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

25 Jun 2021 (Last Updated July 1st, 2021 11:11)

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

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

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce our inaugural awards! The Just Drinks Excellence Awards will celebrate the greatest achievements and innovations in the global drinks industry over the past 12 months.

Those of you who work in the beer category are invited to the International Beer Strategies Roundtable Forum, which takes place this coming Wednesday.

In his latest look at the global beverage industry from an analyst’s perspective, Ian Shackleton dares to step into the marketing department and then has the temerity to ask: Does the drinks industry have a purpose?

Returning from the brewing frontline with his latest beer missive for Just Drinks, category commentator Stephen Beaumont has some sound advice for the craft sector.

The Consumer Goods Forum was in session this week. To consider the FMCG trends among consumers emerging from lockdowns, Just Drinks met yesterday with the lead for consumer goods & services at consultancy group Accenture, Oliver Wright, ahead of his talk at the event.

In the US, White Claw has been a phenomenon in hard seltzer. Brand owner Mark Anthony now has international designs. Earlier this month, Just Drinks spoke to Davin Nugent, the head of Mark Anthony’s international business, to hear more about White Claw’s success so far and the plans for the future.

The need to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is non-negotiable, and all companies have no choice but to take action now.

Here’s Just Drinks’ coverage of Heineken’s latest United Breweries stake purchase:

Heineken has taken majority control of United Breweries after buying a further 15% stake in the Indian group.

It may have only taken 13 years, but Heineken has finally secured majority control of Kingfisher brand owner United Breweries.

Just Drinks explores the recent history of beer consumption in the world’s second-most populous country, where only 15% of the population consumes alcohol.

In Just Drinks’ data centre this week:

Roust Group is to launch its Russian Standard vodka in Japan.

Holmes Cay Rum has launched the first in a new collection of limited edition rums.

On our news pages:

Global Travel Retail is on course for a better-than-expected COVID rebound as consumers spend to excess while “revenge shopping”, an industry forum has heard.

Accolade Wines has bought UK pear cider brand Lambrini from Halewood Artisanal Spirits.

Just Drinks thinks: Since changing its name to Halewood Artisanal Spirits last year, the UK drinks group has always seemed a bit embarrassed by its ownership of cheap-and-cheerful Lambrini. That attitude struck me as slightly short-sighted as the pear cider has great brand recognition in the UK, and the potential to be a nostalgia-fuelled hit. That said, as a wine company, Accolade may be better placed to take the wine-style Lambrini up the value chain into better profitability. [Deputy editor Andy Morton]

Big Rock Brewery has joined forces with Canadian musicians The Tragically Hip to launch a beer in their home market.

The new Santiago de Cuba bottles come two years on from the signing of a distribution agreement with the Cuban Government.

Just Drinks thinks: Diageo’s overhaul of Cuba Ron’s Santiago de Cuba shows it is getting serious about the rum it handles in partnership with the Cuban Government. It also signals a new Cuba-shaped front in the Caribbean rum wars as a category previously dominated by Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club is joined by both Santiago and Moet Hennessy’s Eminente Reserve. The battle will be hard fought, with the only sure winner being the state-owned Cuba Ron, which operates JVs for all three rums. [Deputy editor Andy Morton]

Pernod Ricard has forecast an even stronger double-digit lift in profits from fiscal-2021, with the group’s post-COVID recovery rate “proving stronger than anticipated”.

Saicho is adding two more unit sizes to its namesake sparkling RTD tea brand in the UK.

Just Drinks thinks: I’m not sure if it is just that people’s hangovers are getting worse, but the amount of non-alcoholic choices in the UK is growing stronger by the day. And in a country where tea is a cultural stereotype, perhaps a sparkling version will take off. As for alcohol, sparkling hard teas are already gaining traction in the US. Is it not time for the home of the cuppa to get some of its own? [Reporter Rhodri Morgan]

PepsiCo has declined to comment on whether the group plans to launch a hard seltzer or other alcoholic drink after filing new trademarks in the US.

Just Drinks thinks: It’s been eight months since PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta said he was “reflecting” on PepsiCo dipping its toes in alcohol. As The Coca-Cola Co continues to roll out Topo Chico Hard Seltzer around the world, surely it’s just a matter of time before PepsiCo joins the party. A caffeinated hard seltzer would be sure to make some noise – once it gets past the regulators. [Reporter Rhodri Morgan]