Tony Watson

Tony Watson

Cider brand Orchard Pig has poached a former Carlsberg exec to fill its newly created sales director position.

Tony Watson, who has 21 years of commercial experience with the drinks giant, will be responsible for driving the sales team to double the company turnover as it forges ahead with growth plans.

Most recently, Watson worked as nationals business unit vice president, where he was accountable for 78% of Carlsberg UK’s volume across Carlsberg, San Miguel, Tetley’s, Holsten, Skol and Somersby cider.

This year Orchard Pig exceeded £10m of retail sales with its Reveller cider growing by 85% in the on-trade.

“My first taste of Reveller and experience with the Orchard Pig brand really made me think differently about cider and showed me how exciting the industry could be,” Watson said.

“It’s an interesting time for the cider category as a whole - expectations and tastes have become more sophisticated in recent times, which gives us scope to really grow the market beyond your typical offerings. I’m eager to get stuck in and make pigs fly.”

Orchard Pig founder Andrew Quinlan added: “Putting our cider into cans really catapulted our modern character into the mainstream this year and it’s brilliant to now be the fastest-growing apple cider in the UK. With so many possibilities ahead of us it quickly became clear that we needed to build the new sales director role to help maximise these opportunities.”