Customer service excellence from Good Drinks Australia

Daniel English   •   7 November 2023
Share this article
After another year of national expansion, Good Drinks will focus on its commitment to customer connections over the coming months.

“2023 was another outstanding year for Good Drinks Australia (GDA),” Managing Director John Hoedemaker tells National Liquor News.

“We achieved nine per cent growth in a softer market, concentrating on becoming the partner of choice and helping to find solutions for our customers. We maintained solid investment in brand, bolstering our national, key accounts and market activation teams.”

With inflation, interest rates and cost of living challenging the whole industry, Hoedemaker owes the company’s success last year to its commitment to offering customers a broad portfolio of high margin products across key category segments.

“Empathising with our consumers and customers, finding solutions that are a win for everybody, and developing emotional connections to brands that hold value is working for us.”

And it’s exactly this attitude that led GDA to be named Beer Supplier of the Year at the Liquor Stores Association of Western Australia’s awards last October.

“It feels like the team’s commitment to purpose, their sacrifices and their mateship is paying off in spades. Winning [this award] is a wonderful recognition of the calibre of the WA team and leadership, while a fantastic recognition of their effort to creating long-term meaningful partnerships with our customers.”

2023 and beyond

Looking back on 2023, Hoedemaker says a few key trends emerged throughout the year.

“We could see a consumer need on both sides of the ABV ledger. Some drinkers were searching out higher ABV products packed with flavour, like our recently launched Matso’s Nightlife range.

“On the other side of the ledger, the better-for-you category continued to grow, with a desire for lower ABV products that don’t compromise on flavour. In that space, we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved with Gage Roads Side Track XPA, which comes in at 3.5 per cent, while Gage Roads Yeah Buoy Non-Alc XPA is continuing to gain traction across the country.”

Another highlight for GDA last year was the launch of Rider, a no-carb, low-calorie contemporary lager specifically focused on engaging Gen Z and Millennials in beer.

“It’s the largest and most successful launch that GDA has undertaken, with extraordinary growth in ranging and consumer awareness,” added Hoedemaker.

“The initial response to the brand from consumers and customers has been well above our expectations and we’re excited to see it grow into a major force in the contemporary segment.”

Continuing to focus on customer relationships, Hoedemaker says that GDA’s national expansion will keep the momentum in 2024.

“Offering the Good Drinks range to new customers and consumers across all the great states and territories of Australia [is] our key focus in 2024. Our ambition is to have Good Drinks in every fridge in Australia.

“We are achieving this by doubling down on our commitment to providing excellence in customer service and representation across Australia. Our opportunity and commitment are to create long-term business plans and partnerships with our customers that create a win for our retail customers, and value at the shop floor.

“We’re committing to an increased spend in traditional above the line advertising, and our experiential brand-in-hand events team is in full flight, delivering over one million serves of try, and converting that into buy.”


John Hoedemaker, Managing Director of Good Drinks Australia, speaks with National Liquor News, February 2024.