Nichols, the company behind popular brands Vimto and Feel Good Drinks, has appointed Matt Nichols and Robert Hammersley as commercial directors. They succeed previous international commercial director, Simon Hunt-Brown, who has now retired.
The decision was made to appoint two commercial directors to replace Hunt-Brown, following the rapid growth of Nichols’ international division. International sales for the group are up, totalling £32m in 2017 (up from £26.6m in 2016). This has been driven by a surge into African markets, where sales are up 21.2% YoY, as well as the continued popularity in the Middle East, where 35m bottles of Vimto Cordial are sold every year.
In the past year Vimto has launched in six new African countries (Benin, Mauritania, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast and the Maldives) – meaning the brand is now in a total of 35 African countries. Plus, two new flavours, Vimto Ginger and Vimto Watermelon, were added to the portfolio within the organisation’s existing African markets. Elsewhere, Vimto launched in Malaysia and brought its frozen offering to the Middle Eastern region.
Nichols says: “We had a really successful 2017, but we’re not stopping there. We’ve got our sights set on a further five markets across Africa and Asia, we’ve seen increased interest in our frozen offer, particularly across Europe and the Middle East, and have some more really exciting NPD in the pipeline too. International is a big focus for the business and in our new roles, Robert and I will be looking to lead our brilliant team to continue building on the successes we’ve already seen.”
Before taking up his current role, Nichols was regional manager for the Middle East. Matt, who has been in the business for over 12 years, is great grandson of the organisation’s founder, John Noel Nichols.
In his previous role, Hammersley was regional manager for Africa, a position he had held since January 2013. Prior to joining the Nichols business, Hammersley worked in the textiles industry in Western Africa, where he also lived.
CEO at Nichols, Marnie Millard says: “There is no doubt that the heritage of the brand continues to resonate with consumers across the globe. As a business we continue to focus on developing our core brands and markets, while diversifying into new territories. Both Robert and Matt have proven track records of delivering profitable growth within our international markets – I’m delighted to appoint them into their new roles.”