2014 September

Pernod Ricard has added a cherry variant to premium vodka brand Absolut in a bid to build on 28% sales growth (Nielsen, May 24, 2014).

The Tesco wine team has bolstered its range with five new 1.5 litre bag-in-box wines launched under its Finest banner.

Camra has appointed Tim Page as its new chief executive after Mike Benner left the post to head up Siba.

Treasury Wine Estates has down two bids from private equity groups valuing the firm at £1.8 billion, preferring to grow the business as a standalone company.

Naked Wines saw pre-tax profits rise by 56% during 2013, according to new figures published by the online retailer.

Retailers must add credibility to own-label alcohol by improving quality and value as it enjoys the least consumer love of any category in FMCG, according to research firm Datamonitor Consumer.

Halewood has launched a new Romanian wine brand called Surprisingly Good as it seeks to challenge perceptions about the quality the nation’s winemakers can offer.

Tesco has launched a digital version of its Wine Magazine in a bid to reach more drinkers via their tablets.

Copestick Murray has struck a deal to distribute the wines of Lisa McGuigan, fourth generation winemaker of the legendary McGuigan winemaking dynasty.

Scottish brewer Brewmeister has been banned from marketing its 67.5% abv Snake Venom as the world’s strongest beer.

Heineken has launched a digital ad campaign for Strongbow Dark Fruit and Citrus Edge.

Kingsland has signed a deal with importer Brand Phoenix that will add South African brands First Cape and Distell to its portfolio.

The French Wines with Style campaign has released a promoting video featuring Gerard Basset MW as he bids to pair wines with first dates.

Treasury Wine Estates has launched price-marked bottles for Wolf Blass and Lindeman’s in an effort to “unlock a £200 million opportunity” in convenience.

Bibendum has hired sake consultant Natsuki Kiyuka to host trade training sessions that educate retailers about the Japanese drink.

Conviviality Retail boss Diana Hunter was given 1.7 million shares in the business as a bonus after its float last year, the company’s annual report has revealed.  

Diageo has launched a Smirnoff TV ad that premieres today as part of new £15 million marketing campaign designed to cement its status as the UK’s leading spirits brand.

Scotch whisky producer Douglas Laing has relaunched its golf-inspired McGibbon’s range of whiskies in a bid to cash in on the impending Ryder Cup.

Scotch whisky exports drop 11%

22 September, 2014

Scotch whisky exports dropped 11% in the first half of 2014 as “economic headwinds and uncertainty” hampered growth in several markets.

The average bottle of wine in the UK off-trade today will set you back £5.34, according to Nielsen – a hefty whack for consumers facing income squeezes, soaring household bills and rising taxes.

The market is recovering and off- trade sales are surging as drinkers forgo the pub in favour of a tipple at home, so now might be a good time to open a new store. But if you are considering this there are various legalities you need to be aware of, one of which is a fundamental asset – the premises licence.

Supermarkets do the best job of selling cider, an OLN poll of suppliers has suggested. Seventy-eight per cent said supermarkets were the best cider retailers, while 22% voted for independent off-licences. High street chains, convenience stores, independent wine merchants and farm shops garnered no votes.

Wine Rack begins brave new era

19 September, 2014

Conviviality Retail’s first Wine Rack franchisee is aiming to lead the brand into a new era of sampling and customer engagement.

Marks & Spencer has vowed to use its success at the International Beer Challenge 2014 as a springboard to taking the beer world by storm.

Liberty Wines is looking to extend its reach into the convenience sector as it celebrates strong sales across independents and the on-trade.

Wines of Chile has promised to hit the UK market harder with plans to shake off its dour image and promote the sexier side of the South American nation.

Leading suppliers have warned that South Africa needs to ramp up its focus on premium tiers if it is to maintain impressive growth that has seen sales rise 9.5% to £521 million (Nielsen, year to August 16, 2014).

Two new wine agencies launched

19 September, 2014

The former boss of Stratford’s Wines Agencies has launched a new venture.

Product, price, place and promotion: the four Ps of marketing. It may be corporate jargon, but it works. Sadly, promotion and price are all too often considered one and the same thing within wine retail.

The Scotch whisky industry is celebrating the no vote on Scottish independence and hopes it will lead to economic stability in the years ahead.