September 8, 2008
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
US Drinks Conference 2008, Tuesday 14 October at Marriott Marble Arch, London.
Some of our more regular readers will remember how we have consistently tried to steer clear of the “It's been a busy week on just-drinks” cliché when it comes to delivering our weekly newsletter. Last week, however, that cliché rang true for Beam Global Spirits & Wine. No sooner had the US arm of Fortune Brands settled the future for its distribution joint venture in the US, than the company felt duty bound to announce its latest take on Stolichnaya, widely thought to be on Beam's radar.
Speaking exclusively last week to Beam's CEO, Tom Flocco (not for the first time), we learnt that the company remains upbeat about its future plans, and specifically its hopes for the revamped and redesigned Maxxium joint venture. Flocco was clearly excited about Beam's strategy, saying that the company has finally regained “full and clear control” of its business.
Earlier in the week, Fortune's president and CEO, Bruce Carbonari, confirmed that the company "did conduct" discussions with SPI Group regarding Stolichnaya. "However, given the continuing uncertainty surrounding ownership of the brand and other risks unique to the situation, we did not see a reasonable solution that would serve the interests of our shareholders and we terminated those talks."
Interestingly, from what we've heard, Beam did make an offer to SPI for Stolichnaya, but the move came to nought.
On the features side last week, take a look here for part one of an exclusive, two-part interview with Diageo's CEO, Paul Walsh. Part two will run on Tuesday (9 September).
Are there any interview subjects you'd like to see grilled by just-drinks? Drop me a line and we'll get chasing on your part.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
Amidst the doom and despond of the economic downturn, Diageo demonstrated its power and resilience by turning in full-year sales and profit growth. In the first of a special, two-part just-drinks interview, Olly Wehring spoke with Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh about the recent performance, future acquisition plans in spirits, wine and even beer, and the controversial issue of the alleged links between ready-to-drink brands (RTDs) and alcohol misuse.
This month's briefing presents a snapshot of the ways and means manufacturers and retailers can identify demand. We look at the methods and processes they use to gather, assess and implement information on what consumers have bought and will buy in future, including an examination of loyalty schemes and data mining. Influencing factors will also be considered, including the movement of people within and between countries and the ways in which that may create and develop demand.
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