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Interview

"It's still really hard for black and brown entrepreneurs to raise capital in CBD" - Tanisha Robinson, CEO of CBD beverage company W*nder

6 November 2019 | Thandie Sibanda

Earlier this year, Tanisha Robinson quit her role as chief disruption officer at Scottish craft brewer BrewDog to create her own CBD-infused drinks brand. W*nder (pronounced 'wonder') is a CSD that contains vitamins and CBD to provide energy, focus and a "better life balance". Robinson credits herself as a black female CEO that has tapped into an industry that other ethnic minorities may never gain access to. This week, just-drinks spoke to Robinson to learn how her previous employment experiences have influenced her start-up and what the future holds for her CBD drinks brand ahead of next year's launch.... read more


"In the future, all of our products should be in paper packaging" - Louise Werner, director of future packaging at Pernod Ricard’s The Absolut Co

28 October 2019 | Andy Morton

Pernod Ricard's Absolut vodka division has joined a group of companies including Carlsberg and The Coca-Cola Co to develop paper packaging robust enough to hold beverages. The companies have formed Paboco, a paper bottle company that has just released two prototypes. Earlier this month, just-drinks spoke to Absolut's Louise Werner, director for the future of packaging, to hear how paper bottles could save companies money and help achieve sustainability goals.... read more


"The Constellation deal helps to take my choke-chain off" - just-drinks speaks to Montanya Distillers CEO Karen Hoskin

21 October 2019 | Olly Wehring

Late last week, the co-founder & CEO of Montanya Distillers was in London for the city's annual Rum Week and Rumfest. Karen Hoskins found time to meet with just-drinks to look back at the history of the Colorado-based craft spirits company and to tell the story of Constellation Brand's stake purchase in July.... read more


"We are already producing Champagne in a climate that's different from our fathers'" - just-drinks speaks to the Comite Champagne

9 October 2019 | Andy Morton

The Champagne industry prides itself on being at the forefront of the climate change battle, producing in 2001 wine's first report on the effects a warming planet will have on growing and production. This week, Champagne's overseer, the Comité Champagne (CIVC), released its latest sustainability report, revealing that climate change is no longer a prospect on the horizon but is already having an effect on how Champagne is made. Earlier this week, just-drinks sat down with CIVC director of communications Thibaut Le Mailloux to talk about the threat of climate change and what needs to be done to protect Champagne.... read more


"Not being in the American whiskey category has been something we wanted to change" - just-drinks speaks to Pernod Ricard CFO Helene de Tissot - Part II

19 September 2019 | Olly Wehring

In the first part of our exclusive interview with Pernod Ricard CFO Hélène de Tissot, we learned more about her experiences in Asia and in M&A. Here, in part two, de Tissot discusses Kentucky Bourbon, Castle Brands, Chinese whiskey and Pernod's wine operations.... read more


"We're looking for brands that can bring new growth opportunities to the group" - just-drinks speaks to Pernod Ricard CFO Helene de Tissot - Part I

17 September 2019 | Olly Wehring

In late-August, Pernod Ricard reported its results for fiscal-2019, the 12 months to the end of June. Sales in the year rose by 6%, although the group's key US market came in flat. Earlier this month, just-drinks editor Olly Wehring sat down with CFO Hélène de Tissot in London, following the company's presentation on its most recent performance. In part one of this exclusive two-part interview, we look at de Tissot's experiences in Asia and in the M&A arena, and discuss some of the macro-economic challenges facing the likes of Pernod.... read more


"The world has changed dramatically" - just-drinks speaks to Distell Group CEO Richard Rushton about fiscal-2019

5 September 2019 | Olly Wehring

Late last week, South Africa's Distell Group reported a 9.4% lift in sales from the 12 months to the end of June. Following the results announcement, just-drinks caught up with the multi-category company's CEO, Richard Rushton.... read more


Pernod Ricard's Chinese malt whisky distillery - just-drinks speaks to China MD Jean-Etienne Gourgues and Asia marketing head Tracy Kwan

29 August 2019 | Andy Morton

Earlier today, Pernod Ricard unveiled plans to build a malt whisky distillery near Mount Emei, one of China's four sacred Buddhist peaks. The distillery is expected to start production in 2021, with the first product set to be released in 2023. just-drinks deputy editor Andy Morton spoke to Pernod's China MD, Jean-Etienne Gourgues, and Asia VP of marketing Tracy Kwan by phone from Emei to hear more about the project.... read more


