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The best views and opinions in beverage industry publishing, all in one place, from beverage's monthly columnists and in-house experts.

SABMiller & Meantime: Notes for the New Owner

Earlier this month, SABMiller announced the purchase of UK craft brewer Meantime Brewing Co. Larry Nelson has found the instruction manual....

Comment - How to Target Cognac's Mok Generation?

You might not know international superstar Karen Mok, but I do. I used to wake up to her every morning....

Will Tequila Learn from Scotch Whisky's Mistakes?

Despite the market split, the Tequila category is on the cusp of its own boomtime. But, the positioning of the mixto sector compared to 100%...

Comment - Beer - Does 'Craft' Work?

At the point of purchasing a pint of Doom Bar, I didn’t hesitate to question whether the beer was craft....


Comment - Spirits - Is Marketing Twisting the Meanings of Words? 21 May 2015

Ian Buxton

In the battle for consumers' hearts and minds, are drinks companies overlooking the widely-held definitions of words and phrases? Is there leeway to argue that certain terms may not mean exactly what consumers perceive? Ian Buxton considers the evidence.


Comment - Wine - California Drought: An Opportunity, not a Problem? 14 May 2015

Chris Losh

Another year, another drought in California. Having recently returned from the state, however, Chris Losh suggests that what looks like a dire situation for the wine industry could actually present an opportunity to those keen on tending vines.


Comment - Soft Drinks & Water - Could Nestle Waters Gatecrash the Diet CSD party? 13 May 2015

Richard Corbett

I recall the story of a well-known racehorse trainer, out on his gallops one spring morning watching his string of horses when a rainbow appeared. One of the stable lads, riding a particularly well thought of horse, shouted across to the trainer telling him that if he looked behind the rainbow he would find a pot of gold. "You idiot" the trainer retorted back. "You don’t need to look behind a rainbow for a pot of gold. You’re sitting on one." I think that Nestle Waters has looked at its stable of brands and realised it too may already be sitting on its own pot of gold.


Comment - Soft Drinks & Bottled Water - Will the Sweetener Battle turn Sour? 5 May 2015

Ray Rowlands

Following the announcement that PepsiCo is dropping aspartame from its diet cola in the US, Drinksinfo's Ray Rowlands analyses the potential effect this could have on the country's soda market in general and on the company in particular.


Comment - Have Beverages Entered a New Age of Virtual Advertising? 1 May 2015

Andy Morton

The camera soars low over fields of spiked agave plants, past workers toiling under the hot Mexican sun. You turn your head as you drift into the hold of a truck. Suddenly you're in a bustling Tequila distillery, dipping under a two-tonne agave-crusher and through to a cask-filled warehouse.


Editor's Viewpoint – Can We Blame Diageo for Not Acting Sooner on Mallya? 27 Apr 2015

Olly Wehring

It's not every day that one can accuse the world's biggest spirits producer of being a bit stupid, but my peers in India are making hay today, doing just that. But, before wading in against Diageo and the call by its United Spirits unit in India for chairman Vijay Mallya to stand down, ask yourself this one question: What difference does it make?


Comment - Spirits - Will We Understand the Language of Rum? 21 Apr 2015

Richard Woodard

Gruppo Campari's decision to change the names of several rum brands in its Appleton Estate portfolio suggests that the segment may have stumbled on its own language. Does this mark the end of rum's reliance on the terminology used by Cognac and Scotch whisky? Richard Woodard delves deeper.


Editor's Viewpoint - Is Diageo on the Brink of a Brain Drain? 17 Apr 2015

Olly Wehring

Another day, another drinks executive stepping down “to explore new opportunities”. Usually, this is code for “is leaving to join one of our competitors in a slightly better-paid position”. But, with nowhere to go to yet, Andy Fennell's departure from Diageo is a strange one, especially as he has been held up internally as the 'next big thing'.


Comment - Soft Drinks & Water - Will Keurig Kold come to Coca-Cola Co's Rescue? 16 Apr 2015

Richard Corbett

Will the next innovation in at-home carbonation prove to be the silver bullet for The Coca-Cola Co? Richard Corbett considers the prospects for the Keurig Kold.


Editor's Viewpoint – Heineken's move for Pivovarna Lasko: Because It's There 14 Apr 2015

Olly Wehring

Nine months after Pivovarna Lasko hung out the 'for sale' sign, Heineken has emerged as the Slovenian firm's favoured suitor – or should that be saviour?


Comment – Wine - The Rising Profile of Lower ABV Wine 9 Apr 2015

Chris Losh

The low-alcohol wine segment has been around for a while now, but has thus far failed to win over too many fans. Things are changing, however, with consumers' taste preferences driving the sub-category to higher ground. Chris Losh delves deeper.


Comment - Soft Drinks & Water - Kraft, Heinz and the Merger Landscape 7 Apr 2015

Ray Rowlands

Following the announcement that Kraft Foods and Heinz are to merge, Ray Rowlands looks at some other actual - and would-be - company unions and asks, who might be next?


Comment - Spirits - 'Craft' and the Danger of 'Romance Copy' 26 Mar 2015

Ian Buxton

A storm appears to be brewing in the spirits category and it's a storm borne out of marketing. Can spirits companies settle the terminology tiff before things get out of hand, or is it too late? Ian Buxton investigates.


Comment - Brewers versus Distillers in Battle for Nutrition Control 26 Mar 2015

Andy Morton

Today, the Brewers of Europe announced that its members, which include all of the leading European brewers, are to voluntarily list ingredients and nutrition for all its beers in Europe. Last week, Diageo said it would do the same with its global brands such as Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker.


Editor's Viewpoint – Kicking Anheuser-Busch InBev/SABMiller 'Mega-Merger' Down the Road 26 Mar 2015

Olly Wehring

Many industry observers will have linked yesterday's major food M&A story with the ongoing rumbles around Anheuser-Busch InBev's widely-expected move for SABMiller. Shareholders of the two brewers clearly did the same, with the pair seeing their share prices fall markedly today.


Comment - Diageo's Nutrition Labels Give Industry Something to Digest 24 Mar 2015

Andy Morton

For a company sometimes viewed as large and ponderous, Diageo last week did a good job of outmanoeuvring its rivals.


Comment - Diageo Spins the Guinness Wheel... Again 23 Mar 2015

James Wilmore

The roller-coaster ride at the Guinness innovation department continues.


M&A Watch - Who should Stock Spirits Acquire in Central & Eastern Europe ? 23 Mar 2015

Stefan Kirk

With Stock Spirits still keen to increase its footprint in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE), which companies should it have on its shopping list? We present the case for Hungary's Zwack Unicum.


Comment - Why a Level Playing Field for Small Brewers is Vital to the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership 17 Mar 2015

EurActiv

A significant obstacle to European beer’s growth in the US is the unfair tax treatment for Europe’s smaller brewers when compared to their US counterparts, argues The Brewers of Europe's secretary general, Pierre-Olivier Bergeron.


Comment - Spirits - Don Julio: Diageo's Mexican Trojan Horse 12 Mar 2015

Richard Woodard

Last week, Diageo announced plans to invest US$400m on its operations in Mexico. While the headlines centred on the company's Don Julio Tequila operations, the country itself is ripe for growth. Richard Woodard investigates.


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