Article originally published on FMCG Business.

The two winners of the 2021 Peter Jowett scholarship were recognised at a virtual event held by the New Zealand Association of Convenience Stores (NZACS) recently.

The winner was Andrew Olsen, Key Account Manager P&C, Frucor Suntory closely followed by runner-up, Kailee Weir, Trade Marketing Rep, BAT NZ.

Andrew Olsen - Frucor Suntory - Key Account Manager P&C
Kailee Reed - BAT NZ - Trade Marketing Rep

Both have won a $1,000 personal travel prize and a $3,000 professional development grant to be used in conjunction with their respective companies.

The Peter Jowett scholarship is a unique opportunity to celebrate and challenge future industry leaders. Candidates must be under the age of 36 and are given the platform to present an idea on a specific topic in front of leaders of the New Zealand convenience industry.

Dave Hooker, Executive Director, NZACS, highlighted how impressive all this year’s ideas and presentations were and congratulated the finalists.

“A big thanks to BAT NZ and Frucor Suntory for encouraging and supporting their staff through these awards. These four contestants and winners represent a bright future for our industry. Congratulations once again to Andrew and Kailee our winner and runner-up.”

This year’s scholarship topic was: “In light of COVID-19 and the changes in shopper behaviour and dynamics, what opportunities has this pandemic presented for convenience retailers to change the way they retail, and look for areas to deliver sales growth and foot traffic for their businesses?”

Both Olsen and Weir presented ideas on creating mobile apps that would make convenience stores even more convenient for shoppers, and in turn, drive greater foot traffic.

Olsen’s app, ‘Omni-Shopable’, which he described as the “perfect store”, would be a platform for customers to easily find anything they need, when they need it, at the right price.

Meanwhile Weir described her app, ‘Lite’, as the “future to increasing foot traffic in a newly found digital world”.

Speaking to FMCG Business about his win, Olsen highlighted the significance of the Peter Jowett scholarship and took the opportunity to thank the people who helped support him through the process.

“I believe this year’s topic is so interesting as we have seen COVID-19 play a large role in the shape of the current retail sector and what it will look like over the next few years. Not only creating new trends but significantly accelerating trends we were already seeing take shape pre the pandemic.

“I’d like to thank Kat Ledger, Justin Ramsey, Keith Mason and Reth Vorn who helped challenge my ideas through the early development of my idea. Other than I am just thankful to have had the experience to present in front of so many of the industry leaders,” he said.

Weir also told FMCG Business how invaluable the Peter Jowett experience had been for her.

“Throughout the journey I managed to connect with many facets of the business to gain deeper insights into the journey of building a business proposal,” she said.

“I feel I have gained valuable experience I can apply to my role in BAT NZ and have built connections that I am so grateful for and would like to thank everyone who contributed their time into helping with my presentation. I strongly recommend that everyone gives Peter Jowett a go for 2022 and beyond as I am so grateful for the experience.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]