just the Answer

just the Answer

Once a month, we put a drinks executive on the spot with a bout of quick-fire questions.



"In sustainability, innovation could make a big gain" - just-drinks speaks to Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito - Part II 22 Mar 2018

Earlier this week, Anheuser-Busch InBev unveiled its latest set of sustainability targets, with 2025 set as the deadline for the brewer to achieve its aims. In the second part of our subsequent interview with group CEO Carlos Brito, we look at what shareholders are telling him about the role of sustainability. We also discuss some of the latest pledges and consider how A-B InBev hopes to engage with consumers on sustainability.


"We manage the company efficiently, because we're the owners" - just-drinks speaks to Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito - Part I 21 Mar 2018

Today, Anheuser-Busch InBev unveiled its latest set of sustainability targets, with 2025 set as the deadline for the brewer to achieve its aims. Prior to the launch, just-drinks spoke to group CEO Carlos Brito about the part sustainability plays in a company the size of A-B InBev.


"Consumers are smarter than ever before - and not just about wine" - just-drinks meets E&J Gallo Winery's GM for EMEA, Paul Sorrentino 14 Mar 2018

Earlier this month, Paul Sorrentino, E&J Gallo Winery's general manager for Europe, the Middle East & Africa, came to London for the UK launch of a range of higher-end wine expressions from the group. While in town, he spoke to just-drinks about the new wines, as well as looking at how Gallo finds out what consumers want as well as the future for the Dark Horse brand.


"Our ambition is to make Scotch the number one international spirits category in China" - Interview - Cristina Diezhandino, Diageo's Scotch category director & MD of Reserve brands 8 Mar 2018

In the same week as International Women's Day, the National Association for Female Executives named Diageo's North American unit as one of 2018's 'Top 60 Companies for Executive Women'. The news follows a raft of pledges from Diageo, through both its business and its brands, to champion equality. To mark International Women's Day, just-drinks talks to Cristina Diezhandino, Scotch category director & MD for Diageo's Reserve portfolio, about working in the whisk(e)y sectors, the future of Scotch and how bartenders are helping to propel Reserve brands.


"We have more ideas on the table than the capability to handle them" - just-drinks speaks to Marco Mazzini, global director of Martini sparkling wines at Bacardi 22 Feb 2018

In 2016, Marco Mazzini took on the newly-created role of global director for Martini sparkling wines at Bacardi, with a view to creating a new vision for the brand. Here, he tells just-drinks how Martini is evolving and what it's like to work on sparkling wines within what is predominantly a spirits company.


Diet Coke rebrand follows "dissatisfaction" - The Coca-Cola Co CEO 19 Feb 2018

The Coca-Cola Co CEO James Quincey has admitted the recent Diet Coke relaunch in North America came after sales for the brand failed to recover last year.


"Consumers know that brewing locally means less transportation and fewer carbon emissions" - Interview, Carlsberg CEO Cees 't Hart 13 Feb 2018

just-drinks speaks to Carlsberg CEO Cees 't Hart over email to talk about the wider sustainability challenges for the brewing industry.


"It is for drinks producers to be the most committed partners of governments to tackle the harmful use of alcohol" - Interview, Henry Ashworth, CEO of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking - Part II 7 Dec 2017

In November, just-drinks grabbed some time with the CEO of the drinks industry-funded International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, Henry Ashworth. The first part of our resultant interview, which can be found here, saw Ashworth explain what the organisation does and how it defines success. Here, in part two, we discuss IARD's relationship with the World Health Organisation and tackle the thorny issue of pricing as a tool in responsible drinking's arsenal.


"Companies will put aside commercial differences when it comes to tackling the harmful use of alcohol" - Interview, Henry Ashworth, CEO of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking - Part I 6 Dec 2017

Last month, just-drinks sat down with the head of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, Henry Ashworth. The trade-funded organisation poached Ashworth from UK drinks industry watchdog The Portman Group in January. Here, in part one of a two-part interview, Ashworth explains what IARD does, what its ambition is and why its members are forsaking the quest for competitive advantage in the responsible drinking area.


"If there's one rum brand that can legitimately play in the super-premium segment, it's Mount Gay" - Interview, Raphaël Grisoni, MD at Mount Gay for Remy Cointreau 5 Dec 2017

Earlier this year, just-drinks met up with the head of Rémy Cointreau's Mount Gay rum brand, Raphaël Grisoni. During our time together, Grisoni described Mount Gay's position within the French group, highlighted the challenges facing the rum category and suggested the end is nigh for umbrellas in cocktails.


"When people come to Pinterest, they are at a point where they are interested in a product, service or category" - Interview, Pinterest UK & Ireland country manager Adele Cooper 28 Nov 2017

Online pinboard Pinterest is designed to help consumers plan. The platform allows users to 'pin' images for everything from wedding ideas to cocktail recipes. Earlier this year, the site crossed the 200m user mark - with the average age of a user over 18. Earlier this month, just-drinks deputy editor Lucy Britner spoke to the company's UK & Ireland country manager, Adele Cooper, to find out how drinks brand owners can make the most of Pinterest.


"It's a slightly false choice to say that it is us or Jameson" - Interview, William Grant & Sons CEO Simon Hunt and Tullamore Dew global brand director Caspar MacRae 1 Nov 2017

Last month, William Grant & Sons opened a new grain distillery and bottling plant at its Tullamore Dew site. The ceremony, held on a rainswept afternoon in central Ireland, was one of the final stages in William Grant's Irish whiskey venture, launched when it bought the Tullamore Dew brand in 2010.


"You could argue that we are stupid to sell in Travel Retail; for us it is the right environment" - Interview, Edrington MD for Global Travel Retail, Igor Boyadjian 10 Oct 2017

In early-October, Edrington officially unveiled its new Global Travel Retail range for its The Macallan single malt Scotch whisky brand. The Macallan Quest Collection differs from its predecessor, the 1824 range, by having four SKUs instead of three. At the Tax Free World Association exhibition in Cannes, just-drinks sat down with Edrington's MD for GTR, Igor Boyadjian to discuss the reasons for the four tiers, why Edrington could exit the GTR channel and how digital is expected to transform transactions.


"To say that we're thrilled is an understatement" - Diageo's head of whisky outreach, Nick Morgan 9 Oct 2017

Earlier today, Diageo announced plans to invest GBP35m (US$46m) in reopening two of its Scotch whisky distilleries that have been closed for 34 years. Work is set to begin on the Port Ellen and Brora sites - Port Ellen still houses a maltings unit, while Brora is next to Diageo's Clynelish distillery - in the coming months, ahead of becoming operational by 2020. Shortly after the announcement, just-drinks spoke to the group's head of whisky outreach, Nick Morgan, about the news.


"We have never seen anything like this level of enthusiasm for American whiskey" - Interview, Heaven Hill Brands president Max Shapira 20 Jun 2017

Later this year, US spirits firm Heaven Hill Brands will see both a new Bourbon and a new vodka production facility become operational. Yesterday, just-drinks sat down with Heaven Hill president Max Shapira at Vinexpo in Bordeaux to talk about family ownership, the Bourbon boom and the company's investment in vodka.


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