July 23, 2007
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Not that you’d know it, from the ridiculous amount of rain we’re currently enjoying in the UK at the moment, but summer has well and truly arrived. And with it, we have the annual silly season – with its reports of companies looking to buy things that aren’t for sale and firms pondering selling brands that are performing really rather well.
One such brand, which appears in the business gossip columns with metronomic regularity, is Guinness. The Irish stout may not carry the same glamour and ‘pizzazz’ as Johnnie Walker or Smirnoff for Diageo, but it has been a mainstay at the drinks giant since it was formed back in the 1990s.
And yet, almost once a quarter, speculation mounts that Diageo is mulling offloading the beer brand, as the UK and Irish markets produce less impressive results than its spirit cousins. I met with Brian Duffy, the global brand director for Guinness, last week, and his comments on the rumours should hopefully put the whole issue to bed.
“We don't want to sell it,” he told me. “Interest in our brand is great, and reflects its standing. The rumours, however, are simply rumours and they're not based on fact.”
So, that’s that then – for now…
You’ve got to love the silly season – we certainly do.
A couple of transactions that did go through last week, however, were Campari’s acquisition of X-Rated in the US, and CEDC’s purchase of Parliament Vodka in Russia. For the thoughts of one of our regular contributors on this latter buy, click here.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
The US-based Eastern European drinks group CEDC has continued its rapid expansion with the acquisition of Russian vodka brand Parliament. While some observers have questioned the move, Patience Gould believes the acquisition will give CEDC the infrastructure to build its business in Russia, allowing it to replicate the successful business model it has employed in Poland.
This month's briefing has been written following the success of the first magnificent seven briefing published by just-drinks in July 2006. While health, convenience and indulgence (dubbed the three megatrends) continue to dominate growth strategies within the global drinks industry, a number of emerging trends are also making a significant impact on communications, new product development (NPD) and consumers' purchasing habits. We offer insight and perspective on drinks trends currently influencing manufacturers, retailers and consumers in the global marketplace.
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