51 results in the archive - showing page 1 of 2

How to win in gin - Comment 6 Oct 2016

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

As one of the drinks industry's more unpredictable booms continues, have we reached 'peak gin'? Not yet, suggests Richard Woodard, but new market entrants will have to be smart – or have deep pockets – if they're to cash in.


How to verify a gin boom - Comment 11 Aug 2016

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

There is a definite scent of juniper in the air. But how long will it last? Richard Woodard takes a closer look at the rise and rise of gin. 


Why is rum still stuck on the runway? - Comment 14 Jul 2016

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

For years, rum was lined up to be the spirits industry's next big thing. And yet, for all the shining promise of the category's mix of heritage, mixability and positive lifestyle cues, that potential has never quite been fully exploited, particularly in the vital US market. Richard Woodard reports.


Is Brown-Forman putting too many eggs in one basket? - Comment 14 Jun 2016

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Brown-Forman's recent strategic moves represent a narrowing of the company's focus on its core strengths: Whisk(e)y in all its forms, with Tequila playing a supporting role. The big question now is whether that process should continue to its logical conclusion with the disposal of Finlandia vodka, a brand that has hardly been a star performer in recent times.


How Patron taught the spirits category to walk the walk - Comment 17 May 2016

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

What is the best way to evaluate a spirits brand's performance? Is it all about volume? Is it about value? Or, is there more to it than that? Do some brands deserve extra credit for pioneering a new segment, over-achieving in their given sphere, transcending their category? Johnnie Walker is one name that ticks most - if not all - of these boxes; Jameson is, arguably, another. But, what about Patrón Tequila?


How can gin stem the slide in the US? - Comment 19 Apr 2016

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Much as all looks rosy in the UK, the gin sector has struggled in the US in recent years. What is the segment doing wrong, in a spirits market that offers generous bounty? Richard Woodard investigates.


Is Pernod Ricard's Absolut dying in the US? - Comment 22 Mar 2016

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

This month, white spirits commentator Richard Woodard considers the present health - or lack thereof - of Pernod Ricard's flagship vodka brand, Absolut.


Travel Retail has plenty of runway - Comment 25 Feb 2016

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

While some have predicted turbulent times for the Global Travel Retail business, spirits columnist Richard Woodard sees a long and lucrative future for the sector.


The BRIC Markets - Where are they now? - Comment 14 Jan 2016

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Since almost the turn of the Century, it's been all about the BRICs. Brazil, Russia, India and China have spent the last 16 years as the focus for growth for every drinks company out there. Richard Woodard takes a look at the four countries and surveys their importance in 2016.


The dangers of squaring up to your competitor - Comment 17 Nov 2015

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Do you remember the Pepsi Taste Challenge? Richard Woodard does, and he sees echoes of it in Bacardi's latest activation for its Oakheart spiced rum brand.


Are we kidding ourselves over craft spirits? - Comment 1 Oct 2015

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

This month, Richard Woodard drills down into the perceived threat of craft spirits and finds more than just a load of small-scale brand names to worry about.


Why consumers don't care about vodka's provenance - Comment 25 Aug 2015

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

This month, Richard Woodard considers the marketing opportunity - or lack thereof - of provenance when it comes to marketing in the vodka segment.


Bacardi's Banks Buy: Are Big Spirits Companies Failing to Innovate? - Comment 21 Jul 2015

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Earlier this month, Bacardi announced its purchase of Banks, a Mauritius-based range of rums. Why would a company whose name is synonymous with the rum category - almost transcends it - buy a rum brand? Richard Woodard investigates.


Comment - Spirits - What on Earth is a Liqueur? 23 Jun 2015

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

When you look at the way the various spirits categories are defined, you'd be forgiven for concluding that the liqueurs segment comprises 'everything else'. Evenso, argues Richard Woodard, the sector is still worth operating in, thanks in part to consumers' perceptions of liqueurs.


Comment – Spirits – Will Tequila Learn from Scotch Whisky's Mistakes? 19 May 2015

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Despite the market split, the Tequila category is on the cusp of its own boomtime. But, the positioning of the mixto sector compared to 100% agave carries echoes of Scotch whisky past-tendency to hype single malts to the expense of blends. And now, Scotch volumes are suffering. Will Tequila make the same mistake? Richard Woodard investigates.


