Parfetts Retail Member

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

Unitas’ annual celebration of its members’ and suppliers’ achievements over the previous year took place at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre. Over 650 people attended the award dinner which was hosted by Deal or No Deal and Dancing on Ice presenter Stephen Mulhern.

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

Other wholesaler winners included Lomond the Wholesale Food Company in the Environmental and 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 supplier rewarded for their work with Unitas members were Heineken UK, which won both the Licenced and On Trade Supplier of the Year awards. KP Snacks received the Impulse Supplier trophy and the prize for Grocery Supplier of the Year went to Nestlé Food and Beverages.

The presentations have been 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.

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

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

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.”