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Why the future for wine in cans has arrived - comment

2 March 2021 | Chris Losh

Not one to normally get excited, Chris Losh has surprised even himself with the level of enthusiasm he is (finally) mustering for a development in the wine industry. Credit must go, then, to his 'can-do' mentality.... read more

Why imported beer matters less now than ever - comment

25 February 2021 | Stephen Beaumont

Think imported: Think expensive. For years, the brewing industry has tapped into consumers' preparedness to pay more for a brew made in romantic-sounding locations overseas. Times are changing, as category commentator Stephen Beaumont notes, and brewers are now more comfortable bringing production of their imported brands in-market. Will consumers let them? Well, yes; So long as they're straight with them.... read more

Why Diageo is winning the slow-and-steady Tequila race - comment

23 February 2021 | Richard Woodard

Even for a spirits category that doesn't like to hurry, Diageo's success in Tequila has taken a while. Finally, the dividends of this slow and steady approach are being realised. Category commentator Richard Woodard has advice for those who have been quick to judge.... read more

Does Heineken need hard seltzer? - comment

12 February 2021 | Andy Morton

Speaking after his company's full-year results this week, Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink made quite the revealing remark: "We maybe underestimated seltzer."... read more

Why Scotch whisky could take years to rebound in the US - comment

9 February 2021 | Amy Hopkins

A protracted trade dispute has blocked single malt Scotch whisky's access to the all-important US market at a time when the category desperately needs to demonstrate its relevance. As trends rapidly accelerate, this lack of visibility could damage Scotch for years to come, warns spirits commentator Amy Hopkins.... read more

Australia's wine struggles - First came COVID, then came China - comment

4 February 2021 | Chris Losh

International trade disputes are 'two-a-penny' at the moment and have become a fact of life for brand owners in most beverage categories. Australian wine brand owners, however, appear to have things tougher than most, as the country's authorities are in Beijing's sights. Category commentator Chris Losh surveys the wreckage of this particular perfect storm.... read more

Soft drinks looks outside for expert health & wellness help - comment

2 February 2021 | Lucy Britner

In the wake of PepsiCo's tie-up with meat alternatives company Beyond Meat last week, soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner looks at the category's underlying trends in health & wellness and assesses the benefits of tapping up the experts to create the next wave of functional fixes.... read more

What's coming up in unaged spirits in 2021? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

28 January 2021 | Richard Woodard

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2021 will shape their respective sectors. Here's our unaged spirits expert, Richard Woodard, with his take on the year ahead.... read more

What's coming up in beer in 2021? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

26 January 2021 | Stephen Beaumont

As 2021 kicks off, beer commentator Stephen Beaumont offers his views on the key trends that are set to shape the category during the next 12 months.... read more

What's coming up in aged spirits in 2021? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

14 January 2021 | Amy Hopkins

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2021 will shape their respective sectors. Here's our aged spirits expert, Amy Hopkins, with her take on the year ahead.... read more

What's coming up in wine in 2021? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

7 January 2021 | Chris Losh

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2021 will shape their respective sectors. Here's our wine expert, Chris Losh, with his take on the year ahead.... read more

What's coming up in soft drinks in 2021? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

5 January 2021 | Lucy Britner

As 2021 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

Your Christmas will be calmer than Marie Brizard's - comment

23 December 2020 | Olly Wehring

There's something macabre about considering the future prospects of a drinks company on 23 December. The news from Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits today, however, is bleak in itself.... read more

Why Strava’s explosive lockdown growth presents digital opportunities for sports drinks - comment - FREE TO ACCESS

21 December 2020 | GlobalData

Digital fitness and exercise platform Strava has recently reported that it is receiving approximately 2m app registrations per month. The app's explosive popularity during lockdown periods reflects the notable consumer shift to self-managed digital fitness, as well as a promising opportunity for the suffering sports drinks market during the pandemic period.... read more

Tariffs risk reversing Australian wine's hard-won China wins - comment

27 November 2020 | Andy Morton

Earlier today, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) advanced an on-going anti-dumping investigation into Australian wine with the announcement that, from tomorrow, bottled imports from the country will face preliminary tariffs of as much as 217%. Comments from the Australian wine industry that this was a disappointing outcome were, to say the least, an understatement.... 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

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 has been 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

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

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

How COVID has changed consumers' demands and soft drinks is adapting its innovation - comment

3 November 2020 | Lucy Britner

From range rationalisation to investment in larger formats and work around direct-to-consumer, the pandemic has shifted the innovation focus for soft drinks companies. Lucy Britner delves further.... 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

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

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

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 brewers should think twice before ditching awards competitions - comment

24 September 2020 | Stephen Beaumont

As COVID-19 has turned the flood of marketing dollars to a trickle, one major victim for drinks companies has been the entering of their brands into category competitions. This month, beer commentator Stephen Beaumont provides advice for the brewers out there struggling with the existential question: What do awards actually do?... read more

How COVID is opening up aged spirits to a whole new world - comment

17 September 2020 | Amy Hopkins

The dizzying rise of digital communication and purchasing brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has the potential to revolutionise the aged spirits market in the long term. Category commentator Amy Hopkins explains.... read more

BedBevs and beyond - PepsiCo's sleep-aid launch marks a sea-change in soft drinks - comment

16 September 2020 | Andy Morton

In the late 1800s, cola drink producers started out on a path to global success selling patented medicinal beverages. This week, the soft drinks wheel turned full circle as PepsiCo launched Driftwell, a functional beverage that claims to offer a "end-of-day relaxation" with no groggy side-effects.... read more

Why the wine industry will struggle to balance supply with demand post-COVID - comment

10 September 2020 | Chris Losh

As the grape harvest hits its peak in the northern hemisphere, category commentator Chris Losh surveys the devastation wreaked by COVID-19 and asks: Just what are we going to do with all our wine?... read more