February 11, 2008
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
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We’ve a running challenge here at just-drinks, to avoid starting each weekly newsletter to you thus: “It’s been a busy week on just-drinks…”. But sometimes, needs must.
It’s been a busy week for… Diageo.
The wine and spirits company preceded the unveiling later this week of its interim results with a healthy number of appearances on our news pages last week. Firstly, Diageo said on Wednesday that it will work with the Nolet family to handle the Ketel One vodka brand around the world.
The news carried greater importance, however, in signalling that Diageo will not play a part in the pending sale of Vin & Sprit. With Smirnoff and now Ketel One, the company appears to feel that it has the vodka base amply covered. Despite having maintained that anti-trust issues would not play a part in influencing any move for Vin & Sprit, the point is moot now, with the drinks giant stating categorically that it will watch the bunfight from the sidelines.
Then, later in the week, Diageo said it will distribute and jointly market the Zacapa rum brand. The addition of Zacapa to its ‘Reserve brand’ stable is another marker of intent – while the word ‘recession’ grows ever bigger and bolder, Diageo clearly believes that the future remains premium. “We have plans to expand in regions where we see significant opportunities for luxury dark spirits," the company said.
As Diageo chief, Paul Walsh, said earlier this month: “If you were to say the word ‘recession’ to consumers in India and China, you would be greeted by a very strange face.”
Features-wise, we had a very interesting chat last week with the new CEO of Cobra Beer, Adrian McKeon. He, it seems, is also none too concerned about economic doom and gloom, and predicts big things for the rising star of the premium bottled beer brand. Our regular columnist, Chris Losh, meanwhile, warns of the perils and pitfalls of buying en primeurs from Bordeaux. And, it appears, he speaks from bitter experience.
And, if you’re pushed for time, take a look here for a round-up of what kept our presses hot in the last week.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
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The fevered atmosphere pervading Bordeaux as it awaits reaction to this year’s en primeurs puts Chris Losh in mind of an unfortunate experience that befell him two years ago. Buying en primeur can be a risky business at the best of times, but Chris didn't know the half of it.
The beginning of a new year once again sees the publication of the Euromonitor International industry review from just-drinks. The briefing takes stock of the current state of play in the spirits, beer, wine and soft drinks sectors, and looks ahead to what promises to be an exciting and busy year across all four categories. The report discusses the key trends for each sector, companies to watch, and the brands set to lead the market in 2008.
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