hunter © charlies 1

Charlie’s / Food & Beverage Scaling Charlie’s, to sell at five times its market value

Few ideas are more important than growth. But what if your initial brand strategy for expansion failed?

Project type

Brand Scale-up


Brand strategy, Brand campaign, Activation, PR, Social Media. 

After a good ten plus year sprint in the juicing game, NZX listed drinks company Charlie’s decided it was time to position itself for sale. Despite owning the New Zealand market and selling in 14 other countries, the business had experienced slow growth in Australia. Its intensive distribution strategy through convenience stores was simply not gaining traction. The all things to all people approach didn’t demonstrate the sort of business growth that was needed to excite potential buyers.

Already involved with a brand reboot for Charlie’s, Hunter sat down with Co-Founders Stefan Lepionka and Marc Ellis, Marketing & Export Sales Manager Ron Curteis and distributor Soulfresh Founder & CEO Didi Lo to rethink their approach.

hunter © charlies2

Cancelling out the idea of dropping watermelons off sky-scrapers, we eschewed a selective distribution strategy by hand-selecting the right-fit cafes (early adopters) to quickly gain market acceptance. Along with a brand awareness campaign and some giant fruit mascot suits we had the right mix of push pull to use as a business case to get into the major supermarket chains.

The resulting relaunch saw awareness grow from three to 45% as Charlie’s drinks were enjoyed across Melbourne and Sydney. With engagement growing, exposure across the social channels climbed whilst supermarkets increased the brand’s shelf presence as the business pulled the trigger.

“Our market value substantially increased following our partnership with Hunter. The Charlie’s relaunch secured us partnerships with the key major supermarket chains and international corporations began showing interest. Asahi Holdings then bought the company for AU$170 million, at least five times its market value at the time.
— Ron Curteis, Marketing & Export Sales Manager

Brand Scale-Up Lessons / Key Takeaways:

  • The biggest mistake brands can make when launching into new markets is to assume that everybody knows who they are. We recommend stepping lightly and starting out with a simple ‘hello’.
  • In cluttered markets, use category conventions to your advantage. If your brand permits, turn them on their head and introduce a more humorous approach.
  • Big brands often equate to bigger budgets. So, outsmart the competition by being clever with your media and messaging…. And ask for added-value wherever you can get it.

At Hunter, we can help you with:
Brand strategy, creative strategy, creative direction, art direction, copywriting, brand naming, logo design, brand identity, graphic design, packaging design, project management, production management 
and execution.

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