"TWE could be an acquirer of other people's wine businesses" - just-drinks speaks to Treasury Wine Estates CEO Michael Clarke - Part II

16 August 2019 | Olly Wehring

In part II of an exclusive interview, Treasury Wine Estates CEO Michael Clarke talks to just-drinks editory Olly Wehring about his ambitions in the US, the company's pricing strategy and aborted plans to launch a 19 Crimes whiskey.... read more


"We want to be the number one importer of French wine into Asia" - just-drinks speaks to Treasury Wine Estates CEO Michael Clarke - Part I

16 August 2019 | Olly Wehring

Earlier this week, Treasury Wine Estates reported a healthy showing in the 12 months to the end of June, with group sales rising by 12% on the corresponding period a year earlier. just-drinks editor Olly Wehring caught up with group CEO Michael Clarke in a very early-morning call to Australia ... read more


Blockchain in drinks traceability and beyond - Interview

14 August 2019 | Rosie Lintott at GlobalData

At the start of this year, labelling manufacturer Avery Dennison announced a collaboration with technology start-up Everledger to develop a blockchain-based labelling offering that would allow wine bottles to be tracked using near-field communication technology. GlobalData's Rosie Lintott spoke to Julie Vargas, director of Avery Dennison's global market development for radio frequency identification (RFID) in the food and drink sector, about the project and to find out more about blockchain's broader industry applications.... read more


"The US is the one market where we've not seen gin's momentum develop" - Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes talks to just-drinks

25 July 2019 | Olly Wehring

Earlier today, Diageo announced its results for the 12 months to the end of June, with mid-single-digit sales increases fast becoming the norm. just-drinks editor Olly Wehring spoke to group CEO Ivan Menezes about the latest figures.... read more


"Taking pricing on your core trademarks is part of the premiumisation journey" - just-drinks meets Beam Suntory CEO Albert Baladi - Part II

11 July 2019 | Olly Wehring

In the first part of our interview with Beam Suntory's CEO, which was published earlier this week, Albert Baladi talked broadly about the group, its strategy going forward and how Beam intends to grow. Here, in part two, we look at the company's portfolio and the positioning of and prospects for its major brands.... read more


"We need to pick our battles and identify where we want to grow on a scale basis"- just-drinks meets Beam Suntory CEO Albert Baladi - Part I

9 July 2019 | Olly Wehring

Late last month, just-drinks editor Olly Wehring met up with Beam Suntory's CEO, Albert Baladi. In this, the first of a two-part interview running this week, Baladi discusses what he found when he took the helm at the spirits group earlier this year, and how Beam intends to spend its money to get where it wants to be.... read more


"We're putting our money where our mouth is" - Halewood Wines & Spirits jumps into CBD with hemp rum - Focus

5 July 2019 | Andy Morton

At a London cocktail trade show in London earlier this week, the Dead Man's Fingers stall was causing a bottleneck. Bartenders and other interested parties blocked the aisles to get a taste of the spiced rum brand's newest innovation, a hemp-flavoured spirit infused with CBD. The ingredient, mainly extracted from hemp but also present in cannabis, is already a big noise in the soft drinks scene. But, London's cocktail cognoscenti haven't seen anything like this before. ... read more


"The craft beer buying spree created some confusion in the marketplace" - just-drinks speaks to Paul Gatza, Brewers Association senior VP of professional brewing

5 June 2019 | Ben Cooper

In an increasingly-competitive beer market, craft brewers to be underselling their sustainability credentials. Paul Gatza, senior VP of the professional brewing division at the Brewers Association, speaks with Ben Cooper about what sets craft brewers apart and why they seem not to be taking full advantage of some natural strengths. ... read more


"There's been a big consumer shift in drinks" - just-drinks speaks to Distill Ventures CEO Frank Lampen

23 May 2019 | Olly Wehring

Since coming into being almost six years ago, Distill Ventures has continued to make headlines in the drinks industry. The Diageo-backed incubation project may be best-known for investing in Seedlip, the non-alcoholic spirits brand. The biggest break, however, came late last year, when Diageo brought Belsazr Vermouth on to its books after the German brand was backed by DV in 2014. Earlier this month, Olly Wehring sat down with co-founder & CEO Frank Lampen to find out more about Distill Ventures and its relationship with thelargest premium spirits company in the world.... read more


"If the domestic retailers had our growth, they would be singing and dancing" - just-drinks speaks to ex-TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortensen

