Latest drinks industry interviews

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just-drinks uses its unrivalled access to the top industry executives to bring you interviews with the personalities shaping the news all year round.

Interview - Seedlip founder, Ben Branson

Last month, UK producer Seedlip launched the second expression in its range of self-described "non-alcoholic spirits". Seedlip Garden follow...

Global director int'l brands, Heineken - Interview

Last year, Heineken secured a return to the European sports stage for its Amstel brand. Having called time on its ten-year sponsorship of th...

Interview, Kevin Klock, Talking Rain CEO - Part II

Talking Rain hit the big time with the success of Sparkling Ice. Growth for the sparkling flavoured water brand started in 2010, but Talking...

Interview, Kevin Klock, Talking Rain - Part I

Talking Rain has grown sales from US$10m to $659m in just five years thanks to the success of its Sparkling Ice flavoured water brand. In th...


How to stay ahead in wine e-commerce - Interview, Jay Wright, CEO of Virgin Wines 7 Jun 2016

Lucy Britner

The concept of selling wine online may not be a new one but, as more companies look towards 'home-trade' and the likes of Amazon and eBay enter the market, established players need to stay ahead of the game. Virgin Wines CEO Jay Wright tells just-drinks how his firm looks to grow it relevance in an increasingly-crowded market place.


"People are scared because Anheuser-Busch InBev is a giant" - Interview, Birra del Borgo founder Leonardo Di Vincenzo 5 May 2016

Andy Morton

Last weekend, news broke of yet another craft brewery acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev. This time, however, it was not in the US but in Italy.


Is the Conviviality, Bibendum PLB deal the future of the UK drinks trade? - Interview, Conviviality CEO Diana Hunter 4 May 2016

Lucy Britner

Earlier this week, UK drinks company Conviviality agreed to purchase Bibendum PLB for GBP60m (US$88.5m), in what the country's Wine and Spirit Trade Association CEO Miles Beale called a "potentially seismic deal" for the industry. 


"People are asking, where have you been?" - Interview, Chapel Down MD Mark Harvey 3 May 2016

Andy Morton

The London Wine Fair, which opens today, will host a growing contingent of English wine makers keen to grab a share of a category that according to government figures has doubled production in the past five years. Many of them will be aiming to emulate the success of Chapel Down that, with its stock-market listing and equally-booming brewing operation, sits at the top table of English wine's new breed. In recently-released 2015 results, the company grew both sales and profits by more than one-third. The company also raised GBP1.7m (US$2.5m) in a crowdfunding project to build a new brewery for its Curious Brew beer brand.


How craft beer can succeed in the premium on-trade - Interview, Harviestoun Brewery MD Toby Knowles 26 Apr 2016

Andy Morton

Scotland, already well-known for the quality of its whisky, is carving out a reputation as a centre of craft beer excellence. According to Nielsen data, craft beer consumers in Scotland drink more per head than almost anywhere else in the UK, and every year an increasing number of new breweries open to accommodate this thirst. Last year, there were 93 breweries in Scotland, the Campaign for Real Ale, says, with 20 of them opening over the past 12 months.


"Half of our beer around the world isn't creamy with a white head" - Interview, Diageo's global head of beer, Mark Sandys, part II 14 Apr 2016

Lucy Britner

Much as the markets of Europe and the US tend to dominate the brewing headlines, Diageo's beer business also operates further afield from these craft playgrounds. In the second- of our two-part interview, Diageo's global head of beer, Mark Sandys, details the importance of Africa, the rise of Guinness in Korea and how the company is tackling new restrictions in Indonesia.


Why not just buy a craft brewery? - Interview, Mark Sandys, global head of beer, Diageo - Part I 12 Apr 2016

Lucy Britner

In the first of a two-part interview, Diageo's global head of beer, Mark Sandys, talks to just-drinks' Lucy Britner about craft breweries, the company's new Open Gate Brewery project and why innovation is a growing part of Diageo's beer


"A lot of companies are just selling labels in China" - Interview, Concha y Toro's CEO for Asia, Cristian Lopez 23 Mar 2016

Andy Morton

Ask a Chinese person about Chile and they will immediately mention one thing - cherries. The country is famous in China for its red cherries, which people see as wholesome and healthy. Chilean wine, however, is quickly catching up in the recognition stakes. According to Wines of Chile, exports to China increased by 47% last year, and the country now ranks as the third-biggest market for bottled Chilean wine.


"It's about the consumer, stupid" - Interview, Accolade Wines CEO Paul Schaafsma - Part II 10 Mar 2016

Olly Wehring

In the second part of this week's just-drinks interview with Accolade Wines CEO Paul Schaafsma, we discuss the role brands have to play in the wine industry, whether wine is more of an FMCG than a purist's playground and the secrets to successful marketing.


"The wine business is changing" - Interview, Accolade Wines CEO Paul Schaafsma - Part I 8 Mar 2016

Olly Wehring

In this month's just-drinks interview, managing editor Olly Wehring meets up with Paul Schaafsma, a wine industry veteran of almost 20 years, who moved up last year to become CEO of Accolade Wines.


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