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Client stories 30 Nov 2023

Trademarks are our ultimate lifeline

When Brinkers, a family-owned producer of chocolate spreads founded in 1889, wanted to change direction, it turned to Danny Schuwer for help. Both had worked together in the past when Mr. Schuwer was an independent sales rep in the UK. This time, Mr. Schuwer came on board as an advisor for one day a week, but soon joined the Brinkers board full time. The vision was to develop a full line of organic chocolate spreads.

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One issue they faced was that organic products were quite unusual at the time. Consumers, retail chains and suppliers were hardly concerned, so it would require some groundbreaking work to succeed. Secondly, Brinkers produced mostly private-label spreads for others, meaning they had no brands of their own under which to launch their new line of products.

Fast forward to today when Brinkers sells over 25 million jars of chocolate spread in some 65 countries across the world. Around half are sold under one of their own brands, and three quarters are fully organic by now. That's quite an accomplishment because the organic segment in retail is still dominated by private labels.

Our brands grows with the company, and the company grows with our brands
Danny Schuwer - Managing director Brinkers

Key to this success is the establishment of an ever increasing product range and a brand portfolio to match. "Our brands grows with the company, and the company grows with our brands", says Mr. Schuwer. In this interview he talks about the central role brands have in Brinkers' success, how his Spotify playlist gives him inspiration for the development of new brand names, and his unflinching determination when it comes to protecting them.

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