just the Answer

just the Answer

Once a month, we put a drinks executive on the spot with a bout of quick-fire questions.



"Unless there’s change, companies like ours won't be able to enter into the Travel Retail channel" – Interview, Loch Lomond Group GTR head Andre de Almeida 6 Dec 2016

Andre de Almeida had been William Grant & Sons' director for European Travel Retail for four years when he decided earlier this year to take up the role of Global Travel Retail head at Scotch whisky specialists Loch Lomond Group. That was in July, and now the Brazilian-born de Almeida, who moved to Scotland when he was 15, faces one of the biggest challenges of his career - establishing Loch Lomond as a player in the GTR channel.


"Creating craft brands is a skill set that most big companies don’t have" - Interview, Bernstein analyst Trevor Stirling 1 Dec 2016

Sanford Bernstein analyst Trevor Stirling is no stranger to the drinks industry. Having spent the late ‘90s as strategic planning director for Guinness Ireland, he then took on the role of packaged trade director at the company. He followed that by starting his own private-client wine merchant. In 2004, Stirling became an analyst at Bernstein, where he covers the major European brewing and spirits companies. Here, he talks to just-drinks about the role of an analyst, and how he sees the future of the drinks industry shaping up.


"It would be sad if Travel Retail just became a copy of FMCG" - Interview, Edrington MD for Travel Retail, Tellis Baroutsis 21 Nov 2016

Tellis Baroutsis joined Edrington from Nike six years ago and has since moved up to lead The Macallan owner's Travel Retail division. Speaking to just-drinks at the Tax Free World Association exhibition in Cannes last month, Baroutsis discussed Edrington's structural overhaul in Travel Retail, the launch of The Macallan Boutique and why Travel Retail must not become just another FMCG channel.


"All in all, I think the model needs to adjust" - Interview, Diageo MD for Travel Retail Dayalan Nayager 1 Nov 2016

In July, Diageo turned its previously-combined Middle East & Global Travel Retail division into a standalone GTR unit. At the same time, TR head Doug Bagley stood down and was replaced by Dayalan Nayager, Bagley's European TR regional leader. Last month, at the Tax Free World Association exhibition in Cannes, just-drinks caught up with Nayager to find out how the new structure was working, as well as his thoughts on the overall state of the GTR channel.


"Our position is between classic, industrial beers and the craft segment" - Interview, Brauerei C&A Veltins export manager Udo Bruns and UK agent Steve Holt 24 Aug 2016

Last month, just-drinks deputy editor Lucy Britner visited Brauerei C&A Veltins in Meschede-Grevenstein, Germany. The family-owned company used the visit to announce marketing activity to mark 500 years of Germany's purity law, the Reinheitsgebot. While there, Lucy sat down with export manager Udo Bruns and UK agent Steve Holt to discuss the role the law plays in today's 'craft culture', the rise of no- and low-alcohol offerings in Germany and why Veltins is only brewed in one place.


"We are craft but we are not part of the craft movement" - Interview, Hine international sales director Per Even Allaire 19 Jul 2016

Best known as a vintage Cognac specialist, privately-owned Hine last month released Bonneuil 2006, an expression that does not carry one of the category's traditional VS, VSOP or XO descriptors. As China - the most important market for Cognac in recent years - moves away from the XO-and-above Cognac segment, and the idea of 'craft' drives interest in the category's smaller houses, Hine's new international sales director, Per Even Allaire, tells just-drinks how the company plans to make the most of the new world order.


"If you're producing in Europe and selling into the UK, Brexit will hit you with a double-whammy" - Interview, Francoise Sonneville, Rabobank senior beverages analyst 8 Jul 2016

Earlier today, Rabobank published a note looking at the likely effects on the drinks industry of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Francoise Sonneville, senior analyst for beverages at Rabobank and the note's author, spoke to just-drinks yesterday.


