October 26, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
With increasing pressure being placed on product development and innovation, it is essential for any business to understand changing consumer trends and the impact these can result in.
The leaves are falling from the trees as winter approaches here in the UK, but a year on from possibly the biggest financial crisis on record, the global drinks industry is beginning to nurture green shoots.
just-drinks' deputy editor, Chris Mercer, spent the first half of last week at the annual Tax Free World Association expo in Cannes. Duty-free sales have taken a knock in the last year, largely as a result of fewer air travellers, but consensus is that this will pick up in 2010.
Despite a relatively quiet show floor, most of the companies we spoke to, including the likes of Pernod, Campari and Diageo, but also smaller players such as Belvedere and Morrison Bowmore, said they were more optimistic about the year ahead. Even in Champagne, where the downturn has hit particularly hard, Taittinger told us that sales are beginning to creep back in the right direction.
Pernod Ricard added to the general optimism on Thursday, when it reported better-than-expected third quarter sales. Fortune Brands, owner of Beam Global Spirits & Wine, did the same on Friday, although just-drinks discovered that Beam Global is also cutting some jobs.
To keep us grounded, however, we heard on Friday that the UK has wrong-footed analysts by remaining in recession. Not all rosy, then, but the future looks a little brighter than it did six months ago.
Elsewhere, on a more positive note for some, the news that the European Court of Justice Advocate General believes minimum pricing is illegal in the region may finally put paid to proposals coming out of Scotland to use price as a tool against excessive alcohol consumption.
While there is still some distance left to run in this saga, the signs are that here, at least, is one battle we may yet win.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
Did you know that on average, every month just-drinks has over 92,000 unique users visiting the website? And, the majority of these users are drinks industry executives and decision makers?
The decision by Pernod Ricard to rejoin the Century Council in the US followed the departure of both Brown-Forman and Jim Beam from NASCAR motor racing sponsorship. As Pernod Ricard’s decision to leave the organisation was linked to the motor racing issue, Ben Cooper finds out whether there was any connection between these events.
The food and drink industries of the ten countries that joined the European Union in 2004 have been transformed by this expansion of Europe’s borderless market. Food and drink companies and markets in the countries that joined the EU on 2007, Bulgaria and Romania, are facing a similar transformation. But what of the countries that are still knocking on the door of the EU for future membership? How will their food and drink sectors fare, assuming their countries are admitted. And how could this further expansion impact on the EU’s existing food and drink sectors? Here we investigate and analyse the potential results of more EU expansion.
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