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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

Diageo - An apology - just-drinks thinks

26 July 2019 | Olly Wehring

With six years at the helm now under his belt, Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes has endured and enjoyed a rollercoaster ride of a time - and, that's putting it mildly.... read more

How the spirits category can make the most of less sugar - Comment

25 July 2019 | Richard Woodard

As consumers demand to know more about what's in their food and drink, category commentator Richard Woodard believes the spirits industry is well-placed to capitalise on the public's cravings for less sugar.... read more

Why beer consumers care less about the detail than you do - Comment

24 July 2019 | Stephen Beaumont

While brewers around the world are keen to highlight any point of differentiation from their competitors, they risk losing sight of the bigger prize. Category commentator Stephen Beaumont has a warning for those in beer focussing their efforts at the geekier end of the consumer spectrum.... read more

Why the next chapter for Scotch whisky has its challenges - Comment

18 July 2019 | Neil Ridley

The recent rule changes in Scotch maturation introduced by the Scotch Whisky Association go some way to appealing to the creativity of today's forward-thinking distillers. However, is the general public ready for Scotch 2.0 or, for that matter, does the consumer even want it? Neil Ridley delves into the casks to see what's slumbering away.... read more

Bellwether AG Barr can show UK soft drinks how to survive sugar tax woes - Analysis

16 July 2019 | Andy Morton

A profits warning from AG Barr this morning brought a strong reaction from London's financial market. The Irn-Bru owner's forecast that full-year profits will be down 20% on the year-prior sent shares spiralling by almost 30%. Consequently, the gains AG Barr had made since the UK Government implemented its sugar tax last April were almost completely wiped out.... read more

Will China bite again to tarnish Chapoulaud-Floquet's Remy Cointreau legacy? - just-drinks thinks

10 July 2019 | Andy Morton

Is Valérie Chapoulaud-Floquet, who announced yesterday she will leave her post as Remy CEO at the end of the year, a contender for the spirits industry's luckiest leader? Or did the former cosmetics industry executive, who oversaw a remarkable turnaround in Remy's fortunes, set the blueprint for how a modern spirits company should be run?... read more

Why the wine consumer is getting angry and what you should do about it - Comment

9 July 2019 | Chris Losh

Climate change is having a seismic effect on the global wine industry, but not only in the vineyards. Chris Losh believes consumer sentiment towards companies is also taking a hit from freak weather spates.... read more

How soft drinks can tap into meal delivery revolution - Comment

4 July 2019 | Lucy Britner

This month, soft drinks columnist Lucy Britner turns her attention to takeaways. As the trend towards convenience and frictionless delivery continues, where do soft drinks fit in?... read more

Why gin needs stricter definition rules - and fast - Comment

2 July 2019 | Richard Woodard

Against a backdrop of booming sales, the gin category has succeeded in jumping on the trend bandwagon. However, spirits category commentator Richard Woodard can see a problem looming for gin - a problem that needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.... read more

Low-alcohol - Where the beer growth lives - Comment

27 June 2019 | Stephen Beaumont

Historically, the brewing industry has enjoyed the race to the top, in abv terms. Category commentator Stephen Beaumont, however, believes the brewers that have stopped and turned in the opposite direction are best-placed to capitalise on the trend among consumers towards lower-strength brews.... read more

First, they came for soft drinks... How the anti-sugar lobby will affect the alcohol industry - Comment

24 June 2019 | Andy Morton

At a soft drinks conference in 2014, I asked a representative of the health group Action on Sugar when alcohol could expect to face the same pressure on sugar content as the soda giants. Her answer - basically, watch this space - was the same as I got today when I spoke to Action on Sugar again.... read more

Why a sale of Casella Family Brands is no slam-dunk - just-drinks thinks

21 June 2019 | Olly Wehring

Against a backdrop of sizeable M&A transactions (and speculation) in the wine category recently, rumours of another deal would suggest a sale would be more likely to proceed than not. There's something about this week's reports on Casella Family Brands, however, that doesn't look quite so simple to me.... read more

Pernod Ricard is back in Kentucky with Rabbit Hole Whiskey, but why did it ever leave? - Comment

