Bellavita Q&A with Phoebe Small, Brand Manager at Carlsberg UK


UK has always been a country with a strong beer culture and a vast production of local beers. What are the keys to success that Poretti has identified to consolidate its presence in the UK market?

1/3 of drinking occasions in the UK On-Trade includes food and the Birrificio Angelo Poretti brand has a wide portfolio of beers available that have been brewed specifically to partner with food. We must educate the trade into understanding and appreciating the merits of pairing food with beer instead of other categories such as wine – unlocking this will enable us to establish the brand within the dining environment and enable growth in the future.

Poretti has a wide selection of beers whose names refer to the number of hops, but whose differences also lie in the degree of malt, colour and flavour. Which is your most successful beer in the on-trade channels in UK?

As it stands, Birrificio Angelo Poretti 3 takes the lion’s share of volume in the UK. It has an accessible yet flavoursome taste profile which, when tried by consumers, performs well which is reflected in the strong repeat purchase rate within the On Trade. The more complex beers such as Birrificio Angelo Poretti 4 and Birrificio Angelo Poretti 8 are best enjoyed alongside food and we aim to educate the trade on the reasons why to establish these variants in the UK.

Poretti has a very innovative product called Poretti 8 Gusto Agrumato , created in collaboration with Chef Davide Oldani. When is its official UK launch expected?

We are looking to introduce this citrussy beer into the UK range in 2020.

How much do you focus on restaurants, pubs and bars not necessarily connected to Italy? What expansion plans does Poretti have in order to combine Italian beer with non-Italian cuisines?

Our Italian heritage is very important to us but we are lucky enough to have a range of beers that complement cuisine from around the world. For example, Birrificio Angelo Poretti 8 Agrumato pairs extremely well with fish dishes, light salads and citrussy puddings allowing us to think outside of stereotypical Italian cuisine.

Do you think that restaurants in UK pay now a satisfactory level of attention when choosing their beer list? Are UK restaurants now more focussed on completing their customers' experience by pairing their meal with the right beer, enhancing their specific characteristics?

There is still a long way to go to reset perceptions on why restaurants should recommend a beer with food as opposed to traditional categories such as wine. Education is key to this which is something we are working to develop in order to give trade the confidence to recommend beer as a credible partner to food.

Poretti is a brand born over 140 years ago. How important is its notable history in consumers' choice? Do you believe that off-trade and on-trade channels also pay attention to factors such as history and corporate image?

Insight tells us that consumers do place the provenance and heritage of the brands they choose as a key reason to believe in the brand. However, with a plethora of brands within the UK having a similar background and story to tell. Whilst Italy is our home, and something we are very proud of, we must work harder to establish Birrificio Angelo Poretti as something differentiated.

Are you planning to include also some of the UK off-trade channels in your business strategies?

We are always looking at great opportunities to introduce UK consumers to the Birrificio Angelo Poretti brand.

The next edition of Bellavita Expo will be the third in a row in which Poretti will participate. What made you choose Bellavita as your business partner?

Undoubtedly Bellavita’s strong links to quality. We also admire their innovative way to approaching Italian taste and flavour that appreciates tradition but embraces change and modernity - a similar approach we have to the Birrificio Angelo Poretti brand.

What are the new features Poretti will present at the next Bellavita Expo London? What kind of trade visitors will you target the most?

We will be introducing a range of our beers straight from the brewery in Varese, Italy and also showcasing our pioneering DraughtMaster technology that allows restaurants without cellars to offer a freshly pressed draught beer to their guests.