2014 October

The trade body for advertisers has hit back at the health lobby’s renewed calls for calorie labels on alcohol, saying they “miss the point spectacularly”.

AB Inbev UK blamed a World Cup hangover and poor weather for a 9.8% volume sales drop in the third quarter of 2014.

The biggest names in the British beer industry have united to launch a £10 million marketing campaign called There’s a Beer for That.

Chancellor George Osborne hailed the impact the drinks industry is having on the UK’s economic recovery after meeting with WSTA chief executive Miles Beale.

Diageo has delayed plans to expand production capacity for Scotch whisky after the world’s thirst for the drink started to drop this year.

Retailers stocking Fireball liqueur with cinnamon and whisky have been asked to remove the product from sale and prepare it for return.

Diageo has reversed its decision to axe Pimm’s No.6 Vodka Cup after fans of the drink apparently bombarded the supplier with demands for its return.

Bibendum and PLB merge

29 October, 2014

Bibendum Wine and PLB have announced plans to merge the businesses in a bid to become a one-stop shop for both on and off-trade retailers.

Marston’s and Tesco have teamed up to launch a beer created by injured veterans that will raise funds for military charity Help for Heroes.

The UK government wants a future EU alcohol strategy to promote more research into the possible impact of restrictions on alcohol advertising, according to a top official at the Department of Health.

Trade associations have slammed the government for forcing through a raft of changes to licensing law guidance that will embolden draconian local councils.

European wineries unite

24 October, 2014

Nine wineries from across Europe have joined forces to promote the Old World’s heritage through a series of collaborations.

The outside of Conviviality Retail’s pilot BB’s Warehouse in Wakefield is adorned with the legend “the best brands at the best prices”. It’s a motto that’s been the guiding principle of the company’s flagship Bargain Booze brand since its first store opened in 1981, but here it’s being pursued in a whole new way for the chain.

Reinventing Bordeaux

24 October, 2014

Bordeaux is on a mission to prove there is far more to the region than expensive red wines for rich retirees to sip at country clubs.

Drinks are more likely to be given as a present than chocolate or beauty products, and 73% of people bought alcohol as a gift in the past year, according to the William Grant Market Report.

Autumn and apples go together like, well, apple pie and custard, or pork and apple sauce. Keats’s season of mists and mellow fruitfulness calls to mind apple bobbing, toffee apples, and all sorts of other appley delights.

Former buyers have spoken out about the culture of “creative accounting” across the big retailers and warned more could have their practices scrutinised in the wake of the financial investigation at Tesco.

Portsmouth council has attacked retailers for failing in their responsibilities and warned that “selling alcohol is a privilege, not a right”.

Hand-picked, whole bunch, punched down, 50% old French for 12 months. For most people, that sentence is utterly impenetrable. Is it about flowers? Bananas? Abused Parisian pensioners?

Asda has been forced to recall its own-label Prosecco Spumante Extra Dry after bottles started exploding in stores and in customers’ homes.

Tesco profits drop 92%

23 October, 2014

Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent is to step down after the supermarket revealed the “black hole” in its accounts was even bigger than had been suspected and saw pre-tax profits plummet 92%.

Diageo aims to grow its luxury reserve portfolio from 12% of the business to 20% after launching the £45 rrp Haig Club whisky in partnership with David Beckham.

Rioja must hold price

23 October, 2014

Deep discounts risk denting the image of Rioja and wineries should resist cutting prices to shift surplus wine, according to Marques de Riscal.

Dacia, the Renault-owned Romanian car manufacturer, recently launched a hatchback at under £6,000, yet people are still buying VW Golfs at twice the price. Why?

Australian wine producer McWilliam’s is 100% family-owned once more after buying the remaining shares held by E&J Gallo.

Pernod Ricard posted a 1% sales dip in Europe during the first quarter of the 2014/15 financial year.

Heineken blamed wet weather for a 4.1% drop in revenues for Western Europe during the third quarter of 2014.

Brewdog will serve 16 collaboration beers made in partnership with local breweries at each of its bars across the UK as its craft beer festival returns on October 25.

Rockers Status Quo have passed a million sales for the first time since the 1970s after the millionth pint of the bands Piledriver ale was downed this week.