About Our Organisation

Organisation

Jet Import is an up and coming company that has very quickly become one of the biggest importers of international drinks such as Red Bull, Fever-Tree, Sol, Desperados, Heineken, Strongbow, Carpe Diem, Armand de Brignac and Bionade.

Jet Import took over from Jet Frisdranken, a lemonade producer that was based in western Flanders and had the exclusive licence to bottle 7-Up in Belgium. Stefaan Bettens, Jet Import’s current owner, has turned his grandfather’s company into the premium drinks importer that it is today.

Jet Import imported at first Gerstel Bräu, a non-alcoholic beer that became part of the Jet Frisdranken range. In 1991, Stefaan Bettens launched Corona Extra on the Belgian market. It was the first beer with a long neck bottle. Since then, Jet Import has continued to focus on quality drinks that are also daring and profitable.

Ty Nant Spring Water, which comes in a blue bottle, was the next licence that the company acquired. Then Jet Import also became a representative for Heineken and Murphy’s (a rival to Guinness, produced by Heineken).The firm then launched Red Bull, Desperados, Strongbow Cider, Carpe Diem and Bionade.


“Changing drinks means changing mindset and cultural reference. The fear of the unknown counterbalances the irresistible attraction of the exotic.”


Jet Import has now turned into a mature company employing 80 driven employees (including commercial talents, marketing specialists and promotional teams) and has carved itself out a major spot in the retail and places like petrol stations and night shops as well as in the hotel and catering sector.

Jet Import has a turnover of over 130 million euro and is experiencing double digit growth every year. This growth would not be possible without innovation, quality, profitability and motivation. The unbridled enthusiasm of the different people working for us also plays a big part in this growth.

History

Established in 1930 by Remi Bettens to make water and lemonade drinks (Jet Frisdranken), the company initially made its mark at the regional level.

Jet Frisdranken was flying high thanks to the introduction of the non-alcoholic beer Gerstel Bräu in 1983. At its peak, Gerstel-Braü recorded an annual volume of 14 million drinks. The beer was available in a barrel, in a pack and in cans. The cans helped Gerstel-Braü get into the food and places like petrol stations and night shops.

In 1990, Gerstel-Braü was hit by the strength of Interbrew’s distribution network and recorded a big fall in sales as a result. The non-alcoholic beers’ segment no longer exists. Since then, the strategy that has been adopted is to only distribute brands of drinks that meet the following criteria:

  • Niche Product
  • International
  • Supported by marketing

The first brand that met this criterion was introduced by Stefaan Bettens himself: Corona Extra. It was an immediate hit.

In 1991, it took only a year for Corona Extra beer to be introduced into all the best Belgian hotel and catering outlets. Since then, the company has been all about quality, innovative, daring and profitable products.

Jet Import had come into being.