Readers' Choice Awards

Which suppliers topped the MA Readers’ Choice Awards 2020?

By MA Editorial

- Last updated on GMT

Best of the best: which suppliers were recognised by readers in MA’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards?
Best of the best: which suppliers were recognised by readers in MA’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards?

Related tags: Food, Drink, Alcoholic beverage, Public house

When it comes to your business, it can be make or break depending on great-quality suppliers – and few are better than those in the hospitality trade to help you decide who you can trust.

The winners are…

Cider

Winner:​ Thatchers

Highly commended:​ Heineken

­Coffee

Winner:​ Booker

Highly commended:​ Illy

­Lager

Winner:​ Heineken

Highly commended:​ Molson Coors

­Soft drinks

Winner:​ Britvic

Highly commended:​ Fever-Tree

­Tea

Winner:​ Booker

Highly commended:​ Yorkshire Tea

­Wine

Winner:​ Molson Coors

Highly commended:​ Matthew Clark

­Spirits

Winner:​ Diageo

Highly commended:​ Booker

­Bagged Snacks

Winner:​ Booker

Highly commended:​ KP Snacks

Once again, the readers have spoken and we reveal the ultimate list of the leading suppliers to the pub sector – chosen by the publican’s themselves.

Business thrives on the personal recommendations, and the pub sector is no different – when it comes to working with a preferred supplier, the fact that others have endorsed them as well gives a strong seal of approval.

The Morning Advertiser​’s (MA​) Readers’ Choice Awards has been running for many years now and it reflects the views of a wide range of operators in the sector when it comes to their opinions on the best trading partners.

The awards see MA ​question operators across the country to find out which companies are really setting standards in the eyes of our readers.

MA ​editor Ed Bedington said: “We put the question to our readers: who’s really ticking the boxes for you when it comes to the companies you deal with, day in, day out?

“It’s a great tool for other operators, or new entrants into the sector, who are looking to work with the best companies in the business. We’ve done the hard work for you and you can see, at a glance, the companies that are getting the licensee endorsements.

“For the companies listed over the coming pages, it’s a real accolade, and I’d like to offer them my congratulations on doing such a cracking job.”

Range of areas

The Readers’ Choice survey is carried out across a range of areas, specifically:

  • Cask ale
  • Cider
  • Co­ffee
  • Spirits
  • Lager
  • Soft drinks
  • Tea
  • Wine
  • Foodservice suppliers
  • Bagged snacks
  • Payment
  • Training
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Cellar services
  • Waste management
  • Hygiene product suppliers
  • Garden furniture

The results for the awards are created following an exhaustive survey of the MA’s​ readers, licensees from across the trade have voted for their preferred partners from across the various categories above.

The winners represent the kind of companies that the MA​’s readers believe represent the very best in customer service, reliability and range, and, more importantly, those companies that are happy to go that little bit further to help their customers.

Bedington added: “So, the survey is complete, the results are there – I’d like to thank our readers for taking the time to share their views and pay tribute to the companies on our list. They’re all clearly making the right moves that are resonating with their customers. It’s great to see such a great mix of companies in there and I hope those recommendations will carry weight with those looking to shift suppliers or those new to the trade.”

To learn a little more about some of our winners, read on...

Cask Ale

Winner: Molson Coors

Molson Coors (1)

Molson Coors Beverage Company is the third largest brewer in the world, with a strong presence in three of the world’s largest markets; US, Canada, Europe, accompanied by an international Molson Coors presence in nearly 80 countries.

We have a diverse portfolio of owned and partner brands, including Coors Light, Miller, Staropramen and Carling. Molson Coors is listed on the Dow Jones World Sustainability Index, the most recognised global benchmark of sustainability among global corporations, with the highest score in the beverage sector globally.

In the UK & Ireland, Molson Coors has over 2,000 employees and breweries in Burton-upon-Trent, Tadcaster, Burtonwood, Sharp’s in Cornwall and Franciscan Well in Cork, Ireland. It has a market share of around 20% of the UK beer market and a portfolio that includes Carling, the UK’s bestselling lager for more than three decades, Coors Light, the fastest growing beer in the UK top 10, Staropramen, Cobra, Doom Bar, Rekorderlig, Aspall, Bavaria, Blue Moon and many more.

Wine

Winner: Molson Coors

Molson Coors (2)

With an extensive wine o­ffering spanning across a range of 700 wines, 400 exclusive to the on-trade and 150 Molson Coors exclusives, from reliably great house wines, to a sophisticated selection for celebrations, Molson Coors enables you to assemble the best possible o­ffering for you and your business.

Molson Coors Beverage Company is also the third largest brewer in the world, with a strong presence in three of the world’s largest markets; US, Canada, Europe accompanied by an International Molson Coors presence in nearly 80 countries.

