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If you read only one thing... - This week's must-reads on just-drinks

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

The future of cannabis in the food and beverage industry will be worth billions. In fact, the continued legalisation of the drug for recreational use marks a defining point in the history of both sectors. This report offers a detailed look at what the market might look like, who the players and consumers will be - and what food and drinks companies need to do now.

As in-home technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, consumers continue to look for ways to entertain in their own space. Here, just-drinks looks at the rise of at-home drinks dispensers and where they fit into the future of home consumption.

2018 is the year a CEO exodus ripped through the spirits industry. Constellation's Rob Sands, Beam Suntory's Matt Shattock and Brown-Forman's Paul Varga all gave notice of their departures. Give or take a year or two, they all spent roughly ten years in the job. And indeed, ten seems to be the on-trend number for beverage CEOs - both PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi and The Coca-Cola Co's Muhtar Kent were there or thereabouts when they recently stepped down. Ian Curle, the Edrington CEO who announced his exit last week after 15 years in the post, had longer than the magic decade. But then it could be argued he had more to do.

Much has been written this year - not least by just-drinks - about the global trade war between the US and pretty much everybody else. As tariff barriers have gone up, the spirits company widely-considered to be in line for a drubbing has been Brown-Forman. According to one analyst this week, however, the US group is well-positioned to continue to do well in the years ahead - with exports playing a part in its growth, tariffs or not.

It's been a tough week for Pernod Ricard. On Wednesday, activist investor Elliott Management, which has built up a 2.5% stake in the French drinks group, took aim at several aspects of the business. In turn, Pernod was moved to issue a 700-word statement, defending both its financial record and its family values. After the initial to-and-fro, reports from sources close to the situation suggested Elliott wants Pernod to cut costs to the tune of EUR500m (US$568m) and possibly merge with another company.

Meanwhile, on just-drinks' news pages last week:

Diageo has included its recently-acquired vermouth brand in its high-end drinks line-up. Belsazar Vermouth, which was acquired from Diageo's Distill Ventures incubator programme earlier this year, will launch as part of the Diageo Reserve portfolio.

The gin boom has made consumers more willing to pay higher prices in other spirits categories, a UK-based rum company has said. Pirate's Grog Rum, which is considering private-equity funding after volumes almost doubled in the past year, said consumers have learned from gin that premium spirits will have a higher price point.

The US is on the verge of signing off a new bill to legalise industrial hemp that could see The Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo target the CDB category, an analyst has said. A final version of the Farm Bill, which is passed roughly every five years, was sent to the US Congress last night. The bill includes a provision to legalise industrial hemp as well as codify the legality of interstate commerce, a major concern for companies. Commenting on the bill, Cowan analyst Vivien Azer said its passage would make it more likely for companies including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to start producing CBD beverages.

Blockchain will rebalance the marketing strength of leading spirits and wine firms in favour of smaller distillers and growers by taking claims for authenticity out of their hands, a company that works with the technology has said.

Carlsberg will control 60% of Portugal's Super Bock after taking a stake in the beer group's owner. The Danish brewer said today it has bought a 28.5% share in Viacer, the controller of Super Bock Group, which owns the Super Bock beer brand. Viacer will continue to have a 56% stake in Super Bock Group, with Carlsberg owning the rest.


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If you read only one thing... - This week's must-reads on just-drinks

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If you read only one thing... - This week's must-reads on just-drinks

If you read only one thing... - This week's must-reads on just-drinks...

If you read only one thing... - This week's must-reads on just-drinks

If you read only one thing... - This week's must-reads on just-drinks...

If you read only one thing... - This week's must-reads on just-drinks

If you read only one thing... - This week's must-reads on just-drinks...

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