just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
In This Issue...
Let’s face it, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, January is usually one of the more gloomy times of year. It’s cold and dark, your post-Christmas credit card bill is giving you a headache and you’ve already broken those New Year’s resolutions.
Last week, however, there was at least some New Year cheer emanating from Paris and London when wine and spirits giant Pernod Ricard released a set of robust numbers for the first half of its financial year.
Sales rose almost 10% in the six months to the end of December, Pernod said, thanks to a strong performance from its spirits brands, particularly in Asia and the Americas. Revenue from the company’s 15 “strategic” brands, which include Ballantine’s Scotch and Martell Cognac, rose 14% during the period.
Smiling Pernod executives came to London last week to announce the company’s interim results and to outline its plans to rejuvenate Beefeater gin. The former Allied Domecq brand is already performing reasonably well, with volumes up 5% over the last six months and sales recovering in Spain, Beefeater’s largest market.
However, Pernod feels the gin needs a new, more modern image to take the brand further, and tap into what is perceived to be promising times for gin, particularly in the category’s largest market, the US.
The company unveiled new-look packaging and a global advertising campaign both centred on Beefeater’s home – London. The programme focuses on the traditional and more contemporary elements of the UK capital and seems likely to play well with consumers overseas, who generally have a positive view of the city.
The Pernod bods behind the Beefeater relaunch see the campaign as vital to reviving the brand’s image in the US. Consumers across the pond perceive Beefeater as “old-fashioned and dowdy”, said brand director Nick Blacknell.
Pernod’s track record with brand relaunches – think Martell, Chivas Regal and Ballantine’s – is strong, however, and, with such a vibrant campaign for Beefeater, there is no reason why the London gin should not be added to this list.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
Despite being only a few days into 2007, attention is already turning towards the summer and the exhibition season. Earlier this month, the team that organises the biennial Bordeaux extravaganza Vinexpo came to London to discuss this year’s show. Olly Wehring met with Vinexpo president Jean-Marie Chadronnier to find out what attendees can look forward to.
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