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.
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.