The beverage business blog from Olly Wehring
If you would like to offer your comments, opinions, suggest topics or just have a good rant, please feel free to email: Olly Wehring.
LIWF & Distil 2010 - All the Fun of the Fair
18 May 2010 12:37
I'm still chuckling over a comment from our very good friend Chris Carson, the former chairman of Constellation Europe and current CEO of Italian wine cooperative, Gruppo Italiano Vini.
He seems to be enjoying his new position, which he assumed two years ago, and isn't missing his Constellation days too much.
“When you're running a company the size of Constellation,” he says, “it's difficult to find time to put your foot on the ball, take a look around and see where to ... lay it off.”
Concha y Toro and Manchester United's wine aficionado
18 May 2010 11:29
You may have seen today (18 May) that Concha y Toro is to become the official wine of Manchester United football club later this year.
The Red Devil's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is known to be quite a wine buff, regularly sharing a post-match bottle with his opposing managers in his office.
“I'm delighted to be working with Concha y Toro,” he said today. “Like United, it's a company with a lot of history that, while never afraid to change, has always kept hold of its roots. This is a partnership that unites the two great passions in Latin America: football and wine. I'm looking forward to it.”
What other managers might say if Ferguson produces a bottle of Concha y Toro after the match, unfortunately, was not reported.
LIWF & Distil 2010 - The calm before the storm
17 May 2010 13:06
We're less than 24 hours away from this year's London International Wine Fair, and just-drinks is getting everything ready to head to ExCel.
We'll be there in force throughout the three days, so drop us a line at email@example.com if you'd like us to come and say hello.
I'll also be part of the panel at our 'State of the Nation' seminar on Wednesday, so if you'd like to watch me gape in wonder at the experts on our panel, click here to reserve your seat.
Thanks, meanwhile, go to the Port company who have invited me to their stand for "aperitif festivities with cocktails"... on Tuesday morning at 1130.
A bit early for me, but thanks.
Does anyone have anything going on on Wednesday evening? In previous years, the main party night of the exhibition was a logistical nightmare as we raced from soiree to soiree. This year, however, all I can hear is the sound of crickets.
Or is it something I said?
Here's hoping the ash cloud hasn't made your journey too arduous. See you in the hall.
Ciroc ad - You're sorry?
27 Apr 2010 14:57
"I am sorry that I'm coming to you live from a bubble bath."
Not as sorry as we are, 'Diddy'.
What price premium?
22 Apr 2010 17:22
I managed to grab some time with Diageo's chief marketing officer, Andy Fennell, yesterday and a fascinating chat we had too. The fruits of our conversation will be up on just-drinks early next week.
I thought I'd take the opportunity to ask Andy a question that I've been scared of asking anyone in the drinks industry, since I joined just-drinks, for fear of looking, well... a bit stupid.
"What price is premium?"
The term 'premiumisation' may remain a spellcheck candidate on Word, but in our industry it has become ubiquitous with every single one of you. But, how much does a product have to be to qualify as 'premium'?
"The generally accepted definition of premium (in the spirits category) is at the Smirnoff, Captain Morgan price point and upwards," Andy told me. "If you're in the US, you're talking US$10 and up per standard bottle is premium, $20 and up is super-premium and $30 and up is ultra-premium."
Do these levels ring true with your firm? Because $10 per standard bottle strikes me as remarkably good value for a bottle of premium spirit.
The LIWF 2010 – Let's get ready to rumble
21 Apr 2010 17:33
There's less than a month to go until this year's London International Wine Fair, and it's shaping up to be quite a good'un, least of all because it's the event's 30th anniversary this year. Take a look here to peruse the first show's calendar – there are a few familiar names.
For those of you who haven't registered, click here.
As usual, just-drinks will be out in force during the three days, so come along and watch us at work at our stand, G10.
We'll also be running our regular daily diary in the run-up to the show, with details of whose doing, showing and offering what in the hall. These diary pieces will start up on 1 May, so get your company's news to us now, by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, we're getting very excited about our 'State of the Nation' seminar, which we'll be hosting on the Wednesday. Not only will yours truly be giving his two penn'orth on how the landscape looks in the UK for wine companies, but we'll also have Troy Christensen (president of Constellation Australia and Europe), Simon Thorpe (managing director of Negociants UK) and Daniel King (COO of mySupermarket-Insights) balancing out my ramblings with their knowledgeable insights.
Admission is free, but spaces are limited, so click here for details on how to reserve a place.
We look forward to seeing you.
"But Coke said I could, Ref"
19 Apr 2010 16:51
The Coca-Cola Co has started up its engine for this year's FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa today, with the launch of the first global TV ad for its namesake brand.
Hats off to the company, it certainly is a rousing advert, with 15 (I've counted) different on-pitch goal celebrations.
In September last year, you may recall, I was lucky enough to visit FIFA's headquarters in Zurich, and hear Coca-Cola's CEO, Muhtar Kent, detail the company's plans in the run-up to – and during - the tournament.
For every goal scored during the tournament and celebrated with a dance, Kent said at the time, Coca-Cola will make a donation to its 'Water for Schools' effort that helps provide schools with access to safe drinking water.
But will this charitable incentive push players to breach the rules? Surely the celebration in the ad when a player uses the corner flag as a microphone deserves a yellow card, for “unsporting behaviour, e.g. extravagant celebrations”?
Happy St Patrick's Day
17 Mar 2010 16:15
A very Happy St Patrick's Day to you all. And how am I going to celebrate this evening? Why, I'm going to a tasting of The Balvenie... which is a Scotch...
Anyway, in honour of all things Irish, we're glad to shed some light on what, I'm sure, has been keeping many of you awake at night for years.
The Daily Express has reported today (17 March) that scientists have been able to pin down exactly why the bubbles in a pint of Guinness sink instead of rise.
By using a “super-fast” camera (very technical) that magnifies the bubbles ten times, members of the Royal Society of Chemistry noticed that bubbles in the centre of the glass rise rapidly, pulling the surrounding liquid with them and setting up a circulating current.
Flowing outwards from the head of a pint of Guinness, the current hit the glass edge and was pushed down.
Bubbles held back by dragging on the side of the glass were caught in the circulation and forced to go with the flow - the wrong way.
If you have any other national holiday-related conundrums you'd like us to look into, please, go away.
Diageo v Bacardi - Tick, tick, tick, tick... BOOM
24 Feb 2010 15:21
Today's top story is certainly a cockle-warmer on a cold, damp Wednesday in February.
Diageo didn't so much fire a warning shot across Bacardi's bows yesterday (23 February), more set about the boat itself... with a bazooka. Not only does Diageo's statement make for an interesting read, but it is also a pretty long one – take a look for yourself here.
This is most unlike Diageo, which usually prefers to play the strong, silent type when it comes to disputes - witness how the firm chose to keep its head when all about it was losing theirs and blaming it on Diageo during last year's Scotland closure row.
A brace of more recent attacks, including one from Bacardi, however, was one poke through the bars too many. I've heard that Diageo was tiring of having to rebut the allegations to each individual who challenged them, choosing instead to give its full (and I mean full) and frank take on the matter.
Bacardi's response – all of three sentences - is short and sweet, much like that of the Puerto Rican government – two sentences.
Yet, in such a short burst of words, the two ask whether the US taxpayer is the one getting a rum deal here.