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, Bulldog Gin founder Anshuman Vohra

Bulldog Gin is a brand on the rise in a category on the rise. Earlier this month, just-drinks met the company's founder & CEO, Anshuman Vohr...

Interview, Andy Thomas, CBA, CEO - Part II

In part two of our interview with Craft Brew Alliance’s CEO, we talk to Andy Thomas about the state of the craft beer market, how CBA fits i...

Interview, Andy Thomas, Craft Brew Alliance CEO

Andy Thomas moved up to the CEO position at Craft Brew Alliance in 2014, following several years in the company's commercial operations. Pre...

Interview Campari CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Part II

In part two of our interview with Gruppo Campari's CEO, we talk to Bob Kunze-Concewitz about the company's approach to its portfolio and to...

"I want people to focus on Bulldog as a brand. People don't call Jack Daniel's a whiskey" - Interview, Bulldog Gin founder & CEO, Anshuman Vohra - Part II 21 Oct 2016

Olly Wehring

In the first part of just-drinks’ interview with Bulldog Gin Co’s founder & CEO, Anshuman Vohra, we looked at the birth and rise of the brand. In part two, Vohra considers the wider gin segment, Bulldog’s relationship with Gruppo Campari and his hopes for the future.

Coca-Cola Co's global water stewardship director, Greg Koch - Interview 30 Sep 2016

Ben Cooper

In achieving its goal to replenish water equivalent to its 2015 sales volumes "back to nature and communities", Coca-Cola gave itself a compelling sustainability story to tell consumers. Greg Koch, senior director of Global Water Stewardship at Coca-Cola, spoke with Ben Cooper about what "replenishment" means, and why getting the minutiae of the methodology right is so important.

"We have the brands and we have the patience" - Interview, Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Gruppo Campari CEO - Part I 6 Sep 2016

Olly Wehring

Bob Kunze-Concewitz has seen a lot in his time with Gruppo Campari. Having joined the company from Procter & Gamble in 2005, when he came on board as CMO, he'll celebrate a decade as group CEO in May next year. In that time, he's seen Campari's fortunes rise, fall and rise again as drinks trends have come and gone. He's also been at the helm during an active period of M&A, not only for Campari specifically, but also within the spirits category generally. Late last month, just-drinks editor Olly Wehring met up with him on a visit to London.

"Our position is between classic, industrial beers and the craft segment" - Interview, Brauerei C&A Veltins export manager Udo Bruns and UK agent Steve Holt 24 Aug 2016

Lucy Britner

Last month, just-drinks deputy editor Lucy Britner visited Brauerei C&A Veltins in Meschede-Grevenstein, Germany. The family-owned company used the visit to announce marketing activity to mark 500 years of Germany's purity law, the Reinheitsgebot. While there, Lucy sat down with export manager Udo Bruns and UK agent Steve Holt to discuss the role the law plays in today's 'craft culture', the rise of no- and low-alcohol offerings in Germany and why Veltins is only brewed in one place.

"We are craft but we are not part of the craft movement" - Interview, Hine international sales director Per Even Allaire 19 Jul 2016

Lucy Britner

Best known as a vintage Cognac specialist, privately-owned Hine last month released Bonneuil 2006, an expression that does not carry one of the category's traditional VS, VSOP or XO descriptors. As China - the most important market for Cognac in recent years - moves away from the XO-and-above Cognac segment, and the idea of 'craft' drives interest in the category's smaller houses, Hine's new international sales director, Per Even Allaire, tells just-drinks how the company plans to make the most of the new world order.

"I'm not going for super-premium; Red Square is what Red Square is" - Interview, Stewart Hainsworth, CEO, Halewood Wines & Spirits - Part II 14 Jul 2016

Lucy Britner

Having set out his strategy for Halewood Wine & Spirits and its international units in the first of this two-part interview with just-drinks, CEO Stewart Hainsworth today discusses getting the group's brands in order ahead of laying out plans for acquisitions and launches.

"Halewood was a business that just didn't know where it was going" - Interview, Stewart Hainsworth, CEO, Halewood Wines & Spirits - Part I 12 Jul 2016

Lucy Britner

Since forming in 1978, privately-owned Halewood Wines & Spirits has quietly carved a niche in the UK's beer, wine, spirits and RTD categories, through the Lambrini, Red Square vodka and Crabbie's Alcoholic Ginger Beer brands. However, performance has suffered in the years following founder John Halewood's death. In the first of a two-part interview, group CEO Stewart Hainsworth talks to just-drinks' deputy editor, Lucy Britner, about his vision for the group's future growth as well as Russian oligarchs and the company's recent stake purchase in The Pogues Irish whiskey.

"If you're producing in Europe and selling into the UK, Brexit will hit you with a double-whammy" - Interview, Francoise Sonneville, Rabobank senior beverages analyst 8 Jul 2016

Olly Wehring

Earlier today, Rabobank published a note looking at the likely effects on the drinks industry of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Francoise Sonneville, senior analyst for beverages at Rabobank and the note's author, spoke to just-drinks yesterday.

"The on-trade doesn't realise it can up-sell on a Coca-Cola" - Interview, Seedlip founder, Ben Branson 28 Jun 2016

Andy Morton

Last month, UK producer Seedlip launched the second expression in its range of self-described "non-alcoholic spirits". Seedlip Garden follows the launch in November of the original Seedlip, which sold out three times in high-end London retailer Selfridges and has caught the attention of bartenders with its positioning as an adult-aimed, non-alcoholic base for cocktails. Seedlip founder Ben Branson says the spirit - a distillation of botanicals including herbs, fruit and bark - is a riposte to non-alcoholic drinks that depend too heavily on sugary fruit blends, and offers a solution to the problem of "what to drink when you're not drinking". just-drinks spoke to Branson ahead of the launch of Seedlip Garden about his early successes, interest from Bahraini royalty and why the industry needs to get on-board the non-alcoholic category.

"Does real brand loyalty exist?" - Interview, Walter Drenth, senior global director international brands at Heineken 21 Jun 2016

Olly Wehring

Last year, Heineken secured a return to the European sports stage for its Amstel brand. Having called time on its ten-year sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League football competition in 2005, Amstel has just completed the first of a three-year tie-up with the slightly lower-profile Europa League football tournament. Replacing Amstel as Champions League sponsor? Why, it was - and continues to be - brand Heineken. Last month, Olly Wehring travelled to Switzerland to meet Walter Drenth, the group's senior global director for international brands, before being forced to endure his team's defeat that evening to Seville in the Europa League final.

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