James Wilmore

The beverage business blog from James Wilmore

If you would like to offer your comments, opinions, suggest topics or just have a good rant, please feel free to email: James Wilmore.

RSS Feed Follow us on twitter

Mexico's beer market under the spotlight

03 Jan 2014 10:19

How are things shaping up in the beer battleground of Mexico? CNN took a closer look at one of the world's biggest beer markets by volume, where Anheuser-Busch InBev, through Grupo Modelo, and Heineken, through its 2010 acquisition FEMSA Cerveza, are dominant. 

In the video report, above, Heineken's Americas president Stefan Orlowski, who stepped into the role last July, notes that 1m consumers are entering legal drinking age every year, while he welcomes the fledgling craft brewing scene.

Last year, an anti-trust ruling meant the opening up of the market to craft brewers, after a complaint from SABMiller. However, the UK-headquartered brewer was not happy with the outcome.

Permalink this blog Comment on this blog Email this to a friend Print this page Share this article

Kopparberg goes to the dogs... but in a good way

19 Dec 2013 17:43

When in doubt, get the huskies out. That could easily be a PR mantra, for all I know. 

But Kopparberg seems to have used the sled-pulling hounds to good effect in a new campaign for its namesake Swedish cider brand. London commuters have this week been pulled across Kennington Park to help them on their way to work. 

The activity was all part of Kopparberg's campaign to launch its new Spiced Apple variant. 

A few years ago, the UK prime minister, David Cameron, used some huskies in the Arctic to show just how much he cared about the environment. The images have come back to haunt him slightly, as questions have been raised about his green credentials.  

I'm sure Kopparberg can avoid a similar back-firing. 

 

Permalink this blog Comment on this blog Email this to a friend Print this page Share this article

The just-drinks Weekly Round-Up

16 Dec 2013 15:11

As 2013 draws to a close, we kicked-off our usual category reviews of the year. My global look at beer and cider is here.

Elsewhere last week, Carlsberg revealed it will have a new UK CEO from next month. Meanwhile, the region's brewers are ploughing on with a high-profile campaign to get people to drink more beer despite a TV ad getting banned. 

Bacardi also ran into advertising hot water over the latest spot for its Dewar's Scotch whisky in the US. Just-drinks’ managing editor Olly Wehring looked at the lesson to be learnt from the episode

Accolade Wines finally announced who its new CEO will be, more than a year since Troy Christensen vacated the position. Australian winemakers also revealed how they plan to get the industry back on track

In soft drinks, Coca-Cola announced it is resplitting its North American unit, while Spanish bottling group Iberian Partners revealed a number of site closures

Permalink this blog Comment on this blog Email this to a friend Print this page Share this article

Constellation's CEO looks to the stars for Christmas

13 Dec 2013 16:56

Constellation Brands CEO Rob Sands appears a happy man right now. His company took full control of Grupo Modelo's US beer business in the US earlier this year and now the holiday season is just round the corner, when sales should soar.

Sands, whose company also operates in the wine and spirits sector, spoke to CNBC about the prospects for the season and in the process managed to namecheck many of the group's brands. He also reflected on why the drinks industry is a "recession resistant" business and explained why millennials - 21-36 year-olds - are a "key demographic" for Constellation.  

To view the interview, click here 

 

 

Permalink this blog Comment on this blog Email this to a friend Print this page Share this article

Pernod's US top man talks Christmas and cocktails

10 Dec 2013 18:03

The US is an increasingly key battleground for global wine and spirits producers over the Christmas period. In an interview with Fox Business last week, Pernod Ricard's US chief, Brian Fry, revealed that the unit sells a third of its annual Champagne volumes between October and December. 

He also talked about on-going premiumisation in the market and echoed comments made by Bacardi CEO Ed Shirley, in an interview with just-drinks, about the on-going importance of cocktail culture. 
Watch the full interview with Brian Fry here

 

Permalink this blog Comment on this blog Email this to a friend Print this page Share this article

The just-drinks Weekly Round-Up

25 Nov 2013 15:38

On just-drinks last week: 

  • Just-drinks got up close with Diageo's new(ish) CEO, who revealed plans to launch into the high-end Bourbon market. We also couldn't resist asking Ivan Menezes about Guinness' latest marketing "tactics", but the stout brand looks set to stay in the group's portfolio. Bacardi unveiled a new global campaign for its namesake white rum.
  •  

