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January 29, 2021

If you read only one thing … – This week’s must-reads on just-drinks

Here's a look at the biggest stories and the best content from just-drinks this week.

By Jason Ingle

Here’s a look at the biggest stories and the best content from just-drinks this week.

As 2021 kicks off, beer commentator Stephen Beaumont offers his views on the key trends that are set to shape the category during the next 12 months.

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2021 will shape their respective sectors. Here’s our unaged spirits expert, Richard Woodard, with his take on the year ahead.

The teams for Super Bowl LV are set. But, what can we expect from the ads and marketing campaigns due to launch around the NFL’s final game of the season? just-drinks counts down to the big game on 7 February and rounds up the drinks adverts as they’re released.

Tequila looks like being the antidote to consumers’ COVID woes, with Diageo today reporting a 61% jump in half-year sales from its brands in the category. In results for the six months to the end of December, during which group sales rose 1% year-on-year, Diageo saw sales of its spirits brands in the US lead the way

Following on from Diageo’s half-year results this week, just-drinks caught up with CEO Ivan Menezes to learn more about the group’s 1% rise in sales from the six months to the end of December.

Last week closed with some good news, finally – at least, if you’re in Cognac. Remy Cointreau’s blockbuster third quarter – with sales leaping by 25% in the three months to the end of December – put the company in an upbeat mood while, at the same time, showing the direction of travel for the wider Cognac category.

The latest study to be considered by The International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research looked to determine factors that affect the pattern of alcohol consumption (including the frequency of consumption, type of beverage, with or without food, etc.), rather than just the reported average amount of alcohol, related to all-cause mortality, major cardiovascular events-MACE (MI/stroke/cardiovascular death), accidents/injuries and liver cirrhosis, as well as all-cause and alcohol-related cancer incidence.

In the US, Portland Cider Co has recently unveiled an addition to its Ciderade brand, in a partnership with Oregon counterpart Jacobsen Salt Co. Lemon-Lime Ciderade, which has an abv of 4%, contains 118mg of electrolytes from sea salt harvested by Jacobsen.

From our data centre:

Cognac enjoyed a lockdown boom in the US last year, according to figures from trade association the Distilled Spirits Council. Volumes for the category in 2020 rose 17.9% year-over-year, DISCUS said in its annual economic briefing this week.

Moët Hennessy has failed to match the pace set by luxury spirits rival Remy Cointreau this month, posting declining sales from the final three months of last year compared to Remy’s top-line jump. A week after French counterpart Remy reported a 25% leap in sales in the three months to the end of December, the wine & spirits unit of LVMH said yesterday that its sales in the same period declined by 11% on the corresponding period last year

Global Champagne volumes dropped by almost one-fifth last year as COVID-19 impacted the category’s core markets, including France and the UK. Shipments in 2020 totalled 245m bottles, an 18% fall year-on-year, Champagne trade association Comité Champagne said today.

From our news pages:

The Scotch whisky industry has pledged to have net-zero emissions from its own operations in place by 2040 as part of a new sustainability commitment. The Scotch Whisky Association, the trade group that represents the sector, today said the new pledge aims to “dramatically” reduce the carbon footprint of the overall Scotch industry.

The Chinese New Year selling period may face disruption after a new COVID-19 outbreak in China saw a return of lockdowns, an analyst has warned. After an initial surge in infections and deaths at the start of last year, which led to large-scale lockdown measures, China had appeared to prevent new cases. However, earlier this month, Government authorities implemented fresh restrictions in some provinces following localised transmissions.

Carlsberg has appointed Asia head Graham Fewkes as its next Western Europe president in an executive shake-up at the group. Fewkes will replace Jacek Pastuszka in the Western Europe role, effective from 1 March.

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