Category: FMCG News

FMCG News: Vertex Resourcing bring you all the latest news, updates and trending topics from within the UK Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, in bitesize content.

WEEKLY ROUNDUP Grocery and Food market

Today, we take a look at how Waitrose are looking to get in on the online grocery game, about the growth of the Grocery and Food market and about the newest TV advertisement from a well-known north London brewery

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Team building is a gigantic facet of any managers CV. The ability to get those working under you wanting to achieve for you as a group is a superb skill to have in your arsenal, and today we take a look at 3 Team building office games that you can play on a laid-back Friday afternoon to keep moral at a good level.

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BrewDog – a Scottish craft brewery who we have written about previously – are now learning the price of irony in today’s internet age. The Brewery are no stranger to controversy when it comes to their marketing strategy and have been in the spotlight more as of late – but we’ll get to that later.

So, What Happened?

BrewDog took a pre-existing brand of beer of theirs called, ‘Punk IPA’ and rebranded it as ‘Pink IPA’, relabelling the words and the colour to a bright pink. This was done with a sense of irony. BrewDog were poking fun at the unironic way in which other brewery will label pink beers specifically to appeal to ladies by ironically doing so themselves.

The results could have gone better.

Sarah Warman, global head of marketing at BrewDog, said that sexism was “rife” in the brewing industry and that the company would be using the BrewDog Pink launch as an opportunity to attract more female employees and kickstart a “new wave of diversity”.

 The company say that Pink IPA was a “beer for equality”, and that the packaging was a satirical stab at the “sexist marketing” still frequently seen in beer advertising.

It’s Happened Before, Hasn’t It?

BrewDog have also run a less than memorable marketing campaign when they sold their Pink IPA at a cheaper price to anyone who identified as female, they did this to highlight the gender pay gap which stands at around at 18% differential between men and women. It has been pointed out though that BrewDog themselves have a 2.8 median pay gap in favour of men among their own employees (roughly 1,000), and the hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed by many.

The brewery has a history of fraught relationships between themselves and the more progressive mainstream. Back in 2015, they released the world’s first, ‘non-binary transgender beer’ which left many a tweeter on social media to be less than impressed.

No…It’s Happened Again, Hasn’t It?

Yes, folks, it certainly has. A man sued BrewDog for sexual discrimination as he was refused service of a beer due to him being a male.

You can read all about it here. The man went for a drink at the BrewDog bar in Cardiff where he attempted to order the Pink IPA drink which was advertised for £4 as part of the brewery’s campaign to highlight the gender pay gap.

The 27-year-old software engineer said: ‘After a bit of a back and forth with me protesting this, I felt forced to identify as female and was then able to get the drink for £4 – I complained to the company about this and they said it wasn’t discrimination because the price difference was part of a national campaign to raise awareness about the gender pay gap. ‘Not satisfied with this, I complained again to BrewDog stating that I was intending to take them to court over this but would rather resolve the problem outside court. They ignored this.’ And they are currently reaping it in the national press.

And Finally…

BrewDog have certainly been in the doghouse as of late and they seem to have a funny habit of staying there. Original marketing strategies are encouraged in all businesses, but not to the point where they land in you a heap load of bad publicity. We’re sure BrewDog will crew their way out of this one by continuing to produce high quality beers for us all, but perhaps they need a rejig in the marketing team.  

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Working from home, flexible working hours and shorter work weeks are all slowly and surely becoming common place in the modern working model, but is it productive and do we really trust them to be doing the work they should be?

The simple answer should be yes. If you have hired them and you don’t trust them to do the job, then you have hired the wrong person.

However, sometimes when we let our staff work from home, the productivity of work is not always the biggest thing a business is missing from that absenteeism. It’s the development of a culture and the coming together of new innovations and ideas that sometimes only come from peer to peer collaborations and being immersed in an environment that nurtures a team environment.

Intrapreneurialism is at the epicentre of some of the world’s biggest brands like Google, Apple and Microsoft, who without their staff being there to offer innovative ideas, probably wouldn’t be in the positions of global dominance that they are in right now. And you can bet your bottom dollar they would all say that it is starts with providing a nurturing and attractive working culture.

So, we think the biggest question you should be asking yourself as an employer, is not how staff can work from home more, but how can I make the experience of working in the office more attractive .

Well we’ve put together a few things you could try out.

Loosen the Leash

Give your staff the autonomy to dictate their own daily work routines.

By allowing them the ability to decide when they come in, when they leave, how long their lunch breaks are and how many holidays they take a year, will as strange as it sounds actually increase productivity and reduce stress. We all have our own routines, some of us are morning people and some of us are not, some of us work for 6 hours straight and most of us can only work in 2-3-hour stints before we drift off to the allure of any distraction available.

Forcing everyone into the same routine is not only going to force your workers to feel less in control of their lives, but also just means you’re paying for them to do nothing….Let them control their day and their own productivity, end of the day if they aren’t doing the job it won’t change whether you keep them at the office for 6 hours or 3.


Create a Distraction Space

OK so this sounds a bit counter-productive, but half the reason why we procrastinate is because we are bored of doing the same thing repeatedly and we have some energy to burn. So, create a space in the office where your staff can just switch off for 10 mins and wake themselves up a bit.

We have a pool table, balcony, mini football goal and a games console…. Which might be slight overkill, but it gives our guys just a space to interact with each other about something non-work related, burn off that energy and get themselves pumped before heading back to work.


Plus, some of the best innovations come from moments of clarity, so let your guys spend an hour together playing pool, you never know they may come up with the next big innovation for your company.

Do Something Unique

There is a plethora of unique experiences you can offer your staff, so if every Friday all you do is go to the same pub, with only 4 out of the 10 staff who drink, chances are 60% of your staff will probably not feel very valued.

Some of the biggest companies out there really understand how to think out of the box when it comes to making the place of work more than just that. EA Guildford for example have a bar on their rooftop and regularly run BBQ’s and events, plus they have a gym and run regular exercise classes.

Maybe you can’t afford quite the same facilities as a global company like EA, but what you can do, is instead of just doing Friday drinks, you could do Friday events and book silly things like Axe Throwing, or if travel is an issue you could just run events in house, like cocktail making classes, cooking classes or have a casino night in the office. There are plenty of events for hire that can cater for small and medium audiences.

Remember what Richard Branson once said, “look after your employees and they will look after your customers ”, so don’t just settle for the norm, do something that sets your culture apart, and makes working at your company irresistible.

If you like this blog, follow us over on Social Media to let us know we’re doing a great job!

The new drink was launched to tap into consumers’ growing appetite for non- and low-alcohol options. Even before lockdown, an increasing number of brewers were offering more no- and low-alcohol alternatives, while COVID-19 related restrictions have increased consumers’ thirst for hangover-free options as drinking habits have become home-based.

It seems that this issue is isolated to Guinness 0.0 and does not impact any other Guinness variants or brands. However, if you have bought Guinness 0.0 and have a few cans stacked up in the fridge or stored in the backroom, do not consume it.

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