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On just-drinks last week:
Beam Inc started the week with a bang, announcing its intention to reduce the abv of its Maker's Mark Bourbon brand. The good burghers of social media went into overdrive, with consumers threatening all sorts. Despite further explanation by Maker's – and an attempt by yours’ truly to understand the decision – the uproar only got louder. Yesterday, Beam changed its mind back. How's that for brand management?
More colour was added to our cheeks last week when AG Barr and Britvic's proposed merger hit the rocks. With the UK Office of Fair Trading referring the deal to the country's Competition Commission, this “disappointing” development could signal the collapse of the merger. Or, could it?
In brewing circles, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Constellation Brands made a brace of concessions to the US Department of Justice in the hope that the former's takeover of Grupo Modelo will finally be given the go-ahead. While I stuck my neck out and opined that the transaction should now get the green light, I have the (not literal) weight of a drinks analyst behind me this time. Thanks Mark.
In the wine world, Champagne continued its trend of steadying values, dipping volumes last year. Figures released last week showed that global sales of Champagne in value terms were flat in 2012, with volumes dropping by 4.4%. While this would suggest that price rises are still working well, Laurent-Perrier posted a marked slide in Q3 value sales last week. Could we, finally, be at the tipping point?
Until next time...