2017 July

Aston Manor’s sales grew by 4% to £113 million in 2016 and it now believes it offers a breadth of range that is unrivalled in the cider category.

Diageo has reported that it grew market share in the UK off-trade and on-trade in the past year, largely thanks to the strength of Baileys, Guinness and Gordon’s.

Amazon finished top of the pile as retailers completed a clean sweep in a survey designed to find the UK’s top brands for customer service.

The researcher responsible for a Guardian front page suggesting a soaring alcohol misuse epidemic could kill 63,000 people said the real headline should have been: “slow news day produces unexpected headlines”.

The UK auction market for single malt Scotch malt whisky has enjoyed a record breaking three months, with sales surpassing £6 million between April and June.

Commentator Steve Topple has ripped into “fundamentally flawed” research suggesting alcohol abuse will kill 63,000 people in the next five years if punitive measures are not slapped on alcohol.

A prolonged summer heatwave sparked 19% growth in cider sales and a 17% rise in sparkling wine sales in the grocery channel this summer.

Fine wine merchant BI Wine said British clients are undeterred by the weak sterling rate after reporting its most successful en primer campaign in seven years.

Online drinks retailer 31Dover.com has appointed former Naked Wines sales and marketing director James Bagley as its new chief executive.

The public health lobby has called for off-licence hours to be cut to 10am-10pm, the reintroduction of the duty escalator, minimum unit pricing of 50p and tighter regulations on alcohol advertising.

Outspoken Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin will join Lord Price, the Minister of State for International Trade, on stage at the annual WSTA Conference.

Moor Beer is preparing to expand its operations following record sales through 2016.

Nine of London’s top craft beer shops will go head to head next month in a collaborative brewing challenge for London Beer City.

Tesco has launched a new Hungarian range across stores nationally and online.

Essential Guide to Cider

20 July, 2017

On the surface it looks as though cider is struggling, with sales down 3% in the past year (Nielsen, year to  January 2015), but scratch away a little bit an you will find plenty of reason for encouragement. While mainstream brands like Stella Artois Cidre and Magners are tanking, arguably the two most important sectors of the market are thriving. Fruit cider is going great guns, with sales up 11%. This is crucial  because fruit cider is a hotbed of innovation that has been incredibly successful at winning over young adults and the term “cider” a lot more friendly for millions of consumers.

The Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland has slammed a “deeply flawed and misleading” survey used by the Alcohol Health Alliance to argue for reduced advertising of alcohol.

A new gin is set to deliver a boost for Hertfordshire rivers.

Tomatin has unveiled its “hotly anticipated” limited edition single malt from its Warehouse 6 Collection, the 1972 edition.

What was once regarded as a small sub-category of wine can now be seen as a thriving category in its own right. Retailers are still a little unsure about where these products should sit in BWS, but many are seeing strong sales and have been willing to experiment with  merchandising, and this is one of the subjects we examine in detail in this supplement.

Adnams has introduced its Copper House Dry Gin in a ready-to-drink format.

Wimbledon Brewery has created a special lager for local football side AFC Wimbledon to mark the joint heritage of the two institutions.

Thornbridge Brewery has revealed plans for the next stage of development at its site in Bakewell.

It sometimes seems like the whole brewing industry has gone daft for craft. The redrawn landscape of the British brewing industry has led many of the more established family-owned producers to rethink their approaches to the market.

The UK cocktail culture is booming, according to industry experts, and a wider range of on-trade outlets than ever are upping their game with exotic mixed drinks. The challenge for retailers is to replicate this in the off-trade, according to Hi-Spirits managing director Dan Bolton.

Germany's ripple effect

17 July, 2017

Finding German wines on retailers’ shelves used to be like playing Where’s Wally? But while you still need an eagle eye, this is clearly changing. Across market sectors, a shift is happening, quietly but convincingly.

Britain is veering towards a situation where guidelines will state that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, a leading commentator has warned.

A surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn among Canterbury’s students saw the city’s parliamentary constituency fall to Labour in June’s general election for the the first time in a century.

Conviviality has more than doubled its full year profits to £22.5m. The owner of Bargain Booze and Wine Rack reported its pre-tax profits grew 147% on the previous year, and it almost doubled sales to £1.56bn.

Step aside niche beers and artisan gin – we are about to see a raft of craft ciders vying for shelf space, according to two cider experts.