Bibendum has its ‘mojo back’, says Michael Saunders

“Bibendum has got its mojo back”, according to chief executive of the UK-based drinks distributor, Michael Saunders, six months after its bail-out by C&C Group.

As reported in April this year, cider makers C&C Group with backing from brewing giant AB InBev, swooped in to save distributors Matthew Clark and Bibendum from the flailing Conviviality PLC, and one month later, it was revealed that Saunders was rejoining Bibendum as chief executive – he had been at the head of Bibendum from its founding in 1982 until it was bought by Conviviality in May 2016.

Speaking to the drinks business last week, Saunders stressed that the distributor was back in growth, and filled with a positive spirit, boosted by the “rock solid” backing of its new owners.

“We are getting back to being a respected business with a bit of bounce in our step,” he said.

Mentioning measurable aspects to the company’s performance first, he said that the customer service KPI of “on time in full” delivery performance was now running at 98% at Bibendum, while “the speed of answering the telephone is slightly better than when I sold the business in 2016.”

Continuing he said, “What is immeasurable is the mojo of the business, which, although I can’t prove it, has recovered.”

“A customer came in to our offices recently for a tasting and said that this place is like Bibendum again, it has got back its sense of humour, its combination of fun and hard work, and its sense that it’s committed to the cause, rather than just doing a job,” he then recorded.

Nevertheless, he did outline the significant challenges facing the business of drinks distribution in the UK.

“Endemically the distribution business is very challenged, and costs have gone up to drive it into a position where no-one has been making any money,” he commented, before saying, “And we are wandering into unchartered waters,” referring to Brexit.

However, for Bibendum specifically, he stated his confidence in the present and future health of the business.

“I am very lucky with C&C to be able to do the right things for our customers,” he said.

“Now we are probably the best-resourced wine business in the UK; we are rock solid,” he stated emphatically.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales - Global Wine Competitions

The Drinks Business
London, UK

London Account Manager

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Sales Advisor

The Whisky Exchange
London, UK

Customer Services Administrator

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

Business Development Manager

Pol Roger Portfolio
London, UK

Business Development Executive – Spirits

Pol Roger Portfolio
London, UK

Trading Administrative Assistant

Vin-Exchange Ltd
London, UK

Events Sales Executive

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

On-Trade Regional Sales Manager

Anthony Byrne Fine Wines
West Midlands, UK

Pink Rosé Festival

7th Feb 2019

Wine Paris

11th Feb 2019
Click to view more

The Global Fortified Masters 2018

Deadline : 25th January 2019

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2019

Deadline : 1st February 2019

Click to view more

Rioja Masters 2018

View Results

The Global Beer Competition

View Results

Click to view more