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"There will be a reframing of consumers' creativity around this year's socialising" - just-drinks speaks to Natasha Curtin, global VP for Bombay Sapphire

27 November 2020 | Rhodri Morgan

Like many spirits brands, Bacardi-owned gin Bombay Sapphire has had to re-evaluate its marketing strategy this year. Through activations such as virtual tastings and experimentation, Bacardi has been encouraging consumers to express their creativity through the likes of mixology and art. Earlier this week, just-drinks spoke to Natasha Curtin, Bacardi's global VP for Bombay Sapphire, about the challenges the brand has faced in 2020, the impact of recurring lockdowns on consumer habits and how the gin is promoting artistic expression across the festive season.... read more

How to tailor your spirits marketing to the consumer of today - and tomorrow - comment

26 November 2020 | Richard Woodard

Virtue signalling is a very easy hole to fall down when it comes to marketing spirits brands - particularly today with the hyper-connected consumer. However, category commentator Richard Woodard believes he has found an activation that skirts the hole and ticks all the 21st Century spirits brand boxes.... read more

Remy Cointreau finds balance after China over-reliance - comment

26 November 2020 | Olly Wehring

In a year like this, good news in the spirits category has been thin on the ground. While the first three months of 2020 were... okay, the second quarter - to the end of June - saw the sky fall in for all the brand owners out there. Much as the third quarter was better than the second, spirits sales across the board were still not where companies wanted them to be. Maybe we should all write off this year, then, and steer our optimism to 2021.... read more

How hops could become part of beer's marketing lexicon - comment

25 November 2020 | Stephen Beaumont

In days gone by, the role of hops in brewing was only of interest to the true beer aficionado. Times have changed and, with the advent of the craft brewing boom, consumers know more about hops than brand owners give them credit for. Category commentator Stephen Beaumont believes this awareness offers a marketing opportunity for beer brands big and small.... read more

Corporate Social Responsibility activations around the world - The IARD Digest - November 2020

25 November 2020 | The IARD editorial team

Once a month, the drinks industry-funded International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, which covers alcohol policies worldwide, reviews some of the alcohol industry's recent CSR and environmental activities. Here's a look at what's been going on in recent weeks.... read more

Juice on the slide in North America as consumers shift towards healthy and functional hydration - comment

24 November 2020 | GlobalData

The North American juice market is expected to decline in value from US$14.8bn in 2019 to $12.5bn by 2023, according to GlobalData, with the downward trend expected to continue along pre-COVID lines.... read more

Signs of trouble as Heineken faces China distribution gap - comment

23 November 2020 | Andy Morton

It is almost 15 years since I managed a bar in Chengdu, one of China's biggest second-tier cities, but I still remember the early afternoon opening ritual; shutters up, music on and a quick restock of the fridge before customers arrived. ... read more

Why 'gluten-free' beer is for everyone, not just for coeliacs - analysis

23 November 2020 | GlobalData

Portugal's Super Bock Group is the latest brewer to enter the 'free from' category, launching a gluten-free beer brand in its home market. Approved by the Portuguese Coeliac Association (APC), the beer has also been produced by the company's brewers in collaboration with coeliac specialists at the APC.... read more

Biden victory gives new impetus to drinks industry engagement on climate change - Sustainability Spotlight

19 November 2020 | Ben Cooper

Ben Cooper assesses the impact of Joe Biden's election victory in the US on drinks companies' efforts to address climate change.... read more

Whiskey boom and vodka slide? How US wholesalers view the next six months - analysis

19 November 2020 | Andy Morton

The global beverage industry is approaching the first anniversary of the coronavirus impact, dating back to the first effects in China back in January. Despite the distance, the outlook still remains clouded, with spiking infection rates in some parts of the world and fresh lockdowns adding to the complexity.... read more

Bang Energy's explosive fall-out with PepsiCo throws spotlight on coffee versus energy - comment

18 November 2020 | Andy Morton

There is a certain lop-sidedness to the announcement of distribution deals. When signed, they are accompanied by press releases packed with fulsome praise. Less fanfare is produced for their termination, a process that often takes place quietly and behind closed doors.... read more

