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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

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 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

The rise of adaptogens - the continued evolution of health & wellness in soft drinks - comment

8 September 2020 | Lucy Britner

This month, soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner takes a closer look at the increasing number of drinks that offer more than one functional element.... read more

The Coca-Cola Co's job cuts will usher in industry-wide post-COVID reviews - comment

28 August 2020 | Andy Morton

In soft drinks, The Coca-Cola Co leads and others follow. This holds true in so many areas it can only be because the company of Coke, Fanta and Sprite so often gets it right.... read more

Why brewers should look to add distilling to their armoury - comment

27 August 2020 | Stephen Beaumont

Category commentator Stephen Beaumont returns with his monthly fix of all things beer. Here Stephen considers the opportunity - and challenge - facing brewers who are thinking of entering the spirits arena.... read more

Will Diageo earn its gin wings with Aviation? - comment

25 August 2020 | Richard Woodard

As the dust starts to settle on Diageo's announced acquisition of Davos Brands and its Aviation American Gin flagship, spirits commentator Richard Woodard surveys the wider gin category and sees Diageo playing catch-up. Will the move for Aviation plug Diageo's gin gap?... read more

Diageo pays US$610m to harness Ryan Reynolds' content superpowers - comment

18 August 2020 | Andy Morton

If asked, Diageo would probably claim it owns a number of superheroes already - Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff spring to mind. Now it has one more. ... read more

Why RTDs could spur the next wave of growth for whisky - comment

13 August 2020 | Amy Hopkins

The ready-to-drink category has emerged as the unlikely hero of the drinks world. Whisky - particularly Scotch - has been slow to capitalise on the trend, but a wealth of planned NPD could offer a lifeline for a segment that has famously struggled to connect with a younger audience. Category commentator Amy Hopkins investigates.... read more

Why mindful consumption will bring carbon counting to soft drinks labels - comment

5 August 2020 | Lucy Britner

The first half of this year has seen many nascent trends accelerate, most notably in the areas of health & wellness and environmental consciousness. Category commentator Lucy Britner believes that, going forward, the soft drinks brand owners should prepare to share even more information with their consumers.... read more

The Coca-Cola Co's hard seltzer launch is a statement of intent - comment

31 July 2020 | Andy Morton

The Coca-Cola Co's announcement it is to release an alcoholic sparkling water in Latin America shouldn't be a surprise. But it is.... read more

Why 'Quality Control' is the name of the beer game, no matter your size - comment

31 July 2020 | Stephen Beaumont

Although not the most glamorous aspect of brewing, being able to provide the consumer with an assurance of your beer's quality is where it's at. Category commentator Stephen Beaumont believes that what has previously been the preserve of the indusry's larger brewers now needs to trickle down - not literally - into craft beer.... read more

Why are spirits brand owners still getting women wrong? - comment

29 July 2020 | Richard Woodard

The recent unveiling by Bacardi of its Plume and Petal brand backfired somewhat, with the group stirring up a social media storm with the lower-abv vodka. Spirits category commentator Richard Woodard thinks he may know what the problem was. Again.... read more

Heritage is holding spirits brands back from progress - comment

16 July 2020 | Amy Hopkins

The Black Lives Matter movement has forced the drinks industry to take a long, hard look in the mirror. For this reflection to turn into long-term action and progress, however, it's time whisky and rum brand owners reassess their blind loyalty to heritage, writes Amy Hopkins.... read more

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