just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
In This Issue...
The clocks went back an hour at the beginning of last week. Not only does this mark the end of one season, but also the beginning of another – namely, the party season.
Monday saw our news editor, Dean Best, partake of a still or two of vodka as Skyy launched its flavoured vodka portfolio in the UK – check here for our take on the company’s prospects.
Twenty-four hours later, and yours truly was dressed as a penguin with Diageo’s malts team as they looked to sweep the board at the International Wine & Spirit Competition – an event described to me by one nervous drinks executive as “this industry’s Oscars”.
Having won three spirits-related gongs earlier in the evening, Diageo seemed perfectly poised to snatch ‘the big one’: Distiller of the Year. As cheese was passed round at the end of the meal, the big moment arrived, and the announcement of Chivas Brothers’ smash-and-grab led to much choking on camembert around me. Disappointing though it must have been, I found it very reassuring to see a juggernaut the size of Diageo still caring passionately about such awards.
A quick thank you, also, to C&C International, the spirits export arm of the Irish drinks company of the same name. An intimate dinner in London on Wednesday served to confirm what I’d discovered the night before. It’s easy to get blinded by numbers – as one of our commentators noted recently - especially when we spend all our time quizzing export heads and brand management bods. But below this business head beats a heart that remains enthusiastic and passionate – that’s what helps me enjoy this industry as much as I clearly do.
A final stop-press: I don’t want to speak to soon, but it looks like my wish for a trip in this bling-mobile might come true. Any photo opportunity that may arise will be used on our Christmas cards – you can be sure of that.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
Major brewing groups are clamouring to get into India, which, by dint of its young population, expanding economy and rising personal disposable income offers huge growth potential. International groups have already made substantial inroads by partnering with local companies, writes Tom Joyce of Euromonitor International, and more such tie-ups are imminent.
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