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Celebrating our suppliers

Countdown’s top suppliers and team were celebrated at the gala dinner during our trade show.

Awards were decided based on a number of factors, including sales, market share, commercial performance, strategic alignment, innovation and feedback from key stakeholders across our business. We have also incorporated insights from the Advantage Group Mirror report and the Coalface report.

“We appreciate the outstanding relationships we have with so many of our suppliers, and all of the ones nominated can feel especially proud of what we have achieved together,” says Brett Ashley, Acting General Manager Merchandise.

The gala dinner also gave us the opportunity to award some of our top team members around the business. We awarded our Truck Driver of the Year, Rene Niovara from Mainfreight, Store Manager of the Year, Paul Berney from Countdown Cable Car Lane, and Checkout Operator of the Year, Rachel Murray form Countdown Te Puke.

Congratulations to all this year’s award winners:

Countdown Category Manager of the Year: Louane Grace (Grocery Food) has demonstrated passion, enthusiasm, and energy for adapting to change, achieving significant improvements in both sales and margin. Other nominees: Katrina deWitte (General Merchandise) and Nogotuki Falanitule (Liquor). Supreme Supplier of the Year: Heinz-Wattie’s NZ Ltd has worked closely with us; got on board with our strategy, is aligned with our thinking and way of operating and has driven improvements in both sales and margin performance.

Produce Supplier of the Year: NS & EN Hinton has shown huge passion in delivering an outstanding level of quality to our business. We’ve had a lot of positive consumer feedback based around the taste and freshness of their produce.Other nominees: Mulgowie Farming Company and T&G Global.

Fresh Meat & Seafood Supplier of the Year: Auckland Meat Processors nimbly moved with the changes in the meat industry. Even after being in business for the last 50 years they continue to help Countdown remain the industry standard. Other nominees: Countdown Case Ready Meat Plant and Ingham Enterprises NZ.

Perishables & Delicatessen Supplier of the Year: Westie Food Group has partnered with us to deliver innovation and drive category growth and shares in our obsession to bring low prices everyday to this category. Through this hard work they have achieved impressive year-on- year growth. Other nominees: Epicurean Dairy and Hellers Ltd.

Bakery Supplier of the Year: Farrah Breads Limited has continued to deliver value within this competitive sub-category, taking an active part in the Price Down programme, promotions and in-store activations. Other nominees: Abe’s Real Bagels Limited and Original Foods NZ Ltd.

Grocery – Cooking & Baking Supplier of the Year: Heinz-Wattie’s NZ Ltd joined us on our Price Down journey in a big way last year. They achieved great sales growth from a significant base across multiple categories and departments. Other nominees: Simplot and Wilson Consumer Ltd.

Grocery – Breakfast & Snacking Supplier of the Year: Arnott’s New Zealand Ltd have embraced our Price Down strategy and seen a step change in biscuit and snack food performance as a result. They achieved strong growth and helped drive overall category growth. Other nominees: Bluebird Foods Ltd and Profile Foods Ltd.

Grocery – Beverages Supplier of the Year: Nestlé New Zealand Limited has transformed their performance by aligning with the category strategy. They grew their sales in a fiercely competitive category. Other nominees: Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd and Frucor Beverages.

Liquor Supplier of the Year: Lion New Zealand has worked incredibly closely with the Countdown Team over recent years with an outstanding account team and in-store field team. This supplier has had a fantastic year, growing by over $3 million in retail sales. Other nominees: Independent Liquor NZ Ltd and Villa Maria Estates Ltd.

Grocery Non- Food & General Merchandise Supplier of the Year: Edgewell Personal Care NZ has shown significant year-on- year sales growth and has continued to deliver strong profit performance in all categories despite the fluidity of the seasonal environment they trade in. Other nominees: AFT Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Earthwise Group Ltd, Korbond Industries Pty Ltd and McCallum Industries Ltd.

New Product Development of the Year: Steinlager Tokyo Dry (Lion) was an instant hit with our customers. This product appealed to our customers’ tastes and grew the size of the category rather than cannibalise existing brands. Other nominees: Lotato 2kg Washed Potatoes (Low Carb) and Pascal Family Jaffa Lumps 165g.

Account Manager of the Year 2017: Brad Garfield from Nestlé has done an outstanding job in understanding Countdown’s business, our strategy and in managing a mutually beneficial outcome for both companies. Other nominees: Warwick Hooper (Lion Beer, Spirits & Wine NZ) and Gemma Eastwood (Kimberly Clark New Zealand).

Countdown Product of the Year 2017: Best Foods Mayonnaise (James Crisp Ltd) has delivered improved profitability and has transformed category sales with double digit growth and is an icon product in our Lock Down programme. Other nominees: Handee Paper Towels 4 pack (Asaleo Care Limited) and Longridge 750ml (Pernod Ricard NZ Ltd).