This week on Just Drinks - Here’s what we think - Just Drinks
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This week on Just Drinks – Here’s what we think

By Olly Wehring 04 Jun 2021

Here's a round-up of Just Drinks' latest members-only content and a look at this week's headlines, along with our thoughts.

This week on Just Drinks – Here’s what we think
Just Drinks spoke to the head of marketing at Truss Beverage Co this week

So far, cannabis beverages in Canada have failed to match the pre-legalisation hype. But, faith remains that they can still find their place in the nascent industry. Just Drinks deputy editor Andy Morton talks to Truss Beverage Co’s head of marketing, Lori Hatcher, and hears of the launch of a new range of products that offer a unique insight into where cannabis beverages are heading.

At what is already a challenging time for the on-premise channel in the UK – with the country’s restaurants posting a 32% slump last year to a forecast GBP21.8bn (US$30.8bn) – the UK Government is set to ban free refills from fountains in restaurants from April 2022.

The use of advanced materials in packaging can be hugely beneficial to FMCG brand owners looking for solutions that benefit their business, the consumer and the environment, says a new thematic research paper from GlobalData.

In the week that Brand Finance released its latest annual report on alcohol brand owners:

Spirits brands have emerged stronger from the coronavirus pandemic as beers and wines lost value, a new alcohol ranking chart has suggested.

Just Drinks thinks: Spirits’ relatively better performance in the rankings was largely down to stellar growth for China’s baijiu brands. But, even those spirits brands exposed to Europe and North America’s locked-down on-premise appeared to survive the pandemic better than beer and wine. As the on-premise (hopefully) reopens across all global markets, brewers and wineries would do well to learn from distillers about how to better target the COVID – and post-COVID – consumer. [Deputy editor Andy Morton]

This week, brand value consultancy firm Brand Finance has released its annual list of the top 50 beer brands, globally.

This week, brand value consultancy firm Brand Finance has released its list of the top 50 spirits brands, globally.

This week, brand value consultancy firm Brand Finance has released its list of the top ten wine and Champagne brands, globally.

On Just Drinks’ news pages this week:

William Grant & Sons is entering the pre-mix cocktail sector with four of its spirits marques, under the Batch & Bottle brand. The range, which debuts in the group’s domestic UK market, will roll out to Australia in September before hitting other “key markets” worldwide early next year.

Just Drinks thinks: This looks mighty impressive and William Grant deserves credit for its premix venture. Linking in established brand names is a strong recipe for success. Only, at US$35 per 50cl bottle in the UK, I’d be more tempted to buy 70cl of Hendrick’s for the same price, and give my own mixing ‘skills’ a try-out. [Editor Olly Wehring]

Recently-launched mezcal brand The Lost Explorer is expanding its US presence through a partnership with Infuse Spirits Group. The combined Tequila & mezcal category has been one of the spirits industry’s major success stories in recent years.

The Alkaline Water Co has signed its first distribution deal for the Caribbean. SaluVid, a subsidiary of Puerto Rican distributor TraFon Group, will handle the US drinks brand owner’s portfolio in the country, as well as other Caribbean markets.

Just Drinks thinks: Functional water has become a sector of increasing interest in recent years. As technological advancements put the quality of the H2O we drink under more scrutiny, it offers a real opportunity for water brand owners to stand out from the crowd. This move from Alkaline Water could be the start of big things in the Americas – bigger even than their recently-appointed seven-foot brand ambassador, Shaquille O’Neal. [Reporter Rhodri Morgan]

Anheuser-Busch InBev has pledged a free beer to US citizens as part of a push to increase the COVID-19 vaccination uptake in the country. The nationwide activation, which ties in with the brewer’s wider ‘Let’s Grab a Beer’ initiative, has been designed to contribute towards the US administration’s target of a 70% vaccination rate by 4 July.

PepsiCo’s Pepsi Max and Gatorade have been lined up as official sponsors of this year’s Rugby League World Cup. Britvic, which handles production, sales and distribution of a raft of PepsiCo’s drinks brands in the UK and Ireland, confirmed that the pair will utilise the tournament in its marketing later this year.