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"The future isn't to get concerned about monolithic brands like Bacardi and Smirnoff, but to encourage and focus on the innovators" - Interview - Amber Beverage Group CEO Seymour Ferreira

30 October 2018 | Andy Morton

Amber Beverage Group is a good example of a mid-tier alcohol company. Part of the SPI Group, the company employs around 2,000 across its production sites in the Baltics, Russia, Mexico and the UK. It also distributes global brands including its own Riga Black Balsam and Moskovskaya vodkas across the world. According to CEO Seymour Ferreira, Amber prides itself on having global reach while remaining small enough to be as agile as a start-up. Earlier this month, just-drinks sat down with Ferreira to talk about how to compete with the giants of the industry, the difficulties of finding good distributors and why cannabis and low-alcohol offer attractive growth for the future.... read more


Free Craigellachie 51 YO, Bacardi's single malts strategy and a tough stance on age statements - Interview - Bacardi's global brand director for malts, Ian Taylor

26 October 2018 | Lucy Britner

Today, Bacardi has released a 51-year-old single malt Scotch from its Craigellachie distillery in Speyside, Scotland - the company's oldest single malt release so far. In a rare move, Bacardi has chosen to give away the expression free of charge. In an exclusive interview with just-drinks, the company's global brand director for malts, Ian Taylor, outlines the strategy behind the decision and sheds some light on Bacardi's play in single malts.... read more


"We've got to be part of a wider ecosystem to succeed" - Daniel Grubbs, MD of the PepsiCo Ventures Group

18 September 2018 | Dean Best

PepsiCo is to take its Nutrition Greenhouse accelerator programme to North America after launching the initiative in Europe, where it is in its second year. Dean Best spoke to PepsiCo executive Daniel Grubbs about why the US food and drinks giant is bringing the scheme to its domestic market, what it has learnt so far and why such programmes are important strategically to one of the largest players in the sector.... read more


Campari Group CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz on vodka's US problem, Forty Creek's upcoming expansion and cannabis hurdles

2 August 2018 | Andy Morton

Yesterday, Campari Group released its first-half 2018 results, with organic growth coming from all regions. just-drinks spoke to CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz after the announcement to discuss the challenging US vodka market, a European roll-out for Canadian whisky Forty Creek and why we probably shouldn't expect Campari to dive into the cannabis category any time soon. ... read more


Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes on the future of gin, the growth of no-alcohol and the plan to kick-start vodka

26 July 2018 | Lucy Britner

Earlier today, Diageo released its full-year 2018 results, with growth coming from all regions. just-drinks spoke to CEO Ivan Menezes after the announcement to discuss the challenging vodka market, increasing thirst for no- and low-alcohol drinks and the booming gin category. ... read more


"The consolidation of the spirits industry is not over" - just-drinks speaks to Pernod Ricard's CEO of EMEA & LatAm, Gilles Bogaert

17 July 2018 | Lucy Britner

Earlier this month, Pernod Ricard's former MD of finance, Gilles Bogaert, moved to head up the group's Europe, Middle East & Africa and Latin America division. just-drinks sat down with Bogaert at the company's Capital Markets Day in China to talk about the job transition, the future of M&A and how data has changed the business.... read more


"Havana Club is a kind of rebel brand. It is important to protect that" - just-drinks meets Havana Club International CEO Christian Barré

12 July 2018 | Andy Morton

It has been 25 years since Pernod Ricard created a joint-venture with the Cuban Government to bring the Havana Club rum brand to international markets. Last month, just-drinks visited Havana to speak to the two men who currently spearhead the JV,  Havana Club International CEO Christian Barré and Juan Gonzalez, the head of Pernod's partner, Cuba's Cuba Ron Corp. In the first of a two-part series, news & insights editor Andy Morton sat down with Barré, a former Spain and Mexico CEO for Pernod, to discuss the African rum market, the potential opportunity in the US  and why negotiating with the Cuban Government is like dealing with European supermarkets.... read more


"Havana Club belongs to Cuba" - just-drinks meets Cuba Ron Corp president Juan Gonzalez

12 July 2018 | Andy Morton

It has been 25 years since Pernod Ricard created a joint-venture with the Cuban Government to bring the Havana Club rum brand to international markets. Last month, just-drinks visited Havana to speak to the two men who currently spearhead the JV, Havana Club International CEO Christian Barré and Juan Gonzalez, the president of Pernod's partner, Cuba's Cuba Ron Corp. In the second of a two-part series, news & insights editor Andy Morton went to Cuba Ron's Havana HQ to speak to Gonzalez, who has led the state-run entity for the last eight years. During their time together, Gonzalez talked about the Government's relationship with Pernod, its hopes of an end to the US trade embargo and why he believes that Cuban rum does not belong to Bacardi.... read more


