2024 UCB National Conference: Day three highlights and Supplier Award winners

The UCB 2024 National Member Conference was held at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast, and the industry was out in force.

The conference, which ran from 5-7 March and had the theme ‘C Differently’, featured an impressive array of speakers providing interesting insights, as well as a number of activities and dinners offering opportunities for attendees to network, mingle, and catch up.

The third day of the UCB conference commenced with Darren Park delivering an address that discussed the changing nature of the petrol and convenience industry with the introduction of new technologies such as electric vehicles and the progression of hydrogen.

Park spoke about the retail strategies that UCB is helping members implement, such as in-store promotions and data utilisation, to increase not only their profits but their standing within their communities.

Thomas Ennis, an Irish retailer with an array of impressive SPAR stores, discussed the tools he uses at his stores and best practices in the convenience sector. Ennis discussed how he managed to open a pop-up store in just 13 days, using innovative thinking and methods.

Next up was Michael Crossland, an inspirational speaker who, despite encountering numerous health setbacks in his life, managed to pave out an incredibly successful professional career and an inspiring life. Crossland’s perspective on life and the engaging way in which he spoke hardly left a dry eye in the room.

Todd Sampson, creator and star of documentaries such as Body Hack and Redesign My Brain, discussed his research into the human brain and the amazing things that, no matter your age, you can still do and train your brain to do.

Finally, Peter Costello AC, former Australian Treasurer, took the stage once again at a UCB conference, to examine the current economic climate, revisit the predictions he made in 2022, and deliver an insightful and engaging speech about what retailers and the business world can expect in the year to come.

Following the business sessions, it was back to the trade show for a few hours, where retailers got some quality face-to-face time with suppliers and secured last-minute deals and bargains.

Finally, the whole event wrapped up with an extravagant ‘Back to the 80s’ themed gala dinner, sponsored by Bega, where UCB presented their annual awards and attendees were treated to an 80s extravaganza with sing-alongs and dancers whipping about on roller skates.

UCB 2024 Supplier Award winners:

Carbonated Soft Drinks & Sports Drinks CategoryCoca-Cola Europacific Partners (Powerade + Carbonated Soft Drinks)
Carbonated Soft Drinks & Sports Drinks CategoryAshai Lifestyle Beverages (Gatorade + Carbonated Soft Drinks)
Energy Drinks CategoryFrucor Suntory (V & Rockstar)
Functional Drinks & Water CategoryCoca-Cola Europacific Partners (Mt Franklin, Pump, Powerade Active)
Confectionery CategoryMondelez International (Cadbury)
Snacking CategoryPepsico (Smith’s Snackfoods – Twisties, Doritos, Red Rock Deli)
Food ManufacturerMrs Mac’s
Flavoured Milk / Iced Coffee CategoryBega Dairy & Drinks (Dare, Big M, Farmers Union, Dairy Farmers Classic)
General Merchandise CategoryPacific Optics
Tobacco CategoryPhilip Morris Limited
Communications CategoryTelstra – Sim Connect
Wholesaler/ DistributorThe Distributors
New Product of the YearBega – Dare 500ml Intense Espresso
New Product of the YearCoca-Cola Europacifïc Partners – Mother 500ml Rainbow Sherbet 
Overall Trade Stand of The Year Bega Dairy & Drinks
Trade Partner Representative of the YearScott Hadzig – Coca-Cola Europacific Partners
Overall Trade Partner of the YearCoca-Cola Europacifïc Partners (CCEP)

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