The just-drinks Interview

The just-drinks Interview

Every month, just-drinks gives a drinks executive a grilling.



"I want people to focus on Bulldog as a brand. People don't call Jack Daniel's a whiskey" - Interview, Bulldog Gin founder & CEO, Anshuman Vohra - Part II 21 Oct 2016

In the first part of just-drinks’ interview with Bulldog Gin Co’s founder & CEO, Anshuman Vohra, we looked at the birth and rise of the brand. In part two, Vohra considers the wider gin segment, Bulldog’s relationship with Gruppo Campari and his hopes for the future.


"Gin's problem was its taste and its perception" - Interview, Bulldog Gin founder & CEO, Anshuman Vohra - Part I 19 Oct 2016

Bulldog Gin is a brand on the rise in a category on the rise. Earlier this month, just-drinks met the company's founder & CEO, Anshuman Vohra, in London, to consider Bulldog's history, the potential for the premium gin segment and how to navigate the hurdles that face spirits start-ups.


"Craft beer is starting to redefine the base that it was once counter to" - Interview, Andy Thomas, Craft Brew Alliance CEO - Part II 18 Oct 2016

In part two of our interview with Craft Brew Alliance’s CEO, we talk to Andy Thomas about the state of the craft beer market, how CBA fits into it and where the category is headed.


"Anheuser Busch InBev's acquisition isn't a done deal" - Interview, Andy Thomas, Craft Brew Alliance CEO - Part I 13 Oct 2016

Andy Thomas moved up to the CEO position at Craft Brew Alliance in 2014, following several years in the company's commercial operations. Previously, he spent 12 years at Heineken USA - the last two of which were as unit president. Thomas's experience in big brewing has proved useful at CBA, as the company moves to deepen its ties with major shareholder Anheuser-Busch InBev. In part one of this two-part interview, Thomas provides insight into the latest deal, which gives AB InBev a staggered, qualified offer option to acquire CBA.


Coca-Cola Co's global water stewardship director, Greg Koch - Interview 30 Sep 2016

In achieving its goal to replenish water equivalent to its 2015 sales volumes "back to nature and communities", Coca-Cola gave itself a compelling sustainability story to tell consumers. Greg Koch, senior director of Global Water Stewardship at Coca-Cola, spoke with Ben Cooper about what "replenishment" means, and why getting the minutiae of the methodology right is so important.


"There is a ceiling for Campari, but not at the level of Grand Marnier" - Interview, Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Gruppo Campari CEO - Part II 8 Sep 2016

In part two of our interview with Gruppo Campari's CEO, we talk to Bob Kunze-Concewitz about the company's approach to its portfolio and to the craft segment, as well as its M&A strategy and non-core asset plans.


"We have the brands and we have the patience" - Interview, Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Gruppo Campari CEO - Part I 6 Sep 2016

Bob Kunze-Concewitz has seen a lot in his time with Gruppo Campari. Having joined the company from Procter & Gamble in 2005, when he came on board as CMO, he'll celebrate a decade as group CEO in May next year. In that time, he's seen Campari's fortunes rise, fall and rise again as drinks trends have come and gone. He's also been at the helm during an active period of M&A, not only for Campari specifically, but also within the spirits category generally. Late last month, just-drinks editor Olly Wehring met up with him on a visit to London.


"I'm not going for super-premium; Red Square is what Red Square is" - Interview, Stewart Hainsworth, CEO, Halewood Wines & Spirits - Part II 14 Jul 2016

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.


"Halewood was a business that just didn't know where it was going" - Interview, Stewart Hainsworth, CEO, Halewood Wines & Spirits - Part I 12 Jul 2016

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.


"Our mistake was we tried to be a functional beverage firm" - Interview, Kevin Klock, CEO of Talking Rain - Part II 16 Jun 2016

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.


"A chunk of their hide is a good-sized business" - Interview, Kevin Klock, CEO of Talking Rain - Part I 14 Jun 2016

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.


"Half of our beer around the world isn't creamy with a white head" - Interview, Diageo's global head of beer, Mark Sandys, part II 14 Apr 2016

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.


Why not just buy a craft brewery? - Interview, Mark Sandys, global head of beer, Diageo - Part I 12 Apr 2016

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


"The wine business is changing" - Interview, Accolade Wines CEO Paul Schaafsma - Part I 8 Mar 2016

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.


"I find it hard to forgive and forget" - Interview, Renegade Spirits' Mark Reynier 23 Feb 2016

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.


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