Editor's Viewpoint

Editor's Viewpoint

By: Olly Wehring

The just-drinks leader, written by the just-drinks leader.



Has Diageo made a mistake in bringing back Brora and Port Ellen? - Editor's Viewpoint 9 Oct 2017

I’ve heard both sides on today’s news from Diageo. One friend is getting quite excited at being able to buy a bottle of a single malt Scotch whisky they have hitherto been unable to afford a glass of, while another is bemoaning the end of what they call "something very special" as two of Scotch’s "best-kept secrets" bubbles back to the surface.


Is FEMSA trying to bloody Heineken's nose with stake sale? - Editor's Viewpoint 19 Sep 2017

On the surface, it looks pretty clear-cut. Give it a scratch, though, and there could be a little more to FEMSA’s Heineken stake sale than first meets the eye.


Has history taught Remy Cointreau nothing? - Editor's Viewpoint 20 Jul 2017

We've all marvelled at Remy Cointreau's turnaround since the days of what we termed its Bain de Sang just over three years ago. After the bottom fell out of the Cognac market in China in 2013, we watched with consternation as group CEO Frédéric Pflanz fell on his sword in early-2014, only to be followed less than three weeks later by Remy Martin head Patrick Piana.


Constellation Brands and Brown-Forman? Keep it in the family – Editor’s Viewpoint 24 May 2017

Has someone got their cheeky hat on, or has Constellation Brands got a bit too big for its boots? Yesterday’s reports linking Constellation with Brown-Forman can only be one of these two, and I think I know which one it is.


Kirin's troubles in Brazil - When BRIC markets go horribly wrong - Editor's Viewpoint 20 Jan 2017

The general intention of Japan's drinks companies to break out of their domestic market has been a headline of the last six years, at least. Today's confirmation that Kirin Holdings is looking to pull out of Brazil, however, shows the pitfalls of this strategy. Indeed, the fact that this is playing out in one of the fabled BRIC markets serves to bring the strategy into worrying relief.


Sipsmith Gin and spirits players’ fight to cover off craft – Editor’s Viewpoint 16 Dec 2016

Even before today’s news that Beam Suntory has filled the premium gin-shaped hole in its portfolio, we at just-drinks had concluded that 2016 was gin’s year. Today’s announcement serves merely to vindicate this view.


So long, SAB - Anheuser-Busch InBev and the death of SABMiller - Editor's Viewpoint 6 Oct 2016

I'll spare you the 'Fat Lady' analogies but, if you do hear some singing this week, it's likely to be Anheuser-Busch InBev staff in a good, post-deal-closure mood.


Brexit - What is certain is that nothing is certain - Editor's Viewpoint 14 Sep 2016

Attending the UK Wine & Spirits Trade Association’s annual conference in London yesterday, I was particularly struck by one thought: Stripping out every use of the words "if", "could", "might", probably" and "likely" would have made the whole event a darn sight shorter. The main topic of the day? Of course: Brexit.


Why has Accolade Wines lost another CEO? - Editor's Viewpoint 1 Sep 2016

When it comes to HR announcements, the departure of a chief executive always gets the juices flowing. Why are they going? Where are they going? Who is replacing them? When the announcement isn’t even an announcement, however, then you’ll forgive us for being a mite suspicious. The confirmation by Accolade Wines on Tuesday of an internal memo detailing Paul Schaafsma’s plans to stand down within the next ten months is just such a curious turn. Why is he going? Where is he going? Who is replacing him? Far more pertinently, though: Why didn’t you tell us?


How Treasury Wine Estates is rewriting the rule book - Editor's Viewpoint 22 Aug 2016

For years, they said it couldn't be done. In wine, the theory goes, if you're playing a volume game then you can't all of a sudden make the switch to a value-focussed strategy. And, for a long time, they were right: Talk in recent years of getting consumers to trade up their wine choices has fallen on deaf ears. Within the space of just two years, however, Treasury Wine Estates has proved the theory wrong.


Do you buy the Wild Geese, Pernod Ricard conspiracy theory? - Editor's Viewpoint 19 Jul 2016

In our coverage of the legal ruling in favour of Irish whiskey brand The Wild Geese in Australia yesterday, I sensed a conspiracy theory of pretty impressive proportions. Could the dominant player in the Irish whiskey sector really have been looking to ride roughshod over one of its much smaller competitors?


Pie in the sky, but soft drinks is running out of choices - Editor's Viewpoint 17 May 2016

In a note to clients last week, analysts at CLSA spoke to Dr Robert Lustig, an expert on endocrinology and obesity and professor at UC San Francisco. On the call, Dr Lustig discussed "the case against sugar", the title of CLSA's note.


Anheuser-Busch InBev and China's Snow – This town ain't big enough for the both of us – Editor's Viewpoint 2 Mar 2016

For a company dead set on becoming the biggest in its field – and reportedly beyond – Anheuser-Busch InBev's decision to sell off SABMiller's stake in China's CR Snow to JV partner China Resources Beer looks more like a step backwards - and a very cheap one at that.


Sell a London craft brewer, buy a London craft brewer - Confusion at Anheuser-Busch InBev? - Editor's Viewpoint 21 Dec 2015

A relatively small transaction in the beer industry today has left me confused. Why would Anheuser-Busch InBev snap up a London-based craft brewer, when it has a staggeringly-similar entity waiting in the wings, once it completes its purchase of SABMiller? That AB InBev has lined up the sale of this SAB-owned brewer confuses me yet further.


SABMiller - Where nothing is not for sale? - Editor's Viewpoint 3 Dec 2015

When you buy yourself a new toy, the first thing you want to do is to take it home and play with it. You don't want someone taking it off you, perusing it to see if it will give you too much fun or if it will upset your friends, who may be having not as much fun as you are.


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