October 13, 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.
just-drinks began last week at the unsociable hour of four o'clock in the morning, in order to board a plane to Poland with SABMiller.
Several coffees and a brief snooze later, we arrived in picturesque Krakow to visit SABMiller's Tyskie brewery, the company's largest facility in Europe, and also to meet representatives of the group's Kompanie Piwowarska subsidiary. Keep your eyes open later this week for a just-drinks spotlight feature based on the trip and a special question and answer session with Alan Clark, MD of SABMiller Europe.
Back in the newsroom, the week's biggest industry revelation has been the resignation of C&C CEO Maurice Pratt, following a disappointing performance at the Irish company's cider division. We believe Magners' legacy in the cider category continues to outshine its poor performance, however – an opinion I shared with the listeners of Radio Four last week (from about 15 minutes in).
On the wider news front, financial markets around the world ended the week staring into the abyss. Stock markets plummeted, shares crashed and Iceland effectively went bankrupt, leaving no one in any doubt that a painful recession looms.
Still, the effects on the luxury spirits business, at least, may not be so disastrous, argues Ian Buxton.
On a personal note, this week marks my fifth anniversary with just-drinks. And what a five years it's been – I've travelled the world (as regular readers of my blog can confirm), and tried some awesome drinks along the way. My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you whose paths I've crossed in the last five years. Quite often, I have to remind myself that I'm actually getting paid to have this much fun.
Here's to the next five years, then.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
BALTIKA Breweries is one of the largest beer producers in Europe with production capacity over 50 MHL. A strong leader in the Russian beer market, exports to 50 countries all over the world, 70% of all export shipments of beer from Russia. BALTIKA’S sales abroad volume in H1 2008 run up to 1,5 MHL, an increase of 38%.
Icelandic Water opened its long-awaited ‘naturally powered’ bottling facility late last month. Michelle Russell visited the new state-of-the-art plant and spoke with the company’s CEO and co-founder, Jon Olafsson, about the company’s carbon neutral certification, the progress of the Icelandic Glacial brand and what the future holds for the business.
The World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Doha Development Round is now at a crossroads. After coming to a hair’s breadth of striking a deal at a ministerial summit in July, there is now a serious risk that agreements wrung from these seven years of discussions could now unravel. If trade ministers are prepared to return to Geneva to solve the limited range of issues over which they were unable to reach agreement, a Doha deal could be secured this year. But, this seems unlikely, with the US presidential election looming. In this month's briefing, we assess the prospects of the WTO recovering from this latest setback and consider what is at stake.
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