  • In the brewing world, SABMiller reported a rise in half-year profits, but flat sales as the familiar story of a tough Europe, but brighter emerging markets remains. Its Europe unit is also eyeing a new effort to tackle the demographic most brewers struggle with: women.
  •  

  • For the grape gazers, attention turned to the Australian duo of Treasury Wine Estates and private equity-owned Accolade Wines. The groups have got that little bit closer by signing a new deal in the US. Where will this love affair lead?
  •  

  • In soft drinks, we zeroed-in on an interesting new player in the sports beverage sector - iPro Sport - which has big plans in the UK and US markets. While in Asia, Asahi Group expanded its bottled water interests in Indonesia.
  •  

    Permalink this blog Comment on this blog Email this to a friend Print this page Share this article

    Guinness gaff draws a grin from Diageo's top man

    20 Nov 2013 16:58

    Four months into his premiership at Diageo, Ivan Menezes showed that he can cope with the odd curveball thrown at him by media. 

    At a press gathering, following an investors day in London yesterday, I decided to ask him about a slightly uncomfortable recent episode in the UK involving Guinness. The team behind the Irish stout brand took the unusal step of booking out an entire three-minute ad slot during an episode last month of ITV's primetime chatathon The Jonathan Ross Show. 

    So far, so good. 

    But the spot featured Jonathan Ross himself in a bizarre pseudo chat environment, with comedian Danny Wallace and Professor Robin Dunbar talking about the benefits of male bonding. As we reported at the time, the Twitterati were not impressed and neither was my colleague Olly Wehring

    So what what did Mr Menezes think of the debacle?

    In a relaxed manner, with even a slight grin on his face, he told just-drinks: “It didn't turn to be as good as we wanted, but I'm glad they tried it... I want people to push the boundaries.” 

    He added: “If you're not failing, you're not trying hard enough.” 

    On that basis, I can't wait to see what the Guinness gang try next. 

    Permalink this blog Comment on this blog Email this to a friend Print this page Share this article

    The just-drinks Weekly Round-Up

    18 Nov 2013 16:38

    On just-drinks last week: 

    Permalink this blog Comment on this blog Email this to a friend Print this page Share this article

    Heineken kidnapping film gets go-ahead

    09 Oct 2013 17:02

    Heineken is about to have the most dramatic moment in its history given the Hollywood blockbuster treatment.

    'Kidnapping Freddy Heineken' will tell the story of Alfred 'Freddy' Heineken, the grandson of the founder of the Dutch brewery, who, in 1983 was kidnapped, along with his driver Ab Doderer. 'Freddy', who was CEO of the group at the time, and Doderer, were only released after a ransom of NLG35m (US$20m) was paid, the largest ransom to have been met at the time for an individual.

    The kidnappers were eventually caught and served jail terms. 

    British actor Sir Anthony Hopkins will play 'Freddy', according to the Hollywood Reporter.

    It's actually the second film to be made about the incident, after a Dutch version - De Heineken Ontvoering – was released in 2011. 

    But, from what I have heard, neither film has had the blessing of the company; it's understandably still a sensitive topic for the group. 

    It looks like there will be a fresh spotlight on Heineken's past, whether the brewer likes it or not.

    Follow me on Twitter @jamescwilmore

    Permalink this blog Comment on this blog Email this to a friend Print this page Share this article

    Cameron's Smirnoff quip: A good idea?

    02 Oct 2013 13:04

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron used Diageo's Smirnoff brand as a weapon for a spot of political retaliation during his speech at the Conservative Party conference today (2 October).

    In a counter-dig at a Russian official's reported “small island” comment about Britain last month, Cameron bragged that the world's biggest-selling vodka - Smirnoff - is actually produced in the UK. In Fife, Scotland, to be precise.

    One wonders, however, how Diageo's bigwigs feel about Cameron highlighting this fact? Does the average consumer know that Smirnoff is made in Fife? Does s/he perhaps think of it as a Russian brand? (Interestingly, it was originally created in a Moscow distillery in the 1860s). 

    Hugo Rifkind, a journalist for The Times, tweeted during the speech: “Suspect Smirnoff won't be too thrilled by that.” Other tweeters expressed surprise at discovering the production home of the vodka brand.

    Might former CEO Paul Walsh, who is still involved with Diageo, and was, until last year, part of the Government's Business Advisory Group, be having a word with Cameron?

    Permalink this blog Comment on this blog Email this to a friend Print this page Share this article
    just-drinks tagline

    Not a member? Join here