Who will be crowned 2024 Supplier of the Year?

Who will be crowned 2024 Supplier of the Year?

July 09, 2024
Cindy Panzera

Excitement is mounting with the 12th annual Australian Drinks Awards evening just around the corner. It brings with it the countdown to the highly coveted 2024 Supplier of the Year announcement, which will be revealed to around 400 attendees on Thursday, July 18, at the Hilton Sydney.

Advantage Australia, which has conducted its Engagement Program since 2009, provides the Drinks Association's supplier members with Advantage Score ratings and qualitative retailer feedback from retail chains, retail independents, major on-premise players and wholesalers.

The results from the Engagement Program have been analysed to determine the 2024 winners of the four key Supplier Awards: Supplier of the Year, Most Improved Supplier, Supply Chain Management and Category Management.

Advantage Australia’s Managing Director, Steve Andrews, said: “In this year’s awards, we were able to include the feedback from many large on-premise groups in addition to Australia’s retailers and wholesalers. This expanding range of views on supplier engagement showed us that suppliers add a great deal of value to the successful service of patrons as well as shoppers.”

“In the broader context of recent increased pressure on supplier-retailer relationships in FMCG, it’s great to see that the liquor industry continues to provide leading role-models for strong collaboration across it’s breadth,” added Andrews.

Advantage Australia’s General Manager, Dave McLoughlin, also commented: “Whilst headwinds continue across the operating environment, the importance of strong retailer and supplier collaboration remains evident. As in previous years, our data highlights that strong strategic alignment, collaboration, ease of business and proactive communication remain fundamental components of successful partnerships.”

Supplier of the Year

The 2024 Supplier of the Year Award is sponsored by Advantage Group, a dedicated sponsor of this accolade since the first awards ceremony 12 years ago.

Advantage Group’s Chief Executive Officer, John McLoughlin, said: “Advantage Group is proud to sponsor the highly coveted Supplier of the Year Award again this year.”

“We recognise the integral role of suppliers in shaping retail strategies and improving shopper engagement and the commitment required to foster strong partnerships that drive mutual success. Collaboration, strategic alignment, and proactive communication is paramount for continued excellence in this industry."

To be named the Supplier of the Year, companies must have the highest 'Advantage Score' result from the combined total retail/wholesale network across the four business engagement drivers: partnership, execution, reputation, and vision.

A high Advantage Score result means the supplier has a higher number of 4-star and 5-star ratings.

In 2023, Asahi Beverages’ two business divisions, Carlton & United Breweries and CUB Premium Beverages, were crowned joint winners of the prestigious Supplier of the Year Award.

When reviewing the program results at the time, Steve Andrews said that Carlton & United Breweries had continued to build on its strong customer-centric approach to business, driven by leading scores in strategy alignment, collaborative planning and category growth.

He said: “Carlton & United Breweries also added a significant improvement in supply chain management to its list of other high-performing capabilities, and this recognition from the retailers 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.

Most Improved Supplier of the Year

The Most Improved Supplier award was introduced in 2018 to recognise suppliers who have successfully set and executed a plan of improvement. It is determined by the largest change in rank from all suppliers as rated by retailers and wholesalers in the Advantage Engagement Program. The winning company is commended by its retail partners for improving their professionalism and delivery across their commercial relationship.

Mirroring the shared success of the 2023 Supplier of the Year Award, last year’s Most Improved Supplier was also a dual victory, presented to William Grant & Sons and Campari.

Advantage Australia’s General Manager, David McLoughlin, explained that the 2023 Most Improved Supplier of the Year had been shared between William Grant & Sons and Campari because they demonstrated the strongest year-on-year progress. Both companies climbed an impressive 31 places in their Advantage score versus 2022.

The 2024 Most Improved Supplier of the Year Award is sponsored by ALM, which has sponsored this accolade every year since its inception in 2018.

Kylie Wallbridge, ALM's CEO, said: “ALM is proud to sponsor and present the 2024 Most Improved Supplier of the Year.”

“As a business, we are committed to strengthening our partnerships with the suppliers and the independents we support to uncover new avenues for growth and customer satisfaction. It's fantastic to showcase the finalists who have made remarkable progress in collaborating with retailers, reflecting our shared journey toward success."

In addition to the Supplier Awards, the evening will celebrate achievements across the Brand and Contribution to Industry categories. A total of 48 coveted awards will be presented during the ceremony in recognition of the outstanding accomplishments and endeavours of the Australian liquor industry over the past 12 months.

For those unable to attend the event, all the results from the Australian Drinks Awards will be published on the Drinks Association website on Friday, 19 July.

Advantage Australia is a Corporate Partner of the Drinks Association.
The 2024 Supplier of the Year Award is sponsored by Advantage Australia.
The 2024 Most Improved Supplier of the Year is sponsored by ALM.

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

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