A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
The Suffolk-based producer has earmarked the investment for equipment and installation costs over the next three years.
Of the £4m, £750,000 has already been invested into cider fermentation and storage tanks, and a vinegar bottling line – another arm of the brand’s business.
Projects to improve fruit management and pressing are also underway, the company has made warehousing and distribution upgrades to cope with increased volume, and a new online shop has also been launched at www.aspallshop.co.uk.
As part of the restructuring, commercial director Geoff Bradman and finance director Des Smith have been promoted to become joint managing directors, responsible for “driving the business forward” under the chairmanship of Barry Chevallier Guild.
Aspall has established a new “cross-functional” executive team and has created a number of new roles to manage its business growth.
Clive Maskell will join the business, as head of finance, and the commercial teams have also been added to by the arrival of Paul Walker who joins as commercial manager.
John Hadingham has moved into the on-trade as commercial manager, to “further support key on-trade partners with a strong focus on training and education in on-trade outlets”.
John Bennett also joins the Aspall team from Adnams as business development manager to “support and grow regional on-trade business”.
Aspall chairman, Barry Chevallier Guild, said: “Aspall has experienced phenomenal growth over the past few years. Our new structure and significant investments in people and production facilities ensure we are able keep pace with this growth and to lead the premium cider and vinegar markets.
“Realigning responsibilities within the business ensures we have the right people doing the right jobs in order to properly manage our growth strategy.”