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Why has wine failed to educate the consumer on price? Ask Jacob's Creek - comment

12 March 2020 | Chris Losh

As former Diageo CEO Paul Walsh once told just-drinks: "They say, in wine, a fool and his money are easily parted." Unfortunately, for the wine category, the consumer is no fool. Chris Losh looks at Pernod Ricard's attempts to move Jacob's Creek up the value chain and finds a brand struggling under the weight of consumer perception.... read more

PepsiCo's Rockstar buy takes energy drinks fight global - comment

12 March 2020 | Andy Morton

The Wall Street Journal got early wind yesterday of PepsiCo's swoop for Rockstar Energy Beverages, publishing an unconfirmed report on the deal hours before PepsiCo released an official statement. In hindsight, however, the signs that the soft drinks and snacks producer was set for a major play in the energy category were all there.... read more

Why pickle vinegar is poised to spice up the sports drinks category - comment

11 March 2020 | GlobalData

Earlier this month, US-based premium pickle brand Grillo’s Pickles unveiled plans to launch a line of cold-pressed pickle vinegar health and sports beverages.... read more

Is Scotch whisky ditching evolution for revolution? - comment

10 March 2020 | Neil Ridley

Following the emergence of two new Mexican spirit-influenced blended Scotch whiskies last week, our dark spirits columnist, Neil Ridley looks at how continued innovation can potentially bring new consumers into a weary category.... read more

Why there must be more to your spirits brand than provenance and quality - comment

5 March 2020 | Richard Woodard

More than ever, the spirits industry is obsessed with buzzwords. In his latest outing for just-drinks, however, category commentator Richard Woodard suggests terms like 'provenance' and 'quality' play a smaller part in the consumer's decision-making process than we would believe.... read more

Functional drinks flex their muscles as 'ultra-performance' takes hold - comment

3 March 2020 | Lucy Britner

This month, soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner takes a closer look at the changing nature of functional drinks as big soda moves further into the performance space.... read more

Heritage and heft won't win hard seltzer's summer showdown - comment

27 February 2020 | Andy Morton

Earlier this month, Molson Coors Beverage Co management showed remarkable verbal dexterity when dodging questions on whether the US market will see a Coors or Miller seltzer. Today we discovered the reason for the evasion - they were sitting on the upcoming launch of Coors Seltzer in July.... read more

Craft beer is dead. Long live craft beer - comment

25 February 2020 | Stephen Beaumont

If recent headlines are to be believed, the craft beer category is not in a good way. As some smaller players merge to grow scale, others are being sold on by their sugar-daddy owners. And, what of the staff shake-outs we're seeing? Category commentator Stephen Beaumont surveys the 'wreckage'.... read more

Why rum producers should ignore their past to win in the future - comment

17 February 2020 | Neil Ridley

In this month's outing, just-drinks' dark spirits commentator, Neil Ridley, tells us how it took a trip to the most unlikely of locations to truly discover the potential of premium rum - and why he feels the category needs to shake off its sickly-sweet persona.... read more

Van Boxmeer leaves behind a more worldly Heineken as CEO dances out the door - comment

12 February 2020 | Andy Morton

When Anheuser-Busch InBev CFO Felipe Dutra announced last week was was stepping down, his replacement - another Brazilian man - did little to reflect today's widening global beer market.... read more

Will Australia's bushfires bring on wine industry burn-out? - comment

6 February 2020 | Chris Losh

This year started with Australia dominating the news headlines. Chris Losh considers what the country's bushfire crisis has done - and will continue to do - to Australia's wine producers.... read more

Why is Anheuser-Busch InBev bidding farewell to its CFO? - comment

6 February 2020 | Andy Morton

Anheuser-Busch InBev is a global brewer but its management is a sturdy coterie of Brazilian men who have been there since the start of the company's run from regional star to world dominance. CEO Carlos Brito is one, having helmed the company through its various incarnations for 15 years.... read more

Why premium RTD tea could be a soft drinks winner in 2020 - comment

4 February 2020 | Lucy Britner

Our soft drinks commentator, Lucy Britner, considers the wealth of opportunities available to the RTD tea segment. There's plenty to go at.... read more

What's coming up in white spirits in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

28 January 2020 | Richard Woodard

Rounding off our category previews for the year ahead is Richard Woodard, who runs his customarily expert eye over what we can expect to see in the white spirits space.... read more

Forget the Cola Wars, here comes Coca-Cola and PepsiCo's Coffee Clash - comment

24 January 2020 | Andy Morton

About two years ago, on holiday in Sicily, I fell deeply in love with coffee. I'd never really drunk it before, but since that first tentative iced coffee on a terrace in Palermo, I haven't stopped. Today, my kitchen boasts a cafetière, an espresso machine, even a grinder - the hallmark paraphernalia of the coffee addict.... read more

What's coming up in beer in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

21 January 2020 | Stephen Beaumont

Our category previews of the year ahead continue. Here's beer expert Stephen Beaumont with his take on what will shape the brewing industry over the next 12 months.... read more

What's coming up in dark spirits in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

14 January 2020 | Neil Ridley

The dawning of a new decade will bring plenty of surprises, creativity and optimism. As we welcome 2020, then, what will be the first likely trends in dark spirits? Category commentator Neil Ridley takes a look.... read more

What's coming up in soft drinks in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

9 January 2020 | Lucy Britner

As 2020 kicks off, soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner offers her views on the key trends that are set to shape the category during the next 12 months.... read more

