Within days of appointing Ben Parmar, the former Cobra Channel Controller, as MD of Goa Premium Beer importer Viiking Ventures UK, the company has announced that wholesalers Booker and Makro are to stock its craft beer. The gluten-free pilsner is being trialled in 650ml bottles and 500ml cans for three months - at Booker outlets in Acton, Brighton, Croydon, Dagenham, Nine Elms, St Pancras, Sidcup, Southend, Medway and Wimbledon plus as well as Makro depots in Charlton, Enfield and Rayleigh – ahead of a decision whether to roll out the product nationwide.

Parmar has immediately beefed up the sales operation.  His first appointment is Hoshang Noria, former National Sales Manager at Kato Enterprises, of who also spent 12 years as a Regional Sales Manager for Cobra.

Parmar has also added a van sales team to call on independent high street retailers, which has had a dramatic impact on sales.  The company is currently recruiting additional sales people nationwide.

Outlining his sales strategy, Parmar said, “We know from feedback from the test restaurants, that there is an enormous demand for a premium imported beer, especially one that's gluten free.

“Today's more discerning diners want authenticity – and that applies to the drink as well as food. Drinkers expressed a preference for a genuine imported beer, rather than one brewed in the UK under licence.”

With a craft beer offering, Parmar believes that the successful route to market is not to launch with a massive consumer advertising push.  Instead, Viiking will focus its resources on supporting its resellers.