2010 December

Three drinks industry figures have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

Constellation Brands has sold its Australian and UK wine business to a private equity firm for A$290 million.

The trade is mourning the sudden death of Julian Brind MW, who played a pivotal role in shaping the Waitrose wine department from 1971 onwards.

New UK head for Wine Australia

20 December, 2010

Wine Australia has appointed Yvonne May as its new regional director for the UK, Ireland and Europe.

Lanson products stolen

20 December, 2010

Retailers are being urged to call Champagne Lanson if approached by anyone trying to sell stolen stock following the theft of a container of mixed Lanson products last week.

New fizz for Hardys

16 December, 2010

Australian wine brand Hardys has announced the first release of Nottage Hill Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV.

The Gin & Vodka Association is to disband and its work taken over by the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.

Retailers are being assured by Intercontinental Brands that they will still be able to sell old stocks of its Vodkat after the end of January.

Former Spar wine trading manager Liz Aked is back in the buying team at Asda.

RTDs and Champagne are the strongest off-trade performers, according to the latest research from the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.

Intercontinental Brands has agreed to change the name of its Vodkat spirit brand after a long-running legal dispute.

Off-licences in Dundee are being asked to tag bottles with a unique code to prevent proxy sales of alcohol.

Potential online wine shoppers are put off because they think it’s too expensive and don’t want to pay for delivery, a You Gov survey for the Wine & Spirit Trade Association has shown.

Cornish brewer Sharp’s is to release a limited edition beer made in collaboration with Jean-Marie Rock, brewmaster at Belgian Trappist brewery Orval.

1m alcohol haul at ports

13 December, 2010

UK Border Agency officials have seized over £1 million of alcohol destined for the Christmas black market in a single week at three English ports.

Brewers have welcomed a decision to cut duty on beers of less than 2.8% abv next year.The new rates will be included in the Budget in March and come into force in late 2011.

Oddbins is trialling a new smaller-size format called Oddies and has set its sights on opening 10 stores under the fascia next year.

A group campaigning for “freedom in every­day life” says it will take a bigger interest in alcohol issues.

First Cape has extended its sponsorship of rugby union’s British & Irish Lions to cover the 2013 tour to Australia.

Morrisons is to increase the number of wine advisers in its stores.

A spat has broken out over can technology between two brewing giants.

Arrests in £50m scam

10 December, 2010

HM Revenue & Customs investigators have made 20 arrests in a suspected £50 million excise duty and VAT fraud.

The Office of Fair Trading has urged businesses to review the way they use multibuy offers as part of a clampdown on misleading price promotions.

Cadbury has redesigned the packaging for its Starbar and Picnic brands.

CCE has linked up with the Department for Transport for a campaign to give soft drinks away this Christmas.

Britvic saw pre-tax profits soar by more than a fifth as the soft drinks market returned to growth in 2010.

Nestlé Confectionery is launching an orange flavour of its 125g Aero blocks in January.

Hula Hoops in TV talent tie-in

10 December, 2010

Hula Hoops is linking up with ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent for an on-pack promotion, as part of a package of activity by United Biscuits on its bagged snacks in the new year.

New drinks importer Imperial Ideals has launched a Ukrainian vodka.

Blavod Wines & Spirits is planning to launch its own rum in the new year.