The London International Wine Fair is widely regarded as the world’s leading trade tasting with some 20,000 wines. The Fair delivers a unique opportunity for producers, importers and buyers to network, taste and focus on business. Free to visit and trade only – taking place at ExCeL London, 17-19th May.
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Commodity costs have emerged from the depths of company results statements to become headline news at the beginning of 2011 – this appears to be a trend that shows little sign of abating. Against the backdrop of the United Nations' food price index hitting a record high in January, many major drinks companies are under stronger scrutiny over how they plan to manage input costs over the next year.
In the UK last week, Britvic's share price recoiled after it doubled its forecast on input cost rises in 2011. The soft drinks firm has joined the likes of PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Co and Carlsberg in warning that higher costs will put pressure on margins.
Of course, some are better placed than others. For example, Britvic's stark warning did not prompt a meltdown at the group's main rival in the UK, Coca-Cola Enterprises, which, analysts believe, is better positioned to cope with higher raw materials prices. However, we can expect to hear a lot more about input costs in results statements this year.
Elsewhere last week, we finally managed to publish February's management briefing for just-drinks' subscribers. Written by one of our regular feature writers, Ben Cooper, 'The Alcohol Debate: From the Other Side' takes a closer look at who is slinging the rocks at our industry, and is, in my opinion, one of our best briefings yet. The full report is free to subscribers, so if you're not on board, head over here to join us.
Finally, an apology. In last Monday's weekly newsletter, I flagged up the pending arrival on just-drinks of an interview with Pernod Ricard's CEO, Pierre Pringuet, from my Paris sojourn earlier this month. However, the somewhat early birth of Conor Hannes Wehring on Tuesday evening saw me called to the local hospital somewhat urgently, thereby scuppering my plans to get the interview ready in time.
Both my son and I are truly sorry – the piece should run later this week.
PS: Both Mrs Wehring and Conor are doing well.
Until next time...