Diageo’s New Positive Drinking Initiative

COVID-19 has shifted the way many of us are working and socializing, including spending more time at home. This year, The Spearhead Group, Inc. participated in and is supporting Diageo’s new “Positive Drinking Initiative” This initiative provides informed choices on how to drink responsibly, and in moderation, during these unprecedented times, including when staying at home is the best option. Test your Drinkiq: https://bit.ly/3nWwD1C. How are you staying socially responsible during the pandemic?

Top Tips from Diageo:
1. Drink in moderation: Keep track of your drinks and ensure you are following U.S. government drinking guidelines.
2. Alcohol is alcohol: Remember, it’s how much alcohol you drink, not what you drink that matters.
3. Eat & hydrate: Never drink on an empty stomach and remember to hydrate.
4. Home measures: Track your drinks. When pouring your drinks, use unit or liquid measuring cups.
5. Get creative! Miss your local cocktail bars; learn to make your own cocktails.
6. Drink free days: Incorporate drink-free days into your week and challenge yourself to engage in different fun activities.
7. Plan virtual happy hours and gatherings: Set the date, send invites and get dressed up. Virtual Good Host Guide: https://bit.ly/350E4fB

Read more about: Diageo_Positive Drinking Initiative

Import & Export of Limited-Edition Physical Brand Enhancement™ & More (Part 2 of 3)

As mentioned in Part 1, electronic filing and payments are an instrument in improving transparency, traceability, and providing strict supervision in import-export operations.

Traceability, which is defined as the ability to trace the history, application, or location of an object, is being improved and will have an impact on customs clearance. Customs points in Mexico now have systems in place to check for digital traceability. Challenging as it sounds, it is an aspect that will be beneficial to those manufacturers who are prepared to comply with both the digital and regulatory aspects of supply chain transparency.

The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) requires compliance with labor and environmental regulations, which are aspects that American corporations have paid increasing attention for years. Manufacturers who have followed good labor and environmental practices now have access to official systems to keep track of their supply chain and make the import-export process more efficient.

An important change in the new USMCA, which can make the import-export process easier, is the elimination of the Certificate of Origin, which under NAFTA had to be provided by the exporter or the producer.  Now a certification document can be provided by the producer, exporter, or importer.  According to USMCA, a certification can be also provided by the importer “on the basis of the importer having information, including documents that demonstrate that the good is originating.”  This change allows importers to help open the doors to new products, especially from small manufacturers who may not have the experience or resources to deal with the import-export process in the past.  At The Spearhead Group, we are looking forward to joining efforts with new potential suppliers and innovators, not only in what they can produce but also more efficient ways of bringing their goods to the United States.

Import & Export of Limited-Edition Physical Brand Enhancement™ & More (Part 1 of 3)

Limited-edition Physical Brand Enhancement™ (PBE) has great potential for creativity and innovation, and it also opens the possibility of working with an interesting variety of manufacturers, including artisanal manufacturers. Working with high-skilled artisans or converters, being innovative with the materials used or the way they are used, and hand-finishing – even personalizing items – can be a fascinating experience, but also a challenging one.

These days, the added trials of a world-wide pandemic, and of more strict regulations worldwide make the process a little more challenging. In the case of international import-export operations, the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) transformed trade regulations between Mexico, Canada, and the US. The USMCA requires stricter reporting and control, and also more transparency. In Mexico, there are some new customs and tax laws, as well as additional updates. This means heavier regulation, stricter rules of operation for customs brokers, the need to use more accurate codes, and heavier control from the tax authorities. Electronic payments and filing facilitate transparency and traceability in import-export operations, as well as more strict supervision from the authorities and the enforcement of custom and tax rules.  

It sounds challenging – and it is. But every challenge also brings an opportunity to those who are up for it. A number of Mexican manufacturers and craftspeople are making the necessary adjustments to comply with the new regulations, taking care of whatever is needed to comply with the new regulations, making themselves more competitive, and often improving the quality of their offer. We pride ourselves on working with those innovative individuals, ​and we enjoy the challenge of joining efforts with them to offer our clients the best PBE™ from around the world.

Spearhead Family Profiles: Patricia Burguete, Mexico Advisor

This month, we are highlighting Patricia Burguete, Mexico Advisor, for our Spearhead Family Profile. Patricia joined The Spearhead Group a year ago and shared with us more about her journey and background into innovative thinking and sustainability.

1. Tell us about why and when you joined The Spearhead Group.
Joining The Spearhead Group is probably the most sought-after job I have ever had. I met Heather & Robert years ago when I collaborated with them on a couple of projects in Mexico. I found them to be admirable and fun people to work with.

