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.
Glenfiddich Makes My Dreams Come True
22 Jul 2011 17:35
A quick Friday afternoon shout out to the folk at William Grant & Sons' UK sales and marketing division, First Drinks for their assistance in allowing me to die happy.
Thanks to William Grants' sponsorship of Mojo music magazine's annual awards, through its Glenfiddich single malt brand, First Drinks invited me to join them at table last night. Now, those of you that follow just-drinks on Twitter (and, if not, why not?) will have been pestered by my crowing last night throughout the evening.
What I didn't tweet was that I met one of my musical heroes at the event. And, if you like your music proper, then you may have heard of him too.
But, if that doesn't impress you, then how about this: There was a Beatle in the room!
Thanks to Chris Mason and Sonia Bastian at First Drinks, and Kirsty Chant at Touch PR.
The Bombardier's Bang on The Open
14 Jul 2011 17:16
It's the first day of The Open Golf Championship here in the UK today (14 July).
Perfect timing for this, then, the latest activity from Wells & Young's for its Bombardier beer brand.
This nearly happened today...
28 Jun 2011 15:56
Among the many stories we cover here on just-drinks are announcements of advertising campaigns. Be they TV, out-of-home or print, we endeavour to cover as many of these as we can.
However, it now appears that we ought to consider announcements of advertising campaigns that companies have not quite succeeded in setting up.
A release yesterday (27 June) from the Hill Smith family, owners of the Oxford Landing Australian wine brand, gave details of how they had hoped to secure a tie-up here in London with the owner of the Underground, Transport for London.
I'll let the video detail their plans, which were turned down by TFL because "our stations aren't for sale", apparently. But, I will say this: If we're going to have to report on things that didn't quite happen, I'm going to need a bigger crew.
The Potential of Social Media - just-drinks needs you
24 Jun 2011 10:11
A recent study completed by just-drinks has shown that the global beverage industry clearly sees social media as playing a vital role in its relationship with consumers.
Confusion reigns, however, over how to use the tools on offer.
- How can we use Facebook to engage with our consumers?
- Can tweeting really make an impact on sales?
- Who should be responsible for a company's' social activity?
To help clear up this confusion, we’d love to hear if and how you and your company are using social media.
We've put together a 12-question survey, which should only take you a few minutes to complete.
As a thank you, we’ll send you a complimentary copy of the upcoming 'Social Media in the Food and Drinks Industry' report when it's published, early next month.
The FIFA Row - Brought to you by...
31 May 2011 17:45
We love a good dose of in-office debate here at just-drinks Towers. Like many office environments, our industry is one of the main topics of water-cooler discussion, closely followed, naturally, by sport.
The ongoing rumblings at football's governing body, FIFA, have got several of us all riled up - and not just in our merry little office. Earlier this week, The Coca-Cola Co, one of the major sponsors of the FIFA-organised World Cup, went so far as to describe the corruption row as being "distressing and bad for the sport".
Deputy editor Chris Mercer believes that sponsors need not worry too much about their image amidst all this - consumers don't see a link between the actual event and FIFA, he says.
However, I'd bring it back a step or two - when sponsors go public with their feelings on a controversy, they're guaranteed inches of publicity - without having to pay a cent for it.
Coca-Cola is neither pouring petrol nor water on this particular fire, merely offering observers a Coke-branded fork for their marshmallows.
Diageo to buy Jose Cuervo - Again
24 May 2011 20:43
A story - an old story - has broken this evening, claiming that Diageo is in "exclusive" talks to buy Jose Cuervo from its owner, the Beckmann family.
It doesn't look like the situation has moved on much from the last dump of speculation two months ago.
Now, as then, I refer the honourable member to the opinion I voiced earlier.
LIWF 2011 – just-drinks needs you
21 Apr 2011 15:18
This year's London International Wine Fair is almost here.
As in 2010, we'll be hosting our own industry briefing at the fair. 'just-drinks' State of the Nation survey - The UK's wine market in 2011', will look at the current condition of the wine market in the UK through the results of our industry survey.
And, we need your help.
If you work in the wine category in the UK, could you kindly spare five minutes to consider these questions?
The briefing, scheduled for between 1615 and 1730 on the Wednesday (18 May) of the fair, will see me host an esteemed panel of industry big-wigs, including Wines of Chile's UK director, Michael Cox, UK wine columnist and blogger Jamie Goode and the owner of the Wilson Drinks Report, Tim Wilson. Other guests are to be confirmed.
Thanks for your time.
To book a seat at the just-drinks industry briefing, click here.
Olly's Fact of the Day
11 Apr 2011 16:16
Did you know...
I have been advised today that, while the plural of whisky is whiskies, the plural of whiskey is whiskeys.
Consider yourself enriched.
Photo-Journalism – Now, this is more like it
02 Mar 2011 13:07
Every time there's an M&A story to cover, we here on just-drinks like to include a suitable image with our coverage. Maybe a company logo, or a picture of one of the brands involved, or perhaps a snap of the facilities changing hands.
But, thanks have to go to Viña Concha y Toro, which, having acquired Fetzer Vineyards from Brown-Forman yesterday (1 March), sent us this image of its senior executives actually going through the paperwork.
I love this – more of the same from you M&A magnates, please.
From left to right: Concha y Toro's CFO, Osvaldo Solar, and CEO Eduardo Guilisasti with Brown-Forman's senior VP & chief production officer, Jill Jones.
Anheuser-Busch InBev – Hey, everyone. Come, see how good I look
03 Feb 2011 11:41
It was Mrs Wehring's birthday yesterday. She got lots of surprises on the day, the lucky lady. She likes surprises - who doesn't?
It's a pity, though, that Anheuser-Busch InBev's attempts to give the UK drinks media a surprise yesterday failed so dismally. The unit's launch of the cider extension of the Stella Artois brand was set to be heralded by a lunchtime press event, the details of which had been kept very hush-hush.
How exciting, we in the press corp thought. What could this be about?
Sadly, the surprise bubble was burst prior to the party, with A-B InBev choosing to issue full details of Stella Artois Cidre to a UK publication prior to the event.
This isn't the first time a 'surprise' product launch announcement has been trumped. I shan't name names - actually, I will, Britvic.
It's also not the first time that news of the arrival of a new product from A-B InBev has got out before the company was ready. Back in 2008, leaked news of the impending arrival of Stella Artois 4% prompted the hasty arrangement of a press conference in London - so hasty, in fact, that no samples of the beer were available to manhandle or taste.
Now, it's very easy to take potshots at companies the size of A-B InBev - indeed, some appear to take tremendous pleasure in doing just that. But, we here at just-drinks are always keen to search out the good in a company, regardless of how big they are.
It proves nigh-on impossible to do just that, however, when a company believes its next big thing is so great that it warrants a literal unveiling, with trumpet-y fanfare, silk throw and 'ta-da' jazz-hands, only for news to break elsewhere beforehand; even moreso if the company concerned broke its own embargo willingly.
You'll forgive me, then, for politely declining any future 'we're-not-going-to-tell-you-what-it's-about' invitations. My heart just can't take the crushing disappointment any more.