2014 December

Political uncertainty caused by the general election threatens to hamper retail sales growth in 2015.

The Co-operative Group expects to sell three bottles of Prosecco a second today – continuing a rush on the Italian sparkling wine in the run-up to Christmas.

Scotch whisky producer Glengoyne has unveiled a new tour experience designed to show the whisky’s close connection with wood.

Research for AB-Inbev UK has shown that 18-34 year olds are eight times more likely than over-65s to replace full-strength alcohol with alcohol-free beer in January

Leading doctors and health campaigners have used the heavy holiday sports programme to restate calls to ban alcohol sponsorship.

A press ad for Belvedere vodka has fallen foul of advertising regulations.

Fake vodka alert after raids

22 December, 2014

Retailers across the country are being alerted to a proliferation of fake vodka over the Christmas period.

A report from Mintel says the beer market will end 2014 back in growth after five years of decline.

Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling will address the football nation on Boxing Day in a “King’s Speech” as part of Carlsberg UK’s Mid Season’s Greetings marketing campaign.

The number of alcohol units sold in the UK dropped by 1.9 billion between 2011 and 2013, according to new Department of Health figures.

Online retailer Ales by Mail said it sold 300% more craft beer during November 2014 than in the same month last year.

The Local Government Association has indicated that retailers signing up to Reducing the Strength schemes could be breaking competition law.

Setting the bar low

16 December, 2014

After the bountiful Christmas period come two words to strike fear into the hearts of drinks retailers: dry January.

My Christmas Wishes

16 December, 2014

As the end of each year approaches, there comes an instinctive urge to start predicting what the future holds. But for the world of wine, where the vagaries mean something as fundamental as production becomes utterly unpredictable, any kind of clairvoyance is probably best avoided.

Premium gin brand Pinkster has signed distribution deals with Coe Vinters and Gordon & MacPhail as it steps up expansion plans following second round financing.

The godfather of booze cruising Dave West has been stabbed to death in central London, and his son David has been charged with murder.

Bargain Booze is launching an app called As If It Wasn’t Cheap Enough to offer customers exclusive deals and competitions.

Spar is giving away drinks brands including beers from Heineken and Molson Coors when it brings back its Shop & Win mobile promotion in January.

Portugal passion

16 December, 2014

Film nights, gourmet burger evenings and even a Douro vs Alentejo blind tasting competition have brought Portugal to life in independent wine merchants.

A 2% cut in duty on wine and spirits would give the Treasury a £1.5 billion boost, according to new independent research commissioned by the drinks industry.

Retailers are convinced that business will be better in 2015 than this year as consumer confidence and spending power rises, according to OLN research.

A local council that is trying to banish beer and cider above 6.5% abv has admitted the scheme is struggling as retailers stand firm and refuse to join.

Beer consumers are as likely to buy on style and product heritage as price, an exclusive OLN retailer poll has shown.

A junior Tory heath minister has told a House of Lords committee she would like to see “flexibility around taxation” on lower- alcohol wine-type products made a priority in discussions on alcohol strategy in Europe.

A Which? report has found own-label Champagne matches big-name brands in a blind taste test involving leading wine writers.

Retailers are jeopardising the future of Champagne by slashing prices and using it as a loss leader to drive footfall, according to a leading supplier.

Accolade Wines has launched a non-alcoholic sparkling drink under its Echo Falls label, which it says will provide a “credible substitute” for Prosecco.

The Federation of Wholesale Distributors is celebrating after news that a wholesaler registration scheme on alcohol it has long campaigned for will be included in the Treasury’s 2015 finance bill.

OLN columnist Richard Hemming is joining forces with MWs Anne McHale and Alex Hunt, Bordeaux Cellar founder Matt James, Concha y Toro PR boss Ben Smith and PR Helen Chesshire to form a wine trade supergroup called Skin Contact.

Fruit cider is still driving growth in the cider market while pear and apple struggle, the latest Nielsen figures have revealed.