Blog: Drinks makers toast thirst for luxury
Chris Mercer | 19 October 2011
Like retired colonels sipping Champagne on the deck of the sinking Titanic, there are plenty of consumers around the world who still very much have a taste for luxury.
If you're going down then you may as well go down in style. Sales results from Moet Hennessy and, to a lesser extent, Diageo have shown this week that plenty of consumers around the world still have a taste for premium spirits and Champagne.
A large proportion of those consumers may be in the so-called emerging markets, be it expensive Cognac lovers in China or Russians with a refreshed economy and a wallet bulging for bling. However, the US spirits market also appears to have continued its upward momentum in 2011.
Diageo said today (19 October) that spirits drove its net sales in North America up by 5% for the first quarter of its fiscal year, to the end of September, even though its volume sales slipped by 2%.
Will it last? Diageo's CEO, Paul Walsh, was careful to highlight that the company is "alert to any impact which the fragile global economy may have on trading patterns". Moet Hennessy, meanwhile, saw its momentum slow slightly from the first half of 2011 to the third quarter.
Some markets are clearly in trouble, particularly those in southern Europe. There does, though, seem to be a hardcore of consumers who are intent on carrying on regardless of the gathering global economic storm clouds.
Yesterday was long. Very, very long. What started with an alarm in London at 0530 GMT ended with a Bacardi eight-year-old nightcap in Puerto Rico at 0730 GMT the following morning....
This weekend, Bacardi is hosting a three-day music event on the private island of Palomino just off the coast of Puerto Rico....
Warmest thanks to all of you who filled in our annual readers' survey this month. The results are very important for us to learn from and look to improve our service to you....
Today's news that German spirits firm Mast-Jägermeister has joined UK responsible drinking organisation The Portman Group may raise eyebrows in some quarters....
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