May 24, 2010
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
New research: Global In-store Practices
Last week's launch of the all-new just-drinks was timed to coincide perfectly with our annual opportunity to bump shoulders with a vast swathe of our readership, at this year's London International Wine Fair.
The exhibition itself saw us interview as many wine execs as we could get our hands on – quite a few, as it turned out – and gauge the optimism (or lack of) of the wine sector for the coming 12 months. There will be much more to follow from the exhibition in the coming days, so keep your eyes peeled, but I felt that the general mood was defiantly upbeat. As one industry observer noted (yes, it was me), last year there seemed to be a very dark, miserable cloud hanging over the hall. This year, there were mini-Zeppelins.
Feedback on the revamp of both just-drinks' appearance and content (I'm talking about the website, not my suit/lunch) was also pretty positive. Naturally, we welcome all feedback, so please email your thoughts to me at email@example.com.
Elsewhere in the drinks world...
While spirits sales have seen something of a rebound in the first few months of 2010, the same cannot be said for beer. There was a sense of foreboding among investors last week after SABMiller predicted that consumer spending would remain depressed for at least the next six months.
In the US, beer sales continue to struggle against high unemployment, while stagnation is the order of the day across much of Western Europe. In Eastern Europe, Russia's three-fold tax hike hangs over the sector like a dense (ash) cloud and the EU nations continue to struggle economically.
Within this context, SABMiller pointed to nuggets of optimism, highlighting strong growth in Latin America over the past 12 months. Its high-end lager brand Peroni Nastro Azzurro has also continued to grow volumes strongly in the UK.
Crumbs of hope for the sector's future, then. But it's a start.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
The introduction of a new bill into the US Congress that seeks to reaffirm the states’ powers to regulate alcohol has reignited the debate over inter-state direct wine shipping, and sparked a fierce battle between drinks wholesalers and suppliers. Ben Cooper reports.
Professionalisation is a key trend in today’s drinks sector, particularly as emerging markets are developing so rapidly within the global drinks industry. With brand loyalty up for grabs, it is critical for alcoholic drinks producers especially to maintain and raise quality. This realisation is behind the growth in formal training for drinks industry professionals, much of it carried out by third parties, including in universities around the world. just-drinks writers have carried out an international assessment looking at where the most important training centres are for the industry.
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