Firm aims to bring wholesale change


A NEW online business pledging to transform the way drinks brands are distributed to the on-trade is set to launch next month.

The brainchild of former Coca-Cola Enterprises sales and marketing executive Arran Heal, Ooberstock aims to offer a “cheaper, more efficient alternative” for drinks supply.
The online ordering system allows drinks companies to upload product information, including images, along with prices and any promotions to a dedicated brand portal; prices and promotions can be set as standard across all distribution channels or altered to reflect a type of outlet or postcode. Brand owners pay a monthly licence fee for access to the software platform so they can administer their product, price and promotional offer.
Operators ordering from Ooberstock pay the net prices direct from the drinks supplier, which includes a transaction fee for each order they make and a standard delivery charge of £24, which is separately displayed regardless of the size of the order.
Heal said Ooberstock’s business model aims to bring major cost efficiencies by out-sourcing the “core elements” of the service. Orders will be delivered by logistics firm Kuehne + Nagel, BCW Group will provide credit management solutions, and iTradeNetwork will provide supply chain IT management services.
The online wholesaler will launch in April offering a range of beer and soft drinks, with spirits and wine to follow in May; there are plans to expand into other product categories, such as dry goods, in future.
Heal told SLTN a “significant number” of brand owners have already joined Ooberstock.
He said his firm aims to give brand owners “greater influence over pricing and improved distribution transparency”, while operators can take advantage of “cheaper prices and a wider range of brands”.
“As well as delivering greater choice and transparency to retailers, brand owners will be liberated from the current industry structure because they will be able to have much greater influence and visibility over where their products are distributed,” he said.
“We conducted in-depth research amongst brand owners before developing our proposition and found that traditional wholesale routes were viewed as too complex, time consuming to manage and lacking in control.
“With Ooberstock we aim to revolutionise the route to market by finally bringing brand owners and retailers together on a level playing field of fair and transparent trading.
“The beauty for customers is that for the first time they will be able to have access to the brands they prefer to sell, rather than the brands traditional wholesalers would rather offer as part of their normal package.
“The Ooberstock model will significantly improve the overall customer service with brand owners being able to provide more direct support through promotions and toolkits.”