Why four iconic Aussie brands are joining forces
ONE of the few things more Australian than Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, Vegemite, Four'n Twenty and Rosella is mateship.
And amid the pandemic these four brands have come together in the hopes of helping Aussie businesses.
During a virtual meeting Bundaberg Brewed Drinks CEO John McLean met with the chief decision-makers behind iconic Aussie brands to start a network of guidance and support throughout the Australian fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and the broader business community.
While we won't be seeing a ginger beer and Vegemite flavoured meat pie any time soon, the support between Australian brands will be a reality.
Collectively, the four iconic Australian brands have survived floods, fires, and even the Great Depression, but the next battle is Covid-19.
In a time when consumers are being encouraged to purchase Australian-made brands, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks is encouraging Aussie businesses to support their own fellow homegrown providers.
"Whether you're Australian-owned, manufactured or employing Aussies, our national business community needs to be there for each other," Mr McLean said.
"If the changes brought on by COVID-19 become the new normal, we need to work together to ensure Aussie brands live long into the future."
With a wealth of experience between them, all four brands involved in the discussions have previously overcome 'once-in-a-lifetime' challenges and know the only way forward is with the support of others.
"For us, it's not just about consumers supporting local brands; it's about Australian businesses supporting Australian businesses - even if they're not in the same category," he said.
"If we can provide insights, suggestions or manufacturing capability that can help others navigate complex times, we will - it's the Aussie way.
"You never know what you may need help with or when.
"Now is the time to know the capabilities of our wider business community and start the conversation about supporting each other."
There are a lot of moving parts in the successful delivery of products to supermarket shelves, which is particularly challenging given the importance of consistency and the current increase in demand from consumers.
"We are seeing a significant shift in Australian consumers entertaining at home with the brands they know and trust," Mr McLean said.
"We've been around for fifty years, and we want to continue to treat Australians for the next fifty."
Procurement of ingredients, logistics, warehousing are all considerations, and during COVID-19, the barriers keep moving.
With the complications of global manufacturing, the brands are hoping to see more collaboration between Australian businesses to manufacture locally and potentially share each other's capabilities.
Owned by parent company Patties Foods, Four'N Twenty pies are an classic Australian brans.
Patties Foods CEO Paul Hitchcock said the company was a proud member of the Australian business community, and part of that was giving back - "it's the Aussie battler spirit".
"We're committed to supporting fellow businesses and doing our part to help the industry stay alive - not just for the economy, but for the livelihoods and lives of millions," he said.
"We'll all get through this together."
There's a good chance that if you live in Australia, there has always been a jar of Vegemite in your home, and this year Vegemite, owned by Bega Cheese Limited, is set to celebrate its 97th birthday in October.
Bega Foods executive general manager Adam McNamara they were proud to be a part of a very important discussion, "one that is centred around extending mateship and support to one another, as we continue to produce great quality products for Australian consumers".
Rosella CEO Michael Bartholomew said Rosella had been providing great tasting Australian made food products for Australian families since 1895 when the founders HR McCracken & TJ Press established the brand 125 years ago.
"Still 100% Australian owned today and proudly supporting Aussie farmers Rosella has just launched an Organic Sauce range - made from 100% Australian Grown Organic Tomatoes," he said.
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