"The on-trade doesn't realise it can up-sell on a Coca-Cola" - Interview, Seedlip founder, Ben Branson 28 Jun 2016

Last month, UK producer Seedlip launched the second expression in its range of self-described "non-alcoholic spirits". Seedlip Garden follows the launch in November of the original Seedlip, which sold out three times in high-end London retailer Selfridges and has caught the attention of bartenders with its positioning as an adult-aimed, non-alcoholic base for cocktails. Seedlip founder Ben Branson says the spirit - a distillation of botanicals including herbs, fruit and bark - is a riposte to non-alcoholic drinks that depend too heavily on sugary fruit blends, and offers a solution to the problem of "what to drink when you're not drinking". just-drinks spoke to Branson ahead of the launch of Seedlip Garden about his early successes, interest from Bahraini royalty and why the industry needs to get on-board the non-alcoholic category.


"Does real brand loyalty exist?" - Interview, Walter Drenth, senior global director international brands at Heineken 21 Jun 2016

Last year, Heineken secured a return to the European sports stage for its Amstel brand. Having called time on its ten-year sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League football competition in 2005, Amstel has just completed the first of a three-year tie-up with the slightly lower-profile Europa League football tournament. Replacing Amstel as Champions League sponsor? Why, it was - and continues to be - brand Heineken. Last month, Olly Wehring travelled to Switzerland to meet Walter Drenth, the group's senior global director for international brands, before being forced to endure his team's defeat that evening to Seville in the Europa League final.


How to stay ahead in wine e-commerce - Interview, Jay Wright, CEO of Virgin Wines 7 Jun 2016

The concept of selling wine online may not be a new one but, as more companies look towards 'home-trade' and the likes of Amazon and eBay enter the market, established players need to stay ahead of the game. Virgin Wines CEO Jay Wright tells just-drinks how his firm looks to grow it relevance in an increasingly-crowded market place.


Is the Conviviality, Bibendum PLB deal the future of the UK drinks trade? - Interview, Conviviality CEO Diana Hunter 4 May 2016

Earlier this week, UK drinks company Conviviality agreed to purchase Bibendum PLB for GBP60m (US$88.5m), in what the country's Wine and Spirit Trade Association CEO Miles Beale called a "potentially seismic deal" for the industry. 


"People are asking, where have you been?" - Interview, Chapel Down MD Mark Harvey 3 May 2016

The London Wine Fair, which opens today, will host a growing contingent of English wine makers keen to grab a share of a category that according to government figures has doubled production in the past five years. Many of them will be aiming to emulate the success of Chapel Down that, with its stock-market listing and equally-booming brewing operation, sits at the top table of English wine's new breed. In recently-released 2015 results, the company grew both sales and profits by more than one-third. The company also raised GBP1.7m (US$2.5m) in a crowdfunding project to build a new brewery for its Curious Brew beer brand.


How craft beer can succeed in the premium on-trade - Interview, Harviestoun Brewery MD Toby Knowles 26 Apr 2016

Scotland, already well-known for the quality of its whisky, is carving out a reputation as a centre of craft beer excellence. According to Nielsen data, craft beer consumers in Scotland drink more per head than almost anywhere else in the UK, and every year an increasing number of new breweries open to accommodate this thirst. Last year, there were 93 breweries in Scotland, the Campaign for Real Ale, says, with 20 of them opening over the past 12 months.


"A lot of companies are just selling labels in China" - Interview, Concha y Toro's CEO for Asia, Cristian Lopez 23 Mar 2016

Ask a Chinese person about Chile and they will immediately mention one thing - cherries. The country is famous in China for its red cherries, which people see as wholesome and healthy. Chilean wine, however, is quickly catching up in the recognition stakes. According to Wines of Chile, exports to China increased by 47% last year, and the country now ranks as the third-biggest market for bottled Chilean wine.


How Germany's rock stars help the wine industry - Interview, ProWein head Michael Degan 21 Jan 2016

With just seven weeks left until the start of ProWein, just-drinks sat down with lead organiser Michael Degan to ask what makes the wine and spirits show one of the biggest draws on the alcohol calendar. Along the way, Degan reveals why the show is unlikely to get much bigger, discusses the possibility of adding beer to the mix and why German rock bands know their Riesling from their Spatburgunder.


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