Creative partnership
ensures fresh face
for annual beer and
cider awards.


Running any annual event puts on the pressure to come up with new and eye-catching ideas. The New World Beer and Cider Awards marketing manager, Rachel Touhey, shares her experience of working with Baseline to present a fresh look for the awards year after year.

Awards help navigate beer and cider brands

The number of New Zealand breweries seems to bloom each year, and so does the number of entrants into the New World Beer and Cider Awards.

Growing out of the success of the New World Wine Awards, the awards for our country’s burgeoning beer and cider offerings began in 2014. Now we get about 600 entries each year, from over 100 breweries and cider makers. It’s such a great way to introduce New Zealanders to what can be quite a complex – even daunting – category.

So, the point of sale (POS) materials we create each year must be fresh, eye catching and interesting, and they must help customers navigate their way to buy and try unfamiliar beers and ciders. It can be quite a big ask. But I’ve been with Foodstuffs – which owns New World – for 24 years, and have worked with Baseline for more than 20, so I know together we will create innovative and interesting POS materials.

Developing new elements, each year

One of my favourite items we’ve worked on is the display stands for the 30 winners, made from a rigid cardboard with a fluted core that’s almost as strong as wood. in 2016, Baseline designed the shelving display so that we can reuse them for each year’s awards, or even for a different promotion somewhere else in store. The stands are printed with a dark wood-like print, then we use peel and stick Beer & Cider decals, which can be peeled off and reapplied without damaging the print finish. They also pack down flat for storage.

And these really are robust – We tested them by literally running trolleys into the stands to see if they would be damaged. They weren’t.

Baseline produces our flanners – flag banners – with various cut out pieces to hang in the aisles, bunting, A2 posters, decals for the floor, as well as our price tickets, the judging sheets and pull up banners for use during the judging, and much, much more. Last year Baseline also created round beer steins from carton cardboard to attract the eye.

But whatever we need, Baseline does. Sometimes even offering something we didn’t know we needed. For example, one year Baseline’s design studio came up with a bespoke presentation box for bottles that also was secure enough for shipping. Together we developed the idea to use them to send the media samples of the winning beer and cider.

Creativity is a partnership

In all that time, Baseline has never let me down. They have always worked with me and my team to come up with new and exciting ideas.

I get Baseline in five months before the awards are held in late May/early June, meeting with Candice Harding, our Client Service Manager at Baseline, to discuss POS requirements. Between our marketing department, and our partners, we’ll throw around ideas for how we can promote the awards this year.

Candice and her design and production teams are great at suggesting new POS elements, and innovative products to use in the promotions – always with a strict eye to sustainability. That includes the materials we print on – robust and recyclable cardboard – the inks we use, and ensuring efficiency so we use as much as possible of every board, saving on waste.

The challenges –
and benefits – of working
as a team

I do like to challenge Candice and her workmates. But they always more than meet the mark with the high quality of the printing, and everything arriving in the 140 New World stores on time, having been properly packaged, tracked and traced.

Which is a challenge in itself, as Candice must manage her own team working to tight schedules. But Candice and I have worked together for six years now, which makes both our jobs so much easier.

Having worked with Baseline for 20 years, and with Candice for six, we can be really honest with each other and open about issues. That makes a big difference – especially when COVID-19 hit and Baseline had to re-organise its production schedules.

It also helps a lot that, after all these years, Baseline and Candice know all the complexities around alcohol advertising, so they’d never suggest anything that wouldn’t pass muster legally.

The funny thing is, if we’ve done our work well, all this POS is eye-catching but not obvious. It just slots cohesively but eye-catchingly into the liquor department and promotes the winning beers and ciders, making customers fancy a beer. Me, I like a pale ale.

Explore the Top 100 Beers & Ciders from the 2020 Beer and Cider awards here.

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