Expanding Partnership with The Country Malt Group - Market Segmentation


August 1, 2016 - Yakima, WA, USA - Since 2010, Yakima Chief – Hopunion (YCH HOPS) and The Country Malt Group (CMG) have partnered together to provide high quality hops to craft brewing customers throughout North America. On January 1, 2016, this partnership expanded to include a market segmentation strategy.

Prior to the expansion, North American breweries had the potential to be actively approached by both suppliers for similar, if not identical, products. In an effort to streamline market coverage and gain efficiency throughout the entire supply chain, YCH HOPS and CMG have designed the segmentation strategy to optimize hop production capacity, better allocate order fulfillment resources, and provide world-class customer service to breweries of all sizes.

Beginning harvest 2016 / brew year 2017, brewing customers will be asked to work with one supplier based on annual production per year. Breweries exceeding the following production thresholds will be asked to work with YCH HOPS directly, while breweries producing below the threshold will be asked to work with CMG.

Annual Production Thresholds:

  • Pacific Northwest - 1,000 barrels
    • Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Alaska
  • Pacific, Mountain West & Midwest - 2,500 barrels
    • California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio
  • Northeast & South - 5,000 barrels
    • Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia

Immediate benefits to the customer include:

  • Improved customer service through a single point of contact
  • Cost savings through product bundling opportunities
  • Consolidated freight charges and decreased shipping lead times
  • Reduced channel conflict and clear segmentation
  • Continued access to all YCH HOPS products

At YCH HOPS, the mission remains the same: "To connect family farms with the world's finest brewers, providing the highest quality hop products and uncompromising service for the ultimate benefit of our customers, employees and growers."

Having experienced immense growth with the craft beer industry over the past few years, it is important to recognize core competencies and align sales resources for the benefit of all customers. Ultimately, this expanded partnership will optimize sales coverage and allow both suppliers to better serve craft customers. Through collaboration with growers, suppliers and customers, breweries will continue to readily have access to the highest quality ingredients and widest selection of hop varieties available.