Noosa Beverages collaborates with Woolworths

Sunshine Coast business Noosa Beverages, manufacturer of iconic Queensland brand Wimmers Soft Drinks, has announced the winner of its Wimmers Sales Challenge, established in collaboration with Woolworths.

In January 2016, Noosa Beverages initiated a sales challenge with Woolworths which incentivised the sale and support of Wimmers Soft Drinks, ‘the original soft drink’. This program marked a significant partnership between the national grocery chain and a local Queensland business.

The program was a collaborative in store activation plan to reintroduce Wimmers Soft Drinks to Woolworths shoppers across Queensland, after it extended the brands distribution from 41 stores to 206 of its Queensland stores in November 2015.

The activation focused on promoting a ‘homegrown’ locally made and owned carbonated soft drink brand which offers shoppers the opportunity to choose a quality local product over it mainstream equilivants.

Tracey Worrall, Queensland local sourcing manager for Woolworths, noted programs such as the Wimmers sales challenge were important for growing the presence of local products and giving shoppers more choice in store.

“Partnering with local businesses such as Wimmers is key to promoting Woolworths as a destination for local products to our customers,” Ms. Worrall said.

“They want choice and expect to be able to source local products from our stores; it’s important for our customers to know that Woolworths is engaged in their community by supporting local farmers and small businesses such as Wimmers. The Woolworths Local Sourcing program is national and there is a Local Sourcing Manager located in every state to drive local brands.”

The best in store theater display from all stores across the state were judged by Woolworths senior management with Woolworths Garden City, Mt Gravatt named the winner.

A formal presentation was made in store this week, with Jimmy Maher of the Queensland Bulls Masters on hand to present autographed prizes by the Bull Masters and a cricket bat signed by Australian cricket captain, Steve Smith.

Wimmers has carved a niche in the competitive soft drink market, which is dominated by global giants Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Schweppes. Double sarsaparilla, Raspberry Lemonade, Classic Creaming Soda, Lime Cooler and Lemon Lime & Bitters are its most recognised soft drink flavours.

The product range also includes non-alcoholic mixers and ginger beer. These products are available in selected Queensland supermarkets, convenience outlets and cafes throughout the state with 90 per cent of the final product made, using locally sourced ingredients including Queensland cane sugar.

With major expansion plans and in anticipation for huge long term growth, Noosa Beverages has poured millions of dollars into moving 115 year old Wimmers Soft Drinks, one of the Sunshine Coasts oldest businesses into a 9000sqm state of the art facility located on heritage listed old CSR brickworks factory in Cooroy, Queensland.

Owners, Peter Lavin and partners, have constructed the facility in the belief that the Queensland business will capture the thirsts of both domestic and international markets through its quality crafted products.

Mr Lavin believes Wimmers point of difference lies with their products and with the shift in consumer preferences is a product that the Australian market is thirsty for.

“We use traditional flavour essences so our products taste the same as they always have. Many of our customers have grown up with Wimmers products, so that’s important for us and something we value.”

The iconic Wimmers range of 1.25L soft drinks is currently stocked state wide in more than 500 major grocery stores with a genuine presence amongst competing soft drink brands. The business shows strong signs of growth and brand recognition within south-east Queensland.

With the new factory complete Mr Lavin is keen to expand the brand further past the Queensland border. “Obviously we’re strong in Queensland, but we’d really like to increase our presence down the east coast of Australia. We think we’ve got a product that’s pretty special so this is definitely on our agenda for 2016”.

L to R: Mark Thompson, co-owner of Noosa Beverages; Anthony Scodellaro, head of sales & marketing Noosa Beverages; Matt Lamb, store manager, Woolworths Garden City; Rick Grech, long life manager Woolworths Garden City; Jimmy Maher, Queensland Bulls Masters; Tracey Worrall, Queensland local sourcing manager Woolworths; Shae Wraith sales & marketing manager Noosa Beverages; Steven Crosthwaite, business development manager Noosa Beverages.

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