We have a diverse portfolio of owned and partner brands, including Coors Light, Miller, Staropramen and Carling. Molson Coors is listed on the Dow Jones World Sustainability Index, the most recognized global benchmark of sustainability among global corporations, with the highest score in the beverage sector globally. In the UK & Ireland, Molson Coors has over 2,000 employees and breweries in Burton-upon-Trent, Tadcaster, Burtonwood, Sharp’s in Cornwall and Franciscan Well in Cork, Ireland.

Operationally our focus is to be first choice for customers & consumers and this underpins everything we do. Our portfolio includes 2,000 of the best names in the business across beer, spirits, cider, wine & soft drinks. With a market share of around 20% of the UK beer market and a portfolio that includes Carling, the UK’s best-selling lager for more than three decades, Coors Light, the fastest growing beer in the UK top ten, Staropramen, Cobra, Doom Bar, Rekorderlig, Aspall, Bavaria, Blue Moon and many more.

Foodservice

Winner: Bidfood

MA Readers' Choice - bidfood

At Bidfood, we are focused on going the extra mile for our customers. Being the best is a key part of our ethos, and our focus is on delivering the best customer experience, making life easier and helping customers to grow.

We’re serious about service excellence and getting it right first time, and we’ve invested in building an infrastructure that keeps us close to our customers.

In our range of over 13,000 products, which includes the best of both own brand and leading foodservice brands, customers will find everything they need for service from store cupboard ingredients to frozen and chilled food, soft drinks, wines, beers and spirits, cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils, cleaning products and catering equipment.

We’re invested in the success of our customers and we believe great service is about more than delivering boxes, it’s also about adding value.

Our expertise, our industry knowledge, the data we buy and the insight we distil helps our customers stay ahead of the curve on key food trends, creative recipes and menu ideas.

We also provide nutritional information, product advice and guidance on food standards and legislation, as well as inspiring marketing materials. Corporate responsibility and sustainability is a key focus for us, and we work closely with customers to address the challenges facing the foodservice category.

Training

Winner: CPL Training Group

MA Readers' Choice - CPL

CPL Training is a specialist in the delivery of high-quality training and development for the licensed hospitality industry. Based in Merseyside, it is a respected and long-standing partner to the industry, and it holds the market share for personal licence training in the UK.

It is the only company to organise more than 1,000 courses annually, in over 70 venues up and down the country – from Inverness all the way down to Plymouth.

Whether it’s compliance training or personal development, in total it has acquired 26 years of industry expertise, so you can trust CPL Training to deliver on your objectives.

In 2019, CPL Training was acquired by CGA and reunited with its sister company CPL Online.

Lager

Winner: Heineken

MA Readers' Choice - Heineken

Heineken is the UK’s leading pub, cider and beer business. Committed to supporting a thriving on trade – underpinned by an ethos of ‘Growing Together’ – the company owns around 2,700 pubs as part of its Star Pubs & Bars business and employs almost 2,200 people. We’re passionate about our cider and beer brands, providing our customers with an outstanding service and growing their businesses together.

Our unrivalled portfolio of brands includes Heineken®, Foster’s, Birra Moretti, Amstel, John Smith’s, Kronenbourg1664, Desperados, Strongbow, Bulmers, Old Mout and Orchard Thieves, backed by a full range of niche and speciality brands.

Heineken is the official beer partner of UEFA Euro 2020™ and we’re proud to have extended our UEFA Champions League partnership by another three years, from 2021 to 2024.

In continuation of our sustainability strategy, Brewing a Better World, Heineken SmartDispense™ is the first green, draught beer and cider cooling system – saving 100M pints of water and 69,000 tonnes of keg CO2 since launching six years ago. We were the first to allow operators to serve draught alcohol-free beer via our counter-top dispense system, Blade; a game-changer for the category.

Cellar services

Winner: Innserve

Readers Choice

Innserve is the UK’s leading independent drinks dispense service provider. The company has remained at the forefront of the UK pub trade since 2005, supplying, installing and maintaining beer and soft drinks dispense systems in over 80,000 licensed and non-licensed premises across England, Scotland and Wales.

Operating nationally, Innserve’s highly trained and dedicated team of over 400 technicians provide a range of services including installation, maintenance and project management to licensees nationwide.

While the company’s experienced customer service team handles an estimated 450,000 calls a year, making initial diagnostics and, if required, dispatching a technician to deal with more complex issues.

Innserve is committed to developing the most innovative and effective products in the industry.  The company’s innovative solutions include the smart cellar cooling and refrigeration system InnChill, the InnEnergy intelligent power socket for beer and soft drinks coolers and InnClean, the latest innovation in beer line cleaning technology – a product designed to extend the interval between line cleans by between three and five weeks.

More than 14 years of service to the industry, combined with a lasting connection to the pub trade, a commitment to customer service, reliability and a willingness to go the extra mile for customers is what makes Innserve a multi-award-winning business.

Soft drinks

Winner: Britvic

MA Readers' Choice - britvic

Britvic is the largest supplier of branded still soft drinks in Great Britain (GB) and the number two supplier of branded carbonated soft drinks in GB.