13 May 2019 | Andy Morton

Prior to the TFWA Asia-Pacific exhibition, which kicks off in Singapore this week, just-drinks news & insights editor Andy Morton met Erik Juul-Mortensen, the former head of TFWA. The interview, which took place just before Juul-Mortensen left the association late last year, covers the Global Travel Retail expert's parting thoughts on the industry, including the challenges the sector faces from falling footfall and margin pressures, as well as the threat - and opportunity - of digital.... read more


"Our strategy is to double the top and halve the bottom" - Interview, Kay Nash, MD of Distell's Libertas Vineyards & Estates

3 April 2019 | Andy Morton

It's been less than three months since Kay Nash was unveiled as the head of South African multi-category drinks group Distell's new premium wine unit, called Libertas Vineyards & Estates. However, the management consultant and self-described "fixer" has been working for the company since the start of the last year, seeding the ground for one of Distell's most ambitious projects to date.... read more


"Irish whiskey and gin can't rest on their laurels" - Interview, Shane Hoyne, CMO, Quintessential Brands

12 March 2019 | Lucy Britner

Last month, Quintessential Brands opened the doors for the first time to its The Dublin Liberties Irish whiskey distillery and visitor experience, making its mark on the city's burgeoning whiskey scene. Ahead of the launch event, just-drinks deputy editor Lucy Britner sat down with Quintessential's CMO, Shane Hoyne, to talk about brand homes, the future of the Irish whiskey category and the company's broader acquisition plans.... read more


"Africa is Asia in 15 to 20 years from today" - just-drinks speaks to Pernod Ricard CEO Alex Ricard

19 February 2019 | Olly Wehring

Earlier this month, Pernod Ricard released its results for the second half of 2018. The group posted a 7.8% increase in sales from the six months to the end of December, with the top-line rising by 5.6% in the last quarter. Last week, just-drinks spoke to group CEO Alex Ricard in London, following a presentation to UK media about Pernod's half-year performance.... read more


"We've still got a job to do" - just-drinks speaks to Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes

1 February 2019 | Olly Wehring

Earlier this week, Diageo released its results for the second half of 2018. The group posted a 7.5% increase in sales from the six months to the end of December. Late yesterday, just-drinks spoke to Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes as he travelled between media interviews in London.... read more


"The need to open a bottle 'just to be seen' is going away" - just-drinks meets Piper-Heidsieck Champagne's global executive director, Benoit Collard

7 January 2019 | Lucy Britner

Late last year, Champagne house Piper-Heidsieck released two expressions under its prestige cuvée brand, Rare. A bottle of Rare Le Secret High Jewellery, which costs around US$150,000, features a precious stone embedded "in the heart of interwoven bands of gold set with 510 diamonds". It was released in partnership with jeweller Mellerio. The second expression, Le Secret Goldsmith, is limited to 1,000 magnums and carries an RRP of around $1,650. Shortly after the launch, just-drinks sat down with Benoit Collard, global executive director for Piper-Heidsieck, to talk about prestige cuvée consumers and what the future holds for Piper-Heidsieck.  ... read more


"It was a lot harder without the power of Diageo behind me" - Ami-Lynn Bakshi, co-founder of Cafe Agave & former Diageo executive

4 January 2019 | Andy Morton

Last year, Ami-Lynn Bakshi launched one of the first alcoholic cold-brew coffee RTDs in the US, the 12.5%-abv Cafe Agave Spiked Cold Brew. Before helping to pioneer the hard coffee category, she spent 20 years working for Diageo in a number of roles around the world, including North American innovations head and American whiskey marketing director. Here, Bakshi tells just-drinks what she learned from her time with the spirits multinational and how those lessons are informing her new career as a beverage entrepreneur.... read more


"We've got to be a little different and break some of the moulds" - just-drinks meets Distell CEO Richard Rushton - Part II

4 January 2019 | Olly Wehring

Late last year, just-drinks spoke to Richard Rushton, CEO of Distell, in London. In part two of our exclusive interview, Rushton tells us about the group's plans outside of Africa and how Distell aims to become a larger player internationally, while also riding the wave in markets closer to home.... read more


"The mainstream part of our wine portfolio is incredibly important for Africa" - just-drinks meets Distell CEO Richard Rushton - Part I

3 January 2019 | Olly Wehring

In late-November, just-drinks met up with the CEO of Distell at the IWSC awards dinner in London. As guests filed into the banqueting hall, Richard Rushton took a pre-meal grilling from editor Olly Wehring. In part one of this exclusive, two-part interview, we consider Distell's place in the drinks industry, the group's over-reliance on South Africa and its aspirations for Africa and beyond.... read more


"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


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