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What's coming up in dark spirits in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

14 January 2020 | Neil Ridley

The dawning of a new decade will bring plenty of surprises, creativity and optimism. As we welcome 2020, then, what will be the first likely trends in dark spirits? Category commentator Neil Ridley takes a look.... read more

What's coming up in soft drinks in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

9 January 2020 | Lucy Britner

As 2020 kicks off, soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner offers her views on the key trends that are set to shape the category during the next 12 months.... read more

What's coming up in wine in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

7 January 2020 | Chris Losh

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2020 will shape their respective sectors. Here's Chris Losh, our wine expert, with his take on the year ahead.... read more

Constellation Brands cuts losses on US$1bn Ballast Point folly - Comment

4 December 2019 | Andy Morton

Ballast Point has fallen victim to the new broom of Constellation CEO Bill Newlands, who since his appointment in March has shown a determination to focus solely on the company's best-in-class brands.... read more

US Champagne tariffs threaten critical blow to powerhouse market - just-drinks thinks

3 December 2019 | Andy Morton

These are trying times for Champagne exporters. Three months after dodging a tariff bullet through their exclusion from a list of retaliatory US taxes on imported European goods, they now find themselves caught up in a separate trade war. That both of these transatlantic spates are over, respectively, aeroplanes and tech firms -  a world away from the vineyards of north-east France - must make the turmoil even harder to take.... read more

Why spirits brand owners should embrace the cross-category trend - Comment

28 November 2019 | Richard Woodard

Time was when spirits brands were sacred cows, held in such high esteem by their owners that they were kept in their categories and only allowed out to play with either flavour extensions or add-on iterations. Times have changed, though, and white spirits commentator Richard Woodard believes there is little - if anything - to be concerned about by letting your brand venture a bit further.... read more

FDA must lead CBD out of the legal shadows - Comment

28 November 2019 | Andy Morton

In declining to define CBD as a Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) ingredient this week, and sending warning letters to 15 companies selling products containing CBD, the US Food and Drug Administration has seemingly thrown the nascent CBD beverage category into doubt.... read more

Why US craft beer is still holding its value - Comment

26 November 2019 | Stephen Beaumont

just-drinks' beer commentator has had another craft acquisition to digest this month. Stephen Beaumont takes a closer look at Anheuser-Busch InBev's decision to eventually move for Craft Brew Alliance. His conclusions may differ from yours.... read more

US craft beer gangs up to battle Mad Max market - Comment

21 November 2019 | Andy Morton

When The Boston Beer Co agreed to combine with Dogfish Head Brewery in May, just-drinks wrote that it was the start of a new trend in US craft beer that will see independent brewers seek safety in numbers.... read more

What challenges face the lower-abv wine segment? - Comment

19 November 2019 | Chris Losh

While the efforts of brewers and distillers to create products with lower alcohol content are well-known, the wine industry has garnered far fewer such headlines. This month, category commentator Chris Losh looks at the difficulties affecting not only the production of 'lighter wine' but also the consumers' uptake of the concept - despite their purported interest.... read more

What does rum need to do to recognise its potential? - Comment

12 November 2019 | Neil Ridley

The much-touted 'demise' of gin is surely music to the rum category's collective ears. However, spirits commentator Neil Ridley argues the spirit must first find its way out of the Wild West and lose its 'sweet-toothed' perception before making a play for the hearts and throats of today's consumers.... read more

What does Anheuser-Busch InBev's Craft Brew Alliance buy mean for US beer? - Comment

12 November 2019 | Andy Morton

Everything comes to those who wait - especially if you have the deep pockets and corporate heft of Anheuser-Busch InBev.... read more

Are full-sugar soft drinks the new niche? - Comment

5 November 2019 | Lucy Britner

Has the sugar tax changed the playing field so much that full-sugar is now considered a niche selling point for soft drinks? Lucy Britner takes a closer look.... read more

Is Molson Coors set to pivot away from beer? - Comment

31 October 2019 | Andy Morton

There was a lot to take in from yesterday's news that Molson Coors is to massively overhaul its global operations. Top-line are the jobs losses - 400-500 is a big number and an undoubted hit to staff morale. That many of the job cuts will be in Molson Coors' spiritual home, Denver, will only inflame the hurt.... read more

The industry may be bored of gin, but is the consumer? - Comment

31 October 2019 | Richard Woodard

As new gin brands are unveiled almost by the hour, we within the drinks industry could justifiably be growing somewhat tired of it all. However, spirits commentator Richard Woodard suggests that we first look over our wall, before we complain.... read more

The next big thing in North American beer is…? - Comment

29 October 2019 | Stephen Beaumont

This month, beer category commentator Stephen Beaumont surveys the brewing scene in North America, and considers which beer style is poised to be brewers' Great White Hope. Again.... read more

Will Michael Clarke's departure be a Champagne moment for Treasury Wine Estates? - Editor's Viewpoint

23 October 2019 | Olly Wehring

Michael Clarke's tenure as CEO of Treasury Wine Estates has been remarkable. The hard-headed South African brought his FMCG nous to a company - and a category - that five years ago was in a far worse state than it is today.... read more

Why single malt Scotch must ignore its core consumer - Comment

17 October 2019 | Neil Ridley

Despite drawing criticism from certain quarters, the single malt Scotch whisky category must continue to strive for greater inspiration and innovation if it is to maintain its current trajectory, argues Neil Ridley.... read more

