The theme for the year’s SPAR Supplier of the Year Awards was ‘Better Together’, a notion supported by the company’s founding principle that “through united cooperation all shall benefit”.
This year’s festivities were handled gracefully by emcee, Olympic gold medallist and world champion swimmer, Brooke Hanson.
Managing Director of SPAR Australia Lou Jardin welcomed everyone, particularly special guests from SPAR International – Product Sourcing Specialist (APAC) Vicky Chan and guest speaker Dr Andre Passini. Mr Jardin went on to discuss store growth in Asia Pacific, despite massive market disruptions that especially affect independent retailers.
When Dr Passini took the dais, he was playful yet professional, cracking jokes in an exaggerated Italian accent while discussing the evolution of economies of scale into economies of skill, and the value of reaching economies of soul. “We need to evolve or dissolve – become victors of change, not victims of change,” he said.
After the awards were announced, Ms Hanson shared her motivating story of overcoming sporting and personal heartbreak to reach triumphs beyond her dreams. She even passed her Olympic and World Championship medals into the audience for a closer look and some medal-laden selfies.
Dr Passini returned to the stage to proclaim his true identity as Comic Speechmaker and Corporate Imposter Homer Papantonio, losing his Italian accent to show audiences the power of confidence and belief.
The evening was much like Dr Passini’s keynote – informative, motivational, with a hint of humorous pageantry. SPAR Australia showed that while the industry may seem challenging, the right attitude and a strong support network can make all the difference.
Direct Supplier of the Year – Tip Top Bakeries.
Perishable Supplier of the Year – Bulla Dairy Foods.
Grocery Supplier of the Year – Gruma Oceania.
Non-food Supplier of the Year – Unicharm.
Promotional Support of the Year – Simplot.
New Product Launch of the Year – Coca Cola No Sugar.
Supplier of the Year – Primo Smallgoods.