Blog: On the Floor at LIWF - Day Three
Chris Mercer | 19 May 2011
The party's almost over and I may need a caffeine drip attached to my person, but it's been a lively day three for just-drinks at the London International Wine Fair.
Actually, I'm going to rewind to the end of day two in order to mention just-drinks' State of the Nation debate. Is the UK finished? That was the question we posed yesterday. On a show of hands, and on a first-past-the-post basis, the optimists just about inched ahead among the hundred-strong audience.
Treasury Wine Estates' general manager for the UK and Ireland, Dan Townsend, said that, in terms of prospects for making a profit, the UK has moved from being average-to-low to "Somewhere between low and not very attractive at all".
There are, however, a wide range of views on the state of things and on what can be done about it. Just this afternoon, I met with Grupo Codorniu's MD, Nick Mantella, who is more of the opinion that things have always been extremely competitive in the UK.
Plenty of people still want to be here, it seems. That includes Wines of Brasil, which is making its seventh appearance at LIWF (not its debut, as I initially thought). As of last year, the UK has become the top export market by value for Brazilian wines.
That said, a growing number of wine groups appear to be looking east, too. The seminar on Russia's wine industry (and the complicated process of getting into it) was well-attended in the briefing theatre today.
At the show more generally, things are starting to wind down. A number of journalists are beginning to gather to chew the fat (myself excluded at this moment, I must add).
The initial reports are that numbers are flat-ish against the previous year. That said, many people on the stands here have told me that they are happy with how the show has gone.
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring AG Barr, Bombay Sapphire, Wines of South Africa and Pabst Brewing Co....
It seems there's not much in the world that can make people smile these days. Luckily, we're part of an industry that has just been scientifically proven to do just that. ...
Despite accounting for just a small percentage of overall sales, craft beer is making an impression on the US....
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring SABMiller, Orangina Schweppes, PepsiCo and Scottish devolution....
- No Home Comfort for TWE as Bids Collapse
- Bacardi Seeks Own History at Bombay Sapphire Home
- Treasury Wine Estates: Here I Go Again On My Own
- NPD: The Craft Cocktail Revolution
- Private-equity bids "over" - TWE head
- Carlsberg suspends production at Russian brewery
- Anheuser-Busch InBev appoints new AmBev CEO
- Treasury Wine Estates pulls plug on takeover talks
- Suntory Holdings to split beer, spirits division
- Quintessential Brands changes MD at Essential unit