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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.

Aged spirits in 2021 - just-drinks predicts

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2021 will shape their respective sectors. Here's...

Wine in 2021 - just-drinks predicts

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2021 will shape their respective sectors. Here's...

Your Christmas will be calmer than Marie Brizard's

There's something macabre about considering the future prospects of a drinks company on 23 December. The news from Marie Brizard Wine & Spir...

Tariffs risk reversing Australian wine's hard work

Earlier today, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) advanced an on-going anti-dumping investigation into Australian wine with the announcem...

What's coming up in soft drinks in 2021? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment 5 Jan 2021

Lucy Britner

As 2021 kicks off, soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner offers her views on the key trends that are set to shape the category during the next 12 months.

Why Strava’s explosive lockdown growth presents digital opportunities for sports drinks - comment - FREE TO ACCESS 21 Dec 2020


Digital fitness and exercise platform Strava has recently reported that it is receiving approximately 2m app registrations per month. The app's explosive popularity during lockdown periods reflects the notable consumer shift to self-managed digital fitness, as well as a promising opportunity for the suffering sports drinks market during the pandemic period.

How to tailor your spirits marketing to the consumer of today - and tomorrow - comment 26 Nov 2020

Richard Woodard

Virtue signalling is a very easy hole to fall down when it comes to marketing spirits brands - particularly today with the hyper-connected consumer. However, category commentator Richard Woodard believes he has found an activation that skirts the hole and ticks all the 21st Century spirits brand boxes.

Remy Cointreau finds balance after China over-reliance - comment 26 Nov 2020

Olly Wehring

In a year like this, good news in the spirits category has been thin on the ground. While the first three months of 2020 were... okay, the second quarter - to the end of June - saw the sky fall in for all the brand owners out there. Much as the third quarter was better than the second, spirits sales across the board were still not where companies wanted them to be. Maybe we should all write off this year, then, and steer our optimism to 2021.

How hops could become part of beer's marketing lexicon - comment 25 Nov 2020

Stephen Beaumont

In days gone by, the role of hops in brewing was only of interest to the true beer aficionado. Times have changed and, with the advent of the craft brewing boom, consumers know more about hops than brand owners give them credit for. Category commentator Stephen Beaumont believes this awareness offers a marketing opportunity for beer brands big and small.

Juice on the slide in North America as consumers shift towards healthy and functional hydration - comment 24 Nov 2020


The North American juice market is expected to decline in value from US$14.8bn in 2019 to $12.5bn by 2023, according to GlobalData, with the downward trend expected to continue along pre-COVID lines.

Signs of trouble as Heineken faces China distribution gap - comment 23 Nov 2020

Andy Morton

It is almost 15 years since I managed a bar in Chengdu, one of China's biggest second-tier cities, but I still remember the early afternoon opening ritual; shutters up, music on and a quick restock of the fridge before customers arrived.

Bang Energy's explosive fall-out with PepsiCo throws spotlight on coffee versus energy - comment 18 Nov 2020

Andy Morton

There is a certain lop-sidedness to the announcement of distribution deals. When signed, they are accompanied by press releases packed with fulsome praise. Less fanfare is produced for their termination, a process that often takes place quietly and behind closed doors.

Why aged spirits should be wary of opaque low- & no-alcohol trend - comment 10 Nov 2020

Amy Hopkins

The seemingly-unstoppable rise of the low- & no-alcohol movement has resulted in an abundance of new brands and line extensions. But, Amy Hopkins warns, aged spirits would do well to tread carefully, lest they lose the consumer's trust and respect.

COVID's acceleration of technological solutions in the vineyard - comment 5 Nov 2020

Chris Losh

With necessity long being the mother of invention, the COVID crisis has brought outlying technology into the mainstream, and at speed. Wine category commentator Chris Losh has seen similar leaps and bounds at the production end of the wine industry.

How COVID has changed consumers' demands and soft drinks is adapting its innovation - comment 3 Nov 2020

Lucy Britner

From range rationalisation to investment in larger formats and work around direct-to-consumer, the pandemic has shifted the innovation focus for soft drinks companies. Lucy Britner delves further.

How to adapt your beer sales to the 'new normal' - comment 29 Oct 2020

Stephen Beaumont

Back in the early days of the novel coronavirus, a pandemic that has become so much a part of our lives this year, brewery owners and operators were focused on one thing and one thing only: Survival. No one had the time to waste pondering how the market might play out in six months or a year when many, perhaps even most, industry observers were predicting the very strong possibility of an industry collapse.

Why copying gin's template for growth risks doing rum a grave disservice - comment 27 Oct 2020

Richard Woodard

Cross-pollination among spirits categories offers scope for innovation-led growth for brand owners. Indeed, this is a well-trodden path with many success stories. However, category commentator Richard Woodard believes rum brands must be way more selective in who they choose to ape if they're ever going to get rum to recognise its long-expected potential.

Indonesia the wildcard for Coca-Cola European Partners in Coca-Cola Amatil acquisition - comment 26 Oct 2020

Andy Morton

Over the weekend, Coca-Cola European Partners offered a textbook example of how to turn a crisis to one's advantage. As markets reel from the coronavirus and Coca-Cola soft drinks sales stumble, the European bottler revealed a bid for all of Coca-Cola Amatil's shares - including the 30% owned by The Coca-Cola Co.

Why the latest sexism row will be a watershed moment for whisky - comment 15 Oct 2020

Amy Hopkins

The recent campaign against Jim Murray's 'Whisky Bible' has shone a light on sexism in whisky, and there's no turning it off now. Brands will need to take a proactive, as opposed to merely reactive, stance to show that their condemnation of misogyny and commitment to inclusivity goes beyond lip service, says Amy Hopkins.

South Africa's wine industry is on its knees and it's not just thanks to COVID - comment 8 Oct 2020

Chris Losh

South Africa's wine producers have been hard-done-by this year, more so than any other wine-producing nation. As Chris Losh explains, the country's handling of the coronavirus pandemic is a case study in 'How not to support your high-profile industries'.

Why bottled water should tap into more drinking occasions - comment 6 Oct 2020

Lucy Britner

Our soft drinks category commentator, Lucy Britner, turns her attention this month to bottled water - and spies some burgeoning growth opportunities.

How to win in vodka in the US - A history lesson - comment 1 Oct 2020

Richard Woodard

Vodka is one of the most competitive spirits categories out there and only more so in the US. Want to get ahead? Well, according to white spirits commentator Richard Woodard, you'll have to look backwards to move forwards.

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?

How COVID is opening up aged spirits to a whole new world - comment 17 Sep 2020

Amy Hopkins

The dizzying rise of digital communication and purchasing brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has the potential to revolutionise the aged spirits market in the long term. Category commentator Amy Hopkins explains.

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