14 June 2019 | Andy Morton

Ten years ago, Pernod Ricard sold Wild Turkey Bourbon to Campari Group. Today, as the French spirits group announces the purchase of Louisville's Rabbit Hole Whiskey, the question is not why the group has returned to the Kentucky Bourbon category, the real puzzle is, why did it exit in the first place?... read more

Why brown spirits is behind the low- & no-alcohol curve - Comment

11 June 2019 | Neil Ridley

With the booming trend of no-abv white 'spirits', Neil Ridley wonders whether the dark spirits sector will follow suit and who will be the first to really crack the potentially flavoursome formula.... read more

Wine's uphill struggle with the health & wellness trend - Comment

6 June 2019 | Chris Losh

This month, category commentator Chris Losh has some worrying news for the wine industry. The rising preference among consumers for drinks that do them good at best and cause no harm at worst is a train that is leaving the station. And, wine risks being stuck on the platform.... read more

How soft drinks companies can trump the water fountain - Comment

4 June 2019 | Lucy Britner

This month, just-drinks' new soft drinks commentator, Lucy Britner, looks at the next wave of smart drinks dispensers, as soft drinks companies continue to innovate around ever-tightening rules on plastic.... read more

New Coke returns - The power of nostalgia over consumers - Consumer Trends

31 May 2019 | Richard Parker, principal analyst at GlobalData

Consumers have repeatedly shown the value of appealing to nostalgia in their love of things that resonate with their younger selves or due to affinities for decades past. The Coca-Cola Co is now targeting this impulse, tied in with the '80s-fuelled nostalgia of hit series Stranger Things, to bring back one of its biggest failures.... read more

Why pink is the biggest thing in spirits in 2019 - Comment

30 May 2019 | Richard Woodard

Our white spirits commentator has spied a trend! Richard Woodard walks us through what everyone else is doing, so you can too.... read more

Is diversification the future for beer? - Comment

29 May 2019 | Stephen Beaumont

From operating way beyond the beer category to selling off so-called non-core assets, brewers are now looking for growth elsewhere again. just-drinks' beer commentator, Stephen Beaumont, considers the cyclical history and looks at where the world's brewers are now.... read more

Why the spirits category should look backwards to move forwards - Comment

16 May 2019 | Neil Ridley

Can the recent reinvention of 'classic serves' help revolutionise dark spirits consumption for a younger, savvier audience in the on-premise? Neil Ridley looks to the past for inspiration.... read more

Boston Beer, Dogfish Head merger - Squeezed middle seek safety amongst themselves - Comment

10 May 2019 | Andy Morton

They are beer's squeezed middle. Far smaller than the international brewers, such as Anheuser-Busch InBev and Molson Coors, that dominate the US beer industry with their mass volumes and distribution leverage, yet much larger - and more unwieldy - than the new generation of nimble craft brewers blazing a trail, and finding growth, with Millennial consumers.... read more

How the wine industry can surf the waves of consumer change - Comment

7 May 2019 | Chris Losh

Chris Losh has been around long enough to know 'category change' when he sees it. As a wine commentator, however, he hasn't had too much change to report on. Until now.... read more

Have international spirits companies finally got China right?- Comment

30 April 2019 | Richard Woodard

Having witnessed international spirits brand-owners emerge from the Chinese roller-coaster in varying states of dizziness, category commentator Richard Woodard believes the likes of Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Remy Cointreau and Moet Hennessy are now sitting a little prettier in the front seats.... read more

Will this be the year Coca-Cola Co's coffee project goes mainstream? - Comment

25 April 2019 | Andy Morton

In 2006, The Coca-Cola Co launched Coca-Cola Blak, a cola/coffee fusion drink that hoped to take the soft drinks market by storm. Blak first rolled out in France, went to Canada before eventually hitting the buffers in the US - it was discontinued two years after its introduction. At the time, a just-drinks columnist marked Blak's passing with the insight that "coffee colas were always going to be a niche market".... read more

Big beer versus craft beer - Is the fight finally over? - Comment

23 April 2019 | Stephen Beaumont

For beer commentator Stephen Beaumont, the recent activities by Carlsberg in the UK signal the end of the war between 'big beer' and craft beer.... read more

Is Pernod Ricard buying Malfy for the flavour? - just-drinks thinks

17 April 2019 | Lucy Britner

Earlier today, Pernod Ricard announced its intention to purchase the Malfy gin brand from New York-based company Biggar & Leith.... read more