June 15, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
Did you know? The top three spirits categories are: Chinese spirits (607m cases, 27% global share), vodka (501m cases, 22.3% share) and shochu/soju (255.6m cases, 11.4% share).
The turbulent relationship between the US Government and Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, appeared to spill over into soft drinks last week as The Coca-Cola Co found its Coca-Cola Zero drink banned in the country.
Officially, Venezuela has told Coca-Cola that there are safety concerns over Zero's ingredients list – something that the firm vigorously denies.
Coca-Cola Zero was only approved for sale in Venezuela in April. It is surprising, therefore, that authorities have discovered a problem serious enough to pull the drink, only two months after allowing it on to the market.
just-drinks understands that lengthy negotiations between Coca-Cola and officials failed to reach a breakthrough on Friday. Privately, a source close to the situation has told us that authorities' intentions remain unclear.
Elsewhere in the news last week, Jack Daniel's whiskey maker Brown-Forman reported a full-year dip in sales and profits, largely due to destocking and currency rates. The US drinks sector will be cheered by news that a federal tax rise on alcohol and sugary soft drinks looks unlikely, however.
In Europe, EU agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel bowed to wine industry demands to maintain a ban on blending red and white wine to make rosé.
We attended the British Soft Drinks Association lunch to hear about sustainability initiatives in the sector.
Last, but not least, we also caught up with David Cox, the new head of New Zealand Winegrowers for Europe.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
Did you know? New world wine has continued to gain share in the global wine market, from 26.4% in 2006 to 27.6% in 2007. By 2012, new world wine will grow its share to just under 30% of all international trade.
In spite of the tough conditions, rising alcohol duties and the grim task of cutting his UK workforce, George Marsden, E&J Gallo’s vice president and general manager for Europe, is relishing what he considers to be the most challenging opportunity of his career. He spoke with Olly Wehring about his first two years heading up Gallo’s European operations and the way ahead.
This month's briefing is the latest edition of The Power 100 – the world’s most powerful spirits and wine brands 2009. Now in its fourth year, The Power 100 highlights the key issues and trends in the spirits and wine industry. It also identifies which brands are increasing their equity using a unique measure defined by measuring brand score and volume data. Produced by our partner Intangible Business, we once again present this comprehensive round-up of who's where in the league tables of drinks brand power.
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