2013 April

Macallan has released three malt whiskies to complete the line-up of its new 1824 Series.

Off-trade beer sales stabilised in the first quarter of 2013 after three successive quarters of decline.

Fuller’s has introduced a new-look for its premium bottled ales range, led by London Pride.

The firm behind energy drink Pussy has been banned from running an ad that was deemed sexually explicit, derogatory, sexist and degrading to women.

Wines of South Africa chief Su Birch has announced she is stepping down after 14 years in the job. 

Pernod Ricard UK is launching a £6.99 price marked pack for its Campo Viejo Rioja brand.

Beefeater will launch an ultra-premium gin that will retail at £69 in prestige off-trade outlets.

The Chancellor’s decision to cut beer tax but overlook wine and spirits has unfairly penalised women, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

New "weatherproof" Pimm's

19 April, 2013

Diageo is launching a special-edition version of Pimm’s to inject fresh appeal into the quintessential summer drink brand and sustain sales regardless of the weather.

Retailers are being urged to keep tighter controls on the way managers and staff use social media sites after Oddbins landed in hot water over a Twitter post following the death of Margaret Thatcher.

Innis & Gunn plans to drive growth in the craft and speciality beer category by helping smaller brewers get their products on to supermarket shelves.

The head of the body which represents small retailers has vowed that fighting local restrictions on off-licence numbers will be a key political objective for the year ahead.

A year ago the drinks industry voluntarily pledged to shed one billion units of alcohol within a decade under the Responsibility Deal.

Imperfect 10

19 April, 2013

Ten years have passed since Magners launched on to the UK market and arguably changed cider forever. The Irish brand made a low-key entry into Scotland, an initially tentative move for Ireland’s C&C international, until then best known outside of its home country for its crop of whiskeys and liqueurs.

Heineken will brew, sell and distribute Kingfisher in the UK from October.

Too hot to handle

19 April, 2013

Moaning about the weather is practically a national sport in England. There’s a bit of me that thinks that we enjoy being grumpy, “coveting disappointment” as the comedian Bill Bailey once put it. And yet the last 12 months have been anything but enjoyable. The rain, the snow and the lack of sunshine would have tested the optimism of Voltaire’s Dr Pangloss, who famously declared in Candide that, “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”.

In a world dominated by reality TV and YouTube anybody can become a celebrity for five minutes, but to truly be considered a modern icon you need to see your name attached to consumer products.

The Portman Group has urged retailers not to stock Jody Scheckter’s Laverstoke Park Farm Ale and Lager after the former Formula 1 champion ignored the group’s ruling that the packaging must be altered.

JTI in ad campaign row

18 April, 2013

A row has broken out over the latest ad from JTI in its fight against plain packaging for tobacco products.

VK launches Big Blue

17 April, 2013

Global Brands is launching a 50cl version of VK Blue into the off-trade.

A leading producer believes favourable currency rates mean South African wines can now beat the likes of Australia in offering “exceptional value for money” at all price points.

Retailers can receive tips on issues like range and layout by visiting a new website from Diageo called My Store Matters.

South African wine and spirits producer Distell has paid £160 million to buy Scotch whisky firm Burn Stewart Distillers.

Drinks charity Drinkaware said visits to its website received a sharp spike after a story broke suggesting Britons fail to report their true alcohol intake.

Ninety-three wines selected by The Wine Gang from a south west France tasting of more than 200 wines will be promoted in the UK.

An early Easter drove a 12% rise in BWS value sales at the major multiples during the four weeks to March 30 (Nielsen, compared to the same period in 2012).

A new gin is being launched into the off-trade aimed at men.

A new study suggests that Britain could join New Zealand, the Netherlands, China and Tasmania as the world’s foremost wine growing regions by 2050 if climate change continues.

Accolade’s plan to increase its presence in the ultra-premium wine market has gathered pace with the news that Majestic will stock its Eileen Hardy Chardonnay. 

A Lidl store has seen a five-day ban on alcohol sales overturned after emerging victorious from a long-running battle with Glasgow’s Licensing Board.