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Interview

Coca-Cola's Costa Coffee global expansion - just-drinks speaks to Prodromos Nikolaidis, Coca-Cola HBC's group coffee director

27 May 2020 | Andy Morton

just-drinks speaks to Coca-Cola HBC's group coffee director, Prodromos Nikolaidis, about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the company's roll out of the Costa Coffee platform, the prospect of a new battleground in Coca-Cola's rivalry with PepsiCo and whether we will see a Costa-branded Coke.... read more


"By 2025, nootropic drinks will be worth over US$7bn - that's a conservative estimate." just-drinks speaks to Angela Kahn, co-founder of Tesla Nootropics Group

27 May 2020 | Rafaela Sousa

In 2013, Angela Kahn took on a new idea to replace coffee and energy drinks for a healthier choice. Kahn left her job as VP & global brand director at the British Petroleum Company (BP) to start her own business, Tesla Nootropics Group (TNG), which was formed in 2016.... read more


"'Watershed moment' is the right term to use" - Charlie Merrells, chief strategy officer for Amazon agency Molzi - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL

20 May 2020 | Andy Morton

Charlie Merrells left his job as Amazon's UK category head for beer, wines and spirits days before the coronavirus lockdown hit the country. He could hardly have picked a more tumultuous moment for retail as the pandemic pushed consumers - many for the first time - towards the e-commerce channel. In his new role as chief strategy officer for Amazon agency Molzi, Merrells is tasked with navigating companies through the new sales environment. Many of these firms have also been pushed towards the channel for the first time because of the coronavirus. In an interview with just-drinks this week, Merrells talks about what the rush to online has meant for beer, wines and spirits, the mistakes companies make when selling on Amazon and whether new trends for direct-to-consumer will outlive the pandemic.... read more


"There might be deals to be made" - New York craft brewers warn of coronavirus impact

7 May 2020 | Andy Morton

The head of the trade association for New York state's craft brewers has warned that the coronavirus could herald a new wave of consolidation as it hands more power to larger operators.... read more


"Company leaders really need to take a battlefield approach" - just-drinks speaks to Ross Colbert, KPMG Corporate Finance MD of global beverages - Part II - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL

7 May 2020 | Olly Wehring

In the second part of just-drinks' exclusive interview with Ross Colbert, the MD of global beverages at KPMG Corporate Finance, we drill down into the coronavirus effect on the global drinks industry. Ross expands on his comments in part one about how consumer behaviour is adapting and also considers how the rest of 2020 will pan out.... read more


"Zero-based budgeting hasn't been successful in building brands" - just-drinks speaks to Ross Colbert, MD of global beverages at KPMG Corporate Finance - Part I

5 May 2020 | Olly Wehring

Late last week, just-drinks caught up with Ross Colbert, the MD of global beverages at KPMG Corporate Finance in New York. In the first part of our exclusive two-part interview, Ross looks at how the drinks industry's M&A landscape has evolved, what the coronavirus will do to company valuations and the rise of the 'hybrid consumer'.... read more


China bounce-back a tonic for spirits - Zamora CEO Emilio Restoy - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL

30 April 2020 | Andy Morton

The alcohol industry is looking to China for indications of how the market will react after coronavirus lockdown measures are lifted. As China's on-premise reopens, one premium spirits & wine supplier with a exposure to the market is encouraged by what it is seeing.... read more


"Who knew we'd launch in the middle of a pandemic?" - just-drinks speaks to Jade Padua, co-founder of new CBD beverage company G&Juice

23 April 2020 | Andy Morton

The whole world may be in lockdown, but despite the coronavirus pandemic the drinks industry refuses to stop. An example is G&Juice, a Californian, hemp-derived CBD beverage start-up whose plans for the release of its first products were thrown into disarray by COVID-19. Meetings with leading retailers and distributors scheduled for Expo West were lost when the Anaheim trade show was cancelled at the last minute, potentially cutting off G&Juice's route-to-market at a crucial stage. Undaunted, the three women at the helm of G&Juice have reassessed their plans, turning to smaller outlets in California that were calling out for stress-busting CBD products in a time of national emergency. Yesterday, just-drinks spoke to G&Juice co-founder & CMO Jade Padua, currently in lockdown in her home city of Toronto, Canada, about reacting to the cancelled Anaheim show, the positives of launching during a global pandemic and what US food safety authorities have in store for CBD beverages.... read more


