The Distributors look back to the future

Held May 4-6 in Brisbane, The Distributors Mid-Year Conference and Trade Show was a resounding success for The Distributors members, management team, suppliers and customers.

The retailer trade show attracted more than 300 convenience and route customers who came ready to place orders as suppliers offered over and above deals on their products. The wholesaler trade show followed in the afternoon, which hosted 55 exhibitors showcasing new product lines, product innovations and trends. The day wrapped up with an evening cocktail hour.

During the conference, The Distributors members gathered for business sessions as well as supplier presentations with a focus on future NPD and go-to-market strategies. AACS CEO Jeff Rogut delivered a breakfast presentation, ‘2016 State of The Industry’.

The gala dinner was a throwback to the 1950s with a Back to the Future theme and entertainment from the award-winning Aerial Angels. Doc, Biff Tannen and Marilyn Monroe partied alongside Madonna and Patsy Stone from Ab Fab with plenty of other celebrity sightings.

The night was a toast to the 35th anniversary of The Distributors, with four out of the five inaugural board members joining the celebration alongside current and past board members. Inaugural board members included Terry Booth, John Earle, Des Samson and Ray Southeren. The dinner culminated with presentations of The Distributors’ annual awards recognising supply partners and members.

“This is our 35th year operating as The Distributors and it was wonderful to see our suppliers and guests get behind the theme and go down memory lane with their products,” General Manager George Tsapoutas said.

“It is an exciting time for our group and we plan to continue to grow and expand our go-to-market model across the country. We will be looking to increase our business footprint and operating model in areas where we currently do not have a local operation. This will enable The Distributors to maintain our focus on localised service and react to the changing face of the impulse marketplace and consumer purchasing habits. We will also continue to develop our offer in growth categories, looking for new products and suppliers to take to market and to make sure that, together with our trading partners, we are all successful.”

Surplus food from the event was donated to OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food rescue charity.

The following awards were presented:

  • Celebrating 35 Years Service: Accredited Distributors Pty Ltd, J&A Wholesalers and Kev Baldwin Wholesale Confectionery Pty Ltd.
  • Celebrating 30 Years Service: Juicy Isle Pty Ltd.
  • Celebrating 25 Years Service: JB Metropolitan Distributors Pty Ltd.
  • Celebrating 15 Years Service: Link Distribution Services Pty Ltd and Southern Sweet Distributors.
  • Member of the Year $15m and above: JB Metropolitan Distributors Pty Ltd.
  • Member of the Year up to $15m: ACB Suncity and ACW Sunshine.
  • Supplier of the Year $10m and above: Nestlé Confectionery.
  • Supplier of the Year up to $10m: Universal Candy.
  • Best Trade Show Stand (Gold Supplier): Snack Brands Australia.
  • Best Trade Show Stand (Silver/Bronze Supplier): Bundaberg Brewed Drinks.
  • Best New Product Launch: Cadbury Mint Twirl.

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