Logistics companies within the global drinks industry have been battered by an unprecedented confluence of headwinds during the past 18 months.

Central banks are coming under increasing pressure to hike interest rates after inflation soared across the globe.

South Africa has suffered greater than most countries during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has reported three times as many cases as any other African country, and many of the government’s attempts to curb the virus – closing borders, prohibiting or restricting the domestic sale of alcohol, and banning the transport of goods to the country’s ports – have had a damaging impact on the wine industry.

The adoption of local produce has been one of the biggest trends within the global drinks industry over the past few years, particularly in the on-trade where the influence of sustainability has encouraged consumers to look closer to home for their drinking choices.

Canned wine hits new heights

23 September, 2021

It’s fair to say that the perception of canned wine among consumers has historically been less than favourable, perceived as the choice of hen parties, train-drinkers, and people with “it’s wine o’clock” fridge magnets. In recent years though, canned wine has matured and now some very good products are available in the format.

The continued rise of RTDs

23 September, 2021

The RTD category proved remarkably resilient when the Covid-19 pandemic brought the global drinks industry to its knees last year. It was already on a tear, and its growth simply accelerated after strict lockdown measures forced billions of people to stay at home.

Jean-Etienne Gourgues landed one of the top jobs in the Scotch whisky industry when he took over as chairman and chief executive of Chivas Brothers this summer.

The Rise of DTC Sales

02 September, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has inspired drinks producers across the world to significantly ramp up their focus on direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales.

For many drinkers outside of its native Brazil, cachaça is a largely mysterious category, perhaps known as the star of a Caipirinha and nothing more. In its homeland, however, cachaça’s popularity borders on religious.

Ice Wine's Asian appeal

24 August, 2021

Sometimes accidents breed innovation. In 1928 Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin by chance, having thrown away a bacteria sample he thought was spent.

It has been a sobering quarter for hard seltzers. Sales of the canned RTD that disrupted the US alcohol market when it burst on to the scene in 2016 have finally stalled.

A direct-to-consumer site allowed AB InBev’s global investment and innovation group to continue gathering vital consumer feedback during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Foursquare Distillery icon Richard Seale talks about his career and recent achiements with Oli Dodd.

It’s been a sobering quarter for hard seltzer. Sales of the canned RTD that disrupted the US alcohol market when it burst onto the scene in 2016, have for the first time, stalled.

In late 2020 the US Food & Drug Administration sent out a warning letter to Red Moon Herbs in Asheville, North Carolina, after it claimed its adaptogenic products were intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure Covid-19.

Geographical Indicators (GIs) are a hot topic in the global spirits industry, particularly in the Caribbean. Shay Waterworth investigates.

The volatile symptoms of climate change are looming larger over the wine world, Oli Dodd investigates.

Israeli firm Ripples has launched a next-generation hardware device that prints selfies and logos on the tops of cocktails, beers and coffees.

Outside I’ve got a five-litre, left-hand drive Mustang. That’s right, I watched The High Chaparral, I love everything American. So to make an American whiskey was a dream come true.”

Rioja is on a roll

21 July, 2021

Brits love Rioja – they’re recognisable, affordable, easy to purchase, delicious to drink, and great with foods all year round. While Tempranillo is a core mainstay for Rioja, there’s so much more to the wines from this region, with winemakers working hard to develop more innovative premium wines at all price levels.

Amaretto in a nutshell

22 July, 2021

There’s a buzz about Italian spirits in many markets. Campari and Aperol are kicking up a storm in aperitif drinking occasions through spritz and other mixer serves, while amaro is getting some love on the back of the wider trend for herbal, digestif-style liqueurs.

Global alcohol consumption is expected to increase by 2.9% this year, according to new IWSR projections. Martin Green reports.

Drinks international catches up with the founder of The Emissary Prosecco, Ed Smith, to find out whether talk of a Rosé Prosecco shortage is cause for concern.