After the 2017 earthquake, my personal losses drove me to reorganize and rethink different aspects of my life. I was in that process when I first heard about Heather & Robert founding Spearhead. The more I read about the company and its values, the more I wanted to work for them. After some months of communication and exchanging ideas with Robert, I proudly joined Spearhead a year ago as a part-time consultant.

2. How do you find and apply new ideas that you have found in Mexico to make Spearhead a global contender in innovative packaging?  How do you know what to follow-up on?

Applying innovative ideas, materials, or methods is achieved through teamwork. Spearhead’s team is always open to innovation. I attend a variety of trade fairs, keep an eye on scientific, academic, and industry news, while also staying in touch with different groups and people.  I enjoy sharing my findings, and when there is potential to use them that triggers an exchange of ideas.

Keeping our core values in mind makes follow-up an almost natural process.  Whenever I met a person or company, my first “filter” is to bring up sustainability, social responsibility, and innovation early in the conversation. A positive reaction to these topics is a signal to dive in further. Bringing these topics up is a good way to explore innovation and to find out which companies or individuals are willing to think outside the box and go an extra mile for their clients.

3. The Spearhead Group has 5 core values ( 1. Focus on Sustainability and Diversity; 2. Innovative Thinking; 3. Do the Right Thing; 4. Acts with Equal Respect for Clients, Colleagues, and Suppliers; 5. Go the Extra Mile. Can do attitude. Entrepreneurial Spirit). How do you practice these values?

I believe that respect encompasses most of Spearhead’s values. My favorite grandmother was my best example of respect for all living beings and the planet itself. From her, I also learned the values of sustainability, like how to reuse, upcycle, and make the best use of everything at home. The way she ran her household would be considered a great example of a circular economy today.

I’ve also always been a curious person, who likes to understand how anything works. When I like something new, the challenge of innovating and finding ways to use it is a most welcome one. Working with such a great team and loving what you do, makes it really easy to go the extra mile and always looks for ways to help turn ideas into realities.

Spearhead Pioneer, Billerudkorsnäs

The Spearhead Group, Inc., works with best-in-class innovators from around the globe. Our Pioneers help enhance and extend brands beyond the ordinary and we’re so proud to work with them.

Billerudkorsnäs, based in Sweden, is a leading provider of packaging materials and solutions that challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future. Established in 2012 on North American soil, through the merger of Billerud and Korsnäs, their expertise, ranging from raw material to consumer insights and environmental concerns, is key for unlocking the potential of paper and packaging solutions, and ultimately, to empower brands and the packaging industry. In conjunction with ongoing capacity growth, the company continues significant expansion in the USA luxury and consumer goods packaging market with offices, personnel, and stock located across the country.

Working together with Billerudkorsnäs allows for a drive of innovation and sustainability. At the Spearhead Group, we believe in a set of core values to help lead a company, and working with Pioneers that set those same goals is something we strive for. Our core values are: 1.Focus on Sustainability and Diversity; 2. Innovative Thinking; 3. Do the Right Thing; 4. Acts with Equal Respect for Clients, Colleagues, and Suppliers; & 5. Go the Extra Mile. Can do attitude. Entrepreneurial Spirit. Billerudkorsnäs have three pillars/core values that they are based on:

  1. First-class packaging materials
  2. Innovative packaging solutions
  3. A network of like-minded partners

Driven by their ambition for continuous improvement and diversity of perspectives, their innovative thinking has helped to save resources, increase profits, and excite millions of consumers worldwide. Currently, the USA Cartonboard team has just expanded warehousing and distribution bi-coastally (in both MD and CA) to help support customers. Their BioFuel use in 2019 was 96.8% and they used only 3.2% of fossil fuels. They have helped brands greatly reduce CO2 emissions advance toward their carbon neutrality goals. They are also continuing to innovate to support plastic use reduction and impact climate change. We look forward to our continued relationship with Billerudkorsnäs and can’t wait to see what their future brings.

Spearhead Family Profiles: Jessica Knee, Business Administration Manager

The Spearhead Group, Inc. is launching a new series. Once a month, we will highlight members of our family. Jessica Knee, Business Administration Manager, has been with The Spearhead Group since the launch in 2018. We wanted to know more about her journey.

  1. Tell us about helping start The Spearhead Group and what it means to be a part of this company.
    “I worked with Heather and Robert for 6 years prior to the launch of The Spearhead Group. Joining a startup is always about taking a chance, but also knowing Heather and Robert, I knew that no matter what the circumstances were, I would never be on my own. They would always support me and my career and they are the reason I am here. I believe in their vision for The Spearhead Group and I see it coming to life every day. Being a part of this journey from day 1 has been fulfilling, and becoming a known industry company with a full client base and respected reputation is beyond inspiring. Heather and Robert have built a brilliant global company on amazing core values. At Spearhead, we trust each other, we depend on each other, we love what we do we do great work together as a team.

