November 10, 2008
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
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We seem to have turned the corner into 'Christmas Boulevard' already here at just-drinks. Last week – the first week of November, lest we forget – included one evening where we'd been invited to four different events in London town.
We managed to show our faces at three of them – thanks to Wray & Nephew for its quarterly rum love-in, InBev UK for the opportunity to catch up after what had seemed an age, and Constellation Europe for its Christmas drinks shindig. Apologies, 'though, to Lucas Bols, for our failure to make it to its cocktail do on Thursday (6 November). So much to do, so little time, I'm sure you sympathise.
There appears to be little let-up this week, it would seem. We've another boat-load of meetings and drinks-related fun lined up for tomorrow (11 November), including an executive dinner with Diageo's top-brass. If you've any questions you'd like either CEO Paul Walsh or the zonal leaders at Diageo to answer over their prawn cocktails, drop me a line.
Similarly, I'm off to India later this week for a few days, with a view to presenting our take on the current environment in the global beer industry, at the two-day IndSpirit conference – if you'd like me to quiz any of the Indian beer, wine or spirits companies about their market or their opinions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's a wonder, surely, that we find time to bring you any daily news. On that note, last Wednesday's results statement from Molson Coors got our cogs turning, and we quickly confirmed that Molson was, indeed, the mystery buyer of a stake in Foster's.
Speaking to industry bods, there is more a sense of 'when' and not 'if' the bidding begins for Australia's beer and wine giant, which has today (10 November) announced the pending departure of regional head Jamie Odell.
Last week underlined a gloomy chapter for those involved in the North American soft drinks category, with Jones Soda and Cott Corporation both seeing their latest losses mount. Still, Coca-Cola will have been pleased to see Monster Energy increasing market share, which bodes well for its new distribution deal.
The situation looks a little more positive for spirits in the region. Diageo told investors last week that premium sales were holding up well, although conceded it needed to do more to target a consumer shift to lower end drinks and home consumption.
Over in France, Diageo's arch-rival, Pernod Ricard, last week elected its first chief executive from outside the Ricard family. We listened in to the group's AGM to hear Pierre Pringuet gain approval for the role, as the company reaffirmed its plan to cut debt.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
NEW Return-On-Investment white paper from
The Netherlands-based Scaent Group acquired the mothballed Glenglassaugh Distillery from Highland Distillers in February. After nine months of preparation, the distillery will be up and running by the end of November. Managing director Stuart Nickerson spoke with Olly Wehring about the challenges of bringing a single malt out of retirement and the new owner’s plans for the company.
Protecting local markets, traditional names and long-established production methods have long been important elements of the international drinks trading system. However in recent years, efforts have been made to bring some order and liberalisation to what was once a plethora of local laws that restricted trade on the one hand, and allowed cheap shoddy copies of drink classics, on the other. Here just-drinks examines the state of drinks production and marketing laws worldwide and examines how governments and international organisations are trying to balance protecting excellence with the need to allow free trade and competition within the sector.
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