"This is one of the biggest opportunities to change the way we recycle plastic" - just-drinks speaks to Suntory Beverage & Food Europe chief R&D officer Roberto Vanin

15 April 2020 | Andy Morton

Last week, just-drinks spoke to Suntory Beverage & Food Europe's chief R&D officer, Roberto Vanin, to discuss the implications of a new enzyme that can break down plastic in a matter of hours.... read more


"There's a link between Brexit, the tariff war and COVID-19" - just-drinks speaks to SpiritsEurope director general Ulrich Adam - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL

8 April 2020 | Olly Wehring

In the drinks industry, the coronavirus pandemic has turned the spotlight on to trade associations, with members searching frantically for answers to their many questions. In our latest coronavirus special interview, just-drinks hears from Ulrich Adam, director general of SpiritsEurope, who discusses how his organisation is coping with COVID-19.... read more


"This will sort out the sheep from the lambs" - Cramele Recas founder Philip Cox - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL

7 April 2020 | Andy Morton

The coronavirus pandemic will be "painful but not deadly" for the global wine industry, according to the founder of Romanian winery Cramele Recas, with financially-unstable wine companies facing the greatest threat.... read more


"We're working seven days a week on sanitiser" - British Honey Co banks on coronavirus strategy shift - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL

3 April 2020 | Andy Morton

Honey spirits maker British Honey Co has rapidly turned alcohol sanitiser into a new long-term revenue generator to help soften the economic shock of the coronavirus outbreak.... read more


"If you're a very small gin distillery, I think your days are numbered" - Mangrove MD Nick Gillett - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL

27 March 2020 | Andy Morton

The head of UK high-end spirits distributor Mangrove has spoken of his fears for the spirits industry as the coronavirus crisis deepens, warning that large distillers with production tied to one location may have issues sourcing bottles.... read more


"We're living through very anxious times" - just-drinks speaks to Distilled Spirits Council CEO Chris Swonger - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL

25 March 2020 | Andy Morton

As distillers in the US come to terms with an on-premise channel in shutdown and an uncertain economic future, just-drinks spoke to the head of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Chris Swonger, about the potential impact of the coronavirus.... read more


"No one wins. I don't see any company coming out of this up" - just-drinks speaks to Wine & Spirit Trade Association chief executive Miles Beale - CORONAVIRUS SPECIAL

20 March 2020 | Olly Wehring

As the coronavirus COVID-19 throws the UK into confusion this week, just-drinks speaks to the chief executive of the country's Wine & Spirit Trade Association, Miles Beale, to hear his view on a tumultuous few days - with no immediate end in sight.... read more


"Wine has been inherently conservative for a very long time" - just-drinks speaks to Kingsland Drinks MD Ed Baker

11 March 2020 | Andy Morton

Over the past four years, Kingsland Drinks has invested heavily in production facilities as the bulk wine and spirits producer and co-packer for major UK supermarkets and brands looks to open up new growth categories for customers facing a challenged UK wine market. Investment has included a GBP5m (US$6.5m) high-speed bottling line, as well as bag-in-box and spirits-filling lines. A canning line has recently gone live, allowing Kingsland to produce wine RTDs such as its own brand, Vin Crowd, which was launched last week. As Brexit and changing consumer demands put the spotlight on UK wine, just-drinks spoke to Kingsland MD Ed Baker about the company's recent spends and heard about the areas Kingsland's client base is looking to target in a "fundamentally changed" wine market.... read more


"I don't see CBD playing a role in our business" - just-drinks speaks to Nichols' senior executive team

