Blog: Drinks Industry v UK Supermarkets - where are you?
Olly Wehring | 2 August 2006
When Scottish & Newcastle came out against the UK’s supermarkets earlier this week, how many of you rejoiced that, finally, someone was saying what you’d been thinking for a long time?
In my almost three years at just-drinks, any mention of UK supermarkets to an interviewee has been met by a knowing look and the blandest of bland comments. No-one, but no-one, dared go on the record with their true feelings on the matter.
In a submission to the UK’s Competition Commission - currently looking into the power of supermarkets - S&N said: “We view with concern the willingness of the major multiples to invest in relatively cheap beer and cider prices, to drive ‘footfall’ within this sector.
“We strongly believe that the sale of alcoholic drinks at low cost, used primarily to drive ‘footfall’ into stores, is not consistent with the promotion of responsible drinking.”
The response from the drinks industry has been silence. The supermarkets, however, have come out all guns blazing. A spokesperson for the British Retail Consortium laughed out S&N’s claims. The brewer had “no evidence” to back its claims, he told just-drinks.
“It’s a very competitive market and what retailers do is try to achieve the best possible price. They then pass those costs on to consumers - that’s what competition is.” He even went so far as to suggest that S&N’s claims could be a way for the brewer to achieve “better prices” from retailers when selling their products to supermarkets.
While inter-industry squabbling may open the back door for governmental interference, S&N should still be applauded for its stand. The influence wielded by this country’s supermarkets on drinks pricing has gone unchecked for too long.
I know a lot of you will be quietly cheering them on. But will any of you stand up and be counted?
Greetings from Zurich. Here as a guest of Heineken's Amstel brand, I'm due to sit down later today with the group's senior global director for international brands, Walter Drenth....
Drinks companies spend a lot of money on trying to predict trends. At last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers City debate, any strategists in the audience got a bit of forecasting for free....
I'll admit to being partial to an Aperol Spritz now and again, more usually in the summer months, sitting outside, shades on, slowly turning more golden/rusty....
Jim Cramer, the excitable host of stock-picker programme Mad Money on CNBC, turned his attention on US brewers last week, attempting to forecast which has the most potential for investors....
- Boom time for soft drinks in West Europe?
- Protein interest offers drinks opportunities - NPD
- Patron's lesson for the broader spirits sector
- Britvic's H1 Performance by Region - Focus
- Alcohol and the risk of breast cancer - ISFAR
- Analysts clash over AB InBev SAB Brexit impact
- Pernod switches Travel Retail Europe op's director
- SABMiller issues currency alert as Africa weakens
- Diageo names Javier Ferran as new chairman
- AB InBev unveils Stella Artois three-packs
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global travel retail insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Keurig Green Mountain in Hot Drinks (World)
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends