Carlton & United Breweries has been named one of Australia’s most innovative companies for the third year running.
The company has featured in the AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies List 2021, recognised for its For the Love of Your Local campaign, which raised $2 million for pubs and clubs hit by COVID-19 lockdowns.
CUB was named the sixth most innovative manufacturing and goods company in Australia and was again the highest-ranked major beverages company on the list.
CUB’s Head of Integrated Marketing, Jemma Downey said For the Love of Your Local was created and launched within just a couple of weeks in April 2020 to support pubs and clubs during some of their darkest hours.
“For the Love of Your Local used leading technology to allow customers to support their local despite venues being closed,” she said, “Customers could buy a pint remotely, with the money going to the venue. When venues re-opened customers claimed that pint, along with an additional one supplied by CUB, by redeeming a digital token.
“This campaign gave venues cashflow when they needed it most and, through the 2-1 offer, gave people even more incentive to return to their local as soon as it reopened. We’re delighted this win-win initiative was recognised by the judges.”
The new technology that underpinned the campaign is dubbed “Virtual Atoms”, or “Vatoms”. Combining blockchain, geolocation and other elements, it allowed customers to securely and easily redeem a token they were emailed, via scanning a QR code in their mobile wallet.
More than 2,000 venues signed up to For the Love of Your Local, with the campaign raising $2 million in funds that were transferred directly to the venues via PayPal.
This latest recognition for CUB follows its appearance on the AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies List last year with draught cocktail Lexington Hill and in 2019 with the groundbreaking Carlton Zero.
CUB’s Head of Insights & Innovation Adam Murphy said the hat-trick underlined CUB’s ongoing commitment to innovation.
“Last year people from across the business participated in our inaugural ‘InnoWeek’ which generated more than 1,000 different ideas, several of which are now active projects in our innovation pipeline,” he said.
“We know constant innovation grows our business. We’ve recently launched Great Northern Zero, Vodka Cruiser Spritz, and new easy-drinking craft options 4Pines Freshy and South Coast Pale Ale.
“We’ve also expanded into other categories such as fragrances, sneakers and puzzles. In fact, Victoria Bitter’s Thirst scent became the fastest selling fragrance in Aussie history, selling over 25,000 units in its first 72 hours.
“We’ve achieved a lot through innovation – but there’s much more to come.”