is demanding it, those are the things we changed internally. ”

The Cold Brew Coffee was released in the UK in 2019
2022 to be one of the ‘best years’ for the brand

Looking to the future, Cleary is optimistic about the brand’s targets in 2022: “We’re hopefully going to have one of our best years in seven or eight years here in the UK, with the great support we’ve had from the on- and off-trade,” he said.

“We’re really pushing our Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee. It’s a nice product, but doesn’t work well in a bomb, but is perfect as an ice cold shot. I don’t know how many coffee shops you’re seeing around, but the trend of coffee in the UK is big.

“Cold brew coffee is probably a niche that people in other cities are aware of, but it’s massive in the likes of San Francisco, New York. The cold brew trend will come to the UK.”

Generally, Cleary hopes that ice cold shots will be a leading spirits trend in the future, as well as coffee growth within the spirits industry.

When you go into a supermarket, it looks like the supermarkets are setting up for cocktails, because people that have got used to making drinks are probably are a bit more educated now on how to do this. Consumers don’t want to make drinks with one ingredient or two, they’ll be more adventurous.

“When you walk into supermarkets, there’s a lot more shelf space dedicated to cocktail ingredients – hence Cold Brew ticks the box because of Espresso Martinis.”

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