Has COVID vaccine turned us from bears to bulls, have company presentations lost their fun and has 'innovation' become a dirty word? - The just-drinks Analyst

17 November 2020 | Ian Shackleton

The recent announcements of a vaccine for COVID-19 have got in-house analyst Ian Shackleton all a-flutter. Should we be concerned, though, that he's now worried about the end of bears, the end of company pizzazz and the end of innovation efforts in the beverages industry?... read more

How to engage consumers with your virtual event - consumer trends

12 November 2020 | Laura Foster

In a year of social distancing and shutdowns, one word has been on the lips of many in business: pivot. The organisations and individuals that appear to be weathering the storm best are the ones that realised that in order to survive. they would need to change tack - and quickly.... read more

How the on-premise can make the most of Christmas 2020 - analysis

10 November 2020 | Olly Wehring

While many markets are the subjects of a second wave of lockdowns right now, and the subsequent effect these latest COVID measures are having on the on-premise channel, Heineken's UK division has today drawn up a plan of attack for pubs and bars when - if? - they are allowed to reopen early next month.... read more

Why aged spirits should be wary of opaque low- & no-alcohol trend - comment

10 November 2020 | Amy Hopkins

The seemingly-unstoppable rise of the low- & no-alcohol movement has resulted in an abundance of new brands and line extensions. But, Amy Hopkins warns, aged spirits would do well to tread carefully, lest they lose the consumer's trust and respect.... read more

COVID's acceleration of technological solutions in the vineyard - comment

5 November 2020 | Chris Losh

With necessity long being the mother of invention, the COVID crisis has brought outlying technology into the mainstream, and at speed. Wine category commentator Chris Losh has seen similar leaps and bounds at the production end of the wine industry.... read more

"China is certainly a worry" - just-drinks speaks to Treasury Wine Estates CEO Tim Ford

5 November 2020 | Olly Wehring

Earlier today, Treasury Wine Estates held its AGM. just-drinks took the opportunity to catch up with group CEO Tim Ford to learn more about the latest news out of China and Ford's recent transition into the role, vacated by Mike Clarke earlier this year.... read more

Corporate Social Responsibility activations around the world - The IARD Digest - October 2020

29 October 2020 | The IARD editorial team

Once a month, the drinks industry-funded International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, which covers alcohol policies worldwide, reviews some of the alcohol industry's recent CSR activities. Here's a look at what's been going on in recent weeks.... read more

How to adapt your beer sales to the 'new normal' - comment

29 October 2020 | Stephen Beaumont

Back in the early days of the novel coronavirus, a pandemic that has become so much a part of our lives this year, brewery owners and operators were focused on one thing and one thing only: Survival. No one had the time to waste pondering how the market might play out in six months or a year when many, perhaps even most, industry observers were predicting the very strong possibility of an industry collapse.... read more

Why copying gin's template for growth risks doing rum a grave disservice - comment

27 October 2020 | Richard Woodard

Cross-pollination among spirits categories offers scope for innovation-led growth for brand owners. Indeed, this is a well-trodden path with many success stories. However, category commentator Richard Woodard believes rum brands must be way more selective in who they choose to ape if they're ever going to get rum to recognise its long-expected potential.... read more

Indonesia the wildcard for Coca-Cola European Partners in Coca-Cola Amatil acquisition - comment

26 October 2020 | Andy Morton

Over the weekend, Coca-Cola European Partners offered a textbook example of how to turn a crisis to one's advantage. As markets reel from the coronavirus and Coca-Cola soft drinks sales stumble, the European bottler revealed a bid for all of Coca-Cola Amatil's shares - including the 30% owned by The Coca-Cola Co.... read more

Are beverage firms paying enough attention to deforestation? - sustainability spotlight

22 October 2020 | Ben Cooper

A new initiative to address deforestation was launched last month by the Consumer Goods Forum involving 17 major manufacturers and retailers - but no drinks companies. Ben Cooper explores whether the beverage sector needs to do more in the area of deforestation.... read more

Will Q3 bring an end to 2020's hangover, are the softs going hard and would Stock Spirits fancy a beer? - The just-drinks Analyst

