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

02 Jul 2021

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

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.

In April, Rémy Cointreau reported results for its fiscal-2021, to the end of March. A double-digit rise in sales from the group’s final quarter managed to pull full-year sales back into the black, up 1.8%. Here, Just Drinks picks apart Rémy Cointreau’s numbers over the last five years and considers the trends that are set to shape the future for the group.

While the coronavirus pandemic forced consumers to stay at home, the thirst for cocktails has remained unsated. Spirits commentator Richard Woodard looks at how home-cocktails could be made to be here to stay.

The pandemic has led to a sharp increase in plastic use and waste while dampening consumer concern about plastic pollution. Consumer pressure regarding plastic use is likely to intensify once again when the COVID-19 crisis subsides, Ben Cooper writes, but building a circular economy in the drinks sector will not be confined to addressing the challenges around plastic use or to packaging.

Earlier this year, Just Drinks analysed Molson Coors Beverage Co’s performance trends over the last five years. In this excerpt from the report, we consider what’s currently top of inbox for CEO Gavin Hattersley.

Constellation Brands released its latest results this week:

Constellation Brands has halted the construction of the group’s Mexican breweries.

Constellation Brands CEO Bill Newlands has hailed an accelerated return of the US on-premise, although sales in the channel still lag pre-pandemic levels.

It may still be early days, but for analysts covering Constellation Brands, the group’s first-quarter results this week are a significant indicator of a promising post-COVID recovery.

In Just Drinks’ data centre:

Remy Cointreau has released a limited edition decanter for the XO expression from its Rémy Martin Cognac brand.

Bacardi has released a bottle for its Bombay Sapphire Gin brand, featuring artwork by US graphic artist Steve Harrington.

Brown-Forman has released the first global campaign for Tequila Herradura.

On our news pages this week:

Molson Coors Beverage Co is predicting strong growth for the hard seltzer category in Europe, as the group prepares a UK canning line for newly-launched RTD Three Fold.

Just Drinks thinks: European consumers may still be largely ignorant of hard seltzers, but Molson Coors’ investment is a sign of growing industry confidence in the category outside of the US. “If you build it, they will come” may be an appropriate mantra, but Molson is unlikely to be wasting time and money on a lost cause. [Deputy editor Andy Morton]

Edrington has posted a double-digit fall in 2020 sales as tariffs and coronavirus combined to impact the company’s single malt Scotch whiskies.

PepsiCo has overshadowed the commitment made by European soft drinks companies this week to cut added sugar from their products, with a promise to slash levels by a quarter.

US zero-sugar soft drinks brand owner Zevia has applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

Just Drinks thinks: Zevia is following a new trend among independent beverage producers in niche categories of chasing a huge payday with an IPO. Coconut water maker Vita Coco is reportedly considering one after success for plant-based dairy Oatly earlier this year. IPOs certainly generate a lot of buzz – and money – but let’s hope these companies have the requisite prospects to make public listings work in the long term. [Deputy editor Andy Morton]

Anheuser-Busch InBev has promoted US chief sales officer Brendan Whitworth to take over the soon-to-be-vacated role of North America zone president.

Just Drinks thinks: A big week for Anheuser-Busch InBev has seen Carlos Brito make way for new CEO Michel Doukeris. Will this change at the top trigger the same kind of executive shake-up we’ve been witnessing at Heineken since Dolf van den Brink took the helm? Sorting out his own replacement in North America is Doukeris’ most obvious  first task, but future moves within his team could indicate changes of priority for A-B InBev going forward – such as sustainability, perhaps. [Editor Olly Wehring]

Diageo-backed incubator programme Distill Ventures is launching a new initiative to fund under-represented groups in the drinks industry.