just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
In This Issue...
The Smoking Ban: Potential Impact on the UK Leisure Industry 24 May 2006, London
A half-day conference (AM) exploring the financial consequences and opportunities that the post-smoking ban may present.
The final two days of last week saw the inaugural World Whiskies Conference in Edinburgh. The event was a resounding success and provided a much-needed opportunity for members of the whisk(e)y world to get together and discuss the major issues and problems facing the industry.
The whisk(e)y industry has more reason than most to form one voice as it continues to struggle to be heard above the noise being made by younger and trendier categories.
But the need for a united front is not just necessary when confronting the increased competition for share of throat from the upstarts in vodka and Tequila, or a resurgent gin category. Delegates were urged to work together against the threat of increasing legislation against the alcohol industry and opposition from the anti-alcohol lobby.
As a member of the beleaguered tobacco industry warned: “Complacency is the major enemy. Don’t just think the tobacco industry got it wrong and that you are different and safe and be self righteous about it because you are not. It’s beginning to happen already.”
So what should drinks firms do to alleviate the threat of government intervention and stave off the accusations that alcohol is largely responsible for the perceived increased levels of binge drinking and anti-social behaviour, particularly here in the UK? To some, the thought that it is the drinks industry that promotes moderate alcohol consumption will always be, at the very least incongruous, and at worst, absurd.
However, all sides of the industry need to do more and build on the already very good work carried out by a number of stakeholders to endorse the merits of responsible drinking. Otherwise, alcohol could face similar draconian measures that have hit tobacco in recent years. However, it took something tangible to really focus the minds of those who assembled in Edinburgh last week. The aforementioned delegate from the tobacco industry pulled from beneath his lectern a bottle of Teacher’s with a mock health warning on the front and back akin to those on cigarette packets in the UK.
Marketing bosses beware - this really didn’t make for pretty viewing.
For more on the World Whiskies Conference, visit:
And for more on a second trade show, Vinitaly 2006, that hit new heights recently, visit here:
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
The first day at the inaugural World Whiskies Conference in Scotland confronted some of the major issues and problems facing the industry, in particular the threat of increased alcohol legislation around the globe and the stifling grip of major retailers on off-trade sales. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here are some of the best quotes to give you a flavour of the debates.
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