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Brewers should offload value assets as worst-case COVID scenario fails to materialise - comment

10 July 2020 | Andy Morton

In the same way that sports fans might jump at the pre-game offer of a draw against feared opponents, Carlsberg management would probably have been happy if - when the coronavirus lockdown started - a benevolent angel granted them a guaranteed half-year sales slide of 'only' 12%.... read more


Why black lives in wine should matter more than ever before - comment

9 July 2020 | Chris Losh

More than any other drinks category, wine has long had an issue with diversity. For long-standing wine commentator Chris Losh, the Black Lives Matter movement has engendered a strong sense of deja-vu.... read more


Why COVID-19 has restored plastic's popularity in soft drinks - comment

7 July 2020 | Lucy Britner

Before COVID-19 changed everything, 'plastic' was little more than a dirty word that was only getting dirtier. Now, however, the packaging material could provide a neat solution to consumer unease over cleanliness. Lucy Britner explains.... read more


How white spirits is trying to ride the hard seltzer craze - comment

25 June 2020 | Richard Woodard

While brewers have been racing to enter hard seltzer, spirits brand owners have been slower to jump in, with some preferring to push their existing offerings' seltzer-related cues. Category commentator Richard Woodard considers how successful they've been, so far.... read more


Spirits gift boxes are on the way out, they will not be missed - comment

25 June 2020 | Andy Morton

Remy Cointreau's announcement this week that it is to discontinue more gift boxes for Remy Martin is another nail in the coffin of cardboard packaging.... read more


Black Lives Matter - How brewers can be part of the coming change - comment

23 June 2020 | Stephen Beaumont

The 'Black Lives Matter' movement has prompted us all as individuals to question our views on our fellow humans. Companies are not immune from this self cross-examination, with beer commentator Stephen Beaumont suggesting the brewing community has a big part to play in driving future equality for the black community.... read more


Why craft whisky/whiskey will never be the same again - comment

11 June 2020 | Amy Hopkins

The craft whisk(e)y industry is trapped in a vice, with pressure from the coronavirus pandemic and retaliatory tariffs deepening the cracks that have existed for some time. In her debut for just-drinks, dark spirits category commentator Amy Hopkins forecasts that the road to recovery will be long and hard, and only the strong will survive.... read more


Brown-Forman's Chambord write-down signals tough times ahead for back-bar stalwarts - comment

10 June 2020 | Andy Morton

Yesterday's results from Brown-Forman have made it clear that when it comes to the fallout from the coronavirus, spirits brands will have vastly differing fortunes.... read more


Is there something wrong with C&C Group? - comment

5 June 2020 | Olly Wehring

Forgive my patronising tone, but I'm worried about you. I'm talking to C&C Group, who despite posting a lift in full-year sales earlier this week, looks precariously-placed to weather the current - and future - choppy waters. And, as companies everywhere work to line up their ducks in a row to survive the coronavirus pandemic and its wider impact, I'm worried that some of your ducks may be dying - or dead.... read more


Why COVID-19 is making soft drinks walk an advertising tightrope - comment

4 June 2020 | Lucy Britner

Consumers' growing concerns about their health are not only well documented, but they're also a natural reaction to a global health crisis. But, several soft drinks and supplements companies are getting their messages wrong. Lucy Britner investigates.... read more


Why France's wine industry should look beyond COVID-19 for the source of its woes - comment

2 June 2020 | Chris Losh

The wine producers in France are in a bit of a hole - but then, so is every other wine company around the world. Unlike their foreign peers, however, the French can't lay the blame squarely at a pandemic's door. Indeed, as Chris Losh discovers, the guilty party is much closer to home.... read more


What the beer category will look like, 12 months from now - comment

28 May 2020 | Stephen Beaumont

Everyone is asking what the world will be like post-COVID. Beer commentator Stephen Beaumont is no exception but, rather than look forward in weeks or months, Stephen takes a punt at what the brewing industry can expect to see in May 2021.... read more


Why the spirits category offers hope for the on-premise - comment

26 May 2020 | Richard Woodard

The coronavirus pandemic has decimated the on-premise around the world, with lockdowns leading to zero sales and furloughed staff in the channel. Those pubs and bars that will still be around as lockdown eases, however, could see consumers' stronger relationship with spirits provide a healthier - and sustainable - future. Spirits commentator Richard Woodard explains.... read more


Carlsberg and Marston's may be winners in UK JV, but there are losers - comment

22 May 2020 | Olly Wehring

Since COVID-19 started its worldwide creep earlier this year, the impact of measures introduced to curb the coronavirus has weakened a vast swathe of businesses. In drinks, industry observers have been holding their breath in anticipation of a splurge of M&A activity, at bargain-basement prices.... read more


Will White Claw's UK launch prove hard seltzer is lockdown resistant? - comment

15 May 2020 | Andy Morton

White Claw's first launch outside of North America may not be happening in the most auspicious of circumstances. But, the brand that took the US by storm can do the same in the UK - global pandemic or not.... read more


Why post-COVID spirits consumers will be 'living in the moment' - comment

14 May 2020 | Neil Ridley

As lockdown restrictions slowly start to ease in some markets, Neil Ridley considers how the post-COVID landscape is taking shape for spirits brand owners.... read more


Is Treasury Wine Estates setting up Penfolds to be the next Porsche? - comment

7 May 2020 | Chris Losh

In an attempt to distract himself from all things coronavirus, wine commentator turned to Treasury Wine Estates recent announcement about its Penfolds brand. just-drinks editor Olly Wehring asked of the proposed brand demerger: What is the point? Chris thinks he may have found one.... read more


