This week on Just Drinks - Here’s what we think - Just Drinks
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This week on Just Drinks – Here’s what we think

07 Jan 2022 (Last Updated January 7th, 2022 16:09)

Here's a round-up of Just Drinks' latest members-only content as well as a look at this week's top beverage headlines, along with our thoughts.

This week on Just Drinks – Here’s what we think

Multi-category cannabis group Tilray has been active in beverage M&A over the past year. Just Drinks caught up with CEO Irwin Simon to hear more about the company’s thinking behind its shopping.

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2022 will shape their respective sectors. Here’s our wine expert, Chris Losh, with his take on the year ahead.

Category commentator Amy Hopkins considers what 2022 has in store for aged spirits brand owners.

Just Drinks consolidates the M&A activity in the global beverages industry during December, a month that saw Tilray continue its North American beer buying streak, Coca-Cola FEMSA build its Brazilian footprint and front-page controversy quash a Tequila buy.

In spirits, the category widely acknowledged as having ‘won’ during the pandemic is Tequila. As consumers reverted to mixing cocktails at home, brand owners such as Cuervo were perfectly placed to capitalise on the continued appetite – particularly in the US – for margaritas, regardless of location.

It is a long-standing rule in beverages’ frontier category – do not talk about mixing cannabis drinks with alcohol. Actually, just don’t mention alcohol at all. Late last month, that taboo – a product of the threat of regulatory retaliation and the sense your average consumer is just not ready for it – was broken in spectacular style by none other than Hollywood actor Kate Hudson.

Health & safety, resource scarcity and renewable energy were the fastest emerging investment themes in the drinks industry last year, according to an analysis of trends across three pillars of key investment activity.

The International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research starts the year with a look at research into alcohol’s role in the likelihood of developing brain tumours.

On Just Drinks’ news pages:

Constellation Brands has posted a mid-single-digit sales decrease from its fiscal third quarter on challenging comparatives a year earlier.

Just Drinks thinks: Constellation is fast shaping up to be the Pernod Ricard of beer, with a small – but vital – presence in other alcohol categories beyond its core. Much as the brewing operations hog the headlines – and, with such impressive growth rates, that’s not entirely surprising – the ongoing presence in spirits and wine is still important to the group: A group that only nine years ago had no beer brands to speak of whatsoever. [Editor Olly Wehring]

The Coca-Cola Co has launched a ranch water extension of its Topo Chico Hard Seltzer brand in the US.

Molson Coors Beverage Co has launched the latest US marketing campaign for its Coors Banquet beer brand.

Just Drinks thinks: Among reports that Netflix’s subscriber growth is slowing, Cobra Kai rolls on, and with it the relationship between beverage brand owners and streaming services. The only way to win the lifetime supply of Coors Banquet is to sit and watch all ten episodes as quickly as possible and, crucially, faster than anyone else. Then again, that’s what most of the world has been doing in lockdown over the last two years. [Reporter Rhodri Morgan]

Anheuser-Busch InBev has launched a new 0% abv beer from its Corona brand that contains vitamin D.

Just Drinks thinks: Vitamin-enriched brands are a growing presence in soft drinks so it was only a matter of time before brewers got in on the act. Corona Sunbrew is likely to be a small-scale release from A-B InBev but will be a useful guide as to whether consumers want a bit of sunshine with their non-alc brews. [Deputy editor Andy Morton]

Constellation Brands has entered into a partnership with The Coca-Cola Co for an alcoholic line from the latter’s Fresca CSD brand.

Anheuser-Busch InBev has terminated its partnership with Canadian cannabis company Tilray.

Just Drinks thinks: As Constellation Brands and Molson Coors Beverage Co dig deeper into cannabis beverages, A-B InBev has taken a significant step back. It may be that the brewer didn’t want to take its three-year partnership with Tilray any further, but as the Canadian cannabis company is one of the biggest names out there in the industry, I suspect A-B InBev’s reticence has more to do with the lack of progress on federal legalisation of cannabis in the US. A corporate entity the size of the Budweiser owner will surely bide its time until full legalisation for beverages is realised. [Deputy editor Andy Morton]

Former NFL player Troy Aikman has unveiled a new beer in the US, according to a recent report.

Just Drinks thinks: Troy Aikman has a knack for getting things done in a short space of time. After winning three Super Bowls in four years for the Dallas Cowboys, it’s taken him two years to develop and launch Eight beer. It’s also ironic that one of the NFL’s most famous players – and now most-loved commentators – is launching a challenger brand to long-time league sponsor Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Bud Light. [Reporter Rhodri Morgan]

Big on Social Media last quarter:

Just Drinks details five of the most popular tweets on beer in the final three months of last year, based on data from GlobalData’s ‘Consumer Influencer Platform’.

Just Drinks details five of the most popular tweets on non-alcoholic beverages in the final three months of last year, based on data from GlobalData’s ‘Consumer Influencer Platform’.

Just Drinks details five of the most popular tweets on spirits in the final three months of last year, based on data from GlobalData’s ‘Consumer Influencer Platform’.