Comment - Spirits - Will We Understand the Language of Rum? 21 Apr 2015

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Gruppo Campari's decision to change the names of several rum brands in its Appleton Estate portfolio suggests that the segment may have stumbled on its own language. Does this mark the end of rum's reliance on the terminology used by Cognac and Scotch whisky? Richard Woodard delves deeper.


Comment - Spirits - Don Julio: Diageo's Mexican Trojan Horse 12 Mar 2015

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Last week, Diageo announced plans to invest US$400m on its operations in Mexico. While the headlines centred on the company's Don Julio Tequila operations, the country itself is ripe for growth. Richard Woodard investigates.


Comment - Spirits - Will IPO Bring Much-Needed Stability to Lucas Bols? 22 Jan 2015

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Dutch spirits firm Lucas Bols has endured an occasionally turbulent time in its 450-year history. Will an effort to list on the Euronext Amsterdam through an IPO bolster the company? Here, our spirits columnist Richard Woodard examines the group's history for answers.


Comment - Spirits - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka? 21 Oct 2014

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

The rise of 'craft' continues, with new spirits brands riding the wave in the US. One such overnight success in Tito's Handmade Vodka, which has seen sales soar in the last couple of years. The downside, however, has been that the brand has caught the eye over its craft claims. Richard Woodard considers the evidence.The rise of 'craft' continues, with new spirits brands riding the wave in the US. One such overnight success in Tito's Handmade Vodka, which has seen sales soar in the last couple of years. The downside, however, has been that the brand has caught the eye over its craft claims. Richard Woodard considers the evidence.


Comment - Spirits - Can Absolut's US Headache be Soothed by Elyx? 4 Sep 2014

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Late last month, in Pernod Ricard's full-year results, the spirits company flagged a tough time for Absolut vodka. Richard Woodard surveys the wreckage and considers the brand's future.


Comment - Spirits - Hybrid Spirits: Innovation or Laziness? 21 Aug 2014

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

This month, Richard Woodard looks at the NPD trend of blending spirits either together or with another alcoholic segment to create a whole, new sub-category. Is this really innovation at its purest?


Comment - Spirits - Beam Suntory's Big White Spaces 5 Aug 2014

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

It's been three months since Suntory completed its purchase of Beam Inc. What better time that the summer lull for Richard Woodard to take a long, hard look at just what the Japanese group got for its US$16bn.


Comment - Spirits - Gin's Long Quest for Kwan 11 Jun 2014

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

For a spirits brand, what does being a “category leader” mean? Is it purely a blunt measure of cases sold? Profit made? Or something more elusive and nebulous? Richard Woodard, gin in hand, investigates.


Comment - Spirits - Brand Loyalty? Let's Be Friends 27 Mar 2014

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

The aim of all brand owners is to secure consumer loyalty above all competitors. But, as Richard Woodard suggests, this might be an unattainable - and hence unrealistic - aim.


Comment - Spirits - Tequila: Is Diageo Left With the Scraps? 11 Feb 2014

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Following a flurry of activity in the Tequila sector last month, has Diageo finally returned to the point it had previously reached when it handled Jose Cuervo? Richard Woodard compares then to now.


Comment - Spirits - Where Next for Flavoured Vodka? 14 Jan 2014

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Flavoured vodka may have hit a bump in the US, but there's a major opportunity in global markets for the sub-category, argues Richard Woodard.


Comment - Spirits - Can Absinthe Make You Mad? No. But Selling it Might 14 Nov 2013

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Category definitions are an on-going minefield in parts of the spirits industry. Gin, rum and Tequila have all suffered from muddled thinking. But none compare to what absinthe has experienced. Here, Richard Woodard wages war on the red-tape wretchedness that surrounds the category


Comment - Spirits - Bacardi's Grey Goose Campaign: Frankly Speaking 15 Oct 2013

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

Returning to the just-drinks fold in the guise of our white spirits commentator, Richard Woodard kicks off his latest stint with us with a look at Bacardi's recently-announced global marketing push for its Grey Goose vodka brand.


Comment - Spirits - Cachaca: Be Wary of Tequila's Lead 24 Feb 2012

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

They may be linked by little but geographical origin, but cachaça and Tequila have quite a bit more in common that one might initially believe. It's just that, according to Richard Woodard, you've got to really look for the link.


Comment - Spirits - Plymouth Gin: West is Best 26 Jan 2012

Column: Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard

When Pernod Ricard said last week that it is updating the packaging for - and raising the price of - Plymouth Gin, there was a run on tonic water at Richard Woodard's local shop. It's taken a while, but the brand is back, and Woodard would like to celebrate.

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