"We look for the person best-suited to an opportunity, not the person who's been here the longest" - just-drinks meets Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito - Part IV

21 June 2018 | Olly Wehring

In the final part of just-drinks' exclusive interview with Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito, we get a glimpse of the group's employee culture, we head over to China and we consider placing some bets.... read more


"What people forget is this: The enemy is not here. We're all brewers" - just-drinks meets Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito - Part III

19 June 2018 | Olly Wehring

Earlier this month, just-drinks sat down for a rare chat with Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito. In this, the penultimate in our four-part exclusive interview, we look at why volume still has a big part to play in the global beer category, why choice in the beer aisle continues to challenge brewers and where the shampoo industry has lost a customer.... read more


"There are lots of trends out there that people feel beer doesn't belong in" - just-drinks meets Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito - Part II

14 June 2018 | Olly Wehring

Late last week, just-drinks editor Olly Wehring met with Anheuser-Busch InBev's CEO, Carlos Brito, in London. Among the subjects discussed by the pair during their 90 minutes together were the trends that are set to shape the beer category globally, going forward - from premiumisation to the female consumer, from food-pairing to cannabis.... read more


"In any integration, we've always talked about three kinds of synergies. With SABMiller, there was a fourth" - just-drinks meets Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito - Part I

13 June 2018 | Olly Wehring

Late last week, just-drinks editor Olly Wehring met with Anheuser-Busch InBev's CEO in London. A notoriously-reluctant interviewee, Carlos Brito talked for over an hour about the brewer's learnings from SABMiller, the trends set to shape the future for the beer category and which bets the group has put down on potential growth opportunities going forward.... read more


"Our latest campaign was fuelled by simply looking at Google" - just-drinks speaks to Beam Suntory's global chief marketing officer, Rebecca Messina

13 June 2018 | Andy Morton

Rebecca Messina joined Beam Suntory two-and-a-half years ago to lead global marketing after spending the previous two decades with The Coca-Cola Co. This week, Messina took time out from Beam Suntory's annual global conference in Barcelona to sit down with just-drinks and talk about what lessons she has brought from Coca-Cola to her current role, the challenges of marketing around stock shortages and why there would be no winners from a Trump trade war.... read more


"All of us feel a great deal of responsibility" - just-drinks meets Hector Gorosabel, Asahi Europe CEO - Part II

10 May 2018 | Andy Morton

After leading the sell-off of SABMiller's European beer brands to Asahi, Hector Gorosabel was then hired by the Japanese group to take them to a new audience, as CEO of its European office. In the second of just-drinks' two-part interview (click here for part I), Gorosabel discusses how the old SAB playbook is still in use, the challenges of brewing Asahi Super Dry in Europe, and why the health & wellness trend shouldn't frighten the beer industry.... read more


"At SABMiller, we went through a bit of disbelief and almost denial" - just-drinks meets Hector Gorosabel, Asahi Europe CEO - Part I

8 May 2018 | Andy Morton

As the man in charge of Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Grolsch and SABMiller's other European brands sold off after its takeover, Hector Gorosabel had a front-row seat for the dismantlement of one of the world's major brewers. Then, Asahi came calling and offered him the chance to lead his former charges in a fresh direction for the Japanese giant. In a two-part interview with just-drinks, Gorosabel discusses how he came to accept his new role, and reveals the behind-the-scenes emotions as SABMiller went out of existence.... read more


"Success in China is about being constantly visible" - just-drinks meets Stuart Barclay, GM of marketing at Wine Australia

17 April 2018 | Lucy Britner

At the start of this year, the trade organisation for the Australian wine industry set out major investment plans for China, as sales to the country surged by 63% by value in 2017. Then, in March, Wine Australia appointed David Lucas to the newly-created role of regional general manager for Greater China, further signalling its dedication to the market.  At this year's ProWein, just-drinks sat down with  Wine Australia's GM of marketing, Stuart Barclay, to find out more about why Wine Australia is so excited about China.... read more


"Some in the wine industry need to acknowledge that businesses need to make money" - just-drinks talks to CHAMP CEO John Haddock

