March 10, 2008
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
The breathtaking wines of GOLDEN KAAN could only come from South Africa, a captivating land of intrigue and beauty. From Cabernet Sauvignon to Pinotage, Shiraz and Chardonnay, explore the flavors of Africa with GOLDEN KAAN’s distinct premium wine ranges: Classic, Winemaker’s Edition and Private Selection. GOLDEN KAAN, a Great Wine from a Great Continent.
I got my own back on my news editor last week. After Jessica Harvey’s week-long foray to the exotic climes of Cuba in February, I went one better… with a 28-hour jaunt to Northern Ireland. Oh yes, we have a winner.
I’ve become quite the expert on Irish whiskey in the last couple of years. Having not only visited market leader Jameson, I’ve spoken at great length both with the heads of Cooley Distillery and C&C International. While all three noted the bright future ahead for the sector, last week’s trip to Bushmills saw brand owner Diageo positively singing from the rooftops over the category’s potential. My interview with Bushmills’ global brand director can be found here.
Not only was my visit notable for a look at Bushmills’ operations up in Northern Ireland, it was also, bizarrely, my first press trip with Diageo since I began with just-drinks over four years ago. The drinks giant has spent the last few years cultivating a reputation within the trade press as being more reactive than proactive – a reputation that appears now to sit ill on Diageo’s shoulders. An influx of new blood on the communications side - including SABMiller’s former media relations manager – has seen the company develop a more ‘go, get’em’ approach when it comes to comms.
The oil tanker’s gone and got a faster engine, it would seem.
Elsewhere on the site last week, we turned the magnifying glass on the binge drinking debate here in the UK. The alcoholic drinks industry is squarely in the politicians’ viewfinders right now and, with the budget this week looking like introducing a spirits hike for the first time in quite a while, now is not the funnest time to be operating in this country.
And the weather’s rubbish as well!
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
Just in case you’ve not got round to booking a round-the-world business trip, taking in the best wine producing regions of France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Germany, the US, South Africa, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and roughly 25 other producing countries…. We’ll bring them to you, in London, and for three days.
The largest FMCG producer in Russia BALTIKA Breweries announces excellent financial results for 2007. Company’s sales volume rose to 43.7 MHL, an increase of 19.5% compared to 2006. Market share of the BALTIKA brand rose to 12.7%, with export sales growth of +22.9%. BALTIKA entered eight new markets, including Switzerland, North Korea, Mexico, Malta and Mongolia.
Diageo’s acquisition of Bushmills Irish Whiskey from Pernod Ricard in 2005 heralded a major change for the brand. As Shivaun Lucey, global brand director, Bushmills, stresses in this month’s Just the Answer, there is a wealth of difference between being a secondary brand to a market leader and being the only Irish whiskey marketed by the world’s largest spirits company. Olly Wehring spoke with Lucey about the brand’s future as part of Diageo.
In this month’s management briefing we round up some of the valuable findings from a selection of just-drinks’ recently published research. Last year saw us release some brand new titles and updates of our established reports, and with 2008 building up to be our busiest year for research to date, we’re looking forward to announcing some great titles shortly. Download this briefing and read extracts from some of our latest reports. Sectors focused on are vodka, brandy and Cognac, premium beer and functional health soft drinks.
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