For Proof Drinks Australia, 2023 was a successful year that represented growth and innovation. Drew Doty, Managing Director, says the real focus last year was growing the team and portfolio, and bringing new brands to Australian consumers.

“We had a few key highlights last year, including working closely with our retailer and venue partners to drive innovation and excellence while ensuring we tailored our offering to their needs.”

Now in its third year of operation, the distributor has quickly resonated with the Australian market, much of which Doty attributes to its ability to provide mutually beneficial opportunities.

“Since entering the market we have strived to be a partner of choice for the brands we represent, but we also feel that this needs to be passed onto our customers. The success thus far has certainly not been easy, but we hope that our unique way of doing business and the portfolio we have will continue to suit Australia’s demands.

“Continued brand growth and customer support remain our biggest priorities for 2024. We will be looking at some new brands to fit our portfolio in the coming year, and we can’t wait to let everyone know about them when the time is right.”

The future of sustainability

Sustainability is a key pillar to Proof Drinks Australia, the brands it represents, and the way it operates as a business, Doty explains.

“Some of the key areas that our brands focus on are giving back to the community, ensuring sustainable ingredients are used in production, and utilising all components of the resources to reduce waste.

“We reduce waste through recycling and limiting the number of printed materials. We also aim to support sustainable opportunities with our customers and have supported flexible work environments to help save on energy and materials.

“Most of the brands have organisations that they support, such as The Lost Explorer Mezcal, which partners with the Voice for Nature Foundation to support Oaxacan communities.

“In the year ahead, we will continue to spread the message about how our brands are sustainable and the reason for supporting these brands. Not only are they award winning, but also sourced ethically.

“Our business will continue to work hard to decrease our need for materials and energy consumption and increase our support for our customers best practices.”

Off-premise opportunities

Under the current economic strain, most businesses in the industry will have noticed adjustments in consumer spending and overall market expectations.

According to Doty, these economic conditions have driven a shift towards value, a trend he predicts will continue into 2024.

“At home consumption will increase as consumers move away from the on-trade drinking occasion due to cost. In response to this, retailers should drive RTD beverages and simple cocktails.”

Combining this notion with the growing popularity of agave spirits creates further opportunity for retailers, Doty explains.

“The agave category is one of our top performers. Consumers are driving the success of tequila at the moment. With almost every venue having at least one Margarita available on the menu, this has now translated into at home consumption.”

This article originally appeared in the 2024 Leaders Forum issue of National Liquor News.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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