September 29, 2008
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
Winning at the Shelf white paper reveals how mobile technology is transforming field execution for leading consumer products companies. In an increasingly tough marketplace, these companies are leading a revolution on the selling floor with the ability to create the perfect store, the perfect shelf, the perfect order.
It's been a... southerly week here on just-drinks, with yours truly lording it in South Africa for the past few days. Coinciding with the Cape Wine 2008 trade fair, the visit has afforded me an in-depth insight into the wine industry down here. The trip – stretching from drinking fizz in a jeep at 0830 listening to 'Africa' by Toto last Saturday, to trekking up Lion's Head above Cape Town yesterday – has been full-on, yet fascinating.
For all the pluses in South Africa's column – Franschhoek leaps straight into my top five most stunning wine regions, for one – it's clear that there remain a host of hurdles still to clear before the wine companies down here get to where they want to be.
From re-enfranchising a 'previously disadvantaged' majority, to dealing with a domestic political climate that can hardly be called stable – President Mbeki stood down last weekend, for example – many of these challenges are exclusive to South Africa.
Drop in the struggles generic to the rest of the world – competition in export markets, trampolining currencies – and the lot of a South African winemaker can be a precarious one.
Still, there remain many rays of sunshine among the clouds, most notably the arrival of the football World Cup here in two year's time. Being the first time the high-profile tournament has come to Africa, the locals are getting quite excited already, and rightly-so. Awareness of the country and what it has to offer should soar on the back of the World Cup, and that can only benefit the country as a whole, and its wine industry in particular.
That the World Cup coincides with the next Cape Wine in 2010 isn't wasted on me either. If the two don't overlap, I've assured all that would listen down here that I'd be happy to make the trip twice in two year's time.
Back in the real world, the last week has seen renewed speculation about a buyout of Foster's, following the revelation that Deutsche Bank has been clocking up shares in the Australian group. Foster's has also appointed Ian Johnston as its permanent CEO. just-drinks understands from industry sources that Foster's has already been sounding out potential buyers for its ailing wine division.
Sticking with the financial wheeling and dealing, InBev has insisted that its takeover of Anheuser will not be affected by turmoil in financial markets.
UK smoothie firm Innocent Drinks has not been so lucky with the credit crunch. Sales are down by a fifth in the last six months, so we caught up with the group's commercial director, Giles Brook, to get the details.
On the political front, last week saw the EU drag India back to the World Trade Organisation over high import taxes on wine and spirits. And, in the UK, things are hotting up over alcohol policy in Scotland, where MPs will vote this week on whether to raise the legal age for buying alcohol in shops to 21.
And finally, we reported on one French winemaker's new "vin de merde" brand. Who says the French can't do marketing?
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
BALTIKA Breweries is one of the major brewing enterprises in Europe with production capacity over 49.5 MHL. The Company owns over 35 beer brands on sale. More than 70% of Russian beer export is produced by BALTIKA Breweries.
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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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