Carlton & United Breweries and CUB Premium Beverages crowned joint Supplier of the Year

Carlton & United Breweries and CUB Premium Beverages crowned joint Supplier of the Year

August 11, 2023
Cindy Panzera

It was a victorious evening for Asahi Beverages at the 2023 Australian Drinks Awards, with its two business divisions, Carlton & United Breweries and CUB Premium Beverages, crowned joint winners of the prestigious Supplier of the Year Award.

And in an impressive feat, the evening's Supplier Awards came close to a clean sweep as both businesses claimed three of the four coveted accolades. Carlton & United Breweries clinched the Category Management Award for the second consecutive year, while CUB Premium Beverages was the proud recipient of the Supply Chain Management Award.

Danny Celoni, Carlon & United Breweries’ CEO was present to accept the Supplier of the Year Award on behalf of both Asahi businesses.

In his speech, he said: “To be standing up here for both businesses who are making a difference is really special.”

“To the CEOs, the MDs, the heads of buying, merchandise and ops teams, store managers and everybody everyday that challenges our team. We want to learn, we want to listen, and we want to act. To our customers, I can assure you we want to show up in the way you need us to show up.”

“We’re passionate about growing categories, we’re passionate about making the industry great, and with your collaboration and partnership, we can make this industry even better.”

Carlton & United Breweries’ win follows on from a streak of other industry accolades, including Large Supplier of the Year (Retail) for Endeavour Group in June this year and Beer Supplier of the Year for Coles Liquor last month.

All four Supplier Award winners were determined by the Engagement Program facilitated by the Drinks Association's Corporate Partner, Advantage Australia.

Steve Andrews, Advantage Australia's Managing Director, said: "Carlton & United Breweries' commitment to excellence has led to them sharing the number one position for Supplier of the Year – a significant achievement for the business."

“Carlton & United Breweries has continued to build on its strong customer-centric approach to business, driven by leading scores in strategy alignment, collaborative planning and category growth.”

He added: “And this year, Carlton & United Breweries also added a significant improvement in supply chain management to its list of other high performing capabilities, and it was this recognition from the retailers that helped them break through to best supplier status.”

Andrews also explained that CUB Premium Beverages’ win was driven by three years of consecutive rank improvement and outstanding scores across the entire business footprint.

“Customers recognise CUB Premium Beverages’ strong communication, collaborative business planning, people capabilities, and its commitment to deliver on promise,” said Andrews.

The joint Supplier of the Year title for these two businesses comes three years after the monumental $16 billion acquisition of Carlton & United Breweries by Japanese giant Asahi in June 2020.

As a part of the merger, alongside the core beer brands housed under Carlton & United Breweries, a distinct sales and marketing team for CUB Premium Beverages was created to house the company’s portfolio of cider, spirits, RTD’s and seltzer brands. CUB Premium Beverages is led by Michael Ritoli, who was appointed General Manager during the initial leadership restructure.

At the time of the acquisition, former Group CEO for Asahi Beverages Oceania, Robert Iervasi, said the combined businesses would give its customers access to a leading portfolio that would deliver a superior customer experience and make business relations easier for its valued suppliers and partners.

In February 2022, Danny Celoni, former CEO of Pepsico Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific, assumed the role of Carlton & United Breweries CEO, succeeding longtime leader Peter Filipovic, who bid the company farewell after an impressive 25-year journey.

A few months into his new role, Celoni took the stage to receive the 2022 Category Management Award on behalf of Carlon & United Breweries.

Celoni said: “We are thrilled that our work in Category Management has been recognised in the 2022 Awards. This award reflects our 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,” he added.

In addition to the Supplier Awards, both Carlton & United Breweries and CUB Premium Beverages saw great success in the Brand Awards.

Carlton United Breweries collected four Fan Favourites and two Gaining in Popularity, while CUB Premium Beverages picked up two Fan Favourites.

Fan Favourite Brand Awards - Carlton & United Breweries

  • Beer - Classic: Victoria Bitter
  • Beer - Contemporary: Great Northern Original
  • Beer - Premium: Corona
  • Beer - Non-Alcoholic: Great Northern Zero

Gaining in Popularity Brand Awards - Carlton & United Breweries

  • Beer - Classic: Victoria Bitter Xtra VX
  • Beer - Craft: Balter Easy Hazy

The Drinks Association congratulates its Category One Member Asahi Beverages and the team who has helped Carlton & United Breweries and CUB Premium Beverages become 2023 Supplier of the Year.

Advantage Australia is a Corporate Partner of the Drinks Association.

All the winners from the 2023 Australian Drinks Awards are available here:

The Drinks Association would like to extend its thanks to its generous sponsors for this year’s event.



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