26 February 2020 | Olly Wehring

Earlier today, UK-based soft drinks group and Vimto brand owner Nichol reported its full-year results. Following the announcement, just-drinks spoke to CEO Marnie Millard, alongside CFO Tim Croston and the company's COO, Andrew Milne.... read more


"Powers is the sleeping giant of Irish whiskey" - Interview - Irish Distillers global marketing director Brendan Buckley

11 February 2020 | Andy Morton

Brendan Buckley is the global marketing director for Pernod Ricard's Irish Distillers unit, owner of the Jameson whiskey brand. As Irish whiskey continues to grow in popularity outside of its core US market, just-drinks spoke to Buckley about raising the awareness of Irish Distillers' other brands. He also talked about the recent success of rival whiskey Proper No. 12, fronted by mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor, as well as moves to ramp up Jameson's e-commerce footprint.... read more


"The minute you react to short-term volatility, that's when businesses get into trouble" - just-drinks speaks to Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes

31 January 2020 | Olly Wehring

Earlier this week, Diageo released half-year results that showed sales growth slowing to +4%. Following the announcement, just-drinks editor Olly Wehring sat down with group CEO Ivan Menezes to drill down into the numbers.... read more


"Let me say right here, plastic in itself is not the issue" - Interview - Refresco CEO Hans Roelofs

31 January 2020 | Andy Morton

just-drinks deputy editor Andy Morton spoke to Hans Roelofs, Refresco CEO for almost 13 years, about why we can expect more US M&A activity from the group. Roelofs also gives his inside take on the CCEP purchase and talks about plastic's position as a priority for the soft drinks industry.... read more


"Drinking has its taboo side in India, but that's changing" - just-drinks speaks to William Grant & Sons' India head, Sachin Mehta

28 January 2020 | Andy Morton

It has been a decade since William Grant & Sons established a standalone distribution unit in India. You may ask what took the company so long - India, after all, has long been the world's largest whisk(e)y market by volume and Scotch giants Diageo and Pernod Ricard have been in-market much longer.... read more


"US craft distillers are saying their calls aren't being returned" - just-drinks speaks to Distilled Spirits Council CEO Chris Swonger - Part II

21 January 2020 | Olly Wehring

We have more from the Distilled Spirits Council! Following on from part one last week, the second part of our interview with DISCUS CEO Chris Swonger looks at the craft spirits segment in the US and updates us on what's keeping the trade association busy on the home front.... read more


"The Trump administration has been bold in addressing long-standing trade barriers" - just-drinks speaks to Distilled Spirits Council CEO Chris Swonger - Part I

16 January 2020 | Olly Wehring

Spirits producers in the US had plenty to worry about last year, and 2020 shows little sign of respite. Late last week, just-drinks spoke to Chris Swonger, the CEO of trade association the Distilled Spirits Council of the US. In this, the first in an exclusive, two-part interview, Swonger, who assumed the role in late-2018, leads us through the twists and turns of tariffs and trade talks in recent months.... read more


"Consumers are not stupid - they're the trendsetters" - just-drinks speaks to Diageo's chief digital officer, Ben Sutherland - Part II

13 December 2019 | Olly Wehring

Olly Wehring speaks to Diageo's chief digital officer, Ben Sutherland. Here, in the second part of an exclusive two-part interview, Sutherland talks about breaking through to 'dark social', the power of imfluencers and the lack of a digital rule book for beverage.... read more


"The shift we're seeing is towards more personal and private social networks" - just-drinks speaks to Diageo's chief digital officer, Ben Sutherland - Part I

10 December 2019 | Olly Wehring

Earlier this year, just-drinks published its latest issue of FUTURES, a series of reports that consider the longer-term future. The report, 'Over the Influence? The future of social media' is available to download free of charge here. For the report, editor Olly Wehring spoke to Diageo's chief digital officer, Ben Sutherland. Here, in an exclusive two-part interview, Sutherland tells us what he does, how he does it and why it's the shape of things to come.... read more


"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


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