2016 July

Diageo GB has reported its third year of continuous growth for its GB portfolio, driven by the success of its Reserve business, innovation pipeline and Guinness.

The UK is the world’s largest market for Champagne and after years of decline sales have finally started to pick up once more. Volume sales have grown 0.7% and values are up 1% (IRI, year to March 2016) and it is now worth more than £250 million in the UK off-trade alone. It therefore beggars belief to learn that the Comité Champagne has decided to scrap its annual London tasting.

Hallgarten Druitt & Novum has strengthened its New World portfolio by taking over distribution of most of Hallowed Ground’s Australian producers.

Buoyant beer sales in the retail channel during Euro 2016 drove a 4.8% growth in the category in the second quarter of 2016.

Halewood Wine & Spirits has snapped up a “significant stake” in West Cork Distillers.

Majestic chief executive Rowan Gormley has requested for his bonus to be distributed to his staff, netting them a sum that could total more than £7m, equating to around £14,000 per employee.

Black Tower has expanded its range of fruit flavoured lower alcohol wines in time for the key summer period.

Midori has gone back to its Japanese roots with its UK-wide marketing campaign, including an exclusive off-trade partnership with Asda.

Virgin Wines is scrapping the £7.99 delivery charge for all Wine Bank customers in a bid to reward loyalty and recruit new shoppers.

Wines of Brasil is teaming up with OLN to offer independent wine merchants the chance to wine a four-day trip to the Brazil to visit its wine regions and sample some of its best wines.

Craft Clubs, the company behind subscription drinks service Craft Gin Club and Bubble Club, has secured an investment of £75,000 from food and drink entrepreneur and London Cocktail Club co-founder Sarah Willingham.

Friarwood Fine Wines has set up a partnership to distribute the Canadian Benjamin Bridge winery’s traditional method sparkling wines throughout the UK.

James Hall & Co, the Spar wholesalers for the north of England, has acquired the 30-strong chain, North East Convenience Stores (NECS).

Jagermeister is unveiling a new look bottle, which it says is the brand’s most significant change since it was created by Curt Mast in 1935.

Moet & Chandon has released two Grand Vintages from the 2008 harvest as well as a wooden trilogy gift set, which offers Grand Vintages from three separate decades.

Bibendum and its associated wine sales companies PLB and Walker & Wodehouse, has become the largest importer to date to join the Bottlebooks community.

Asda has refreshed its BWS team following the recent departure of Ed Ashley, who held the role of senior buying manager for wine.

The Craft Beer Clan of Scotland has kicked off its new brewing venture with craft brewer Williams Brothers of Alloa by launching a series of whisky barrel-aged beers. 

A host of drinks retailers say Deliveroo’s new alcohol delivery service has already brought in new business in addition to overcoming the challenges of adding a delivery arm to their existing operations. 

Halewood Wines & Spirits has revealed its latest drinks innovation; a range of wines for everyday drinking called ‘Surprisingly Good’.

Heineken is launching new Kronenbourg 1664 packs across grocery, wholesale and convenience, to follow on from the success of its limited edition Eric Cantona packs.

Bargain Booze and Wine Rack owner Conviviality grew retail revenues by 0.8% to £366.9 million in the past year thanks to growing like-for-likes and store openings.

Uncertainty over exchange rates and trading relationships with Europe could open the door for China to seize a far greater share of the UK wine market, according to arguably the country’s leading buyer.

Strongbow has launched a multi-million pound campaign as part of its exclusive sponsorship of Team GB ahead of Rio 2016.

McColl’s has announced the acquisition of 298 convenience stores from the Co-operative Group for £117m.

Morgenrot is launching two “unique craft beers” from Rioja’s Cervecera Artesana.

Alternative selections

14 July, 2016

Young people are driving the demand for craft beer and spirits and spending less on mainstream brands, and this is one of the main drivers behind the value growth in these two categories.

Asset Wines is the UK distributor for a new style of Provence rosé, which it says is so full-bodied it could “even replace a light red”.

London wine merchant Vagabond Wines was crowned the UK’s Best Independent Drinks Merchant last night after securing the most votes in a poll of industry experts.

A collection of independently-owned Spar stores famed for its drinks offering is expanding out of London for the first time.