Australia’s best drinks suppliers for 2023

Endeavour Group has hosted its second annual Supplier of the Year Awards, celebrating the best innovations, creations and activations by its suppliers.

The event, hosted at Melbourne’s Timber Yard and presented by television personality Shelley Craft, showcased the best of producers, distillers and distributors, celebrating the winning suppliers across 14 categories.

Carlton & United Breweries took home three trophies at the awards: Best Collaboration, Account Team of The Year and Large Supplier of The Year.

CEO Danny Celoni said: “We at Asahi CUB are passionate about our customers and this means a lot to us across our whole organisation.

“A big thank you to the whole cross functional team that work tirelessly to deliver for our customers and a big thank you to the Endeavour team. True collaboration works both ways and we really appreciate it.”

It was the first time Endeavour Group has combined its Retail and Hotels supplier communities in the awards, with more than 170 brand nominations.

Endeavour Group’s Director of Merchandise and Buying Tim Carroll said: “The exceptionality of these entrants goes to show the level of quality present in the Australian drinks and hospitality sector.

“Our suppliers are the lifeblood of our business and without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. This is a fantastic way to acknowledge them and celebrate their efforts.

“Being able to bring our on- and off-premise supplier communities together was exciting for us as what we’re creating in our stores and in our hotels is really unique. It’s something special and they are all a part of that magic.”

ALH Interim Managing Director Paul Walton said Endeavour’s Supplier Awards provided a great opportunity to recognise the strong partnerships forged between the ALH Hotels business and its many and varied suppliers.

“We rely on our suppliers to help us do what we do best and these awards are a fantastic way for us to recognise that relationship,” he said.

“At a time when people are returning to the pub following years of restrictions and disruptions, we continue to work with our suppliers to offer the products people want as part of their social occasions – whether it be a round of beers for a half time debrief, a quiet wine for those contemplative moments or the perfect spirit for cocktails and conversation.”

The event’s three key categories comprised small supplier of the year (retail), large supplier of the year (retail) and on-premise supplier of the year.

Watch video highlights from the event here.

The winning suppliers were:

Sustainability Award

Winner: Fourth Wave Wine – Tread Softly.

Tread Softly is an eco-conscious wine brand committed to planting one native tree for every 12 bottles sold. In partnership with Carbon Neutral, Fourth Wave Wine has now planted over one million trees in the Yarra Yarra biodiversity corridor in WA, supporting the regeneration of Australian bushland that was once cleared for agricultural use.

What the judges said: Fourth Wave are going above and beyond and are helping to create a lasting effect! The team are passionate about looking after the environment and through the regenerative, planting a tree campaign they are helping to rebuild our ecosystems.

Product Innovation of the Year

Winner: Coca-Cola Europacific Partners – Suntory -196 Double Grape & Shochu & Vodka Pre-Mix 330ml

What the judges said: -196 Double Grape uses Suntory’s unique Freeze Crush Technology to capture every bit of the all-natural bold grape flavour. A whole grape is frozen, crushed and infused in spirits to maintain its unique fully fruit flavour and then added to Shochu, Vodka and Soda. An absolutely outstanding example of innovation. This product has ticked all the boxes for our customers and its success speaks for itself.

Collaboration Award

Winner – Carlton & United Breweries, Fruity Beer

What the judges said: The team at CUB really faced into this challenge and together we challenged ourselves to bring
something new to beer. The result was an exceptional NPD launch – our biggest ever – and highlighted our partnership from identifying the opportunity, developing the product, to executing the launch.

Best Brand Activation of the Year

Winner: Australian Vintage Limited, Sooshi Mango

What the judges said: Leveraging Sooshi Mango’s network Johnny, Vince and Sam’s Vino in-store launch – The Vino Tour – was an unconventional opportunity for fans to meet the trio in-store while sampling the new product and getting their bottle signed. Their fan power is phenomenal! Customers flocked to stores and were lining up for bottle signings, many purchasing full cases. A huge congrats to the team for what they have achieved with their audience.

Supply Chain Award

Winner: Pernod Ricard Australia

What the judges said: With collaborative planning and delivery, in particular in the lead up and exit of the Xmas period, the team saw significant improvement on 2021. They delivered on all plans including inbound delivery and expectations of supply and went over and above during collaboration sessions on whisky and Champagne.

