The just-drinks Interview
Every month, just-drinks gives a drinks executive a grilling.
Having set out his strategy for Halewood Wine & Spirits and its international units in the first of this two-part interview with just-drinks, CEO Stewart Hainsworth today discusses getting the group's brands in order ahead of laying out plans for acquisitions and launches.
Since forming in 1978, privately-owned Halewood Wines & Spirits has quietly carved a niche in the UK's beer, wine, spirits and RTD categories, through the Lambrini, Red Square vodka and Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer brands. However, performance has suffered in the years following founder John Halewood's death. In the first of a two-part interview, group CEO Stewart Hainsworth talks to just-drinks' deputy editor, Lucy Britner, about his vision for the group's future growth as well as Russian oligarchs and the company's recent stake purchase in The Pogues Irish whiskey.
Talking Rain hit the big time with the success of Sparkling Ice. Growth for the sparkling flavoured water brand started in 2010, but Talking Rain had been around for more than two decades before then. In the second part of his just-drinks interview, CEO Kevin Klock talks about the lessons his company learned before its overnight success and how they informed his views on functional beverages. He also reveals which NBA superstar he invited to meet staff and the problems of competing for talent in an area dominated by global tech firms.
Talking Rain has grown sales from US$10m to $659m in just five years thanks to the success of its Sparkling Ice flavoured water brand. In the first of a two-part interview, just-drinks sits down with CEO Kevin Klock to discuss taking on Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, global cola fatigue and the glories of first-mover advantage.
Much as the markets of Europe and the US tend to dominate the brewing headlines, Diageo's beer business also operates further afield from these craft playgrounds. In the second- of our two-part interview, Diageo's global head of beer, Mark Sandys, details the importance of Africa, the rise of Guinness in Korea and how the company is tackling new restrictions in Indonesia.
In the first of a two-part interview, Diageo's global head of beer, Mark Sandys, talks to just-drinks' Lucy Britner about craft breweries, the company's new Open Gate Brewery project and why innovation is a growing part of Diageo's beer
In this month's just-drinks interview, managing editor Olly Wehring meets up with Paul Schaafsma, a wine industry veteran of almost 20 years, who moved up last year to become CEO of Accolade Wines.
It is late afternoon on what has been a long day. But, Mark Reynier, formerly the head of Bruichladdich and now founder of Renegade Spirits, still has the energy to vent his grievances over the Irish whiskey industry he has inhabited for just over a year.
In the second part of this week's just-drinks interview, William Grant & Sons' chief commercial officer, Simon Hunt, discusses the growing role played by craft spirits, the group's core markets and future targets, and the thinking that allowed The Glenlivet to overtake Glenfiddich as the world's biggest-selling single malt Scotch whisky brand.
Earlier this year, just-drinks sat down with Simon Hunt, the chief commercial officer at William Grant & Sons, in a restaurant just around the corner from the company's global headquarters in west London. Before looking at the group's footprint, strategy, brands, what-have-you, editor Olly Wehring has one question he is desperate to ask.
In part two of this week's just-drinks interview, Ben Hulme, Lidl's head of beer, wines & spirits in the UK, discusses how the company has worked to change its reputation with both its customers and its suppliers, the role that brands have played - and could continue to play - and Minimum Unit Pricing.
As is often the case when meeting a person widely held to be “one of the most important people in the drinks industry”, Ben Hulme doesn't appear to live up to such superstar perceptions. Since joining Lidl in 2010, Hulme has progressed from its graduate trainee scheme to become the German-headquartered supermarket chain's head of beer, wines & spirits - a position he has held since June.
In the second part of just-drinks' interview with Beam Suntory's Europe, Middle East & Africa head, Albert Baladi talks about the company's gin presence, the Africa opportunity and the Travel Retail landscape.
Formed just under a year ago, Beam Suntory is a “global whisk(e)y powerhouse,” in the words of Albert Baladi, the unit's Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) head. But, how have things progressed since Suntory's $16bn takeover of Beam Inc? What brands and regions are shining bright and where are the emerging opportunities? Here, just-drinks catches up with Baladi for his take on the present and the future for Beam Suntory.
In the second part of just-drinks' exclusive interview with the outgoing CEO of Pernod Ricard, Pierre Pringuet, here he looks back at some of the deals that have shaped the company, and his role in their negotiation.
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