Unilever - Hot Bottle Filling Line and Packing Equipment
Online Auction, Lots closing from: 19 Dec 2011 14:00 GMT
Location: Melnik, Czech Republic
Contact: Richard Sieberer
Telephone: +43 676 843 813 105
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The US spirits market is on a rising curve, as noted by Brown-Forman in its half-year results last week. A significant reason for this appears to be that Americans are both uncovering and rediscovering a love for whisk(e)y, whether it's Irish, Scotch or Bourbon. Citing Nielsen figures, Brown-Forman said last week that whisk(e)y sales are increasing in value faster than the US spirits market as a whole. The group's CEO, Paul Varga, said that he has not seen consumer demand like it.
A key driver of this demand has been distillers' willingness to experiment with flavour. Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey whiskey is only the latest example. Before that, Jim Beam's cherry-infused Red Stag made waves immediately following its launch. It looks very much as though flavour innovation is introducing a whole new type of consumer to whisk(e)y in the US.
Doubtless, the moves are anathaema to some aficionados. It remains unthinkable in much of the Scotch industry. There is, too, the risk that distillers are giving in to faddish trends in the hope of short-term gain. Conscious of this, and without quite spelling it out, Varga was keen to make clear that Jack Daniel's won't 'do a vodka' and land a new flavour on the shelves every week. However, flavoured whisk(e)y, when done right, might help the category to win over a whole new generation of drinkers.
Elsewhere in the news last week, things are hotting up between Russian Standard and Central European Distribution Corp (CEDC). Russian Standard has proposed to raise its stake in the US-based, Eastern Europe-focused distributor, and analysts think that CEDC will be hard-pressed to refuse a deal.
In case there was any doubt, discount retailer Aldi has proved that UK consumers really can't resist a deal. Its 3,000 bottles of Glenbridge 40 Year Old Scotch whisky, on offer for a paltry GBP49.99, sold out "within minutes".
In soft drinks, the European Union has taken time out of solving the eurozone crisis to introduce tougher labelling rules for energy drinks, while The Coca-Cola Co has moved the location of its secret formula for Coca-Cola for the first time since 1800BC. Well, alright, it's actually since 1925.
Here at just-drinks, we have launched our Review of the Year 2011 management briefing series for subscribers, starting with beer. Stay tuned this week and next for reviews of soft drinks, wine, spirits and bottled water.
Until next time...