By Amy Looker and Shane T. Williams in Perth

Another successful ALSA Conference, Expo and Trade Day has concluded in Perth with major suppliers getting a chance to showcase new products to the independent trade.

More than 180 delegates from liquor store owners to ALSA’s key supplier partners converged on Burswood Entertainment Complex for a week of business sessions that discussed the concept of convenience as king in the retail liquor industry.

Wednesday (Aug 31) saw delegates hear from Michelle Martens on ATO business benchmarks for liquor retailers, a panel discussion featuring Cath Peachey from DrinkWise Australia, a motivational speech from former AFL coach, Stan Alves, and workshop sessions on store merchandising and armed robbery survival skills.

The conference also featured the ALSA Expo and Trade Day, where ALSA’s key supplier partners presented their latest products to delegates, who were able to taste some of the new SKUs about to hit shelves and also access special deals and incentives.

Of special interest was the large number of new product development (NPD) on show as well as new package formats.

Independent Distillers Australia (IDA) WA field sales manager, Peter Lech, showcased two new NPD from IDA, including Bubbles, a sparkling wine served in a 275ml bottle with three flavours – sparkling Marlborough sauvignon blanc, sparkling lemon lime and sparkling strawberry, and three new Cruiser ciders in a 250ml bottle format, including raspberry, blackberry and elderflower flavours.

Bundaberg Red brand ambassador, Trevor Smyth, was also on hand to showcase the new Bundaberg Five white rum while Coca Cola Amatil state business manager for independents, Danny Connolly, was showing the new look Jim Beam Black format.

Yesterday was ALSA’s big day out with delegates opting to take part in the Angostura island2island golf day, a walking tour of Fremantle or a retail study tour, visiting a range of local liquor outlets.

ALSA president, Mal Higgs, said the event had been a great success and revealed that the 2012 conference will return to Queensland to the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove.

“It was great to see such a positive environment among the delegates at the conference,” he said.

“It was really obvious that those who attended were looking to learn more about how to make their businesses more successful.

“The conference theme ‘convenience is king’ resonated well and the conference sessions certainly gave them plenty of insights and food for thought.”

A complete wrap up of the 2011 ALSA conference will appear in the October edition of National Liquor News.

Click on the video below for all the action from the trade expo.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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