The Tax Free World Association (TFWA) show opened its doors in Cannes, France, this morning. Sunshine beamed down on the organisers' declaration, printed in billboard-sized letters, that it is a “brand new world”.
Confidence appears high in the travel retail drinks sector, probably lifted by the propensity of travellers in emerging markets to spend lavish sums on premium spirits. Only yesterday (18 September), Whyte & Mackay said that the last bottle of The Dalmore 62 has been sold for GBP125,000 (US$197,000) at Changi airport in Singapore. It is believed to be a record price for Scotch whisky.
While travel retail, in many ways, occupies its own little world, what happens there is relevant to the broader market. The sector is akin to the canary in the mine, with business travel numbers generally quick to fall at the first sign of real economic trouble. In these uncertain times, then, the wider spirits sector can take heart from the mood at Cannes.
just-drinks will bring you all the essential news from the show, including some exclusive quotes from United Spirits owner Vijay Mallya. Follow us on twitter to stay updated. If you're using twitter yourself, remember to use the #TFWA2011 hashtag on your tweets.
Elsewhere in the news last week, deputy editor Chris Mercer reported on the legislative outlook for alcoholic drinks in the UK, following the Wine & Spirit Trade Association's annual conference. Drinks industry leaders appear much happier with the current UK Government.
In other news, Diageo has created a new unit for niche brands in the US, while PepsiCo announced an exec reshuffle. We also looked in more detail at Coca-Cola Enterprises and its possible bid for Coca-Cola bottling operations in Germany.
Until next time...