The just-drinks Interview

The just-drinks Interview

Every month, just-drinks gives a drinks executive a grilling.



"The rest of Europe is so primed for hard seltzer" - just-drinks speaks to Loon Water co-founders Fabio & Francesca Bruni 23 Sep 2020

Loon Water founders Fabio and Francesca Bruni talk about the difference between the US and UK markets, why distillers risk brand dilution with big-name launches and where the global hard seltzer category goes from here.


"We're living in a world of the unknown" - just-drinks speaks to Umi Patel, CMO for PepsiCo Beverages North America north division 11 Sep 2020

Earlier this week, just-drinks spoke to Umi Patel, CMO for PBNA's north division, about tailoring experiences for fans of different teams, why PepsiCo is front-loading its marketing spend and the enduring appeal of the fan can.


"Health and safety is not incompatible with business continuity" - just-drinks speaks to Chivas Brothers CEO Jean-Christophe Coutures 3 Sep 2020

Earlier this week, Pernod Ricard reported a 9.5% fall in sales from the 12 months to the end of June. Editor Olly Wehring spoke to the CEO of Pernod's Chivas Brothers division shortly afterwards, to hear how Jean-Christophe Coutures rates the performance of the group's Scotch whisky division in fiscal-2020.


"Having a big uncle or auntie over your shoulder is priceless" - just-drinks speaks to Beavertown Brewery founder & Heineken partner Logan Plant 26 Aug 2020

What is it with Heineken and musicians? The Netherlands-based global brewer has been more particular with its craft brewery investments than, say acquisition-happy Anheuser-Busch InBev. But two of its biggest - Lagunitas and London's Beavertown - were both founded by frustrated rockstars.


"What we have right now is an unsustainable trading model"- just-drinks speaks to Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association 16 Jul 2020

Late last year, Emma McClarkin was appointed chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association. Within four months of taking the helm, the coronavirus pandemic prompted the outright closure of the UK on-premise channel. Speaking exclusively to just-drinks today, McClarkin talks us through her tenure so far and how - or if - her members have survived lockdown. She also considers what the 'new normal' will be like for the country's pubs and brewers.


Coca-Cola's Costa Coffee global expansion - just-drinks speaks to Prodromos Nikolaidis, Coca-Cola HBC's group coffee director 27 May 2020

just-drinks speaks to Coca-Cola HBC's group coffee director, Prodromos Nikolaidis, about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the company's roll out of the Costa Coffee platform, the prospect of a new battleground in Coca-Cola's rivalry with PepsiCo and whether we will see a Costa-branded Coke.


"By 2025, nootropic drinks will be worth over US$7bn - that's a conservative estimate." just-drinks speaks to Angela Kahn, co-founder of Tesla Nootropics Group 27 May 2020

In 2013, Angela Kahn took on a new idea to replace coffee and energy drinks for a healthier choice. Kahn left her job as VP & global brand director at the British Petroleum Company (BP) to start her own business, Tesla Nootropics Group (TNG), which was formed in 2016.


"'Watershed moment' is the right term to use" - Charlie Merrells, chief strategy officer for Amazon agency Molzi - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL 20 May 2020

Charlie Merrells left his job as Amazon's UK category head for beer, wines and spirits days before the coronavirus lockdown hit the country. He could hardly have picked a more tumultuous moment for retail as the pandemic pushed consumers - many for the first time - towards the e-commerce channel. In his new role as chief strategy officer for Amazon agency Molzi, Merrells is tasked with navigating companies through the new sales environment. Many of these firms have also been pushed towards the channel for the first time because of the coronavirus. In an interview with just-drinks this week, Merrells talks about what the rush to online has meant for beer, wines and spirits, the mistakes companies make when selling on Amazon and whether new trends for direct-to-consumer will outlive the pandemic.


"Company leaders really need to take a battlefield approach" - just-drinks speaks to Ross Colbert, KPMG Corporate Finance MD of global beverages - Part II - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL 7 May 2020

In the second part of just-drinks' exclusive interview with Ross Colbert, the MD of global beverages at KPMG Corporate Finance, we drill down into the coronavirus effect on the global drinks industry. Ross expands on his comments in part one about how consumer behaviour is adapting and also considers how the rest of 2020 will pan out.


"Zero-based budgeting hasn't been successful in building brands" - just-drinks speaks to Ross Colbert, MD of global beverages at KPMG Corporate Finance - Part I 5 May 2020

Late last week, just-drinks caught up with Ross Colbert, the MD of global beverages at KPMG Corporate Finance in New York. In the first part of our exclusive two-part interview, Ross looks at how the drinks industry's M&A landscape has evolved, what the coronavirus will do to company valuations and the rise of the 'hybrid consumer'.


China bounce-back a tonic for spirits - Zamora CEO Emilio Restoy - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL 30 Apr 2020

The alcohol industry is looking to China for indications of how the market will react after coronavirus lockdown measures are lifted. As China's on-premise reopens, one premium spirits & wine supplier with a exposure to the market is encouraged by what it is seeing.


"Who knew we'd launch in the middle of a pandemic?" - just-drinks speaks to Jade Padua, co-founder of new CBD beverage company G&Juice 23 Apr 2020

The whole world may be in lockdown, but despite the coronavirus pandemic the drinks industry refuses to stop. An example is G&Juice, a Californian, hemp-derived CBD beverage start-up whose plans for the release of its first products were thrown into disarray by COVID-19. Meetings with leading retailers and distributors scheduled for Expo West were lost when the Anaheim trade show was cancelled at the last minute, potentially cutting off G&Juice's route-to-market at a crucial stage. Undaunted, the three women at the helm of G&Juice have reassessed their plans, turning to smaller outlets in California that were calling out for stress-busting CBD products in a time of national emergency. Yesterday, just-drinks spoke to G&Juice co-founder & CMO Jade Padua, currently in lockdown in her home city of Toronto, Canada, about reacting to the cancelled Anaheim show, the positives of launching during a global pandemic and what US food safety authorities have in store for CBD beverages.


"This is one of the biggest opportunities to change the way we recycle plastic" - just-drinks speaks to Suntory Beverage & Food Europe chief R&D officer Roberto Vanin 15 Apr 2020

Last week, just-drinks spoke to Suntory Beverage & Food Europe's chief R&D officer, Roberto Vanin, to discuss the implications of a new enzyme that can break down plastic in a matter of hours.


"If you're a very small gin distillery, I think your days are numbered" - Mangrove MD Nick Gillett - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL 27 Mar 2020

The head of UK high-end spirits distributor Mangrove has spoken of his fears for the spirits industry as the coronavirus crisis deepens, warning that large distillers with production tied to one location may have issues sourcing bottles.


"No one wins. I don't see any company coming out of this up" - just-drinks speaks to Wine & Spirit Trade Association chief executive Miles Beale - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL 20 Mar 2020

As the coronavirus COVID-19 throws the UK into confusion this week, just-drinks speaks to the chief executive of the country's Wine & Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, to hear his view on a tumultuous few days - with no immediate end in sight.


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