2014 February

Heineken is spending £100 million on marketing a wide range of new and existing brands in 2014 as it embarks on its “biggest innovation year ever”.

A Portuguese wine company is launching a premium range of estate-grown wines after more than 30 years supplying the volume end of the market.

A Chicago drinks maker has hit back at the Portman Group after it was banned from marketing its Four Loko RTD brand in the UK.

Jägermeister will hit TV screens for the first time ever next month as part of a £3 million ad campaign designed to boost its off-trade sales.

Amarula launches Gold

27 February, 2014

Amarula cream liqueur is set to launch its first new product in 25 years – Amarula Gold, a clear golden 30% abv spirit.

Portman Group bans Four Loko

27 February, 2014

The Portman Group has banned Chicago drinks maker Phusion Projects from marketing its Four Loko RTD brand in the UK.

Reh Kendermann’s 5.5% abv B by Black Tower grew 52% in 2013, bucking a decline in the lower-alcohol wine market.

Gallo is targeting independent retailers with New Amsterdam vodka, the first spirits brand to sell 1 million cases within its first year in the US.

Before he died last week, wine industry doyenne Michael Cox donated his limited-edition collection of Taittinger Champagne to drinks trade charity The Benevolent.

Californian wine supplier Gallo aims to make Moscato this season’s must-have varietal with the launch of two new wines and a £1 million ad campaign.

Diageo has been warned that its future advertising must not link alcohol with daringness or toughness after the watchdog banned a Captain Morgan ad featuring a daredevil buccaneer. 

Wines of Chile’s European director Michael Cox has died after a battle with cancer.

Thatchers has released a limited edition cider made from 458 different types of apple grown in a single orchard.

Fairtrade Fortnight begins on Monday (Feb 24) and the Co-op is offering 20% off many of its own-brand range to celebrate 10 years of Fairtrade wine.

Industry legend Michael Cox has died following a battle with cancer and twin brother David has led tributes to “an amazing man”.

The Scotch Whisky Association has vowed to fight tooth and nail to see the proposed minimum unit pricing policy axed in Scotland.

AB Inbev aims to reach 43 million UK consumers with a marketing campaign promoting Budweiser’s sponsorship of this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Diageo has launched a peach variant of super-premium vodka brand Ciroc.

Diageo has warned that Britain leaving the EU could lead to dwindling Scotch whisky exports and impede the UK’s economic recovery.

The team behind the Let There Be Beer campaign has hired a former Accolade, Diageo and LVMH marketing boss to spearhead the initiative.

Comedian Danny Wallace has created a new beer in collaboration with the recently reopened east London brewery Truman’s.

A small-batch rum inspired by a Filipino revolutionary has hit the UK off-trade after Glasgow-based supplier Marblehead signed a distribution deal with Bleeding Heart Rum Company.

Consumers can win a trip for two to Brazil in a new on-pack promotion launched by the nation’s generic body.

Tesco expands wine team

17 February, 2014

Tesco has bolstered its wine team by plucking Charlotte Lemoine from the shop floor at Majestic and turning her into an assistant product developer.

Berry Bros & Rudd is giving wine lovers the chance to make their own Bordeaux wines after signing up start-up company Viniv.

New boss at Imperial Tobacco

17 February, 2014

Melvin Ruigrok has taken over as general manager at Imperial Tobacco’s UK arm.

Bittersweet infamy

14 February, 2014

They’re calling it a ticking time-bomb, the hidden menace and the new nicotine – as addictive and dangerous as cigarettes.

Accolade has reported double-digit growth in market-leading Australian brand Hardys and said the return to prominence of Chardonnay from Down Under will spur even greater progress.

The industry’s ability to contribute more to the country’s economic recovery is being severely hampered by the government’s policy on alcohol tax, an exclusive OLN survey has shown.

This village off-licence and deli in a Victorian former schoolhouse has become a destination shop, thanks to its real ale and cider range, including a rolling choice on draught. Bottled beers are sourced from local microbreweries and craft brewers around the country and further afield, while the bottled cider range focuses on premium, niche and boutique products.