September 1, 2008
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
The end of August, the end of the summer and, for just-drinks, at least, the end of the slumber. After a quiet month – as is August's wont, traditionally – things burst back into life in the drinks world last week.
First up, Foster's Group delivered a widely-expected grim set of full-year results. A colourful year so far for the Australian beer and wine company could yet see Foster's demerge, if only they could fine a buyer for their wine division. With Constellation also looking to sell some of its wine assets in Australia, it would appear that there are more sellers than buyers in the wine industry right now.
Heineken followed Foster's later in the week, posting its latest set of results. The brewer, which saw its first half benefit from its purchase of Scottish & Newcastle earlier this year, remains exposed to the mature – some would say stagnant – beer markets of Western Europe. I'll wager the Netherlands-based company will have taken heart from comments made by Diageo's CEO last week, then.
While announcing an upbeat set of full-year results last week, Paul Walsh hinted that, having come clean on its talks with Cobra Beer, the premium beer market was one that offered opportunities for Diageo when it comes to acquisitions going forward. Particular mention was made of Heineken by Walsh. The two companies have teamed up – along with Namibia Breweries – in South Africa. Walsh appears very impressed with the performance of the venture, and said he could see the two companies working closer going forward.
To find out more about Walsh's thoughts on beer, keep your eyes peeled on just-drinks for an exclusive, two-part interview with the head of Diageo. I met with Walsh the day after Diageo's FY announcement, and can confirm that his musings make for very interesting reading, so the interviews – which run this and next week – will be worth the wait.
Continuing our line of impressive interviewees, I have it on good authority that we also have a slot with the head of UB Group, Vijay Mallya, lined up for next month. If you have any questions for the Indian entrepreneur, email them to me at email@example.com.
Finally, it's my birthday today. Suggestions of the tipple to toast on this, my thirtysomething birthday, also gratefully received.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
Vodka is soon to take over from Scotch whisky as the most consumed spirit in the UK. But Chris Losh sees its success as a triumph of marketing over substance, and wonders whether consumer interest can be sustained if drinkers, like bartenders, begin looking to spirits with more flavour, product heritage and variety to offer, like gin and rum.
This month, we are offering our subscribers the opportunity to sample another of just-drinks market research reports: the 2007 edition of The international spirits market in China forecasts to 2012. This takes the place of a management briefing - we hope you find it interesting and informative. If you like what you read and would like to find out more about just-drinks' latest reports, feel free to drop Holly an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently deliver just-drinks newsletters to : ##EMAIL##
To change the opt-in emails you receive, modify your address, or be removed completely, please use this link.
© just-drinks.com 2000-2008. All Rights Reserved.