I show drinks founders
how to scale up
without messing up

Hello, I am Chris Maffeo, Drinks Industry Advisor.
I fix a common struggle for drinks brands: driving growth whilst retaining their "premium".
I help them scale up sustainably by debunking myths and focusing on what works and matters.


Work with me

What I do
Firstly, I am not a consultant. I am an advisor, aka the partner that you can call to holistically tackle your brand's challenges and be next to you on the brand's journey.
My focus is on supporting what I call the holistic commercial agenda:
marketing & sales + people & financials.
Every day is a school day. I spend most of my time studying and researching the latest trends and what works in the industry. It keeps evolving and only those who adapt, survive.I made my experience available to like-minded founders and enlightened managers that look for pragmatic support vs a hundred pages ppt docs.How I can help you
From marketing through sales to general management, I've seen and done many things in the drinks industry in 30 markets. I've made mistakes, learned from them, and built successful brands.
I help my partners save years of trial & error and millions by helping them taking the right decisions whether it is about where to invest or to hire and train.
N.B.:
advisory packages are 90 days retainers and start at € 3500/month. (Check FAQs here)


Experience

I'm an Italian, from Rome. I come from a family which has been merchants since 1884, so I've been living & breathing all things food and drink since childhood.
When I was a child, the family business closed after 100 years, and later on, I promised myself I'd work to help small businesses survive and thrive.
I have spent the last 20 years living in 7 European countries, starting as a sales rep for a digital on-trade startup and moving up to having global senior director roles, working for 3 of the top 10 global brewers: SABMiller, Asahi and Carlsberg.Despite working for big corporations, I've always worked in their small and agile export units. Entering markets with unknown premium brands made me understand that brands can only win by working together with 3rd party distributors such as my grandfather's.I worked with 30 markets globally and I successfully launched or rejuvenated a diverse range of Global premium brands such as Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell, Kronenbourg 1664, Brooklyn Brewery, Carlsberg, Miller, and many more.I have a Master's Degree in Business Management from Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (2006) and courses in Digital Marketing & Social Media from Stellenbosch University, South Africa (2011), Leadership and General Management from Ashridge Business School, U.K. (2013).I have a WSET Level 2 Award with distinction in Wines (2020) and in Spirits (2021).


Free Advice

I write every weekday on LinkedIn to help drinks professionals that want to work in a more effective and pragmatic way, whether they work in a big corporation or they are founders.
Often, posts get lost in the myriad of information so I have created a magazine called "Winning with Drinks" where I gather all my posts by topic so that you can easily go back to what matters the most to you.
You can subscribe below to access all my content with tips about how to win in the drinks industry.


FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Which markets do you cover?
My approach is independent from specific markets but my previous experience is on European and American markets.
Who is your typical client?
They are small craft or premium beer or spirits brands that have already some presence in some markets and have usually hit the € 200k turnover mark.
How many clients you work with?
I work with a handful of clients at one time as I want to keep it focused.
How often will we talk?
You can reach me by email and whatsapp with questions and needs.
We will then set-up weekly / bi-weekly 1 hour sessions.
Times are indeed flexible and I don't charge by time.
Do you have a specific method or system?
No, I don't enforce any of that, I do not interfere with existing teams and systems, I adapt to the situation I encounter.
How do you usually start with a new client?
Phase I)
When we mutually decide to start the relationship I perform a commercial "litmus test", an analysis of your brand's status quo from the P&L to the marketing and commercial strategy as well as the team and resources that you have in place. (Not included in the retainers price)
Phase II)
After agreeing with you the core pillars to support you on, our relationship becomes a monthly support that lasts a minimum of 3 months, and lasts until needed.
Do you also do ad hoc projects?
I definitely do and we can explore your needs in our discovery call.