Boost Drinks appoints first Non Executive Director

Leeds based business Boost Drinks has appointed Kirsty Birks as its first Non Executive Director in a move that signals the soft drinks business intention to further grow within the market.

Birks, has worked alongside Boost Managing Director and founder Simon Gray for 12 years, working within the business as Strategy Director and more recently as an independent strategic adviser.  Kirsty has worked alongside the Boost leadership team on the business’s longer term growth strategy and culture.

During her time advising Simon Gray and the team, the Boost business has gone from strength to strength, moving from one category into three and significantly increasing its distribution across the UK. Now with a successful energy, sports and protein range the business has risen to challenge some of the biggest soft drinks brands in the market and secured the second fastest-selling stimulation SKU in the UK as well as the 3rd fastest growing sports drink.

Birks was formerly a director at Leeds based brand strategy consultancy Propaganda for 13 years focused on working on brand and business strategy as well as holding the position of Vice President at the Management Consultants Association for several years. While at Propaganda Birks provided strategic direction and counsel to Boost on many areas of the business including culture, brand development, structure and positioning.  Kirsty has also been instrumental to the development of Boost’s long term strategic direction and growth plans.

Birks said “I am delighted to have been appointed to this role. Having worked with Simon and Boost for several years, I know the Boost business and the soft drinks industry very well but having worked as a consultant to Boost and several other organisations in the past I also have the independence and broader strategic experience to give Simon Gray and the wider leadership team a different and broader perspective.

“We are undoubtedly working in uncertain times and the soft drinks industry, in particular the functional drinks segment of it, is not immune from challenges from a number of different areas, not least our environmental footprint and changing consumer needs & motivations. However, the opportunities for an ambitious, proven and nimble business like Boost to innovate, diversify and further grow its core business are significant and I very much look forward to continuing to provide positive and stimulating challenge to Simon and the wider leadership team at Boost.”

Simon Gray commented “Kirsty and I have worked together for many years and since the very first programmes we worked on while she was at Propaganda, Kirsty has demonstrated a proven ability to provide me and my leadership team with solid and differentiated strategic thinking. Kirsty  always brings a fresh perspective while being unafraid to challenge our thinking or some of the received wisdom in our industry. We work extremely well together but I also know that Kirsty will challenge me and the team to both build on our strengths and think and work differently when it’s required.

“I have strong future growth ambitions for Boost and having independent and trusted counsel from someone who knows me and knows the business but also has an experienced and independent non-partisan perspective on us is very valuable to me and my team.”

Boost is still the only functional drinks brand that exclusively serves the independent convenience channel.  The brand has also grown to boast one of the fastest-selling Soft Drinks and is one of only three energy brands in growth year on year in wholesale. Going forward, Boost’s priorities are to continue to deliver sustainable growth as well as continuing to prioritise its relationships with independent retailers across the UK. In 2020, Boost will launch a ready to drink Iced Coffee range as the business enters the fastest-growing category in soft drinks and further enhances its functional drinks positioning.

*IRI Marketplace Data Symbols and Independents 52 weeks unit sales to 1st Dec 2019

** IRI Marketplace Data Symbols and Independents 52 weeks unit sales to 8th September 2019, England, Scotland, Wales and NI Convenience / Where stocked is based on IRI Marketplace data as above where skus are in at least 10% of convenience stores. Boost own read of wholesale shipments data via multiple sources 52 weeks volume to end of September 2019.