The company combines its own leading brand portfolio including Robinsons, J2O, Drench, Purdey’s, Fruit Shoot, R White’s, Britvic Mixers and Juices, with PepsiCo brands such as Pepsi MAX®, Tango 7UP and Lipton Ice Tea, which Britvic produces and sells in GB and Ireland under exclusive PepsiCo agreements.

Operating in both the take home and on-premise channels, Britvic o­ffers its customers a portfolio of soft drinks to meet every consumer occasion and has a strong track record of delivering successful innovation.

Britvic’s portfolio of brands includes a range of suitable premium options. J2O, J2O Spritz and R White’s flavours provide premium choice and are a great option for delivering interesting and varied flavours for adults. Its no sugar carbonates are also great options for consumers looking for healthier options.

Firm favourites like Pepsi MAX® and 7UP Free o­ffer good value for customers watching the pennies, but are also easy to premiumise by enhancing the serve with fruit garnishes, di­fferent glassware and plenty of ice.

Britvic’s management team has successfully developed the business through a clear strategy of generating profitable growth in its core markets and international expansion, driven by innovation, investment in the businesses capability, and building trust and respect in the communities it serves and operates in.

The strategy is based on creating and building a portfolio of scalable brands that o­ffers drinks for kids, families, and adults, anywhere, at any time – helping to make everyone’s every day moments more enjoyable.

Highly commended: Fever-Tree

MA Readers' Choice - Fevertree

Fever-Tree began in 2003 with a meeting of minds and one simple premise: if three quarters of your G&T is the tonic, wouldn’t you want it to be the best?

Our co-founders Charles and Tim, working in di­fferent parts of the drinks business, had both spotted that premium spirits were growing quickly, fuelled by consumers’ increasing awareness of the provenance of what they ate and drank. However, this growing interest in premium food and drink had seemed to neglect mixers, a crucial element of the drinks industry that remained flat. It struck them both as extraordinary that people were paying a good deal of money for a high-quality spirit, yet had no choice but drown it with a poor-quality mixer.

From the very beginning, Charles and Tim approached their business in a di­fferent way – there would be no compromise at Fever-Tree. Flavour and quality were of the utmost importance.

Since we put the lid on our first bottle of our Premium Indian Tonic Water, we haven’t wavered in our single-minded mission to bring quality, flavour and choice back to mixers.

Innovation remains at the heart of Fever-Tree and we’ve developed a range of tonic waters that perfectly complement the varied flavour categories of gin. We’ve found three incredibly diverse varieties of ginger that, together, create a remarkably deep, fresh and true taste, which we’ve used to make a selection of ginger ales and ginger beer. We’ve developed a recipe for cola using Madagascan vanilla with the single purpose: to bring out the best in dark spirits, like whiskies and rum. We have lemonades using the fi nest, naturally sourced ingredients and a beautifully simple soda water too. Our story is about going to the ends of the earth in pursuit of the best.

Cider

Winners: Thatchers

MA Readers' Choice - Thatchers

A big thank you to everyone who has voted for us as their favourite cider supplier. From the range of ciders we craft at Myrtle Farm, to the service and attention to detail we give our customers every step of the way, our mission is to offer the very best.

Thatchers has the two top-performing apple ciders in Gold and Haze, both drawing more and more people into the cider category. With its crisp apple refreshment, Thatchers Gold continues to outperform the total on-trade cider market and is the best performing brand in the top five apple ciders. Thatchers Haze is the number one cloudy cider brand and has been among the biggest winners in the past year adding over 1.8m litres to the category.

So why are drinkers turning to Thatchers? As people trade up to premium cider, the importance of provenance and authenticity has never been so important. From the individual variety of apple and the knowledge that we’ve gained over generations to make characterful ciders that stand out from the crowd and our relentless focus on delivering the best quality cider.

Highly commended: Heineken

MA Readers' Choice - Heineken (1)

Heineken is the UK’s leading pub, cider and beer business. Committed to supporting a thriving on-trade – underpinned by an ethos of ‘Growing Together’ – the company owns around 2,700 pubs as part of its Star Pubs & Bars business and employs almost 2,200 people. We’re passionate about our cider and beer brands, providing our customers with an outstanding service and growing their businesses together.

Our unrivalled portfolio of brands includes Strongbow, Bulmers, Old Mout, Orchard Thieves, Heineken®, Foster’s, Birra Moretti, Amstel, John Smith’s, Kronenbourg1664 and Desperados, backed by a full range of niche and speciality brands.

In continuation of our sustainability​ strategy, Brewing a Better World, Heineken SmartDispense™ is the first green, draught beer and cider cooling system – saving 100m pints of water and 69,000 tonnes of keg CO2 since launching six years ago. We have also made significant sugar reductions and added calorie and nutritional labelling to our cider portfolio.

Related topics: Menu Ideas

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