20 October 2020 | Ian Shackleton

The timing of Ian Shackleton's latest consideration of the drinks industry couldn't be better. With the latest results season breaking all around us, who better to survey the situation than just-drinks' in-house analyst?... read more

Alcohol & hypertension - What role does your diet play? - International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research Critique 243

19 October 2020 | International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research

The authors of a recent study tested the hypothesis that overall diet quality influences the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of hypertension. The report was based on data from the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey in the US and two further studies in China.... read more

Why the latest sexism row will be a watershed moment for whisky - comment

15 October 2020 | Amy Hopkins

The recent campaign against Jim Murray's 'Whisky Bible' has shone a light on sexism in whisky, and there's no turning it off now. Brands will need to take a proactive, as opposed to merely reactive, stance to show that their condemnation of misogyny and commitment to inclusivity goes beyond lip service, says Amy Hopkins.... read more

Treasury Wine Estates Performance Trends 2016-2020 - results data

14 October 2020 | Richard Woodard

In mid-August, Treasury Wine Estates reported a 9.3% decline in sales from the 12 months to the end of June. A tough second half of the fiscal year, in which the coronavirus pummelled performance, pulled markedly on a first-half when sales came in flat. Here, just-drinks considers the wine group's performance over the last five years.... read more

Cost-cutting a priority for Heineken's new broom - analysis

13 October 2020 | Andy Morton

The coronavirus pandemic has been a baptism of fire for new Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink, who took over from Jean-Francois Van Boxmeer on 1 June at the apex of the global lockdowns.... read more

Who were the top beer influencers on Twitter in Q2 2020? - analysis

13 October 2020 | GlobalData

Based on research from GlobalData's 'Influencer' platform, here's a countdown of the ten most influential Twitter users in beer during the three months to the end of June.... read more

How COVID has accelerated the trend towards sobriety - consumer trends

13 October 2020 | Laura Foster

Having taken a break for 13 months to bring a human into the world, Laura Foster re-dons her consumer trends chapeau and finds our drinking habits to be much-changed compared to when she left us.... read more

South Africa's wine industry is on its knees and it's not just thanks to COVID - comment

8 October 2020 | Chris Losh

South Africa's wine producers have been hard-done-by this year, more so than any other wine-producing nation. As Chris Losh explains, the country's handling of the coronavirus pandemic is a case study in 'How not to support your high-profile industries'.... read more

Why bottled water should tap into more drinking occasions - comment

6 October 2020 | Lucy Britner

Our soft drinks category commentator, Lucy Britner, turns her attention this month to bottled water - and spies some burgeoning growth opportunities.... read more

Latest research into alcohol and cancer has too many holes - International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research Critique 242

5 October 2020 | International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research

In an attempt to assess the relationship between light alcohol consumption (less than 12.5g per day) and the risk of a number of types of cancer, a recent report conducted a review of meta-analyses published within the last 15 years.... read more

How to win in vodka in the US - A history lesson - comment

1 October 2020 | Richard Woodard

Vodka is one of the most competitive spirits categories out there and only more so in the US. Want to get ahead? Well, according to white spirits commentator Richard Woodard, you'll have to look backwards to move forwards.... read more

Why alcohol companies must be resolute in their support of responsible drinking bodies - sustainability spotlight

29 September 2020 | Ben Cooper

A recent study alleges industry-funded but independent organisations, set up to inform consumers about responsible drinking, exacerbate harmful behaviours through concealed "dark nudges" exploiting cognitive biases in consumers. Ben Cooper takes issue with serious and unsupported assertions made by the researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, particularly those concerning the crucial role medical professionals play in advising and scrutinising the work of such organisations.... read more

"Carbon neutrality will be basic hygiene factor stuff in ten years time" - just-drinks speaks to Eden Mill founder Paul Miller

25 September 2020 | Andy Morton

Earlier this month, just-drinks spoke to Eden Mill founder Paul Miller about the alcohol industry's re-tuned focus on sustainability and how the company's plan to open a carbon-neutral distillery in St Andrews serves as a model for the future.... read more