April 20, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
The London International Wine Fair and Distil. 25,000 wines and spirits for tasting. Over 30 seminars, debates and masterclasses for learning. 30,000 wine and spirits trade professionals for meeting. But only 3 days.
After months of bluster and lobbying, the UK drinks industry is finally facing the Budget this week.
The last few weeks have seen human pint glasses, angry glove puppets and strongly-worded petitions delivered to the gates of Downing Street in London, all in an attempt to persuade the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling. not to raise duty on alcoholic drinks for the third time inside 12 months.
Naturally, the industry is always loathe to absorb tax rises, but lobbying has been particularly vociferous in the build up to this year's Budget. Little wonder, with the fear of up to 80,000 job losses across the sector over the next four years currently laying at Darling's door.
For all the posturing, though, there is genuine distress in the sector, particularly in beer, wine and cider. Pubs are closing at record rates, beer sales are down and wine merchants are facing a perfect storm of weak sterling currency, recession and an 18% rise in duty tax last year.
On the face of it, raising taxes in recession is not a vote winner. But the Government needs the cash, and targeting 'sin' products, like alcohol and tobacco, is often more justifiable. The best the industry can hope for is a freeze. Some may take hope from Ireland, which is in a worse economic state than the UK and last month agreed to freeze tax on alcohol.
Keep your eyes peeled on just-drinks this Wednesday (22 April) for all the Budget news, as it happens.
Meanwhile, breaking news this morning has seen PepsiCo push to buy up control of both The Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas . The move suggests two things – firstly, the landscape for soft drinks has been changing of late, with the larger players keen to focus on the newer soft drinks sectors as CSDs continue to suffer. With bottlers more geared towards producing CSDs, such a step could see drinks like Gatorade gain yet higher a profile in the US.
The second thing this move suggests? There's still money out there, it appears.
Finally, as I mentioned last week, we're lining up the annual just-drinks run of LIWF & Distill daily updates, in the build-up to this year's event. Each day, from 1 May up to the Monday before the show – 11 May – we'll be telling our readers what they can expect to see, who's showing what, as well as where and when. If you'd like your company's launches, announcements or mere presence at LIWF & Distill 2009 to appear in our diary, then email us at email@example.com.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
Guarantee quality, reduce costs and protect the environment. CO2 polishing systems from Parker domnick hunter guarantee quality by protecting your products from CO2 quality incidents, whilst nitrogen gas generators and beverage gas system leak detection programmes can reduce your gas costs and protect both the environment and your employees.
The period from 2006 to 2008 has been a relatively quiet one for the Champagne industry. But the peace has not lasted long.
It is easy for companies to say they are continuing to innovate in spite of the recession. But, Ben Cooper writes, the latest IRI New Product Pacesetters Report suggests branded goods manufacturers are walking the walk in terms of new product development, and taking a creative approach to fighting the downturn.
Every country has its own food and drink regulatory body or bodies: in the first place to ensure that its citizens eat safely and in the second to help safeguard its position in the rapidly-growing world food trade. The same principles guide the work of a number of international organisations. This latest briefing looks at the national regulators, the global bodies, and other key agencies serving the world’s leading food markets and identifies their strengths and competences and general characteristics.
We currently deliver just-drinks newsletters to: ##EMAIL##
To unsubscribe from this newsletter immediately click here.
To review, amend or unsubscribe from your current newsletters click here.
© just-drinks.com 2000-2009. All Rights Reserved.