What does the return of big soft drinks brands mean for health & wellness? - comment

5 May 2020 | Lucy Britner

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, consumers have returned to big brands. Soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner takes a closer look at the trend and assesses the impact on the category's health & wellness space.... read more


Why the gin category has Fever-Tree to thank for breaking the US - comment

30 April 2020 | Richard Woodard

The hunt for good news at the moment is proving quite the challenge, but spirits commentator Richard Woodard for one is feeling positive. Whisper it, but could high-end gin finally be about to make it big in the US?... read more


PepsiCo gets Bang for its buck in new Coca-Cola Co battle - comment

28 April 2020 | Andy Morton

PepsiCo's announcement today of an exclusive US distribution deal for Vital Pharmaceuticals' Bang Energy is a statement of intent to The Coca-Cola Co that the world's number one beverage company will not have it all its own way in energy drinks.... read more


How the post-COVID-19 beer industry will look - comment

28 April 2020 | Stephen Beaumont

Everyone's asking, so beer commentator Stephen Beaumont is having a stab at answering: What will the world be like when we come out 'the other side'?... read more


Grim reading ahead as Q1 results lift coronavirus veil - comment

20 April 2020 | Andy Morton

Over the next few weeks, the drinks industry will see the release of some of the most anticipated - and, not in a good way - quarterly results in its history.... read more


How the spirits category can ride out the coronavirus storm - comment

16 April 2020 | Neil Ridley

With most of the world on lockdown, Neil Ridley explores how the spirits category can continue to support itself once the coronavirus pandemic eases.... read more


Soft drinks fight to stay relevant in COVID-19 world - comment

14 April 2020 | Lucy Britner

From Corporate Social Responsibility to e-sports, soft drinks brand owners are moving their marketing budgets to reach changing consumer priorities that have been emphasised by the coronavirus pandemic. How successful will they be? Lucy Britner investigates.... read more


How is the coronavirus hitting the wine industry? - comment

9 April 2020 | Chris Losh

Every industry is being severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In wine, the sales channels have been battered while production also has battles to fight. Category commentator Chris Losh surveys the wreckage.... read more


Treasury Wine Estates' Penfolds demerger - Seriously, what is the point? - comment

8 April 2020 | Olly Wehring

In announcing the initial conclusions of a recent business review, Treasury Wine Estates today prompted the very simple question: Why?... read more


What impact will COVID-19 have on drinks M&A? - comment

7 April 2020 | Mario Zepponi

Several weeks into COVID-19's appearance and its rapid spread in the US, the virus's impact on the beverage alcohol industry and related merger and acquisition activity is starting to come into focus. Some commentators have covered in detail the epidemic's impact on particular beer, wine and spirits brands and sales channels, notably the dramatic shift towards off-premise sales at the expense of everything else. Unaddressed is what this means for the current M&A environment and aspiring buyers and sellers during what looks to be a year of continued market volatility.... read more


Coronavirus takes shine off hard seltzer's moment in the sun - comment

2 April 2020 | Andy Morton

It was supposed to be the summer of seltzer. But the coronavirus outbreak in the US has put paid to what analyst estimated would be a 270% increase in sales this year for one of the hottest categories in alcoholic drinks.... read more


Alcohol brands must do battle over generational trends and sustainability uncertainties – GlobalData comment

1 April 2020 | GlobalData

Alcoholic drinks brands must balance consumers’ established preferences with market norms, a growing openness to innovation and products that cross traditional category or flavour lines.... read more


What advice for the beer category in the time of COVID-19? - comment

26 March 2020 | Stephen Beaumont

There's only one subject on everyone's minds at the moment, Stephen Beaumont included. This month, our beer expert looks at the options available to brewers in these deeply troubling times.... read more


Why there must be more to your spirits brand than provenance and quality - Part II - comment

24 March 2020 | Richard Woodard

Earlier this month, category commentator Richard Woodard set the cat among the spirits pigeons when he argued that there's more to a successful spirits brand than the traditional cues. Richard returns to our pages here with... more of the same.... read more


Hard seltzer movement is here to stay - GlobalData comment

19 March 2020 | GlobalData

Now that more beverage brand owners are tapping into hard seltzers, it is likely that this market will grow outside of North America and to similarly health-centric regions such as Europe and the Asia Pacific region, according to GlobalData.... read more


How UK food & drink SMEs can survive the coronavirus - comment

17 March 2020 | John Stapleton

Food & drink entrepreneur John Stapleton, who created and sold brands New Covent Garden Soup Co and Little Dish, believes there are a number of steps SMEs can take to help them survive coronavirus.... read more


Why has wine failed to educate the consumer on price? Ask Jacob's Creek - comment

12 March 2020 | Chris Losh

As former Diageo CEO Paul Walsh once told just-drinks: "They say, in wine, a fool and his money are easily parted." Unfortunately, for the wine category, the consumer is no fool. Chris Losh looks at Pernod Ricard's attempts to move Jacob's Creek up the value chain and finds a brand struggling under the weight of consumer perception.... read more


PepsiCo's Rockstar buy takes energy drinks fight global - comment

12 March 2020 | Andy Morton

The Wall Street Journal got early wind yesterday of PepsiCo's swoop for Rockstar Energy Beverages, publishing an unconfirmed report on the deal hours before PepsiCo released an official statement. In hindsight, however, the signs that the soft drinks and snacks producer was set for a major play in the energy category were all there.... read more


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