Food & Drinks

This week on Just Drinks – Here’s what we think – Just Drinks

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce our inaugural awards! The Just Drinks Excellence Awards will celebrate the greatest achievements and innovations in the global drinks industry over the past 12 months.

In late March, Concha y Toro reported its results for the 12 months of 2020. Sales in the year, ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, bucked the wider brand owner trend, leaping 17.1% on the year before. Here, Just Drinks picks apart Concha y Toro’s numbers over the last five years and considers the trends that are set to shape the future for the group.

In his latest monthly missive on wine, category commentator Chris Losh argues for telling consumers what is – and isn’t – in their wine, even if it goes without saying.

From ghost kitchens to more thoughtful on-the-go offers, emerging food trends present big opportunities for soft drinks brand owners. Just Drinks’ category commentator, Lucy Britner, explains.

The last 18 months have had a seismic effect on drinks consumption occasions and shopping practices. Those changes are here to stay and FMCG companies need to move fast to adapt to online purchasing, home delivery and a decline in retail shelf-space.

The consumer industry is seeing an increase in artificial intelligence (AI) investment across several key metrics, according to an analysis of GlobalData data.

In Just Drinks’ coverage of Brown-Forman’s full-year results:

A stellar performance in the final three months of fiscal-2021 has pulled Brown-Forman’s sales in the right direction for the year.

The senior leadership at Brown-Forman is preparing for a continuation of the bumper end to its latest fiscal year, as trends among spirits consumers play to the group’s strengths.

Brown-Forman’s showing in its final quarter of fiscal-2021 surprised many, not least in the analyst community. While the post-COVID consumer trends appear to play to the group’s wider strengths, however, the future for flagship brand Jack Daniel’s, specifically the Tennessee whiskey SKU, raises questions.

On our news pages:

The head of Remy Cointreau has flagged a raft of spirits industry trends that have taken on far greater significance thanks to the COVID pandemic.

Just Drinks thinks: A good week for the spirits industry ends with the opportunities for future growth writ large. Between them, Lawson Whiting at Brown Forman and Remy Cointreau’s Eric Vallat have provided valuable food for thought for brand owners’ direction of travel in 2021.

Gamma Enterprises has released a new flavour for its energy drink brand G-Fuel, inspired by the Tetris videogame.

Just Drinks thinks: Gamma Enterprises continues to ramp up its focus on the e-sports and video games market. The company positions G-Fuel as a supplement for gamers to retain concentration and energy. According to market data provider Statista, the global e-sports market was worth just over US$1bn in 2021, a 50% year-on-year increase. This demonstrates the scale of opportunity for like-minded beverage brands in the coming years. [Reporter Rhodri Morgan]

Constellation Brands has completed the latest transaction under its ‘minority founders’ project, this time buying into sparkling wine brand Sapere Aude.

Diageo has lined up the worldwide release of a ‘canned draught’ serving platform for its Guinness brand in the on-premise.

Just Drinks thinks: My worry with MicroDraught is that its positioning, exclusively for Guinness, means the platform will drop through the cracks. If you’re an on-premise operator with limited bar space, a serving solution for just one beer brand is unlikely to appeal. Better to focus on consumers who’ve taken to ‘working from home’ with relish: “Fancy a post-work Guinness, me?” [Editor Olly Wehring]

Suntory Holdings has allocated US$8.5m to its UK division to reduce the environmental footprint of its Lucozade drink brand.

The CEO of Brewdog has responded to an open letter from former employees that alleges a “rotten culture” at the craft brewer.

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