November 9, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
The International Food & Drink Expo India 2009 is the must attend event for India's food, drink and hospitality professionals, who will have the opportunity to source new products and innovations as well as learning the latest developments in the industry.
I suppose it is a sign of old age that it seems hardly five minutes since the last Christmas trading period was upon us.
Given the tumultuous last 12 months, in which the trepidation of autumn 2008 has made itself felt on balance sheets across most of the developed and developing world, you would be forgiven for putting good money on a dim holiday season for the drinks trade this year.
However, there may be reasons for cautious festive cheer following evidence that consumers are not looking to 'do' the holiday season as cheaply as might be expected. Here in the UK, it has been reported that retailers are hurriedly restocking their freezers with premium Turkeys for Christmas Day meals, having misguidedly filled their freezers with budget birds.
There is also growing optimism in the drinks industry. Several drinks companies, including Campari, Fortune Brands and Pernod Ricard have said they plan to raise advertising spend in key markets in coming months. Distributor destocking also appears to have eased off.
Still, with relatively high unemployment in several markets and question marks over the speed of economic recovery, it looks likely that consumers will remain cautious this festive period. Consultant group Deloitte said last week that UK retail sales over Christmas should hold steady against last year. In the UK, we are also likely to again see some intense competition on price between major retailers.
Hitting the just-drinks headlines last week was news that Administrators for First Quench Retailing, the collapsed owner of Threshers off-licences, is to cut more than 1,700 jobs - not a fantastic start to the Christmas period, then.
Elsewhere last week, just-drinks spoke to Cobra Beer founder Lord Bilimoria about his plan to raise fresh finance for the brand in India.
We also met with Bob Nolet, the vice president of Nolet Distillery, which produces Ketel One vodka for a joint venture between the Nolet family and Diageo.
There were reasonably upbeat results for Molson Coors and MillerCoors, Molson's joint venture with SABMiller in the US. However, Carlsberg found its own Q3 results overshadowed by a growing tax headache in Russia.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
Back in February last year, the owners of the Ketel One vodka brand, the Netherlands-based Nolet family, announced a tie-up for the brand with Diageo. The deal not only signaled the end of Diageo's interest in the race to acquire Vin & Sprit's Absolut, but also gave the Nolets a helping hand with its premium vodka brand. Last week, Michelle Russell met with Bob Nolet, the vice president of Nolet Distillery and 11th generation family member.
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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