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Premium Indulgence

Premium is not the new normal, but as wealth levels increase in emerging markets, and affluent Western consumers crave difference, there's a real appetite for small batch, 'craft' products made with quality ingredients that command a higher price. The spirits world has always taken the lead, but the trend is spreading to beer, cider and even soda.

Cognac exports reach record high

Cognac exports rose in 2016 to reach record levels in both value and volume, according to figures from the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC).  The US continues to be...

Manufacturers take purist approach as European demand for variety-specific juice increases

Similar to wine varietals, consumers are selecting premium juice based on the type of fruit used, particularly in apple juice, leading juice manufacturers to come out with variety-specific products. 

Gin proves a festive favorite with Christmas sales up 18%: IRI

Christmas sales of gin have confirmed the spirit’s renaissance in the UK, with gin now the biggest growth driver in the spirits category, according to IRI. 

Australia invests $5.3m in R&D projects on Shiraz terroir

Wine Australia has today announced a six year, $5.3m AUD ($4m USD) R&D investment that will look at Australia’s unique terroirs and how they influence wine style and quality. ...

Whiskey & craft beer help drive Ireland's record F&B exports

Irish whiskey exports to double by 2020

Irish whiskey exports are projected to double by 2020, according to Irish food board Bord Bia, with the category being the fastest growing spirit in the world. 

Starbucks removes alcohol from menu, returning focus to coffee

Starbucks has announced that it has discontinued its “Evenings” menu concept, which includes beer and wine options. 

Alcohol and soft drinks show strong growth in Christmas supermarket sales

Beers, wines, spirits and soft drinks were among the categories with the strongest growth over the Christmas period, as UK supermarkets saw the best Christmas trading period for four years. ...

China direct

Wine demand skips from officials to public as import market re-emerges

China’s wine market is emerging from a recent state of flux to offer cheer to the growing number of wine businesses that are invested in one of the world’s biggest...

Tea sales climb steadily on product development, emergence of tea houses & innovative marketing

Ongoing development of ready-to-drink tea and growing awareness of the health benefits and cultural importance of tea continue to drive sales of the beverage in the US, but future growth...

AB InBev and Keurig announce R&D joint venture for in-home alcohol drink system

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Keurig Green Mountain are partnering to create an in-home alcohol drink system, covering a range of alcoholic beverages. 

Rémy Cointreau completes Westland Distillery acquisition

The Rémy Cointreau Group has announced the closing of the Westland Distillery acquisition, helping expand its portfolio in the fast growing high-end single malt whiskey category.

Pernod Ricard announces ‘world’s first connected cocktail library’

Pernod Ricard has turned its attention to the rise of ‘hometainment’ - consumers turning to their homes for new social experiences alongside the concept of the smart home - and...

Beam Suntory takes controlling interest in Sipsmith Gin, setting out ‘ambitious export plans’

Beam Suntory is taking a controlling interest in London gin distillery Sipsmith, allowing the companies to ‘pursue ambitious export plans’ for Sipsmith’s super-premium London Dry Gin.

British gin exports to US rise 553% in the last decade

2016 has been a ‘record breaking year for UK gin’ with the spirit continuing to grow in popularity in the country. Meanwhile, the popularity of Downton Abbey and James Bond...

Brown-Forman sees 3% drop in Q2 but holds positive outlook for North American premium whiskey portfolio

Brown-Forman may have suffered a 3% loss in net sales, declining to $830m in Q2, but the CEO Paul Varga said the decline was to be expected after the company...

Feature

Byron Bay botanicals give punch to crowdfunded gin start-up

Australia’s newest distillery start-up has been using crowdfunding to bring to market a dry gin made from a wealth of local botanicals developed with the help of Scottish whisky master...

‘Immense opportunity for alcohol brands to engage with US shoppers in store’: IRI

While many beverage brands focus their products and marketing on millennials, they may be unknowingly neglecting an ‘enormous portion of consumer dollars’ in the Generation X and baby boomer categories,...

Starbucks CEO leaves post to focus on Reserve craft coffee brand, ushering in new wave of ‘retail innovation’

Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, will be stepping down from his post as head of the company; and the global coffee chain’s current president and COO, Kevin Johnson, will step in...

News in brief

Usain Bolt named ‘chief entertainment officer’ for Maison Mumm

French champagne house, Maison Mumm, has appointed Usain Bolt as ‘Chief Entertainment Officer’. 

New Zealand wine industry assesses impact of earthquake

Around 20% of wine storage capacity in New Zealand’s Marlborough wine region was damaged in the Kaikoura earthquake earlier this month, but the industry is planning for the upcoming vintage...

PepsiCo acquires kombucha company KeVita

PepsiCo is to acquire KeVita, a North American company that produces fermented probiotic and kombucha beverages. 

Dr Pepper Snapple to acquire Bai Brands for $1.7bn

Dr Pepper Snapple Group is to acquire Bai Brands, a US company known for its antioxidant-infused beverages, for $1.7bn. 

Not just for cafes: Nitro coffee craze has great potential as at home experience

Nitro coffee  –  a craze that’s attracting consumers in US coffee shops – has the potential to grow in popularity as an at-home experience, thanks to the technology available in...

Coca-Cola eyes up potential of adult sparkling beverage category with Cascade refresh

Coca-Cola Australia has expanded its Cascade range, seeing consumer interest in non-alcoholic adult sparkling beverages gather pace. 

‘This year in drinks, anything goes!’ Consumers take self-expression to new level with drink creations

With a huge range of flavors and serving options in the spirits category, consumers are ‘ripping up the rulebook in their quest for self-expression’, according to UK supermarket Waitrose.

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