just the Answer

just the Answer

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



"Do you go and buy Chivas Regal at Lidl? I don't think so" - Interview, Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits' CEO, Jean-Noël Reynaud 5 Apr 2017

In 2013, Belvedere entered administration after falling into debt thanks to its purchase of the Marie Brizard liqueurs brand. Four years later, the French spirits company - renamed Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits - is debt free. What's more, its William Peel Scotch whisky has just become the top-selling spirits brand in France. Couple that with an entry into China and you have a company back on the up. just-drinks spoke to Marie Brizard's CEO since 2014, Jean-Noël Reynaud, about how he has turned the firm around by shunning premiumisation, as well as the benefits of Brexit. We also asked: Whatever happened to Bruce Willis?


"The way to drive dark spirits is to make them accessible. And accessible means mixed" - Interview, Fever-Tree founders Charles Rolls and Tim Warrillow 21 Mar 2017

When premium mixers firm Fever-Tree launched its IPO in late-2014, shares were priced at GBP1.34. Today, following the release of 2016's results, Fever-Tree's shares are trading at over GBP15. Late last month, just-drinks sat down with the company's founders, Charles Rolls and Tim Warrillow, who still own 21.8% of the company, to explore the reasons behind Fever-Tree's success.


"I feel that this is my company" - Interview, Bacardi CEO-in-waiting Mahesh Madhavan- Part I 7 Mar 2017

Earlier this week, Bacardi unveiled its CEO succession plan that will see Mahesh Madhavan, the current regional president for Asia, Middle East & Africa, become regional president for Europe ahead of replacing Mike Dolan in April next year. In the first of just-drinks' exclusive two-part interview, Olly Wehring speaks to Madhavan about his career to-date, and looks at the mechanics of the succession plan.


"How do we make Bacardi relevant to Millennial consumers?" - Interview, Bacardi CEO-in-waiting Mahesh Madhavan - Part II 7 Mar 2017

In this, the second part of just-drinks' exclusive interview with Bacardi's next CEO, Mahesh Madhavan, shares his thoughts on the group's spirits portfolio and tells us what he believes he will inherit when he takes the top job next year.


"Gin as a category is hot and Bulldog is a hot brand" - Interview, Gruppo Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz 1 Mar 2017

Yesterday, Gruppo Campari posted strong sales and an adjusted profits leap for 2016. Speaking to just-drinks following the full-year results announcement, CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz discusses plans for newly-acquired Bulldog gin, a move away from flavoured vodka and the path to premium rum in the US.


"In other companies, the product is more important than the organisation. In Berry Brothers & Rudd, it's the other way around." - Interview, Dan Jago, CEO , Berry Bros & Rudd - Part II 24 Feb 2017

Former Tesco wine director Dan Jago took over as CEO at UK-based Berry Bros & Rudd in 2015 and has since overseen a period of overhaul at the near-320-year-old wine and spirits group. Late last month, just-drinks met up with Jago at BBR's London headquarters. In part I of the interview, Jago discussed new changes to the company. In part II, the CEO talks about how he has no desire to chase the Millennial market, and reveals what keeps him awake at night.


"We have really instilled a discipline within the organisation" - Interview, Michael Clarke, CEO, Treasury Wine Estates - Part I 14 Feb 2017

Earlier today, Treasury Wine Estates reported another strong set of figures, with half-year sales jumping by almost a quarter and net profits more-than-doubling. Following the release of the results, just-drinks spoke to CEO Michael Clarke about the numbers, and how he has managed to turn around a company that less than three years ago took an impairment charge of almost US$250m.


"The worst thing you can do in luxury is send inconsistent brand messages" - Interview Tareef Shawa, Pernod Ricard luxury & customer relationship management director 12 Jan 2017

Tareef Shawa joined Pernod Ricard in 2014, bringing with him luxury credentials from American Express's invitation-only Centurion division, as well as seven years at LVMH's Louis Vuitton as director of global client development. Speaking to just-drinks in London this week, the group's luxury & customer relationship management director discusses the concept of luxury, its role within Pernod and how to quantify the success of luxury events.


"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.


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