2011 February

A Tory MP has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament urging the Chancellor to scrap plans for an increase in beer duty.

New World wine specialist Stratford’s has strengthened its European portfolio with two Italian agencies.

Berberana supplier United Wineries has named Robert Rand as national account manager.

It’s the last chance to enter the Top 100 IGP competition – formerly known as the Top 100 Vin de Pays.

Whyte & Mackay’s Dalmore distillery is releasing a second limited edition whisky to help raise funds to restore a famous Scottish castle.

McEwan’s Export is offering consumers the chance to be a Scottish Laird for a day in an on-pack promotion.

Scrapping the proposed duty increase on beer would save more than 10,000 jobs in the coming year, it has been claimed.

Carlsberg said it managed to increase its market share in the UK in 2010 despite "challenging" trading conditions in northern and western Europe.

Carlsberg is offering cash prizes for the best merchandised independent stores as part of a marketing drive around what it calls “the big five” national events of the spring.

Drinks industry leaders have hit out at a report in medical journal The Lancet which has called for a 50p per unit minimum price and tougher regulation of marketing.

The Government has signalled its intention to protect high streets from the impact of big out-of-town developments, the Association of Convenience Stores believes.

Showtime for c-stores

18 February, 2011

The convenience sector is thriving, having grown by 6.3% to £30.9 billion in the year to April 10, despite a 1.6% fall in store numbers, according to retail analyst IGD.

Diageo GB volume sales dip

18 February, 2011

Diageo is looking to a summer campaign for Pimm’s and a boost in sales around the royal wedding to lift its GB business after volumes fell by 1% in the second half of 2010.?Value sales were ahead by 1% over the same period, helped by what Diageo GB managing director Simon Litherland called a “robust performance” from its premium Reserve Brands portfolio.?This was especially true of Tanqueray, which grew on the back of a sponsorship deal with the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex.?Litherland said GB remained “a challenging consumer and economic environment”.?He added: “We are seeing some signs of a fragile recovery. Across the country, the industry and our consumers continue to feel the effects of the duty escalator and VAT increase on alcohol beverages.”?Diageo said its value growth came despite customer stockpiling ahead of last June’s duty hike.?Its spirits brands grew their share of the market by 0.9% in the off-trade.?Litherland added: “Diageo GB will continue to focus on building collaborative customer relationships in both the

UK release for Finealta Scotch

18 February, 2011

Glenmorangie has launched its Finealta whisky in the UK and other European markets.?The spirit is made to a recipe from the 1900s that was discovered in the Glenmorangie archives and recreated by head of distilling and whisky creation Bill Lumsden.?Finealta, which was launched in travel retail last autumn, is a blend of spirits of different ages and whisky aged in different types of wood. Its name is the Scottish Gaelic word for elegant.?“We have decided to recreate this recipe so that whisky connoisseurs could have a taste of an historic Glenmorangie expression that dates back to some time in the early 1900s,” said Lumsden.

Intercontinental Brands is advertising its new V-Kat schnapps brand on plasma screens in 86 student union bars.?The campaign is the first marketing activity for the brand, which has been introduced as a replacement for Vodkat, the schnapps product withdrawn by ICB after a long-running legal dispute with Diageo.?The activity, which begins this week and will run for 13 weeks, focuses on mixing the drink with cranberry, cola or orange juice.?Managing director John Mills said student TV was “the perfect medium for boosting awareness within this important consumer group”.

Global Brands has added VK Cheeky to its range of VK RTDs.?The mixed berry fruit drink will be available from March and joins a range that is in the process of being revamped with a £10 million marketing support programme. VK Cheeky is a pre-mixed version of a Cheeky V cocktail that is promoted in the on-trade.?Brand manager Kate Hodson said: “The Cheeky V cocktail has been consistently popular with our target market for years but a premium, convenient and hassle-free bottled version hasn’t been readily available until now.”

The Mozart liqueur brand is planning a series of tastings in Adnams Cellar & Kitchen stores.?The tastings take place in the three weeks leading up to Easter and follow a successful programme of similar events held before Christmas.?Distributor Mangrove said outlets sold up to 85 bottles a day in the Christmas tastings, with total sales of 1,500 bottles over three weeks.?Adnams buyer Caroline Fox said: “Sampling activity has allowed us to create huge staff and consumer enthusiasm for the brand and allows the product to speak for itself.”

Wells & Young's in beer recall

18 February, 2011

Wells & Young’s has issued a product recall on 12 bottled beers.

A report by the World Health Organisation says that one in 15 men in the UK is an alcoholic.

Franchisees voice sale fears

18 February, 2011

Bargain Booze franchisees have voiced concern for their future after its private equity owner revealed it was considering putting the chain up for sale.

Shoppers are dropping out of the bottom of the light wine market and putting their cash into cheaper categories such as low-alcohol wine, British-made wine and cider, the latest Nielsen figures have revealed.?Light wine sales dropped 2% by volume in the year to December 25, although they grew 3% by value, mainly because of tax hikes and inflation.?Meanwhile, sales of British wine have grown 65% by value and 50% by volume, and alcohol-free and low-alcohol wines have increased sales by 75% and volumes by 40%.?Nielsen analyst Stewart Blunt said British wine keeps prices low because, at typically 8% abv, it avoids a lot of the duty incurred by higher alcohol wines.?Low-alcohol wines – defined by Nielsen as 5.5% abv and below – have driven the NAWLAW category to around 1% of the market, powered by South African producer First Cape’s Café Collection range.