    The Spearhead Group is also a very supportive and flexible environment to work in. During the last few months, we have all had to transition to new work cultures. As a single mom, raising a 5-year-old during this time, Spearhead was so empowering to me. They made it flexible for me to bring him to work and even bought toys for my son to play with while there. They also were able to admire his artwork on every whiteboard in the office. I am thrilled to be part of The Spearhead Group.”

  2. You were recently accepted into the Women’s Business Enterprise Center East (WBEC East)’s Next Gen Committee, tell us more about being accepted and what you hope this next year will look like with the committee?
    “It’s a funny story. I have always considered myself to be introverted and never dived into networking prior to the 2018 WBENC National Event. In 2018, Heather was going to attend WBENC’s National Event, but at the last minute could not attend. At her request, I filled in for her. She gave me an uplifting pep talk, coached me, and sent me on my way!  It ended being a career-changing experience for me. I discovered I loved networking, the WBENC, and what they stand for and I wanted to get more involved. Spearhead opened the door for me to become fully entrenched in helping support other female-led businesses and building friendships. This year, when I was invited to join the Next Gen committee, I was shocked! I couldn’t believe that I was going to get to work with an inspiring group of 6 women on building engaging programs for the next generation of female business owners. Over the next year, we will be putting together a series of virtual events to help bring this niche group of women together and support each other’s businesses. What an amazing opportunity this is going to be!
  3. The Spearhead Group has 5 core values ( 1. Focus on Sustainability and Diversity; 2. Innovative Thinking; 3. Do the Right Thing; 4. Acts with Equal Respect for Clients, Colleagues, and Suppliers; 5. Go the Extra Mile. Can do attitude. Entrepreneurial Spirit).
    How do you practice these values?
    “In my past experience, at both big and small companies, core values were simply words written on paper. At The Spearhead Group, the core values are so much more. We live by these values and they are evident in every task we perform.  Every day, I act ethically, I go the extra mile and I definitely have a can-do attitude (just ask my colleagues!)”

 

Tory Burch Fellows Program Names Heather Fritzsche, CEO and Co-Founder of The Spearhead Group, as a 2020 Honoree

A global manufacturing and product development leader, The Spearhead Group is a woman-owned business committed to the advancement of women and diversity in their industry 

 

July 23, 2020 (Yardley, PA)The Spearhead Group, Inc. is excited to share that co-founder and CEO, Heather Fritzsche, has been selected for the 2020 Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program. The Tory Burch Foundation advances women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in the United States by providing access to capital, education and digital resources. The Spearhead Group is one of 50 women-owned businesses that were selected for the fifth annual Fellows Program. World-renowned designer and business entrepreneur Tory Burch joined the leadership team of the Tory Burch Foundation to personally deliver the news over a surprise virtual call; watch the announcement here.

The Fellowship receives numerous applications annually and provides women entrepreneurs with $5,000 for business education and access to a distinguished community of their peers. The 2020 Tory Burch Fellows encompass women business-owners from 36 different cities and 13 industries. The year-long Fellowship will include dynamic virtual programming to help each of their honorees navigate the challenging economic environment.

“It is an unbelievable honor to be selected for the 2020 Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Program,” said Heather Fritzsche, CEO and co-founder of The Spearhead Group. “Women entrepreneurs face unique business challenges, and the opportunity for recognition and mentorship from one of the country’s most accomplished business leaders cannot come at a better time. I look forward to interacting with the other members of the 2020 Tory Burch Fellowship in driving real business solutions that reflect our shared dedication to women and diversity.”

One of the founding principles of The Spearhead Group is to use their platform to amplify women and minority-owned businesses. They achieve this by dedicating business resources to help fellow entrepreneurs source expertise, manufacturing innovation and product development at more preferential cost. The Spearhead Group also appoints women-owned business suppliers whenever possible, including their Pioneer partners Acuity Packaging (Louisville) and Greener Planet (Chattanooga), who have showcased the opportunity to create a wholly women-owned supply chain with collaborations such as seasonal VAP.

The Spearhead Group is proud to be a part of many organizations that embody their values including Women of the Vine & Spirits, Women’s Business Enterprise East (WBEC-East), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the Women Presidents Org (WPO). Jessica Knee, Business Manager at The Spearhead Group, was also just appointed to the WBEC-East Next Gen Committee, a taskforce dedicated to supporting female entrepreneurs under 40.