Trend Leader of the Year

Joint Winners: Accolade Wines and Treasury Premium Brands, Bagnums

What the judges said: Both Accolade and Treasury have been outstanding leaders in trend during 2022, putting customers right at the heart of this new format. Bagnums has opened up new occasions and opportunities for wine to be considered with the shareability and non-glass format – perfect for outdoors and social settings, as well as for moderating customers through a quality wine that remains fresh for 30 days after opening – overcoming one of the biggest barriers to 750mL bottle and mid-week consumption. Modernising the offer to better meet the needs of customers has resulted in the success and we couldn’t be more thrilled for them.

Account Team of the Year

Winner: Carlton & United Breweries, Beer

What the judges said: This is an absolute credit to each and every individual in this team! Their ability to effectively communicate with stakeholders at all levels has been instrumental in driving the Category forward, and unlocking value for our customers. For a second year, CUB’s Beer account team has knocked it out of the park in their ways of working across our organisation and there have been some incredible achievements as a result.

Digital Partner of the Year

Winner: Mighty Craft

What the judges said: All of the success of Better Beer – an influencer led brand that lives and breathes in digital spaces – is just one example of how Mighty Craft’s strategic use of channels and activations work together to create magic. Better Beer’s Day For It Day is a great example of bringing this to life in a fabulous digital campaign.

MixIn Campaign of the Year

Winner: Lion – Stone & Wood

What the judges said: Awarded to the supplier that has openly embraced Endeavour’s retail media channels as part of their total media mix to drive outstanding in-store and digital campaigns that bring together customers, brands and products.

By collaborating with MixIn and leveraging all assets available, Lion has seen some incredible results throughout this campaign as Stone & Wood were front and centre for our customers. It’s great to see what was achieved out of this partnership.

Local Product of the Year

Winner: Mr. Consistent, Blushini Premium Cocktail Mix 750ml

Endeavour said: The team at Mr. Consistent has been extremely agile in following cocktail trends and flavours both locally and internationally and then very quickly moving from testing to scaling to in-store.

Blushini is a great example of fantastic product development by suppliers and has captured the hearts of the locals. By bringing the right innovation through so quickly, our customers have really engaged with this flavour.

The judges said: Congratulations to the Mr. Consistent team on what they have been able to deliver. In collaboration with the Endeavour team, customers were at the heart of the Blushini development process and the results are really impressive.

Exclusive Product of the Year

Winner: Billson’s, Vodka Peaches & Cream 355ml

What the judges said: The Premix category is consistently challenged with flavour duplication, and with an aim to bring something truly unique to market, and to delight our customers, came the Billson’s Exclusive Flavour project.

Peaches & Cream is a nostalgic, unique flavour that was an instant success with customers right across Australia – a shining example of partnering exclusively together.

On-Premise Supplier of the Year

Winner: Campari

What the judges said: Congratulations to the team at Campari, who has focused on building strong and trusting working relationships within ALH over the last 12-18 months, allowing simple and easy alignment on key focus areas to achieve mutual growth for both businesses.

Small Supplier of the Year (Retail)

Winner: Mr. Consistent

What the judges said: As smaller independently owned suppliers, increasing production capacity, sourcing capabilities, and product development requires year-round attention to be able to maintain product quality and variety specifically.

The team at Mr. Consistent has built their business to be small and agile so they can shift based on customer needs and trends, and has been evident by the amount of flavour and format innovation we have seen from them in the last 12 months.

We are so proud to announce Mr. Consistent as our Small Supplier of the Year for 2022. What they have achieved and delivered throughout the year has been very inspiring to watch and we know that is just the beginning. Our customers are certainly excited to see what they come up with next, and we are right there with them!

Large Supplier of the Year (Retail)

Winner: Carlton & United Breweries

What the judges said: Throughout the course of 2022, CUB has worked closely with Endeavour to prioritise strategic growth opportunities and partnered together on a number of initiatives such as Segmentation, Beer Reimagined, Fruity Beer, VB Solar, and a new sub-category in Craft through Aussie Wheat Ale. And that is just the tip of the iceberg!

A huge, and heartfelt congratulations to CUB as they take home Large Supplier of the Year for 2022. It has been a pleasure to partner on so many exciting projects and watch as you achieved some incredible results.

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