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The best views and opinions in beverage industry publishing, all in one place, from beverage's monthly columnists and in-house experts.

COVID is opening up aged spirits to a new world

The dizzying rise of digital communication and purchasing brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has the potential to revolutionise the aged...

PepsiCo's Driftwell launch a seachange for drinks

In the late 1800s, cola drink producers started out on a path to global success selling patented medicinal beverages. This week, the soft dr...

Wine's COVID battle to balance supply with demand

As the grape harvest hits its peak in the northern hemisphere, category commentator Chris Losh surveys the devastation wreaked by COVID-19 a...

Coca-Cola's job cuts are just the start - comment

In soft drinks, The Coca-Cola Co leads and others follow. This holds true in so many areas it can only be because the company of Coke, Fanta...

Why brewers should think twice before ditching awards competitions - comment 24 Sep 2020

Stephen Beaumont

As COVID-19 has turned the flood of marketing dollars to a trickle, one major victim for drinks companies has been the entering of their brands into category competitions. This month, beer commentator Stephen Beaumont provides advice for the brewers out there struggling with the existential question: What do awards actually do?

The rise of adaptogens - the continued evolution of health & wellness in soft drinks - comment 8 Sep 2020

Lucy Britner

This month, soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner takes a closer look at the increasing number of drinks that offer more than one functional element.

Why brewers should look to add distilling to their armoury - comment 27 Aug 2020

Stephen Beaumont

Category commentator Stephen Beaumont returns with his monthly fix of all things beer. Here Stephen considers the opportunity - and challenge - facing brewers who are thinking of entering the spirits arena.

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

Richard Woodard

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?

Diageo pays US$610m to harness Ryan Reynolds' content superpowers - comment 18 Aug 2020

Andy Morton

If asked, Diageo would probably claim it owns a number of superheroes already - Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff spring to mind. Now it has one more.

Why RTDs could spur the next wave of growth for whisky - comment 13 Aug 2020

Amy Hopkins

The ready-to-drink category has emerged as the unlikely hero of the drinks world. Whisky - particularly Scotch - has been slow to capitalise on the trend, but a wealth of planned NPD could offer a lifeline for a segment that has famously struggled to connect with a younger audience. Category commentator Amy Hopkins investigates.

Why mindful consumption will bring carbon counting to soft drinks labels - comment 5 Aug 2020

Lucy Britner

The first half of this year has seen many nascent trends accelerate, most notably in the areas of health & wellness and environmental consciousness. Category commentator Lucy Britner believes that, going forward, the soft drinks brand owners should prepare to share even more information with their consumers.

The Coca-Cola Co's hard seltzer launch is a statement of intent - comment 31 Jul 2020

Andy Morton

The Coca-Cola Co's announcement it is to release an alcoholic sparkling water in Latin America shouldn't be a surprise. But it is.

Why 'Quality Control' is the name of the beer game, no matter your size - comment 31 Jul 2020

Stephen Beaumont

Although not the most glamorous aspect of brewing, being able to provide the consumer with an assurance of your beer's quality is where it's at. Category commentator Stephen Beaumont believes that what has previously been the preserve of the indusry's larger brewers now needs to trickle down - not literally - into craft beer.

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

Richard Woodard

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.

Heritage is holding spirits brands back from progress - comment 16 Jul 2020

Amy Hopkins

The Black Lives Matter movement has forced the drinks industry to take a long, hard look in the mirror. For this reflection to turn into long-term action and progress, however, it's time whisky and rum brand owners reassess their blind loyalty to heritage, writes Amy Hopkins.

Brewers should offload value assets as worst-case COVID scenario fails to materialise - comment 10 Jul 2020

Andy Morton

In the same way that sports fans might jump at the pre-game offer of a draw against feared opponents, Carlsberg management would probably have been happy if - when the coronavirus lockdown started - a benevolent angel granted them a guaranteed half-year sales slide of 'only' 12%.

Why black lives in wine should matter more than ever before - comment 9 Jul 2020

Chris Losh

More than any other drinks category, wine has long had an issue with diversity. For long-standing wine commentator Chris Losh, the Black Lives Matter movement has engendered a strong sense of deja-vu.

Why COVID-19 has restored plastic's popularity in soft drinks - comment 7 Jul 2020

Lucy Britner

Before COVID-19 changed everything, 'plastic' was little more than a dirty word that was only getting dirtier. Now, however, the packaging material could provide a neat solution to consumer unease over cleanliness. Lucy Britner explains.

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

Richard Woodard

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.

Spirits gift boxes are on the way out, they will not be missed - comment 25 Jun 2020

Andy Morton

Remy Cointreau's announcement this week that it is to discontinue more gift boxes for Remy Martin is another nail in the coffin of cardboard packaging.

Black Lives Matter - How brewers can be part of the coming change - comment 23 Jun 2020

Stephen Beaumont

The 'Black Lives Matter' movement has prompted us all as individuals to question our views on our fellow humans. Companies are not immune from this self cross-examination, with beer commentator Stephen Beaumont suggesting the brewing community has a big part to play in driving future equality for the black community.

Why craft whisky/whiskey will never be the same again - comment 11 Jun 2020

Amy Hopkins

The craft whisk(e)y industry is trapped in a vice, with pressure from the coronavirus pandemic and retaliatory tariffs deepening the cracks that have existed for some time. In her debut for just-drinks, dark spirits category commentator Amy Hopkins forecasts that the road to recovery will be long and hard, and only the strong will survive.

Brown-Forman's Chambord write-down signals tough times ahead for back-bar stalwarts - comment 10 Jun 2020

Andy Morton

Yesterday's results from Brown-Forman have made it clear that when it comes to the fallout from the coronavirus, spirits brands will have vastly differing fortunes.

Is there something wrong with C&C Group? - comment 5 Jun 2020

Olly Wehring

Forgive my patronising tone, but I'm worried about you. I'm talking to C&C Group, who despite posting a lift in full-year sales earlier this week, looks precariously-placed to weather the current - and future - choppy waters. And, as companies everywhere work to line up their ducks in a row to survive the coronavirus pandemic and its wider impact, I'm worried that some of your ducks may be dying - or dead.

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