For more information about The Spearhead Group, including interview requests, please contact Helen Gregory, helen@gregoryvine.com or Amanda Davis, amanda@gregoryvine.com. Gregory + Vine, the communications agency of record for The Spearhead Group, is also a certified woman-owned business.

About The Spearhead Group
A leader in manufacturing innovation and product development for spirits, food, beverage and beauty brands, The Spearhead Group is an immersive partner in the Physical Brand Enhancement TM process from creative brand design to manufacturing that enable clients to stand apart from the competition. Our proven process and global team have set out to revolutionize the industry and redefine how PBETM can deliver a more memorable buyer experience. Founded in 2018 by Heather Fritzsche, CEO, and Robert Catalano, President, the Spearhead team brings more than 50 years of collective experience enriched by Pioneer Partners around the world. The result: a proprietary manufacturing and product development process and unparalleled relationships that ensure the execution of high-value business and brand-building goals for each client. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, The Spearhead Group manages a client-facing Packaging Innovation Center in Louisville and Yardley, and a production center in China. The Spearhead Group is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), member of Women of the Vine & Spirits, and actively supports diversity suppliers. The Spearhead Group is currently building and meeting with Fortune 500 Companies. Follow The Spearhead Group on LinkedIn (@thespearheadgroupinc).

Download PDF Version

Cocktails-To-Go Copack Kits (Part 3 of 3)

The results are in!  Last week, we launched a poll about cocktails-to-go packaging and the highest total of votes have shown that people are most interested in the recyclable/reusable cup and lid. https://bit.ly/2YQs39p Next week, we will explore the importance of sustainability in cocktail-to-go packaging for the consumer. Till then, we wanted to share the conclusion to our three part “Cocktail-to-go” series by exploring another packaging concept.

The final part of our series explores cocktail copack kits which include the full size spirit, mixers and instructions. These kits are convenient and fun concepts for both on-premise (bars/restaurants) or off-premise (liquor stores) accounts that want to consider this new mainstay of cocktail culture.

For on-premise accounts, this type of cocktail kits allows for them to get creative with bottling in-house cocktail mixers and instructions for their creative cocktails.  They then have options to be able to sell the full bottle spirit with the cocktail mixers. Consumers love the opportunity to create some of these bartender favorites.  One thing to know, some laws vary by state about whether on-premise locations can sell full bottle spirits to their customers. For off-premise accounts, they can sell full spirit bottles and mixing ingredients together including: simple syrup, sours mixer, bitters, etc.  This concept allows the retailer to pick what recipes and brands of mixer items that they believe will sell their products.  With a little direction to the consumer, they can help them know what will work well together and provide an additional revenue stream for their account.

In conclusion to our series, cocktail-to-go kits are gaining popularity in our culture and we can’t wait to see how they will keep growing. Are you interested in learning more, please reach out to Lana Toler at lanat@thespearheadgroup.com

Cocktails-To-Go is a Booming Category (Part 2 of 3)

The single & multiple serve cocktails-to-go category is booming!  What’s not to love about supporting your local restaurants and getting your favorite drink to enjoy at home? The Spearhead Group continues to ask questions and build scenarios to help restaurants and bars share their alcoholic signatures with their patrons in new innovative ways.

New legislative rules around country are being adopted allowing cocktails-to go to stay a part of the industry of our local restaurants.  The overall message is clear, states want to help their struggling restaurants and bars!  Interestingly, most states dictate everything from volume of the drink(s), dates and times for sales, tamper evidence, and even whether or not wine and spirits can be mixed in the same cocktail (for example: a Manhattan with Vermouth & Bourbon)! There are a lot of different variables when thinking about rolling out options across multiple states.

The Spearhead Group has created several turn-key solutions for restaurants and bars.  These solutions have been developed to be flexible with low minimums, a range of cost parameters, speed to market, and, most importantly, to be functional to use at any establishment with the use of a small tool or no additional tools at all.  If you would like to learn more, please reach out to Lana Toler.

This week, we launched a poll about single-serve packaging preferences and so far, the highest percentage of answers have been for the “reusable/recyclable cup/lid”. We are interested to learn more about why people have chosen this answer over other options, by posting another poll in the coming weeks asking, “what is the most important feature of a Cocktail-To-Go single-serve container?” In this poll, we hope to address what the importance of sustainability is for consumers versus the shape of the packaging. We can’t wait to share these insightful results. Stay tuned.

Welcome to The Spearhead Group Blog

The Spearhead Group provides Physical Brand Enhancements to clients in the spirits, beauty and personal care industries. Headquartered in Yardley, PA midway between New York City and Philadelphia, The Spearhead Group offers companies a modern, full-service, consultative approach from concept to reality.

Stay up to date with the latest Spearhead news and updates.

Subscribe

* indicates required