Stars continue to flock to give their endorsement to 100% agave brands, but sustainability has become an issue as consumer demand has risen.

Shay Waterworth talks to brothers Bernard and Richard d’Offay about their Takamaka rum brand as it hits the ripe age of 20.

When Stephen Davies arrived at Penderyn in 2004, the Welsh whisky industry had lain dormant for almost a century. Nowadays it’s an established category with a growing reputation for quality.

Beam Suntory marked Earth Day 2021 by announcing a $1bn investment in making the business more sustainable. Bacardi took the opportunity to introduce fully biodegradable plant polymer bottles, while Carlsberg announced that it would invest in restoring coastal biodiversity.

California is the latest major wine-producing region to struggle with Mother Nature after a drought emergency gripped the Golden State.

Diageo shareholders were toasting chief executive Ivan Menezes after he said they can expect to receive billions of pounds in share buybacks or special dividends. The Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Guinness producer announced that organic profit should grow by at least 14% in the year to 30 June.

While the pandemic has been felt universally, the unevenness of lockdown restrictions has lent wildly different experiences to bar owners and cocktail drinkers around the globe.

The global economy is now expected to grow by 6% this year after developed nations ramped up the Covid-19 vaccination drive, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“There aren’t many 70 year olds that get PhDs,” says Dr Jack Ó’Sé, one of the most understated members of the Irish whiskey industry.

Pisco has seen its share of damage throughout the pandemic, with both Peru and Chile taking a hit on harvests and exports. But there is light ahead, as Shay Waterworth reports.

A synchronised sigh of relief was heard right across the Armagnac region last year as the news broke of Donald Trump’s defeat in the US election.

Like other categories, mixers have had to look at the way they operate. Oli Dodd reports on recent trends and what’s in store ahead.

While New Zealand has managed the pandemic better than most, a lack of tourism and difficulties with shipping have taken a toll on wine sales. Martin Green reports.

Plans to protect the reputation of Japanese whisky have been unveiled, but do they go far enough? Shay Waterworth looks at the implications.

A U-turn on regulations for mezcal has left producers confused about quality control. Shay Waterworth reports.

Silent Pool distillery manager Tom Hutchings was handed the Rising Star award at the International Spirits Challenge 2020 after impressing an esteemed panel of voters.

A luxury online wine retailer has enjoyed a surge in demand after the value of Bitcoin increased by around 1,000%.

Ecommerce has broken into markets that barely knew it existed pre-pandemic - and forcasts for the alcohholic drinks sector are very positive. Martin Green reports.

Surging sales in the US and Canada will drive the global drinks industry to a better than expected performance in 2020, according to new IWSR forecasts.

Throughout the 18th and 19th century barrels of cognac were shipped across the world on huge sailing boats for months at a time to reach all corners of the Earth.

The case for Irish whiskey being the most exciting whiskey category globally gets stronger every year - and it is by no accident, says GreatDrams founder Greg Dillon.

The global alcoholic drinks industry will take at least four years to return to the level of volume sales seen before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to IWSR.

The language of rum

23 July, 2020

Language has immense power. It can start wars and broker peace; it can convey truth and espouse lies; it can lead to both understanding and misunderstanding. For rum, semantics is a particularly sore subject.

Mezcal is still in its infancy with consumers, so is it a good time to move to flavoured version, asks Shay Waterworth.

Following the recent International Women’s Day celebrations, one of the topics that has been highlighted is the neglect of women in the craft beer industry.

Irish whiskey is one of the most talked about spirits categories in the world – with a history dating back to the 12th century it is one of the oldest too.

Bailey Pryor, founder of The Real McCoy Rum which is produced at Foursquare Distillery in Barbados, has voiced concerns over opposition to Barbadian rum Geographic Indication proposals.

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Nick Strangeway

Could bars be no-phone zones?

For about six hours in early October the world was brought to a standstill. However, it wasn’t the outbreak of a global pandemic that spread panic, but the simultaneous crash of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.

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