Unitas announces member and supplier winners of Connect Awards

Parfetts, RD Johns and Wilds Premier Drinks Distributor were the big winners at the Unitas Connect Awards, winning the Retail, Foodservice and On Trade Wholesaler of The Year 2023 titles.

Dee Bee Wholesale’s impulse buyer Lewis Dyson is presented with the Members’ Employee of the Year award.

Pricecheck International Brand Partners took home both the Standard/Specialist Wholesaler of the Year accolade and the award for Digital Innovation.

Unitas’ annual celebration of its members’ and suppliers’ achievements over the previous year took place during connect24, the group’s biggest ever trading event, held at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre. Over 650 people attended the awards dinner, which was hosted by TV presenter Stephen Mulhern.

The scheme was renamed the Connect Awards for this year to emphasise successful partnerships with the Unitas Support Centre and the services it offers to wholesalers and suppliers.

Other wholesaler winners included Lomond the Wholesale Food Company in the Environmental & Sustainability category.

The evening’s only individual award, Members’ Employee of the Year, went to Dee Bee Wholesale’s impulse buyer Lewis Dyson. Described as a rising star by his company, the judges said Lewis ‘demonstrates the skills and ability to thrive as an innovative leader in wholesale, and a comprehensive understanding of what makes our sector unique’.

Among the suppliers rewarded for their work with Unitas members were Heineken UK, which won both the Licensed and On Trade Supplier of the Year awards. KP Snacks received the Impulse Supplier trophy, while the prize for Grocery Supplier of the Year went to Nestlé Food & Beverages.

The evening also saw special recognition given to four stalwarts of the wholesale sector: Jason Stocker of Nestlé, Steve Pugh of Heineken UK, Arthur Yule of Ceuta and Jitu Dattani of Dhamecha.

Unitas MD John Kinney told the attendees: “It’s been amazing to have over 800 people in the halls today, doing deals, discovering new lines and making new connections.

“Tonight’s awards celebrate the best of last year’s connections – it’s these partnerships between our members, our suppliers and the brilliant team we have in our Support Centre that set the template for success in wholesale.”

The evening raised £23,000 for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in Sheffield.


Published Date: March 8, 2024
Category: Wholesale Industry News