5 April 2018 | Olly Wehring

Earlier today, Australian private equity group CHAMP announced the divestment of Accolade Wines to The Carlyle Group for AUD1bn (US$768m). The news marks the end of CHAMP's association in wine, which started in 2011 when it bought 80% of Constellation Brands' Australian and UK wine operations for AUD290m (then-US$290m). Having spoken to CHAMP CEO John Haddock at the time of the purchase, it seemed only right for just-drinks to grab him for one final chat, to find out what CHAMP is passing over, why they're selling and what wine lessons the group learnt over the last seven years.... read more


"In sustainability, innovation could make a big gain" - just-drinks speaks to Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito - Part II

22 March 2018 | Olly Wehring

Earlier this week, Anheuser-Busch InBev unveiled its latest set of sustainability targets, with 2025 set as the deadline for the brewer to achieve its aims. In the second part of our subsequent interview with group CEO Carlos Brito, we look at what shareholders are telling him about the role of sustainability. We also discuss some of the latest pledges and consider how A-B InBev hopes to engage with consumers on sustainability.... read more


"We manage the company efficiently, because we're the owners" - just-drinks speaks to Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito - Part I

21 March 2018 | Olly Wehring

Today, Anheuser-Busch InBev unveiled its latest set of sustainability targets, with 2025 set as the deadline for the brewer to achieve its aims. Prior to the launch, just-drinks spoke to group CEO Carlos Brito about the part sustainability plays in a company the size of A-B InBev.... read more


"Consumers are smarter than ever before - and not just about wine" - just-drinks meets E&J Gallo Winery's GM for EMEA, Paul Sorrentino

14 March 2018 | Lucy Britner

Earlier this month, Paul Sorrentino, E&J Gallo Winery's general manager for Europe, the Middle East & Africa, came to London for the UK launch of a range of higher-end wine expressions from the group. While in town, he spoke to just-drinks about the new wines, as well as looking at how Gallo finds out what consumers want as well as the future for the Dark Horse brand.... read more


"Our ambition is to make Scotch the number one international spirits category in China" - Interview - Cristina Diezhandino, Diageo's Scotch category director & MD of Reserve brands

8 March 2018 | Lucy Britner

In the same week as International Women's Day, the National Association for Female Executives named Diageo's North American unit as one of 2018's 'Top 60 Companies for Executive Women'. The news follows a raft of pledges from Diageo, through both its business and its brands, to champion equality. To mark International Women's Day, just-drinks talks to Cristina Diezhandino, Scotch category director & MD for Diageo's Reserve portfolio, about working in the whisk(e)y sectors, the future of Scotch and how bartenders are helping to propel Reserve brands.... read more


"In other companies, it would have taken us three years to do what we have done in past six months" - just-drinks meets Stoli Group CEO Hugues Pietrini

26 February 2018 | Andy Morton

Late last week, the head of Stoli Group, Hugues Pietrini, was in London for a few days. While in town, news & insights editor Andy Morton met him for lunch to talk about executive churn, the prospects for Stolichnaya and Stoli's continued expansion into other spirits sectors.... read more


"We have more ideas on the table than the capability to handle them" - just-drinks speaks to Marco Mazzini, global director of Martini sparkling wines at Bacardi

22 February 2018 | Lucy Britner

In 2016, Marco Mazzini took on the newly-created role of global director for Martini sparkling wines at Bacardi, with a view to creating a new vision for the brand. Here, he tells just-drinks how Martini is evolving and what it's like to work on sparkling wines within what is predominantly a spirits company.... read more


"Consumers know that brewing locally means less transportation and fewer carbon emissions" - Interview, Carlsberg CEO Cees 't Hart

13 February 2018 | Lucy Britner

just-drinks speaks to Carlsberg CEO Cees 't Hart over email to talk about the wider sustainability challenges for the brewing industry.... read more


"Money has never burnt a hole in our pocket" - Interview, Campari Group CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Part II

8 February 2018 | Andy Morton

Last month, just-drinks sat down with Campari Group CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz during a visit to the new Appleton Estate visitors centre to discuss the rum category. While we had him, Kunze-Concewitz broached a number of other subjects including Campari's M&A ambitions, the overheated Irish whiskey category and why a ban on plastic straws may not be the way to solve waste issues.... read more


The Jamaica effect - How Appleton Estate is premiumising rum - Interview, Campari Group CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Part I

6 February 2018 | Andy Morton

Last month, Campari Group CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz cut the ribbon on a new US$7.2m visitors centre at the Appleton Estate rum distillery in Jamaica. Afterwards, just-drinks sat down with him to talk about how the new centre will affect the Appleton brand, what the industry can learn from Jamaica and why it may take ten more years before consumers properly understand rum's ageing process.... read more


