In the 2023 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Never Never reflects on last year’s awards and an upcoming major new campaign.
Since its foundation in 2017, Never Never Distilling Co has rapidly established itself as one of Australia’s best performing distilleries in industry competitions and awards shows, as Managing Director George Georgiadis explains.
“Our awards and recognition remain top of industry,” he said.
“We won World’s Best London Dry at the World Gin Awards in London at the beginning of the year. This built on our World’s Best Classic Gin back in 2019 and helps us maintain our position as Australia’s most highly awarded gin brand.”
Critical success was supported by commercial expansion, with the distillery launching its brand into France, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, Hungary and Taiwan. Production capability was also improved over the last year, with Georgiadis saying the challenges of a post-COVID environment “really set the scene for a year of building.”
“We really added to our capabilities in 2022, making big improvements to our quality control, consistency, and NPD processes,” he continued.
This is demonstrated by Never Never’s Dark Series, a project that sees the distillery collaborate with iconic venues to release unique spirit creations. One example of the past year was a partnership between Never Never and Maybe Sammy in Sydney, out of which came the Beeswax and Olive Gin, while another example can be found in the collaboration between Never Never and Society restaurant in Melbourne, out of which came the Oyster Shell Gin.
New campaign the focus in 2023
The main objective for Never Never this year is straightforward – it’s all about the new ‘Cause a Stir’ campaign.
“We’ve never taken ourselves too seriously, so this will give us the opportunity to be even more cheeky,” Georgiadis said.
“It’ll be lots of fun – it’s about reminding people that drinking the best gin is about having a great time not just being absolutely delicious.”
One thing that could fuel the success of this campaign is the premiumisation trend, which Georgiadis anticipates will continue in 2023.
“People are keen to get back into the swing of things and the premium end of the market will continue to grow, which is where Aussie spirits tend to play,” he said.
The RTD space is another area that Georgiadis sees potential in for the year ahead. But as Never Never explores entering this burgeoning category, the team is conscious of the potential hurdles to navigate.
“RTD is both an opportunity and a challenge,” Georgiadis comments.
“We’ve formulated a product and are currently trialing it at Fassina Liquor stores in SA and at our venue and local markets. It’s so tasty. It’s a competitive space though so we’ll need to get some retail commitments to scale it up and make it available more broadly.”
Overall, Never Never recognises the great support of the off-premise industry, with Georgiadis giving special thanks to retailers.
“Retailers have been great in giving us an opportunity to educate and represent the brand. We’re here to help, so the more we are given the ability to get involved, the more we will,” he said.
“It’s been a tricky time for everyone and we’re so happy to see everyone again and be able to get back to what we all love doing and do best – creating sensational drinks and experiences.”