Why Canada will shape the rules for cannabis beverages - Comment

16 October 2019 | Andy Morton

Tomorrow is a big day for the cannabis beverage industry. After years of deliberations that eventually led to the federal legalisation of cannabis, edibles - as the digestible variants of cannabis products are known – will go on sale across Canada. This means that the cannabis beverage products companies have been working on in the lead up to October 17 will finally go on the shelves of dispensaries and other legal cannabis outlets in Canada.... read more

Where should wine focus to buck the on-premise trend? - Comment

8 October 2019 | Chris Losh

These are strange times for the on-premise channel, particularly when it comes to wine. Category commentator Chris Losh takes a look at one area of the on-premise channel that is in rude health, but it's an area full of challenges for the wine industry.... read more

Soft drinks and plastic - The unbreakable bond - Comment

4 October 2019 | Andy Morton

Have a guess at who said this: "We are the first generation to understand the consequences of our impact on the planet, and the last that can do something about it." The chief executive of Greenpeace? Greta Thunberg? Prince Harry? All wrong.... read more

Could 'delocalisation' signal the death of provenance in spirits? - Editor's Viewpoint

3 October 2019 | Olly Wehring

The role of provenance in marketing is widely prevalent in the spirits category - always by brands that have to be produced in a certain location, but also often by those that aren't tied by rules of definition.... read more

Has the soft drinks category missed the premiumisation train? - Comment

3 October 2019 | Lucy Britner

The UK's gin boom has allowed for a raft of innovation in the mixers segment. In turn, the availability of premium mixers has provided non-drinkers with more sophisticated options. But, where does this leave the rest of the soft drinks category, asks Lucy Britner.... read more

Can Brown-Forman ride Jack Daniel's brand equity with Tennessee Apple? - Editor's Viewpoint

2 October 2019 | Olly Wehring

Four months after flagging the booming growth of flavoured whiskies in the US, Brown-Forman has lined up the addition of another expression of its flagship Jack Daniel's whiskey brand in the country. Tennessee Apple, announced this week, is the third flavoured variant in the Brown-Forman stable, joining Tennessee Fire and Tennessee Honey. Could the new iteration stretch Brown-Forman's flavoured whiskey stable too far?... read more

Why vodka's US woes could soon be drowned out by success elsewhere - Comment

1 October 2019 | Richard Woodard

For the established vodka brands, the US has long been the outstanding market, initially driving the category's metoric growth but now accounting for much of its volumes. As the country remains key for vodka brand owners, category commentator Richard Woodard believes the rest of the world is fast catching up.... read more

Why low-alcohol is the next growth opportunity for beer - Comment

24 September 2019 | Stephen Beaumont

Back from his long-haul travels, just-drinks' beer commentator, Stephen Beaumont, believes he has found an untapped growth opportunity for the world's brewers.... read more

Vallat appointment means it is business as usual for Remy Cointreau - just-drinks thinks

12 September 2019 | Andy Morton

What does yesterday's announcement of Eric Vallat as Remy Cointreau's next CEO tell us about the company's plans?... read more

Pernod Ricard breaks new boundaries with Chinese malt whisky distillery - Comment

12 September 2019 | Neil Ridley

The recent unveiling of Pernod Ricard Asia's plans to produce China's first domestically-sourced single malt whisky is undoubtedly a landmark moment in brown spirits. Category commentator Neil Ridley considers whether Chinese whisky could become a contender to the other 'world whiskies'.... read more

Why Gen Z's interest in health & wellness should boost soft drinks innovation around Asian ingredients - Comment

5 September 2019 | Lucy Britner

This month, soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner takes a closer look at the driving forces behind flavour migration in Asia-Pacific.... read more

Why do consumers find wine so... boring? - Comment

3 September 2019 | Chris Losh

Our resident wine commentator, Chris Losh, has spent some time on 'the other side'. He's returned from his recent visit to the spirits world armed with some challenging advice for the wine trade.... read more

Why Diageo's Cuban rum play isn't enough to save the category - Comment

29 August 2019 | Richard Woodard

Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. More than a quarter of a century after Pernod Ricard signed its Havana Club joint venture with state-owned Cuba Ron Corp, Diageo has followed suit. The group's Santiago de Cuba agreement, announced earlier this month, is one of the most eye-catching spirits deals of the year - but it shouldn't distract us from the huge challenges facing the rum category, says Richard Woodard.... read more

How concerned should the beer category be about the hard seltzer boom? - Comment

28 August 2019 | Stephen Beaumont

Hard seltzers have hogged the headlines in recent months, particularly the category's perceived threat to beer. Our beer commentator, Stephen Beaumont, looks under the hood of the newcomer's numbers and considers how real the threat truly is.... read more

Why rye whisky is set to go global - Comment

15 August 2019 | Neil Ridley

With its distinctly peppery, spicy flavour profile, rye whisky presents a challenge to the average consumer's palate, thinks Neil Ridley, but one that a new breed of whisky consumers appears keen to explore in more detail. So, why is the UK craft distilling scene getting excited for such an innovative, yet relatively extreme, spirit?... read more

What will Diageo's Cuban rum JV mean for Pernod Ricard and Bacardi? - Comment

14 August 2019 | Andy Morton

Last year, I spoke to Juan Gonzalez, the head of Cuba's state-owned rum company, Cuba Ron. It was one of the most entertaining afternoons of my life.... read more

Food for thought? Nutritional drinks enter the wellness zone - Comment

6 August 2019 | Lucy Britner

Are beverages ready for ingredients such as potatoes and rapeseed oil, microalgae and tumeric? Lucy Britner finds that in the era of well-being, functional drinks are moving far beyond just a snack in a bottle.... read more