New Sunrise in the Land of the Rising Sun: Iceworks 2023

The 15th annual New Sunrise Iceworks event, held in Tokyo, Japan, was a resounding success, bringing together over 450 delegates from across Australia.

Held from 11-15 September, the week was the largest Sunrise family gathering to date and saw the presentation of the Sunrise future marketing proposition, the evolution of its customer-focused brand identity, and its desire to drive preference as a location to eat, drink, and rest.

The week also saw a market visit in the local Tokyo convenience trade and a celebration of recent success at the annual Snowball Gala Dinner.

‘Kampai’: A Toast to Success

The annual Iceworks event is more than just another industry conference; it is a celebration of the collaborative spirit that binds this unique ‘family’ together. From the immersive study tour to the enlightening business sessions and capping it off with the Snowball Gala Awards Night, the presence and active engagement of both supplier partners and retailers over the week enriched every facet of this extraordinary event.

Even more reason to celebrate this year was the recognition of Mood Foods Kempton as AACS Convenience Store of the Year and New Sunrise as AACS Convenience Retailer of the Year, both in March 2023, recognising the dedication and innovation of the collective New Sunrise retail network and the above market growth delivered over consecutive years. The high attendance bore testimony to the growing strength of the Sunrise family and community within the industry, leaving all delegates with a truly unforgettable experience.

The pinnacle of this celebration was the Snowball Gala Awards Night, where outstanding achievements were recognized and celebrated. New Sunrise extends heartfelt congratulations to all the award winners and nominees, acknowledging their dedication and innovation as sources of inspiration for the entire industry.

Business Sessions: The Obeya – Room with Many Views

The Iceworks 2023 business session saw an engaging collaboration of speakers from industry leaders, retailers, and supplier partners, bringing to life the sessions theme of the Japanese ‘Obeya’, a room with many views. Delegates heard from keynote speakers in the review of the current market, behaviours, trends, and future insights, with presentations by: Brett Barclay (Director, Convenience Measures Australia), Kurt Peterson (Business Development & Partnerships Director, IRI Circana), Corinne Barclay (Director, Convenience Measures Australia), Mark McKenzie (CEO, ACAPMA), Deb Cooper (Channel Manager, Frucor), and Theo Foukkare (CEO, AACS).

The business sessions also included a supplier panel, with input from senior representatives from key manufacturers, and a retailer panel, with input from independent retail operators across different Australian markets. This platform was particularly engaging for industry leaders to share insights and engage in discussions on sustainability, supply chain optimization, and customer engagement strategies, all of which added depth and richness to the event.

New Sunrise: Pillars of Progress

At Iceworks 2023, New Sunrise presented its future marketing and business plans in front of over 400 delegates, including the evolution of the Sunrise customer identity as well as its new TV campaign, set to launch in Q4 2023. Delegates heard from New Sunrise Managing Director Steve Cardinale, who set the clear vision for the group delivered via its expansive program, including a new launch of its food and beverage platforms, additional retailer support, digital and online marketing programs, and an exciting new TV brand campaign featuring the original yellow wiggle, Greg Page. 

Wednesday’s study tour allowed delegates to gain firsthand experience of the global convenience store landscape, providing inspiration and best practices from the Japanese ‘kombini’ market that can be implemented within their own businesses.

Arigato Gozaimasu: Thanks to all Delegates

New Sunrise would like to thank all the delegates for making Iceworks 23 a success. A special thanks to supplier partners; their support extends beyond the conference and has a lasting impact on businesses and consumers, driven by the success of the Passport to Profit program. Their dedication to the New Sunrise pillars, growth drivers and support of the independents has been instrumental in delivering the outstanding results the group has delivered.

Iceworks 2023 provided a unique platform for suppliers and retailers to engage in meaningful discussions and build relationships. This year’s core range workshop was another demonstration of the delivery of industry-leading programs and tools to support independent convenience retailers and suppliers in achieving mutually beneficial goals.

The Legacy of Iceworks 2023: Forging Ahead Together

Iceworks 2023 was not merely another industry event, but a unique gathering of family, friends, and like-minded individuals, who together, have shown the industry its true innovation, resilience, and future potential as a retail network. With Sunny flying high for all New Sunrise members, the drive to achieve new heights and set new standards continues to allow members the opportunity to unlock the potential ahead.

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