William Grant has launched a £1.2 million TV campaign for blended whisky Grant’s Signature, which is targeted at younger drinkers.

Kingsland has carried out research it says goes beyond existing studies into wine shopping to look at why consumers buy wines when they do.

Suffolk brewer Adnams says it has returned its retail business to profit after announcing 9.1% sales growth in 2014.

Fourteen million people have been reached by a Twitter campaign funded by the beer industry, according to the organisers.

English sparkling wine producer Hambledon Vineyard aims to raise £3 million in a crowdfunding retail bond to increase production as it bids to sell 200,000 bottles a year by 2020.

Pimm's to launch 'spider'

23 March, 2015

Pimm’s is targeting the burgeoning fruit cider market with a new spirit cider – or “spider” – that blends the brand’s strawberry and cucumber flavours with British cider.

Waitrose and the discounters have been the biggest winners in still wine over the past year, significantly outpacing rivals’ sales and snatching their customers.

Diageo is aiming to breathe life into its beer division by launching Guinness golden ale and backing the new brew with a £4.5 million ad campaign.

Tesco’s recently reinstated global wine boss, Dan Jago, has questioned the commercial value of Germany’s Prowein trade show and urged producers to focus on more innovation.

The head of the Portman Group says a partnership approach to issues around alcohol misuse between the industry and government has helped bring more lower-in-alcohol drinks to the market.

The boss of the Scotch Whisky Association has called on health campaigners to show “a little less disdain” for workers in the drinks industry.

Australia is on the brink of a renaissance as it “bounces back” and is boosted by increasingly favourable exchange rates and “the best premium wines the country has ever made”, according to the trade.

Aldi has upped the ante in the aisles by releasing a set of £9.99 wines to trade its customers into higher price points.

Cheshire chain Corks Out is set to open a sixth store as founder Ruth Yates focuses on a concept combining a shop and wine bar.

The UK’s second largest cider producer has hit back after a homeless charity said its flagship Frosty Jack’s should be withdrawn from sale on public health grounds.

Sopexa has added the first non-French brand to its portfolio after becoming a private agency that can represent estates from across the world.

Retailers need to champion the 2015 Rugby World Cup in the absence of any major football tournaments this summer, according to a leading supplier.

Wines of Portugal said it has increased exports to the UK by 23% in the past year after targeting independent wine merchants.

Advertising regulators are planning to take action to prevent children being exposed to alcohol marketing on social media.

The Chancellor announced a duty cut on beer, cider and spirits in today’s Budget speech.

The soaring popularity of craft beer and e-cigarettes has been recognised by the Office for National Statistics, which added them to the virtual shopping basket it uses to measure UK inflation.

Scottish brewer Innis & Gunn has launched its first-ever outdoor advertising campaign in its hometown to remind drinkers: “when in Rome, drink Italian lager…but you’re in Edinburgh”.

Wine Australia’s new UK head Laura Jewell MW claims the country is on the brink of a renaissance as it “bounces back” with new wines and an increasingly favourable currency for export.

Wines of South Africa has sold 95% of exhibitor space for trade fair Cape Wine, six months before it begins in Cape Town.

Tesco wine boss Dan Jago is rumoured to be in the frame for the top job at Majestic, Off Licence News can exclusively reveal.

Origin Wines has appointed Barry Dick MW to consult on its supply base.

The Scotch Whisky Association blamed excessive taxation after revealing the UK market for 70cl bottles of Scotch declined by almost 5% in 2014.

Ridgeview revamps range

12 March, 2015

English sparkling wine producer Ridgeview has given its entire range a makeover to mark its 20th anniversary this year.

Heineken has launched a pair of colourful drinks in a bid to draw more young adults into the beer and cider category.

Hogs Back Brewery has won listings for Montezuma’s chocolate lager and Hogstar craft lager Tesco and Booths.

Retailers, lawyers and the tobacco industry have condemned the Government’s decision to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes across the UK next year.

The advertising watchdog has dismissed a complaint from Alcohol Concern arguing that a Heineken TV ad encouraged excessive drinking and linked alcohol to social and sexual success.

Maxxium appoints new boss

10 March, 2015

Maxxium is promoting off-trade sales director Mark Riley to managing director after Huw Pennell left the position to take on a new role at parent company Edrington.

Scottish supplier Inverarity Morton is aiming to cash in on the upcoming barbecue season with the launch of a range of wines called The Pitmaster.

Trade bodies are ramping up their lobbying of parliamentary candidates by urging them to push for a duty cut on beers, wines and spirits.

A House of Lords committee has put minimum pricing back on the agenda, pressuring the UK government to fulfill its 2012 pledge to introduce the measure. 

Villa Maria is launching a range of 9% abv wines in the UK market after the New Zealand government teamed up with producers to position the country as the world leader for lower alcohol wines.

A convenience store expert who has taken on 36 of the 37 stores Conviviality Retail bought from GT News last month believes off-licence owners can look forward to a golden future.

Tesco wine boss Dan Jago has spoken of his “delight” at support from the trade after his return to the retailer – and says he is pleased to be back.

Politicians have heaped further pressure on the Competition & Markets Authority to ensure retailers are not being forced to sign up to illegal Reducing the Strength schemes.

Politicians have heaped further pressure on the Competition & Markets Authority to ensure retailers are not being forced to sign up to illegal Reducing the Strength schemes.

Oddbins is moving beyond its wine heritage with the opening of a craft beer shop as it trials new formats to accelerate expansion.

Improved freight costs and favourable currency movements mean that, for the first time in years, UK retailers will not be charged more for wine in 2015, according to a leading supplier.

Molson Coors has pledged to ramp up its focus on the convenience channel after admitting beer and cider suppliers have not done enough to capitalise on the growing segment of the market.

Independent wine merchants will have a field day selling Portuguese wine after supermarkets cut ranges to compete with discounters, according to a leading supplier.

Pernod Ricard has affirmed its commitment to the Jacob’s Creek brand but said it will persist with a premiumisation strategy despite volume sales falling 15% (Nielsen, six months to January 2015).

Three hundred beers from around the globe will be on offer at a new Brighton store built from recycled and reclaimed materials from the local area.

Leading trade associations have teamed up to offer guidance and support for retailers asked to strip shelves of beer and cider above a certain abv as part of a Reducing the Strength scheme.

The organisers of the London Wine Fair have promised the May event will be the most diverse in its 35 year history and claim to have sold nearly all the exhibitor slots.

Champagne shipments to the UK grew 6.1% in 2014, cementing Britain’s position as the regions top export market, according to new Champagne Bureau figures.

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COMMENT

Richard Hemming: Seven wines for highly effective off-licences

A wine merchant’s portfolio has to speak for itself. There’s no point having eye-catching merchandising or an integrated social media strategy if the wines themselves aren’t good enough. Here are seven wines that tell me whether a wine shop is worth its salt. How many are on your shelves?

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