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.

just-drinks speaks to Beam Suntory CEO - Part II

In the first part of our interview with Beam Suntory's CEO, which was published earlier this week, Albert Baladi talked broadly about the gr...

Halewood jumps into CBD with hemp rum - Focus

At a London cocktail trade show in London earlier this week, the Dead Man's Fingers stall was causing a bottleneck. Bartenders and other int...

just-drinks speaks to Brewers Ass'n brewing VP

In an increasingly-competitive beer market, craft brewers to be underselling their sustainability credentials. Paul Gatza, senior VP of the...

just-drinks speaks to Distill Ventures' CEO

Since coming into being almost six years ago, Distill Ventures has continued to make headlines in the drinks industry. The Diageo-backed inc...


"We need to pick our battles and identify where we want to grow on a scale basis"- just-drinks meets Beam Suntory CEO Albert Baladi - Part I 9 Jul 2019

Olly Wehring

Late last month, just-drinks editor Olly Wehring met up with Beam Suntory's CEO, Albert Baladi. In this, the first of a two-part interview running this week, Baladi discusses what he found when he took the helm at the spirits group earlier this year, and how Beam intends to spend its money to get where it wants to be.


"If the domestic retailers had our growth, they would be singing and dancing" - just-drinks speaks to ex-TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortensen 13 May 2019

Andy Morton

Prior to the TFWA Asia-Pacific exhibition, which kicks off in Singapore this week, just-drinks news & insights editor Andy Morton met Erik Juul-Mortensen, the former head of TFWA. The interview, which took place just before Juul-Mortensen left the association late last year, covers the Global Travel Retail expert's parting thoughts on the industry, including the challenges the sector faces from falling footfall and margin pressures, as well as the threat - and opportunity - of digital.


"Our strategy is to double the top and halve the bottom" - Interview, Kay Nash, MD of Distell's Libertas Vineyards & Estates 3 Apr 2019

Andy Morton

It's been less than three months since Kay Nash was unveiled as the head of South African multi-category drinks group Distell's new premium wine unit, called Libertas Vineyards & Estates. However, the management consultant and self-described "fixer" has been working for the company since the start of the last year, seeding the ground for one of Distell's most ambitious projects to date.


"Irish whiskey and gin can't rest on their laurels" - Interview, Shane Hoyne, CMO, Quintessential Brands 12 Mar 2019

Lucy Britner

Last month, Quintessential Brands opened the doors for the first time to its The Dublin Liberties Irish whiskey distillery and visitor experience, making its mark on the city's burgeoning whiskey scene. Ahead of the launch event, just-drinks deputy editor Lucy Britner sat down with Quintessential's CMO, Shane Hoyne, to talk about brand homes, the future of the Irish whiskey category and the company's broader acquisition plans.


"Africa is Asia in 15 to 20 years from today" - just-drinks speaks to Pernod Ricard CEO Alex Ricard 19 Feb 2019

Olly Wehring

Earlier this month, Pernod Ricard released its results for the second half of 2018. The group posted a 7.8% increase in sales from the six months to the end of December, with the top-line rising by 5.6% in the last quarter. Last week, just-drinks spoke to group CEO Alex Ricard in London, following a presentation to UK media about Pernod's half-year performance.


"We've still got a job to do" - just-drinks speaks to Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes 1 Feb 2019

Olly Wehring

Earlier this week, Diageo released its results for the second half of 2018. The group posted a 7.5% increase in sales from the six months to the end of December. Late yesterday, just-drinks spoke to Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes as he travelled between media interviews in London.


"The need to open a bottle 'just to be seen' is going away" - just-drinks meets Piper-Heidsieck Champagne's global executive director, Benoit Collard 7 Jan 2019

Lucy Britner

Late last year, Champagne house Piper-Heidsieck released two expressions under its prestige cuvée brand, Rare. A bottle of Rare Le Secret High Jewellery, which costs around US$150,000, features a precious stone embedded "in the heart of interwoven bands of gold set with 510 diamonds". It was released in partnership with jeweller Mellerio. The second expression, Le Secret Goldsmith, is limited to 1,000 magnums and carries an RRP of around $1,650. Shortly after the launch, just-drinks sat down with Benoit Collard, global executive director for Piper-Heidsieck, to talk about prestige cuvée consumers and what the future holds for Piper-Heidsieck.  


"We've got to be a little different and break some of the moulds" - just-drinks meets Distell CEO Richard Rushton - Part II 4 Jan 2019

Olly Wehring

Late last year, just-drinks spoke to Richard Rushton, CEO of Distell, in London. In part two of our exclusive interview, Rushton tells us about the group's plans outside of Africa and how Distell aims to become a larger player internationally, while also riding the wave in markets closer to home.


"It was a lot harder without the power of Diageo behind me" - Ami-Lynn Bakshi, co-founder of Cafe Agave & former Diageo executive 4 Jan 2019

Andy Morton

Last year, Ami-Lynn Bakshi launched one of the first alcoholic cold-brew coffee RTDs in the US, the 12.5%-abv Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew. Before helping to pioneer the hard coffee category, she spent 20 years working for Diageo in a number of roles around the world, including North American innovations head and American whiskey marketing director. Here, Bakshi tells just-drinks what she learned from her time with the spirits multinational and how those lessons are informing her new career as a beverage entrepreneur.


"The mainstream part of our wine portfolio is incredibly important for Africa" - just-drinks meets Distell CEO Richard Rushton - Part I 3 Jan 2019

Olly Wehring

In late-November, just-drinks met up with the CEO of Distell at the IWSC awards dinner in London. As guests filed into the banqueting hall, Richard Rushton took a pre-meal grilling from editor Olly Wehring. In part one of this exclusive, two-part interview, we consider Distell's place in the drinks industry, the group's over-reliance on South Africa and its aspirations for Africa and beyond.


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