BOS Brands, whose range of iconic rooibos ice teas has revolutionised the South African ice tea market since launching in 2010, is set for further growth after signing a sales and distribution agreement with Rhodes Food Group (RFG), one of Southern Africa’s oldest and largest food producing and distribution companies.
The sales and distribution agreement follows last year’s partnership between the two companies which saw RFG taking over packaging of part of the BOS’s portfolio. According to BOS Brands South Africa’s MD Will Battersby, the sales and distribution agreement with RFG will further enhance synergies across the two companies, creating a significant growth opportunity for both.
“This agreement sees RFG managing all sales and distribution of the BOS range of products in Sub Saharan Africa from March this year,” says Battersby. “With RFG’s experience in the food and beverage market, its relationships with the total retail sector through its dynamic spectrum of products as well as logistical excellence, BOS is beginning a new chapter in our aim of becoming the leading player in the overall Southern African ice tea market. Together with RFG, BOS will now be able to tap into over 10 000 outlets – double of what our current reach allows.”
Some 70% of BOS sales is through the retail sector, with 30% sold through the on-consumption segment including restaurants, coffee-shops and schools.
Since bursting onto the South African scene in 2010, the BOS range of colourfully packaged, refreshing ice teas made from organic rooibos has captured a growing audience and found its way into the hearts and homes of many South Africans. The healthy, iconically branded range of rooibos ice teas, sports drinks and organic rooibos teas have been supported by fun and quirky marketing campaigns, leading to consumers seeing ice tea and rooibos in a unique new light. BOS has subsequently become the leading player in South Africa’s premium ice tea market.
Battersby says the South African ice tea market is currently valued at approximately R900m and within this BOS has captured 12% of the retail segment.
“However, we believe that along with the partnership with RFG we will aggressively grow our share of the category,” he says. “The BOS team will still be responsible for our vibrant brand marketing and communication campaigns, while together with RFG we will continue developing exciting new products, some of which will be launched later this year.”
RFG is one of South Africa’s largest food producers, occupying top brand positions in a number of targeted product categories. Its own brands are complemented by premium private label product ranges, packed for South African and international retailers.
RFG CEO Bruce Henderson says that since its inception BOS has been a brand admired by RFG. “We are truly delighted to announce the manufacturing, sales and distribution agreement,” he says. “This partnership with BOS strengthens RFG’s position in the Southern African beverages segment as we now have our own powerful Rhodes juice brand alongside the Premium market leader in ice tea.”
The local, home-grown brand has always had big ambitions and the partnering with RFG to increase its footprint in Southern Africa comes at a time when BOS Brands is expanding its drive in the international market place. After proving early success in the South African market, BOS introduced its range of premium ice teas in Western Europe in 2014, securing listings in major retailers like Albert Heijn, Jumbo and Carrefour and opening offices in Amsterdam and Paris. Towards the end of last year, the company opened its doors in San Diego, California and 2018 will see BOS launching into the West Coast of the United States – the biggest global ice tea market with annual consumption over 22 litres per capita.
Dave Evans, CEO of BOS Brands says, “This distribution agreement with RFG in South Africa is part of our journey to build a global beverage brand which takes inspiration from our roots in South Africa to bring health and joy to thirsty people everywhere.”
About BOS Brands
- BOS Brands (Pty) Ltd was founded in 2009 by two dynamic entrepreneurs: Grant Rushmere and Richard Bowsher.
- In year one it successfully launched the new range of organic rooibos ice teas in over 1200 delis, supermarkets and restaurants.
- In 2011, BOS’s early success attracted a significant investment from two international players: Invenfin, the venture capital arm of investment company Remgro Limited, and Manchester United Football Club manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
- International expansion began in 2014, with BOS currently having offices in Amsterdam, Paris and San Diego, with the head-office remaining in Cape Town.
- BOS’s organic rooibos is grown at co-founder Richard Bowsher’s farm, Klipopmekaar, in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa. This 100km radius area of the Western Cape is the only place in the world where rooibos grows indigenously and enjoys Geographic Indicator (GI) status.