Cider Corner: How Planning Helps Vander Mill Set Up for Future Success

​The ​Vander Mill team is constantly thinking​ about ideas for new beverages​, which is part of its success.​ But, those gains don’t come without proper planning.​

​”​That’s part of the fun​,” the Grand Rapids, Michigan cidery team wrote to Brewer recently​ about planning ahead for new releases​. ​”​Usually, we like to be as far out as six months, knowing it can all change quickly. Keeping the distributors and retailers in mind, we don’t like to be less than 90 days.​”​

The cidery looks at its seasonal ciders as the minor leagues. That’s a great analogy when it comes to planning for future success. Just like a minor league team, seeing small-batch runs become successful puts more behind its future gains. Forecasting can become more focused.

READ MORE: Cider Corner: ​Ideas to help Develop Best Practices for COGS

“To get called up to the big leagues, the cider has to have good sales, a good following, and, most important, flavor,” the Vander Mill team wrote. “It has to be something we all love to drink.”

For the cidery’s newest seasonal calendar, they said that they have had so many requests for some of its original ciders such as Nunica Pine and Ginger Peach.

“We want to give the fans what they ask for,” they wrote. “We will have small updates to bring these ciders up to larger production runs.”

They also said they love to use the taproom to engage the public in what excitement newer R&D brands can create.

When it does come to planning for future sales, the biggest curveball is on-premise.

​”​It’s crucial we make sure we produce enough kegs during a package run,” they wrote.

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