What's coming up in wine in 2020? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment

7 January 2020 | Chris Losh

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2020 will shape their respective sectors. Here's Chris Losh, our wine expert, with his take on the year ahead.... read more

Constellation Brands cuts losses on US$1bn Ballast Point folly - Comment

4 December 2019 | Andy Morton

Ballast Point has fallen victim to the new broom of Constellation CEO Bill Newlands, who since his appointment in March has shown a determination to focus solely on the company's best-in-class brands.... read more

US Champagne tariffs threaten critical blow to powerhouse market - just-drinks thinks

3 December 2019 | Andy Morton

These are trying times for Champagne exporters. Three months after dodging a tariff bullet through their exclusion from a list of retaliatory US taxes on imported European goods, they now find themselves caught up in a separate trade war. That both of these transatlantic spates are over, respectively, aeroplanes and tech firms -  a world away from the vineyards of north-east France - must make the turmoil even harder to take.... read more

Why spirits brand owners should embrace the cross-category trend - Comment

28 November 2019 | Richard Woodard

Time was when spirits brands were sacred cows, held in such high esteem by their owners that they were kept in their categories and only allowed out to play with either flavour extensions or add-on iterations. Times have changed, though, and white spirits commentator Richard Woodard believes there is little - if anything - to be concerned about by letting your brand venture a bit further.... read more

FDA must lead CBD out of the legal shadows - Comment

28 November 2019 | Andy Morton

In declining to define CBD as a Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) ingredient this week, and sending warning letters to 15 companies selling products containing CBD, the US Food and Drug Administration has seemingly thrown the nascent CBD beverage category into doubt.... read more

Why US craft beer is still holding its value - Comment

26 November 2019 | Stephen Beaumont

just-drinks' beer commentator has had another craft acquisition to digest this month. Stephen Beaumont takes a closer look at Anheuser-Busch InBev's decision to eventually move for Craft Brew Alliance. His conclusions may differ from yours.... read more

US craft beer gangs up to battle Mad Max market - Comment

21 November 2019 | Andy Morton

When The Boston Beer Co agreed to combine with Dogfish Head Brewery in May, just-drinks wrote that it was the start of a new trend in US craft beer that will see independent brewers seek safety in numbers.... read more

What challenges face the lower-abv wine segment? - Comment

19 November 2019 | Chris Losh

While the efforts of brewers and distillers to create products with lower alcohol content are well-known, the wine industry has garnered far fewer such headlines. This month, category commentator Chris Losh looks at the difficulties affecting not only the production of 'lighter wine' but also the consumers' uptake of the concept - despite their purported interest.... read more

What does rum need to do to recognise its potential? - Comment

12 November 2019 | Neil Ridley

The much-touted 'demise' of gin is surely music to the rum category's collective ears. However, spirits commentator Neil Ridley argues the spirit must first find its way out of the Wild West and lose its 'sweet-toothed' perception before making a play for the hearts and throats of today's consumers.... read more

What does Anheuser-Busch InBev's Craft Brew Alliance buy mean for US beer? - Comment

12 November 2019 | Andy Morton

Everything comes to those who wait - especially if you have the deep pockets and corporate heft of Anheuser-Busch InBev.... read more

Are full-sugar soft drinks the new niche? - Comment

5 November 2019 | Lucy Britner

Has the sugar tax changed the playing field so much that full-sugar is now considered a niche selling point for soft drinks? Lucy Britner takes a closer look.... read more

Is Molson Coors set to pivot away from beer? - Comment

31 October 2019 | Andy Morton

There was a lot to take in from yesterday's news that Molson Coors is to massively overhaul its global operations. Top-line are the jobs losses - 400-500 is a big number and an undoubted hit to staff morale. That many of the job cuts will be in Molson Coors' spiritual home, Denver, will only inflame the hurt.... read more

The industry may be bored of gin, but is the consumer? - Comment

31 October 2019 | Richard Woodard

As new gin brands are unveiled almost by the hour, we within the drinks industry could justifiably be growing somewhat tired of it all. However, spirits commentator Richard Woodard suggests that we first look over our wall, before we complain.... read more

The next big thing in North American beer is…? - Comment

29 October 2019 | Stephen Beaumont

This month, beer category commentator Stephen Beaumont surveys the brewing scene in North America, and considers which beer style is poised to be brewers' Great White Hope. Again.... read more

Will Michael Clarke's departure be a Champagne moment for Treasury Wine Estates? - Editor's Viewpoint

23 October 2019 | Olly Wehring

Michael Clarke's tenure as CEO of Treasury Wine Estates has been remarkable. The hard-headed South African brought his FMCG nous to a company - and a category - that five years ago was in a far worse state than it is today.... read more

Why single malt Scotch must ignore its core consumer - Comment

17 October 2019 | Neil Ridley

Despite drawing criticism from certain quarters, the single malt Scotch whisky category must continue to strive for greater inspiration and innovation if it is to maintain its current trajectory, argues Neil Ridley.... read more

Why Canada will shape the rules for cannabis beverages - Comment

16 October 2019 | Andy Morton

Tomorrow is a big day for the cannabis beverage industry. After years of deliberations that eventually led to the federal legalisation of cannabis, edibles - as the digestible variants of cannabis products are known – will go on sale across Canada. This means that the cannabis beverage products companies have been working on in the lead up to October 17 will finally go on the shelves of dispensaries and other legal cannabis outlets in Canada.... read more