The just-drinks Interview

The just-drinks Interview

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



"We are already producing Champagne in a climate that's different from our fathers'" - just-drinks speaks to the Comite Champagne 9 Oct 2019

The Champagne industry prides itself on being at the forefront of the climate change battle, producing in 2001 wine's first report on the effects a warming planet will have on growing and production. This week, Champagne's overseer, the Comité Champagne (CIVC), released its latest sustainability report, revealing that climate change is no longer a prospect on the horizon but is already having an effect on how Champagne is made. Earlier this week, just-drinks sat down with CIVC director of communications Thibaut Le Mailloux to talk about the threat of climate change and what needs to be done to protect Champagne.


"Not being in the American whiskey category has been something we wanted to change" - just-drinks speaks to Pernod Ricard CFO Helene de Tissot - Part II 19 Sep 2019

In the first part of our exclusive interview with Pernod Ricard CFO Hélène de Tissot, we learned more about her experiences in Asia and in M&A. Here, in part two, de Tissot discusses Kentucky Bourbon, Castle Brands, Chinese whiskey and Pernod's wine operations.


"We're looking for brands that can bring new growth opportunities to the group" - just-drinks speaks to Pernod Ricard CFO Helene de Tissot - Part I 17 Sep 2019

In late-August, Pernod Ricard reported its results for fiscal-2019, the 12 months to the end of June. Sales in the year rose by 6%, although the group's key US market came in flat. Earlier this month, just-drinks editor Olly Wehring sat down with CFO Hélène de Tissot in London, following the company's presentation on its most recent performance. In part one of this exclusive two-part interview, we look at de Tissot's experiences in Asia and in the M&A arena, and discuss some of the macro-economic challenges facing the likes of Pernod.


"The world has changed dramatically" - just-drinks speaks to Distell Group CEO Richard Rushton about fiscal-2019 5 Sep 2019

Late last week, South Africa's Distell Group reported a 9.4% lift in sales from the 12 months to the end of June. Following the results announcement, just-drinks caught up with the multi-category company's CEO, Richard Rushton.


Pernod Ricard's Chinese malt whisky distillery - just-drinks speaks to China MD Jean-Etienne Gourgues and Asia marketing head Tracy Kwan 29 Aug 2019

Earlier today, Pernod Ricard unveiled plans to build a malt whisky distillery near Mount Emei, one of China's four sacred Buddhist peaks. The distillery is expected to start production in 2021, with the first product set to be released in 2023. just-drinks deputy editor Andy Morton spoke to Pernod's China MD, Jean-Etienne Gourgues, and Asia VP of marketing Tracy Kwan by phone from Emei to hear more about the project.


"TWE could be an acquirer of other people's wine businesses" - just-drinks speaks to Treasury Wine Estates CEO Michael Clarke - Part II 16 Aug 2019

In part II of an exclusive interview, Treasury Wine Estates CEO Michael Clarke talks to just-drinks editory Olly Wehring about his ambitions in the US, the company's pricing strategy and aborted plans to launch a 19 Crimes whiskey.


"We want to be the number one importer of French wine into Asia" - just-drinks speaks to Treasury Wine Estates CEO Michael Clarke - Part I 16 Aug 2019

Earlier this week, Treasury Wine Estates reported a healthy showing in the 12 months to the end of June, with group sales rising by 12% on the corresponding period a year earlier. just-drinks editor Olly Wehring caught up with group CEO Michael Clarke in a very early-morning call to Australia


"The US is the one market where we've not seen gin's momentum develop" - Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes talks to just-drinks 25 Jul 2019

Earlier today, Diageo announced its results for the 12 months to the end of June, with mid-single-digit sales increases fast becoming the norm. just-drinks editor Olly Wehring spoke to group CEO Ivan Menezes about the latest figures.


"Taking pricing on your core trademarks is part of the premiumisation journey" - just-drinks meets Beam Suntory CEO Albert Baladi - Part II 11 Jul 2019

In the first part of our interview with Beam Suntory's CEO, which was published earlier this week, Albert Baladi talked broadly about the group, its strategy going forward and how Beam intends to grow. Here, in part two, we look at the company's portfolio and the positioning of and prospects for its major brands.


"The craft beer buying spree created some confusion in the marketplace" - just-drinks speaks to Paul Gatza, Brewers Association senior VP of professional brewing 5 Jun 2019

In an increasingly-competitive beer market, craft brewers to be underselling their sustainability credentials. Paul Gatza, senior VP of the professional brewing division at the Brewers Association, speaks with Ben Cooper about what sets craft brewers apart and why they seem not to be taking full advantage of some natural strengths. 


"There's been a big consumer shift in drinks" - just-drinks speaks to Distill Ventures CEO Frank Lampen 23 May 2019

Since coming into being almost six years ago, Distill Ventures has continued to make headlines in the drinks industry. The Diageo-backed incubation project may be best-known for investing in Seedlip, the non-alcoholic spirits brand. The biggest break, however, came late last year, when Diageo brought Belsazr Vermouth on to its books after the German brand was backed by DV in 2014. Earlier this month, Olly Wehring sat down with co-founder & CEO Frank Lampen to find out more about Distill Ventures and its relationship with thelargest premium spirits company in the world.


"If the domestic retailers had our growth, they would be singing and dancing" - just-drinks speaks to ex-TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortensen 13 May 2019

Prior to the TFWA Asia-Pacific exhibition, which kicks off in Singapore this week, just-drinks news & insights editor Andy Morton met Erik Juul-Mortensen, the former head of TFWA. The interview, which took place just before Juul-Mortensen left the association late last year, covers the Global Travel Retail expert's parting thoughts on the industry, including the challenges the sector faces from falling footfall and margin pressures, as well as the threat - and opportunity - of digital.


"Our strategy is to double the top and halve the bottom" - Interview, Kay Nash, MD of Distell's Libertas Vineyards & Estates 3 Apr 2019

It's been less than three months since Kay Nash was unveiled as the head of South African multi-category drinks group Distell's new premium wine unit, called Libertas Vineyards & Estates. However, the management consultant and self-described "fixer" has been working for the company since the start of the last year, seeding the ground for one of Distell's most ambitious projects to date.


"Irish whiskey and gin can't rest on their laurels" - Interview, Shane Hoyne, CMO, Quintessential Brands 12 Mar 2019

Last month, Quintessential Brands opened the doors for the first time to its The Dublin Liberties Irish whiskey distillery and visitor experience, making its mark on the city's burgeoning whiskey scene. Ahead of the launch event, just-drinks deputy editor Lucy Britner sat down with Quintessential's CMO, Shane Hoyne, to talk about brand homes, the future of the Irish whiskey category and the company's broader acquisition plans.


"Africa is Asia in 15 to 20 years from today" - just-drinks speaks to Pernod Ricard CEO Alex Ricard 19 Feb 2019

Earlier this month, Pernod Ricard released its results for the second half of 2018. The group posted a 7.8% increase in sales from the six months to the end of December, with the top-line rising by 5.6% in the last quarter. Last week, just-drinks spoke to group CEO Alex Ricard in London, following a presentation to UK media about Pernod's half-year performance.


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