During 2023, we sat down with senior executives at some of the largest companies – and some of the most interesting up-and-coming firms – in the drinks industry to hear how they were trading in what was a challenging year.

“Dwayne is in this for the long haul” – Teremana Tequila CEO Richard Black on setting The Rock’s Tequila brand up for future success

Celebrity-backed brands are becoming ubiquitous but Teremana Tequila’s new CEO told Just Drinks in January that Dwayne Johnson isn’t just looking to “make a quick buck”.

In November, we sat down with CEO Wayne Chaplin, who has worked in at the distribution giant for almost 40 years (the last ten as CEO) to talk technology, pandemic growth and a changing industry.

Ambitious Asahi – CEO Atsushi Katsuki sets out growth agenda

October saw Asahi’s global CEO discuss the brewer’s non-alc targets, M&A and why premiumisation in beer will continue.

“People thought this was a dead industry. But milk inherently has great value” – Tim Doelman, CEO of Coca-Cola’s US milk business Fairlife

In June, Just Drinks spoke to Fairlife’s CEO Tim Doelman about the company’s growth ambitions and plans for a new production site.

“We’re a big believer in craft beer” – Tilray Brands’ Irwin Simon and Ty Gilmore talk the cannabis group’s expansion in beer

In the final weeks of 2023, CEO Irwin Simon and Ty Gilmore, the president of Tilray’s US beer division, discussed the company’s craft beer strategy, consumer confidence and the thorny topic of cannabis regulation.

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Tilray Brands CEO Irwin Simon and Ty Gilmore
Tilray Brands CEO Irwin Simon (left) and US beer president Ty Gilmore

“You have to pull every lever” – Diageo supply-chain chief Ewan Andrew on balancing efficiency and environmental needs

In February, Just Drinks sat down with Diageo’s president for global supply chain and procurement to discuss how the Johnnie Walker owner has adapted to logistics disruption while also reducing its carbon footprint.

Belfast Distillery Company CEO John Kelly on trading with South Korea, its first Irish whiskey distillery and how Diageo set him up for leadership

At the start of the year, Just Drinks caught up with CEO John Kelly on his strategy for the distiller, including his international plans.

“If you look at existing energy drinks, they’re all pretty hyper-masculine” – PerfectTed founder Marisa Poster on how the UK matcha-based brand can compete

Another SME caught your eye in March, with London-based PerfectTed explaining how it was looking to disrupt the energy drinks market, how it has navigated the challenges of being a start-up (including a factory fire) and its thoughts on whether or not to chance its arm in the US.

PerfectTed Marisa Poster
PerfectTed co-founders Marisa Poster and brothers Teddie (right) and Levi Levenfiche

“Vodka has been static… but it’s showing signs of resurgence” – Stoli Group’s CEO Chris Caldwell on rebranding, winning in the US and building a Bourbon distillery

In July, Stoli Group’s new chief executive discussed vodka’s revival and the group’s ambitions in the US.

“We’re a whisky distiller with a gin problem” – BrewDog’s Steven Kersley on global expansion, NPD plans and the challenge of laying down casks

And, in May, the MD of BrewDog’s spirits arm outlined its ambitions to increase the unit’s revenues tenfold and become a “top five supplier” in gin, vodka and rum in the next three to five years.