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Iconic Aussie brands encourage B2B mateship during COVID-19

Michael Bartholomew, John McLean, Adam McNamara and Paul Hitchcock at the Iconic Aussie Brand Meetup
Michael Bartholomew, John McLean, Adam McNamara and Paul Hitchcock got together for a virtual iconic Aussie brand meetup.

Iconic Australian brands, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, VEGEMITE, Four’n Twenty and Rosella got together for a virtual yarn, resulting in a network of Aussie businesses sharing strategies to get through current uncertainties.

Collectively, the four iconic Australian brands have survived floods, fires, and even the Great Depression, but the next battle is COVID-19.

In a period where consumers are being encouraged to purchase Australian-made brands, iconic Aussie business, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, is taking things one step further and encouraging Aussie businesses to support fellow homegrown businesses. The old-fashioned way.

John McLean, CEO of Australian family-owned Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, met with the chief decision-makers behind iconic Aussie brands; VEGEMITE, Four’n Twenty, and Rosella, to start a network of guidance and support throughout the Australian FMCG and broader business community.

“Whether you’re Australian-owned, manufactured or employing Aussies, our national business community needs to be there for each other,” says John McLean. “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.”

John McLean, CEO Bundaberg Brewed Drinks
John McLean, CEO Bundaberg Brewed Drinks

With over 320 years of collective experience, all four brands involved in today’s 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. If we can provide insights, suggestions or manufacturing capability that can help others navigate complex times, we will – it’s the Aussie way” says McLean.

“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.”

The iconic Aussie brands in today’s call are all involved in the business of manufacturing FMCG products, a complex space made even more complicated by the challenges of COVID-19.

There are a lot of moving parts in the successful delivery of products to supermarket shelves.

This is particularly challenging given the importance of consistency and the current rapid increase in demand from consumers.

“We are seeing a significant shift in Australian consumers entertaining at home with the brands they know and trust.

We’ve been around for fifty years, and we want to continue to treat Australians for the next fifty,” said McLean.

Procurement of ingredients, logistics, warehousing are all considerations, and during COVID-19, the barriers keep moving.

Aussie manufacturers may very well need to lean on each other as the fall out of COVID-19 becomes our new normal.

With the complications of global manufacturing, the brands hope to see more collaboration between Australian businesses to manufacture locally and potentially share each other’s capabilities.

While we won’t be seeing a Ginger Beer and VEGEMITE flavoured meat pie any time soon, the support and Aussie mateship between Australian brands will be a reality.

Other news: First chamber breakfast meeting in six months


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