The just-drinks Interview

The just-drinks Interview

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



"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.


Craft brings spirits sector full circle - Interview, William Grant & Sons' chief commercial officer, Simon Hunt, Part II 4 Dec 2015

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.


How to spot a trend, how to create a trend - Interview, William Grant & Sons' chief commercial officer, Simon Hunt, Part I 2 Dec 2015

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.


The Lidl effect on the changing off-trade landscape - Interview, Lidl's UK head of beer, wine & spirits, part II 13 Nov 2015

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.


The Lidl effect on the changing off-trade landscape - Interview, Lidl's UK head of beer, wine & spirits, part I 10 Nov 2015

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.


The just-drinks Interview - Beam Suntory's EMEA president, Albert Baladi - Part II 4 Mar 2015

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.


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