Liquor chain BWS has given 18 local independent liquor brands increased shelf space after polling customers on which labels they want to see more of.
In a campaign called Local Luvva, nearly 300 independent winemakers, brewers and distillers across Australia submitted their labels for an online poll in which almost 5000 customers voted.
At the end, 18 ‘Fan Favourites’ were crowned across the nation with three winners named in each state (ACT was included in NSW, and NT merged with SA) in three categories: wines, spirits/pre-mixes and beers/ciders.
“This has been a great opportunity for customers to tell us what they want to see in our stores and on our shelves and to support their local heroes. We are now working with the 18 winners on how to best expand their range within our store network,” said BWS Local manager Richard Mok.
The campaign appeared to raise awareness of many of the brands, with sales of local independent products up by 15 per cent during the last six months.
In addition to additional shelf space, and being added to more stores, the 18 brands will receive marketing and advertising support from BWS.
One of the winners was Billson’s, a 150-year-old brewery and distiller in Beechworth, which was named Fan Favourite in the spirits/premix category in Victoria.
“Winning means the world to our little business, team and family,” Billson’s director Nathan Cowan said. “This year has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone. Our business relies heavily on tourism to our area which has been completely decimated.
“We can however see a few silver linings. There seems to be a real thirst for local products with a unique story and an increased desire to explore regional Victoria when the time is right. Winning this competition means we are more excited and optimistic about the future than ever before,” he added.
The winners of the Local Luvva campaign
Wine: Nueva Sangria and Audrey Wilkinson
Beer/Cider: Akasha Brewing Company
Spirit/Premix: Lust Liquor
Wine: 6 ft 6 Wines
Beer/Cider: 3 Ravens
Wine: Paracombe Wines
Beer/Cider: Little Bang Brewing Company
Spirit/Premix: Never Never Distillery Co
Wine: No entries (additional winner in category chosen in NSW)
Beer/Cider: Aether Brewing
Spirit/Premix: Botanic Australis
Wine: Pepik Wines
Beer/Cider: Plenty Cider
Spirit/Premix: Hellfire Bluff Distillery
Wine: Ferngrove Wines
Beer/Cider: Wilson Brewing Company
Spirit/Premix: Illegal Tender Rum Co