Carlton & United Breweries has won the Category Management Award for the first time since the award was introduced in 2020. It recognises the “critical competency of category management, including planning to meet category objectives, providing valuable insights, optimising category assortment and shelving”.
Danny Celoni, CEO of Carlton & United Breweries, said, “We are thrilled that our work in Category Management has been recognised in the 2022 Awards. This award reflects CUB’s commitment to expanding the beer category and creating value, including by unlocking new occasions and delivering initiatives that excite consumers and drive them into stores and venues.
"Our major focus is to create value for customers and partners and we are committed to listening to them and showing up for them in the way they need us to. We are very pleased to have been acknowledged in this way and we look forward to taking it to the next level together.”
Advantage Australia’s General Manager Steve Andrews said, “CUB’s excellence in Category Management supported by their high-quality insights and an objective approach to driving growth has been recognised for years by their trading partners. They are a very deserving winner of this award.”
Diageo won the award last year and the year prior.
The winner of the Category Management Award is chosen according to the results of the annual Advantage Engagement Program and the purpose of the award is to recognise the increasingly important discipline of Category Management. Advantage notes that category management is a key contributor to the retailer supplier interface and so becomes important in measuring how suppliers are perceived when it comes to retailer engagement.
"Collaboration between suppliers and retailers on Category Management can be a powerful combination for achieving growth," explained Mr Andrews. "The discipline of Category Management continues to be the most significant area of underperformance, and therefore biggest improvement opportunity, for liquor suppliers in Australia. The Category Management Award is designed to recognise the supplier who represents best practice capability, and who retailers consider exemplifies their expectations from the industry.”
Mr Andrews says that liquor suppliers have some of the best knowledge and passion for their consumers of any companies in the world.
“Suppliers who can bring that knowledge objectively to work with retailers to jointly create category development plans are likely to win disproportionate support,” Mr Andrews said.
For the first time this year, the Category Management Award was measured according to the following measurements:
- Customises initiatives to differentiate the business
- Optimises Range/Assortment
- Drives category growth
- Provides objective insights for category development
The award is calculated by the above measures being aggregated and ranked. CUB scored 40 in Category Management. Asha Skyring, General Manager of Commercial Strategy, collected the award.
BevChain sponsored the Category Management Award again this year as they have done since 2020.
BevChain President, Misha Shliapnikoff said, “Carlton & United Breweries has continued to show leadership in category management for several years now. BevChain is proud to support an organisation that leads the way in the beverage sector with this critical expertise and strong customer focus.”
The business took away eight awards in all on the evening, including four of the seven possible Fan Favourites awards in the Beer and Cider categories.
VB wrestled back the title of Fan Favourite Classic Beer, having been briefly toppled by XXXX Gold in 2021, while Great Northern continues to dominate the Contemporary Beer category winning again this year for the third year running.
Reschs Pilsener wins the Gaining In Popularity Classic Beer and Brookvale Union Spiced Rum & Ginger Beer continued to gain the most popularity, taking out the top spot again in 2022 for RTD Dark.
The business was also applauded for its Corporate Social Responsibility submission demonstrating its environmental commitment to solar programs supporting its ambitious sustainability agenda, particularly its VB Solar Program.
CUB CEO, Danny Celoni said “One award celebrating excellence and innovation across the Australian liquor industry is an honour; eight is truly humbling. We are all so proud of our team whose passion for our company, brands and customers shines through every day."
The Supplier Awards were announced on Thursday, 28 July at the Australian Drinks Awards at the Ivy Ballroom.
The Drinks Association congratulates its Category One Member, Asahi Beverages on its win.
Photos by Belinda Rolland