Comment - Spirits (White) - A Word with Woodard

Comment - Spirits (White) - 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.



How to win in vodka in the US - A history lesson - comment 1 Oct 2020

Vodka is one of the most competitive spirits categories out there and only more so in the US. Want to get ahead? Well, according to white spirits commentator Richard Woodard, you'll have to look backwards to move forwards.


Will Diageo earn its gin wings with Aviation? - comment 25 Aug 2020

As the dust starts to settle on Diageo's announced acquisition of Davos Brands and its Aviation American Gin flagship, spirits commentator Richard Woodard surveys the wider gin category and sees Diageo playing catch-up. Will the move for Aviation plug Diageo's gin gap?


Why are spirits brand owners still getting women wrong? - comment 29 Jul 2020

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


How white spirits is trying to ride the hard seltzer craze - comment 25 Jun 2020

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. Category commentator Richard Woodard considers how successful they've been, so far.


Why the spirits category offers hope for the on-premise - comment 26 May 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has decimated the on-premise around the world, 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. Spirits commentator Richard Woodard explains.


Why the gin category has Fever-Tree to thank for breaking the US - comment 30 Apr 2020

The hunt for good news at the moment is proving quite the challenge, but spirits commentator Richard Woodard for one is feeling positive. Whisper it, but could high-end gin finally be about to make it big in the US?


Why there must be more to your spirits brand than provenance and quality - Part II - comment 24 Mar 2020

Earlier this month, category commentator Richard Woodard set the cat among the spirits pigeons when he argued that there's more to a successful spirits brand than the traditional cues. Richard returns to our pages here with... more of the same.


Why there must be more to your spirits brand than provenance and quality - comment 5 Mar 2020

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


What's coming up in white spirits in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment 28 Jan 2020

Rounding off our category previews for the year ahead is Richard Woodard, who runs his customarily expert eye over what we can expect to see in the white spirits space.


Why spirits brand owners should embrace the cross-category trend - Comment 28 Nov 2019

Time was when spirits brands were sacred cows, held in such high esteem by their owners that they were kept in their categories and only allowed out to play with either flavour extensions or add-on iterations. Times have changed, though, and white spirits commentator Richard Woodard believes there is little - if anything - to be concerned about by letting your brand venture a bit further.


The industry may be bored of gin, but is the consumer? - Comment 31 Oct 2019

As new gin brands are unveiled almost by the hour, we within the drinks industry could justifiably be growing somewhat tired of it all. However, spirits commentator Richard Woodard suggests that we first look over our wall, before we complain.


Why vodka's US woes could soon be drowned out by success elsewhere - Comment 1 Oct 2019

For the established vodka brands, the US has long been the outstanding market, initially driving the category's metoric growth but now accounting for much of its volumes. As the country remains key for vodka brand owners, category commentator Richard Woodard believes the rest of the world is fast catching up.


Why Diageo's Cuban rum play isn't enough to save the category - Comment 29 Aug 2019

Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. More than a quarter of a century after Pernod Ricard signed its Havana Club joint venture with state-owned Cuba Ron Corp, Diageo has followed suit. The group's Santiago de Cuba agreement, announced earlier this month, is one of the most eye-catching spirits deals of the year - but it shouldn't distract us from the huge challenges facing the rum category, says Richard Woodard.


How the spirits category can make the most of less sugar - Comment 25 Jul 2019

As consumers demand to know more about what's in their food and drink, category commentator Richard Woodard believes the spirits industry is well-placed to capitalise on the public's cravings for less sugar.


Why gin needs stricter definition rules - and fast - Comment 2 Jul 2019

Against a backdrop of booming sales, the gin category has succeeded in jumping on the trend bandwagon. However, spirits category commentator Richard Woodard can see a problem looming for gin - a problem that needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.


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