Case study Ragnar - Participation in the Innovation Tour USA

Start-up company RAGNAR Brewery participated in the New Frontiers in Food Fast Forward (NF4) Innovation Tour to the USA to explore the market opportunities for its craft beer concept. Ragnar has been founded in 2018 and has the ambition to make a authentic flavors beer inspired by ninth century recipes, with a bottle with a unique shape. RAGNAR Brewery is also opening a unique and unusual place in Normandy. This year, RAGNAR joined Valorial as a Member, to benefit of its network and events. With the participation in the NF4 project, RAGNAR aims to investigate the opportunities for craft beer in the USA.

Brasserie RAGNAR participated in the NF4 Innovation Tour to the USA from the 18th to the 21nd of March. The NF4-project was a great opportunity to present the company and its products in the USA on different occasions and meet with importers and distributors to better understand how they work. It was a good opportunity to gain knowledge on the US market and its expectations. The European delegation visited Chicago and Milwaukee and met with cluster organizations, (food)companies, investors and other experts in the field of international/US food business. Benoit ROUSSET, strategic director said:

“This was a great chance to discover the American beer market, which is ten years ahead of France – especially concerning craft beers development. Making a business pitch to present our viking beers in front of a varied audience was also an interesting challenge!”

Brasserie RAGNAR was able to meet with other American brewers, distributors, broaden its knowledge of the American consumers’ degree of sensitivity to the Viking and Scandinavian universe and meeting potential partners & contacts for the future development of our brand in the USA. The delegation counted also other drink companies which enable to share the visions and understanding. At the meeting event the concept could be shared with the American audience and they gave us great feedback and let us think of future cooperation in a very near future.

To enter the US market, Brasserie RAGNAR will need to investigate the FDA-regulations, activate its import and distributions contacts. But also, think ahead how to promote its concept as distributors often cover only limited areas of the country, and consumer trends different across the US. Therefore, as planned for now, Brasserie Ragnar decided to wait with expanding its business oversees and will focus on the French market for now. Benoit Rousset adds:

“The aim of this trip was scouting international opportunities for the future. We are indeed strongly rooted in the Norman territory. We want our beers to conquer the local market before expanding to other horizons. Nevertheless the contacts we made open some good perspectives for the coming times.”

Inspired by a well-known historical figure popularized by the Vikings series on TV channel History, the Ragnar Brewery is a craft beer production company based in Normandy. Although it is the first region of beer consumption in France, Normandy does not yet have a reference mark in this field, as BrewDog for Scotland, Guinness for Ireland or Goose Island for Chicago. Our priority is to offer authentic flavors inspired by ninth century recipes, that include a hundred plants used at the time by the Vikings. We also have our own bottle, unique in the world, to distinguish us from our regional competitors.