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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.

Whatever happened to binge Britain? - comment

Ten years ago today, when the new Licensing Act came into effect in the UK, I was a cub reporter on licensed-trade newspaper The Morning Adv...

The dangers of squaring up to your competitor

Do you remember the Pepsi Taste Challenge? Richard Woodard does, and he sees echoes of it in Bacardi's latest activation for its Oakheart sp...

Dear wine writer, what are you talking about?

Earlier this autumn, Andrew Jefford wrote a short piece about ‘how to write tasting notes’. It was - rather like a good tasting note - short...

Will McDonalds' tie-up help Monster catch Red Bull

This month, Ray Rowlands turns his attention to the recently-reported link-up in the US between Monster Beverage Corp and the McDonald’s fas...

Balmy summer boosts bottled water in Western Europe - Comment 11 Nov 2015

Richard Corbett

A decade ago, West Europe accounted for nearly four in every ten litres of packaged water sold globally, according to Canadean. By the end of last year, that had shrunk to little more than a fifth. While the global market for packaged water has jumped by 75%, the West European market has managed to creep up by just 4% in the last ten years and 2014’s West European sales remain below that of their 2006 high water mark, when much of Europe basked in tropical weather conditions.

Why is the rum category telling the wrong story? - Comment 27 Oct 2015

Richard Woodard

'Decade of Rum': The title chosen by the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA) for its recently-published report is an eye-catching one, but is it remotely accurate? Yes. And no.

Can still makers cope with the craft spirits explosion? - Comment 23 Oct 2015

Ian Buxton

Much has been written recently about the impact of the boom in craft distilling on the spirits sector. Depending on your point of view it offers colour, variety and innovation or possibly is nothing more than a minor diversion of little long-term significance and trivial volumes.

Lap of luxury - How Remy Cointreau plans to kick-start Cognac - Comment 23 Oct 2015

Lucy Britner

The latest brand to join the quest to recruit new Coganc drinkers is Remy Cointreau's Remy Martin. The company revealed its new campaign to analysts and journalists at its headquarters in Cognac, with the aim of turning the consumer view of "I respect Remy Martin, they have a great product" to "I love Remy Martin, it's the brand for me."

Can coconut water repeat its US success in Europe? - Comment 20 Oct 2015

Richard Corbett

Coconut water has been drunk in parts of the world for thousands of years but, with the exception of Robinson Crusoe and maybe a few others, the concept is still relatively new among European consumers.

Diageo and Treasury Wine Estates - How times have changed - Editor's Viewpoint 14 Oct 2015

Olly Wehring

The timing could have been better, but yesterday's divestment of much of Diageo's wine operations has been mooted for a while. What is ironic, though, is that the buyer was itself offered to Diageo as an acquisition opportunity less than seven years ago.

Who are the winners and losers of AB InBev's takeover of SABMiller? - Comment 13 Oct 2015

Larry Nelson

As Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller agree to discuss a mutually-satisfactory takeover offer, Larry Nelson looks at who can be considered a winner and who a loser, should the US$104bn purchase go through.

Anheuser-Busch InBev has SABMiller on the ropes – Editor's Viewpoint 12 Oct 2015

Olly Wehring

If I were a betting man – and, I am told on occasions like these that I'm not allowed to be, 'cos it's illegal – I'd stick the house on Anheuser-Busch InBev. The brewer has today got SABMiller, if not in a corner, then certainly on the ropes.

Japan's drinks companies and the global soft drinks race - Comment 8 Oct 2015

Ray Rowlands

This month, Ray Rowlands follows the progress of the latest Japanese company to look beyond its domestic market: DyDo Drinco has high hopes for its entry into Turkey.

Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller - Here's what's going to happen next - Editor's Viewpoint 7 Oct 2015

Olly Wehring

We finally have some numbers to play with in Anheuser-Busch InBev's tussle with SABMiller. Add in a deadline that is only days away, and we've got ourselves our own drinks industry cliffhanger going on.

Is the time right for Treasury Wine Estates to swoop for Diageo's wine business? - Comment 6 Oct 2015

Chris Losh

It’s hard to believe now, but when Diageo acquired Seagram’s wine operations in late-2000, it was seen as a real opportunity; exciting even. Spirits, after all, were sluggish at the time, whereas wine was in impressive growth in the US and Europe. This, it was felt at the time, could be a niched, but prestigious, addition to the business.

Will a sexed-up SABMiller tempt AB InBev to reach for its wallet? - Editor's viewpoint 6 Oct 2015

Olly Wehring

It's all too much to happen on one day for this to be a coincidence, surely? Is SABMiller showing a bit of leg to Anheuser-Busch InBev while simultaneously whispering “higher, higher” in its suitor's ear? That's what two developments today suggest.

Is Brown-Forman at the end of the Southern Comfort road? - Editor's Viewpoint 5 Oct 2015

Olly Wehring

Much as Brown-Forman would not be drawn on reports last week that its Southern Comfort whiskey liqueur has been put up for sale, the brand's performances of late suggest that the end is, if not already upon it, then just around the corner.

Is Brown-Forman doing a Jack Daniel's with its Irish whiskey brand? - Comment 2 Oct 2015

Lucy Britner

At the official ground-breaking ceremony for Brown-Forman's Slane Castle Irish whiskey distillery this week, the talk among a few of the guests was about why the company - which outlined heritage as an important factor when it comes to targeting new consumers - hadn't chosen to buy a moth-balled distillery with a ready-made history.

Are we kidding ourselves over craft spirits? - Comment 1 Oct 2015

Richard Woodard

This month, Richard Woodard drills down into the perceived threat of craft spirits and finds more than just a load of small-scale brand names to worry about.

What does 'luxury' mean to Millennials? - Comment 23 Sep 2015

Lucy Britner

At Beam Suntory's big reveal for Courvoisier in Paris, it became clear that more and more brands are on a quest for authenticity, in order to reach that all-important Millennial consumer. The latest brand alignment sees Courvoisier back in Paris, where it was the toast of the Golden Age and the drink enjoyed at the opening of the Eiffel Tower in 1889.

What have craft spirits ever done for us? - Comment 22 Sep 2015

Ian Buxton

Much has been made of the effect that the rise of the craft spirits segment has had on the broader spirits category. Ian Buxton, however, believes that effect isn't quite as powerful as some have previously feared.

What the new Johnnie Walker campaign says about the next generation of consumers 18 Sep 2015

Lucy Britner

Another day, another new advertising campaign. Naturally it’s the biggest/best/furthest-reaching/boldest/most innovative (delete as appropriate). And everyone who worked on it thinks it’s great.

AB InBev and SABMiller - The birth of MegaBrew - Comment 16 Sep 2015

Larry Nelson

Finally, the moment everyone in the brewing universe has been waiting for has arrived, not with a thunderclap or volcanic eruption or heralds trumpeting, but rather with a prosaic exchange of email alerts.

Editor's Viewpoint - AB InBev and SABMiller – We (all) told you so 16 Sep 2015

Olly Wehring

Today's confirmation that Anheuser-Busch InBev is exploring a bid for SABMiller will have come as a surprise to precisely nobody in the global beer industry. And, while it is by no means a done-deal, there's a certain sense of inevitability about it that many have felt for quite a while now.

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