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December 16, 2020

What just-drinks said about the spirits category – The review of 2020 – FREE TO ACCESS

With the end of the year looming, we take a look back at how 2020 has treated the global drinks industry. Here are the ten most-read articles written by our spirits experts, led by category commentators Amy Hopkins and Richard Woodard, over the last 12 months.

With the end of the year looming, we take a look back at how 2020 has treated the global drinks industry. Here are the ten most-read articles written by our spirits experts, led by category commentators Amy Hopkins and Richard Woodard, over the last 12 months.

10. Why there must be more to your spirits brand than provenance and quality

More than ever, the spirits industry is obsessed with buzzwords. In his March outing for just-drinks, however, Richard Woodard suggested that terms like ‘provenance’ and ‘quality’ play a smaller part in the consumer’s decision-making process than we would believe.

9. How white spirits is trying to ride the hard seltzer craze

While brewers have been racing to enter hard seltzer, spirits brand owners have been slower to jump in, with some preferring to push their existing offerings’ seltzer-related cues. Richard considered how successful they’ve been, so far.

8. Diageo pays US$610m to harness Ryan Reynolds’ content superpowers

If asked, Diageo would probably claim it owns a number of superheroes already – Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff spring to mind. Since August, the group has one more.

7. How the spirits category can ride out the coronavirus storm

In April, with most of the world on lockdown, we explored how the spirits category could continue to support itself once the coronavirus pandemic eases.

6. Why RTDs could spur the next wave of growth for whisky

The ready-to-drink category has emerged as the unlikely hero of the drinks world. Whisky – particularly Scotch – has been slow to capitalise on the trend, but a wealth of planned NPD could offer a lifeline for a segment that has famously struggled to connect with a younger audience.

5. Why are spirits brand owners still getting women wrong?

The unveiling by Bacardi in July of its Plume and Petal brand backfired somewhat, with the group stirring up a social media storm with the lower-abv vodka. Richard Woodard thinks he may know what the problem was. Again.

4. Why post-COVID spirits consumers will be ‘living in the moment’

As lockdown restrictions slowly started to ease in some markets in May, we considered how the post-COVID landscape was taking shape for spirits brand owners.

3. Why the spirits category offers hope for the on-premise

The coronavirus pandemic decimated the on-premise around the world this year, with lockdowns leading to zero sales and furloughed staff in the channel. Those pubs and bars that will still be around as lockdown eases, however, could see consumers’ stronger relationship with spirits provide a healthier – and sustainable – future.

2. Why craft whisky/whiskey will never be the same again

The craft whisk(e)y industry spent 2020 trapped in a vice, with pressure from the coronavirus pandemic and retaliatory tariffs deepening the cracks that have existed for some time. In her just-drinks debut in June, Amy Hopkins forecast that the road to recovery would be long and hard, and only the strong would survive.

1. How to tailor your spirits marketing to the consumer of today – and tomorrow

Virtue signalling is a very easy hole to fall down when it comes to marketing spirits brands – particularly with today’s hyper-connected consumer. In November, however, Richard Woodard claimed to have found an activation that skirts the hole and ticks all the 21st Century spirits brand boxes.

Click here for all of just-drinks’ reviews of 2020

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