Magners GB is reviewing its cider portfolio after buying Gaymers from Constellation in 2009.?Managing director Gordon Johncox told OLN he hoped the review would be completed “by the half year” and there were no plans to delist any of the brands by then. Parent company C&C Group’s portfolio includes Addlestones, Diamond White and Black­thorn, as well as Magners and Gaymers.?“We are not looking to remove any brands. Defining the portfolio strategy is about us having absolute agreement and alignment about where we’re going to invest and exactly what role those brands are going to play,” Johncox said.?He denied there was a crossover between Magners and Gaymers. “Gaymers is different in that it tends to appeal to slightly younger consumers, who are music-centric,” he said.

Fourth TV ad for Stella 4%

18 February, 2011

Stella Artois 4% has launched the latest instalment in its series of television ad campaigns.?It shows a dishevelled young man following a woman on to a train and undergoing three transformations as he moves through the carriages – from casually dressed chancer to ticket collector to mustachioed waiter – until he finally emerges as a smooth and dapper gentleman. It carries the strapline “triple-filtered with a smooth outcome”.?The push will be backed by outdoor, cinema and press advertising.

More than a quarter of off-licences in south west England were selling counterfeit

The body that represents Champagne producers in the UK has played down fears of a shortage after claims by LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault that it was seeing shortages on prestige cuvées.?Arnault told industry analysts that the pace of recovery in the Champagne market in 2010 had left the Moët owner short of stocks.?Revealing a 19% increase in sales and 22% in like-for-like profits in the company’s wines and spirits division, Arnault said the recovery represented a transformation from 2009, when the industry found itself with excess stock as retailers ran down invent­ories in international markets.?“Some other companies were dumping their stock but we decided to buy more,” Arnault said. “But we didn’t buy enough and now with the recovery and resumption of the market, we have found ourselves short.”?The company said that all its Champagne brands experienced a “strong recovery” in 2010, especially prestige cuvées Dom Perignon and Krug.?Françoise Peretti, director of the Champagne Information Bureau in London, reassured retailers about availability.?“Individual brand results can be very

KWV fends off Halewood bid

18 February, 2011

South African wine firm KWV is seeking legal advice in an effort to see off a pot­-?ential takeover by the UK’s Halewood International, owner of Red Square vodka and Crabbie’s.?The move follows a ruling by South Africa’s Securities Regulation Panel that Paarl-based KWV was obliged to treat Halewood as a bona fide suitor and disclose financial information to the British firm.?The KWV board had recommended an earlier offer for the business from South African food and beverage group Pioneer Foods, which was subsequently withdrawn.?KWV had argued that Halewood was not a serious potential buyer of the company and that it was not obliged to provide the British company with the data it would require to make an informed offer.?In a statement on the saga, KWV said that it “noted the ruling of the SRP” but that Halewood’s efforts to gain equal access to the data previously supplied to Pioneer were “inappropriate”.?Halewood’s position appears to have been weakened by the acquisition of a 25% stake in KWV by Hosken Consolidated Investments, a South African group with interests in property, leisure and the media.?The KWV board’s statement said its stance had been influenced by an indication from HCI that it would not favour a Halewood takeover or merger.?KWV said: “The board is satisfied that there is no prospect whatsoever of any merger taking place between KWV and Halewood on the basis of current suggestions by Halewood.”?Halewood, which already has minor interests in the South African wine industry and is reported to be attracted by KWV’s spirits and liqueurs brands, declined to comment when contacted by OLN.?KWV formed as a co-operative in 1918 and was the largest exporter of South African wine in the apartheid era, as well as the regulator of industry production quotas scrapped in 1992. It entered into the industry’s largest black economic empowerment deal when the Phetogo Consortium took a 25% stake in 2004.?Its shares have been traded publicly since 2003.

Constellation has restructured its sales

SIBA seeks retail partners

18 February, 2011

The Society Of Independent Brewers is looking for new retailers to work with after its Direct Delivery Scheme lost a chunk of its business when First Quench collapsed.?The non-profit scheme, set up in 2002 to help small brewers trade with pubs and shops, signed a deal with the then-Thresher Group in 2007 to help shops buy beers from their local brewers.?In the same year the scheme won a BBC Radio 4 award for best national retail initiative.

New blow for FQR creditors

18 February, 2011

First Quench administrator KPMG has revised downwards the estimated dividend that will be go to unpaid creditors.?The accountancy firm – which has extended the period of administration until the end of April 2012 – said in its latest report to creditors that the estimated dividend was now 0.94p in the pound, down from the 1.45p in the pound it had originally

A new Sainsbury’s Local convenience store in Brighton is the only one in the country to be trading without a drinks licence.?Brighton & Hove City Council refused to grant the new shop a licence on the grounds it fell within a Cumulative Impact Area in the city centre. Sainsbury’s has appealed the decision, and the case is due to be heard at Brighton Magistrates’ Court in May.?Proposals going through parliament could encourage councils to set up CIAs – which could, in turn, make it harder for shops to gain drinks licences in restricted areas, warns OLN licensing expert Peter Coulson.?MPs are consulting on plans to lower the level of evidence needed to set up such a zone, labelling it “appropriate” rather than “necessary”. “Appropriate just means it is the right thing to do. I think it is absolutely scandalous,” said Coulson. “It could certainly have an effect by making Cumulative Impact Areas more widespread.”?Coulson pointed out that the statutory guidance, which covers Cumulative Impact Areas instead of legislation, aims to deter councils from including off-licences in their CIA policies.?But Brighton has gone against that recommendation, saying it has a specific problem with pre-loading and street drinking.?