The 2020 Australian Drinks Awards was celebrated virtually this year, with hundreds of people watching via Zoom as the winners were announced.
The Drinks Association’s annual celebration of industry excellence was hosted by Shelly Horton and saw four awards handed out for Supplier of the Year, Most Improved Supplier, Category Management and Supply Chain Management.
Drinks Association CEO Georgia Lennon noted during the presentation: "Thinking back to the 2019 Australian Drinks Awards at Doltone House in Sydney, none of us could have foreseen the year that was to come.
"Our daily comings and goings and the very ways that we interact, do business, socialise and celebrate together have been entirely disrupted. So, you can imagine how delighted we are to be able to host this event virtually and I thank everyone for joining us."
Lennon explained that while the awards had pivoted to focus on the Supplier Category this year, she was inspired by how the entire industry had supported each other during the unprecedented events of 2020.
"As many of you know, our awards program has expanded these past few years to not only recognise the work our member companies do with their customers, but also acknowledge their efforts in the diversity and inclusion and corporate social responsibility space and measure the achievements of their great brands," she said.
"These efforts are acknowledged in the Contribution to Industry and Brand Awards. We are disappointed not to be presenting the Contribution to Industry and Brand Awards in 2020, and we look forward to including these in our program again next year. Never has it felt more important to recognise the extraordinary efforts of our industry. We have seen people leap into action: stepping up, switching roles, supporting each other, and supporting hospitality partners to help them survive this time.
"Thank you again for being a part of this event, be sure to raise your glasses for our award winners and let’s hope we can all gather together in one room for the ninth Australian Drinks Awards in 2021."
2020 Australian Drinks Awards
After watching a video presentation of initiatives launched by Drinks Association members to support the on-premise during COVID-19, Drinks Association Chair Ralph Dunning (pictured main, left) said: "I am so thoroughly impressed watching that footage and by the efforts being demonstrated by our great industry during this time.
"My thanks to the Board for their ongoing work and support. Thanks also to our Corporate and Commercial Partners, and to all our Members, who help keep the Drinks Association viable and vital."
The Drinks Association's Corporate Partners are GS1, Advantage Australia, Shopper Intelligence, Nielsen, BevChain, StayinFront and Real World.
Its Commercial Partners are SKUvantage, Serendis Leadership, Hip Media, Shopper Intelligence, Advantage and Nielsen.
The winners of the Supplier Awards were determined using data results from the industry-wide engagement survey conducted by Advantage Australia.
The trophies went to:
Category Management Award - Diageo
Supply Chain Management Award - Treasury Wine Estates
Most Improved Supplier of the Year - Asahi Premium Beverages
Supplier of the Year - Diageo
John McLoughlin, Managing Director APAC at the Advantage Group (above right), concluded: “While it was a shame we couldn’t share an evening of celebration with you at the Australian Drinks Awards this year, it certainly was a pleasure to be able to announce the suppliers recognised by their trading partners as having best-in-class engagement.
“I also want thank all of our retail partners for taking the time to provide feedback to the supplier community.
“We carried out our research mid crisis this year and still our retailer partners, as did our suppliers, prioritised our work in an incredibly disrupted environment to ensure we got the response we needed for our program.”
Click here to watch a video of the full ceremony.