Comment - Spirits - A Word with Woodard
By: Richard Woodard
Resident columnist and spirits know-it-all Richard Woodard provides his monthly take on the latest in the global white spirits industry.
Earlier this month, Bacardi announced its purchase of Banks, a Mauritius-based range of rums. Why would a company whose name is synonymous with the rum category - almost transcends it - buy a rum brand? Richard Woodard investigates.
When you look at the way the various spirits categories are defined, you'd be forgiven for concluding that the liqueurs segment comprises 'everything else'. Evenso, argues Richard Woodard, the sector is still worth operating in, thanks in part to consumers' perceptions of liqueurs.
Despite the market split, the Tequila category is on the cusp of its own boomtime. But, the positioning of the mixto sector compared to 100% agave carries echoes of Scotch whisky past-tendency to hype single malts to the expense of blends. And now, Scotch volumes are suffering. Will Tequila make the same mistake? Richard Woodard investigates.
Gruppo Campari's decision to change the names of several rum brands in its Appleton Estate portfolio suggests that the segment may have stumbled on its own language. Does this mark the end of rum's reliance on the terminology used by Cognac and Scotch whisky? Richard Woodard delves deeper.
Last week, Diageo announced plans to invest US$400m on its operations in Mexico. While the headlines centred on the company's Don Julio Tequila operations, the country itself is ripe for growth. Richard Woodard investigates.
Dutch spirits firm Lucas Bols has endured an occasionally turbulent time in its 450-year history. Will an effort to list on the Euronext Amsterdam through an IPO bolster the company? Here, our spirits columnist Richard Woodard examines the group's history for answers.
The rise of 'craft' continues, with new spirits brands riding the wave in the US. One such overnight success in Tito's Handmade Vodka, which has seen sales soar in the last couple of years. The downside, however, has been that the brand has caught the eye over its craft claims. Richard Woodard considers the evidence.The rise of 'craft' continues, with new spirits brands riding the wave in the US. One such overnight success in Tito's Handmade Vodka, which has seen sales soar in the last couple of years. The downside, however, has been that the brand has caught the eye over its craft claims. Richard Woodard considers the evidence.
Late last month, in Pernod Ricard's full-year results, the spirits company flagged a tough time for Absolut vodka. Richard Woodard surveys the wreckage and considers the brand's future.
This month, Richard Woodard looks at the NPD trend of blending spirits either together or with another alcoholic segment to create a whole, new sub-category. Is this really innovation at its purest?
It's been three months since Suntory completed its purchase of Beam Inc. What better time that the summer lull for Richard Woodard to take a long, hard look at just what the Japanese group got for its US$16bn.
For a spirits brand, what does being a “category leader” mean? Is it purely a blunt measure of cases sold? Profit made? Or something more elusive and nebulous? Richard Woodard, gin in hand, investigates.
The aim of all brand owners is to secure consumer loyalty above all competitors. But, as Richard Woodard suggests, this might be an unattainable - and hence unrealistic - aim.
Following a flurry of activity in the Tequila sector last month, has Diageo finally returned to the point it had previously reached when it handled Jose Cuervo? Richard Woodard compares then to now.
Flavoured vodka may have hit a bump in the US, but there's a major opportunity in global markets for the sub-category, argues Richard Woodard.
Category definitions are an on-going minefield in parts of the spirits industry. Gin, rum and Tequila have all suffered from muddled thinking. But none compare to what absinthe has experienced. Here, Richard Woodard wages war on the red-tape wretchedness that surrounds the category
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