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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.

Forget the Cola Wars, here comes the Coffee War

About two years ago, on holiday in Sicily, I fell deeply in love with coffee. I'd never really drunk it before, but since that first tentati...

What's coming up in beer in 2020? - Predictions

Our category previews of the year ahead continue. Here's beer expert Stephen Beaumont with his take on what will shape the brewing industry...

What's coming up in dark spirits in 2020?

The dawning of a new decade will bring plenty of surprises, creativity and optimism. As we welcome 2020, then, what will be the first likely...

What's coming up in soft drinks in 2020?

As 2020 kicks off, soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner offers her views on the key trends that are set to shape the category during the nex...


What's coming up in wine in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment 7 Jan 2020

Chris Losh

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2020 will shape their respective sectors. Here's Chris Losh, our wine expert, with his take on the year ahead.


Constellation Brands cuts losses on US$1bn Ballast Point folly - Comment 4 Dec 2019

Andy Morton

Ballast Point has fallen victim to the new broom of Constellation CEO Bill Newlands, who since his appointment in March has shown a determination to focus solely on the company's best-in-class brands.


US Champagne tariffs threaten critical blow to powerhouse market - just-drinks thinks 3 Dec 2019

Andy Morton

These are trying times for Champagne exporters. Three months after dodging a tariff bullet through their exclusion from a list of retaliatory US taxes on imported European goods, they now find themselves caught up in a separate trade war. That both of these transatlantic spates are over, respectively, aeroplanes and tech firms -  a world away from the vineyards of north-east France - must make the turmoil even harder to take.


Why spirits brand owners should embrace the cross-category trend - Comment 28 Nov 2019

Richard Woodard

Time was when spirits brands were sacred cows, held in such high esteem by their owners that they were kept in their categories and only allowed out to play with either flavour extensions or add-on iterations. Times have changed, though, and white spirits commentator Richard Woodard believes there is little - if anything - to be concerned about by letting your brand venture a bit further.


FDA must lead CBD out of the legal shadows - Comment 28 Nov 2019

Andy Morton

In declining to define CBD as a Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) ingredient this week, and sending warning letters to 15 companies selling products containing CBD, the US Food and Drug Administration has seemingly thrown the nascent CBD beverage category into doubt.


Why US craft beer is still holding its value - Comment 26 Nov 2019

Stephen Beaumont

just-drinks' beer commentator has had another craft acquisition to digest this month. Stephen Beaumont takes a closer look at Anheuser-Busch InBev's decision to eventually move for Craft Brew Alliance. His conclusions may differ from yours.


US craft beer gangs up to battle Mad Max market - Comment 21 Nov 2019

Andy Morton

When The Boston Beer Co agreed to combine with Dogfish Head Brewery in May, just-drinks wrote that it was the start of a new trend in US craft beer that will see independent brewers seek safety in numbers.


What challenges face the lower-abv wine segment? - Comment 19 Nov 2019

Chris Losh

While the efforts of brewers and distillers to create products with lower alcohol content are well-known, the wine industry has garnered far fewer such headlines. This month, category commentator Chris Losh looks at the difficulties affecting not only the production of 'lighter wine' but also the consumers' uptake of the concept - despite their purported interest.


What does rum need to do to recognise its potential? - Comment 12 Nov 2019

Neil Ridley

The much-touted 'demise' of gin is surely music to the rum category's collective ears. However, spirits commentator Neil Ridley argues the spirit must first find its way out of the Wild West and lose its 'sweet-toothed' perception before making a play for the hearts and throats of today's consumers.


What does Anheuser-Busch InBev's Craft Brew Alliance buy mean for US beer? - Comment 12 Nov 2019

Andy Morton

Everything comes to those who wait - especially if you have the deep pockets and corporate heft of Anheuser-Busch InBev.


Are full-sugar soft drinks the new niche? - Comment 5 Nov 2019

Lucy Britner

Has the sugar tax changed the playing field so much that full-sugar is now considered a niche selling point for soft drinks? Lucy Britner takes a closer look.


Is Molson Coors set to pivot away from beer? - Comment 31 Oct 2019

Andy Morton

There was a lot to take in from yesterday's news that Molson Coors is to massively overhaul its global operations. Top-line are the jobs losses - 400-500 is a big number and an undoubted hit to staff morale. That many of the job cuts will be in Molson Coors' spiritual home, Denver, will only inflame the hurt.


The industry may be bored of gin, but is the consumer? - Comment 31 Oct 2019

Richard Woodard

As new gin brands are unveiled almost by the hour, we within the drinks industry could justifiably be growing somewhat tired of it all. However, spirits commentator Richard Woodard suggests that we first look over our wall, before we complain.


The next big thing in North American beer is…? - Comment 29 Oct 2019

Stephen Beaumont

This month, beer category commentator Stephen Beaumont surveys the brewing scene in North America, and considers which beer style is poised to be brewers' Great White Hope. Again.


Will Michael Clarke's departure be a Champagne moment for Treasury Wine Estates? - Editor's Viewpoint 23 Oct 2019

Olly Wehring

Michael Clarke's tenure as CEO of Treasury Wine Estates has been remarkable. The hard-headed South African brought his FMCG nous to a company - and a category - that five years ago was in a far worse state than it is today.


Why single malt Scotch must ignore its core consumer - Comment 17 Oct 2019

Neil Ridley

Despite drawing criticism from certain quarters, the single malt Scotch whisky category must continue to strive for greater inspiration and innovation if it is to maintain its current trajectory, argues Neil Ridley.


Why Canada will shape the rules for cannabis beverages - Comment 16 Oct 2019

Andy Morton

Tomorrow is a big day for the cannabis beverage industry. After years of deliberations that eventually led to the federal legalisation of cannabis, edibles - as the digestible variants of cannabis products are known – will go on sale across Canada. This means that the cannabis beverage products companies have been working on in the lead up to October 17 will finally go on the shelves of dispensaries and other legal cannabis outlets in Canada.


Where should wine focus to buck the on-premise trend? - Comment 8 Oct 2019

Chris Losh

These are strange times for the on-premise channel, particularly when it comes to wine. Category commentator Chris Losh takes a look at one area of the on-premise channel that is in rude health, but it's an area full of challenges for the wine industry.


Soft drinks and plastic - The unbreakable bond - Comment 4 Oct 2019

Andy Morton

Have a guess at who said this: "We are the first generation to understand the consequences of our impact on the planet, and the last that can do something about it." The chief executive of Greenpeace? Greta Thunberg? Prince Harry? All wrong.


Has the soft drinks category missed the premiumisation train? - Comment 3 Oct 2019

Lucy Britner

The UK's gin boom has allowed for a raft of innovation in the mixers segment. In turn, the availability of premium mixers has provided non-drinkers with more sophisticated options. But, where does this leave the rest of the soft drinks category, asks Lucy Britner.


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