"We can handle Brexit in our stride" - just-drinks talks to Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes

25 January 2018 | Olly Wehring

On the day that Diageo released results for the first half of its fiscal-2018, just-drinks spoke to group CEO Ivan Menezes about the geopolitical issues on the horizon, Bacardi's takeover of Patron Tequila and what on earth Jane Walker will be.... read more


"We've been around for almost 300 years - we never rush things" - Interview, Aspall Cyder's Henry Chevallier Guild and Molson Coors UK MD Phil Whitehead

8 January 2018 | Olly Wehring

Over the weekend, Molson Coors announced its purchase of UK cider producer Aspall Cyder. Earlier today, just-drinks spoke to Henry Chevallier Guild, from the family that owned Aspall, and the MD of Molson Coors UK & Ireland, Phil Whitehead.... read more


"Travel Retail needs to pay for itself, otherwise it's sucking from elsewhere" - Interview, David Wilson, Beam Suntory's MD for Global Travel Retail

13 December 2017 | Andy Morton

The Global Travel Retail channel is evolving. Recent declines have highlighted problems that look set to dictate GTR's direction over the next few years. Earlier this year, just-drinks' news & insights editor, Andy Morton, sat down with David Wilson, Beam Suntory's MD for Global Travel Retail, to discuss what those problems are and what can be done to overcome them.... read more


"It is for drinks producers to be the most committed partners of governments to tackle the harmful use of alcohol" - Interview, Henry Ashworth, CEO of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking - Part II

7 December 2017 | Olly Wehring

In November, just-drinks grabbed some time with the CEO of the drinks industry-funded International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, Henry Ashworth. The first part of our resultant interview, which can be found here, saw Ashworth explain what the organisation does and how it defines success. Here, in part two, we discuss IARD's relationship with the World Health Organisation and tackle the thorny issue of pricing as a tool in responsible drinking's arsenal.... read more


"Companies will put aside commercial differences when it comes to tackling the harmful use of alcohol" - Interview, Henry Ashworth, CEO of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking - Part I

6 December 2017 | Olly Wehring

Last month, just-drinks sat down with the head of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, Henry Ashworth. The trade-funded organisation poached Ashworth from UK drinks industry watchdog The Portman Group in January. Here, in part one of a two-part interview, Ashworth explains what IARD does, what its ambition is and why its members are forsaking the quest for competitive advantage in the responsible drinking area.... read more


"If there's one rum brand that can legitimately play in the super-premium segment, it's Mount Gay" - Interview, Raphaël Grisoni, MD at Mount Gay for Remy Cointreau

5 December 2017 | Olly Wehring

Earlier this year, just-drinks met up with the head of Rémy Cointreau's Mount Gay rum brand, Raphaël Grisoni. During our time together, Grisoni described Mount Gay's position within the French group, highlighted the challenges facing the rum category and suggested the end is nigh for umbrellas in cocktails.... read more


"When people come to Pinterest, they are at a point where they are interested in a product, service or category" - Interview, Pinterest UK & Ireland country manager Adele Cooper

28 November 2017 | Lucy Britner

Online pinboard Pinterest is designed to help consumers plan. The platform allows users to 'pin' images for everything from wedding ideas to cocktail recipes. Earlier this year, the site crossed the 200m user mark - with the average age of a user over 18. Earlier this month, just-drinks deputy editor Lucy Britner spoke to the company's UK & Ireland country manager, Adele Cooper, to find out how drinks brand owners can make the most of Pinterest.... read more


"Only dead fish go with the stream" - Interview, Maison Villevert CEO Jean-Sébastien Robicquet

22 November 2017 | Lucy Britner

Earlier this week, Cognac-headquartered Maison Villevert unveiled the next chapter in the history of its G'Vine gin brand, with the relaunch of G'Vine's Nouaison expression. Ahead of the event, just-drinks deputy editor Lucy Britner sat down with Maison Villevert CEO Jean-Sébastien Robicquet to talk about why the brand needed to change and what the future holds for Maison Villevert.... read more


"It's a slightly false choice to say that it is us or Jameson" - Interview, William Grant & Sons CEO Simon Hunt and Tullamore Dew global brand director Caspar MacRae

1 November 2017 | Andy Morton

Last month, William Grant & Sons opened a new grain distillery and bottling plant at its Tullamore Dew site. The ceremony, held on a rainswept afternoon in central Ireland, was one of the final stages in William Grant's Irish whiskey venture, launched when it bought the Tullamore Dew brand in 2010.... read more


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