By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: Woodland Home Products, the Australian manufacturer and distributor of cooking brands such as Beefeater and St George, is sending its marketing manager, Darren Goble, to the USA to build the Beefeater business.

Previously handled by agents in the USA, Woodland Home Products has decided to bring the US distribution back in house with Goble appointed as business manager for North America.

“We’ve had someone dedicated 100 per cent to the business in Europe which has seen some really good growth over the past 12 to 24 months and whilst we’ve had representation for Beefeater in the USA, it’s never been 100 per cent dedicated to Beefeater,” said Goble.

“I will be exclusively promoting the Beefeater BBQ brand, overseeing the existing distribution network that we have in the US as well as identifying and engaging some new business opportunities and looking at some key markets and key regions where there are opportunities for us to make in-roads into those markets.”

Goble has been employed at Woodland Home Products for almost 12 months now, leaving LG Electronics to take on a position at the Sydney-based manufacturing, distribution and export company. He is due to start in the USA in March.

“I am viewing it as a great opportunity and one that I am extremely excited about," Goble said. “There is a major national BBQ conference in Reno Nevada in mid-March — that’s a great opportunity for me to look at the market and meet the major players in the industry.”

The US BBQ market is estimated to be in excess of 17 million units and with the most recent success of the European business development, Goble is keen to grab a bigger share of the market and build on the existing reputation of Beefeater in the USA.

“The product has received some good coverage across a range of media including Enews and in a book that focused on the world’s finest, we were judged as the world’s finest BBQ… we have also had the benefit of being placed at some of the Hollywood A-lister’s residences and some premium housing developments.”

Goble is also looking to capitalise in some way on the Australian heritage of Beefeater BBQs.

“We need to be able to hang our hats on many different attributes … but that is a definite point of difference that I am looking to leverage,” he said.

“With the work Paul Hogan had done back in the 80’s of throwing a shrimp on the barbie, I think there is a general awareness there that we like our BBQs.

“This is the first time that Beefeater has had a 100 per cent dedicated person on the ground representing the brand in the USA and it’s exciting to me being an Australian and representing an Australian brand in the USA.”