The Spring 2020 lockdown, with closing restaurants, cafes and bars as well as social distancing measures, suddenly changed the ways in which food and beverages were consumed. Companies dependent on business-to-business sales from restaurants, cafes and bars such as breweries were quick to experiment with new ways to reach their consumers. Brewery stores were the most common choice for new pick-up outlets, but Espoon Oma Panimo went to the wheel to reach homebound remote working consumers.
Bissebiili, a van turned into a beer delivery truck, could be spotted at various locations in Espoo during the spring and summer months, oftentimes accompanied with a long line of eager beer-thirsty customers. The experiment taught the folks at Espoon Oma Panimo valuable learnings about the new habits and places of beer consumption during the new normal of the pandemic. Furthermore, Bissebiili brought the previously only locally known brewery to the nation-wide fame through media attention. The craft beer industry was also enthusiastic, and the brewery got to consult many peers on how they could build their own Bissebiili.
“It broke through nationally quite well – the traffic in our website increased approximately tenfold. So, the hype was almost unreal. However, as our time horizon for the business is long-term, around 20 years, we were not too much focused on the short-term publicity. […] Rather the focus is on the brand and reinforcing the existing elements like our brewery store and local partnerships.”
Despite the hype and customer love, the beer-selling van eventually crumpled on legislative challenges. In order to have continued operations, Bissebiili would have had to also sell food items to account for at least half of their sales. However, this constraint did not fit the core idea of Bissebiili and the opertations of Espoon Oma Panimo, so for now, the truck has retired, while Espoon Oma Panimo’s searches for new ways to reach customers using the lessons learned from the months of experimentation.