Americans are drinking more expensive booze, in particular tequila and whiskey, the boss of spirits maker Diageo told CNBC, after the company reported full-year earnings on Thursday. The maker of Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whiskey said that organic net sales were flat in the year ending June 30. North America has been a tough market for the London-headquartered drinks giant, with volume declining 3 percent and net sales dropping 1 percent. But Diageo's chief executive said he was confident the region would recover as Americans take to higher-end spirits. (CNBC.com)
Guinness was one of the few bright spots as Diageo released its full-year results. The iconic Irish stout has an association with history and heritage, but Diageo is trying to reinvent it as “innovative”—and the plan is working. “The Brewers Project at St James’s Gate” is a branding and marketing campaign tied to the launch of new Guinness beers, all trying to make the Dublin brewery look like a “craft” beer maker of the type springing up across Britain right now. Last year Guinness brought out its first new drinks in years in the UK, launching two porters and, most incredibly, a golden ale. Their success helped Diageo’s beer sales rise 2% in Britain. (Business Insider Australia)
SodaStream International Ltd. is pushing its makeover into overdrive before Keurig Green Mountain Inc. launches a countertop soda machine this fall with Coca-Cola Co. The company that invented the notion of make-it-at-home soda is now recasting itself as a “sparkling water’’ dispenser after hiring a two-star Michelin chef to concoct flavors like “raspberry lychee rose’’ to introduce this summer. This fall it hopes to begin home pick-up of its used carbon-dioxide cylinders. It also is spending more than 70% of this year’s roughly $30 million U.S. marketing budget in the second half, chief executive Daniel Birnbaum said in an interview. (Wall Street Journal)
The U.K. supermarket chain Tesco is banning Capri Sun and other sweetened drinks aimed at kids from its shelves. Tesco, a $77 billion company, will begin the ban in September, when kids go back to school, according to a U.K. trade publication. “This is part of our 10-point plan against obesity and we have decided that from September we will only sell no-added-sugar drinks in the kids’ juice category,” Tesco’s soft drinks buying manager David Beardmore reportedly told The Grocer. (fortune.com)
Molson Coors Canada is hoping that a beer by another name will be a sweet selling point for discerning drinkers. The brewing giant announced on Wednesday that it is bringing its “craft” beer brand, Blue Moon, to Canada starting August 15. The wheat beer will be sold nationally at bars and restaurants, under the name Belgian Moon. (theglobeandmail.com)
Sustainability and sensory analysis, two topical issues for the wine sector, will be featured in two international conferences staged during the next edition of SIMEI, in Milan, November 3-6, 2015. SIMEI is the foremost trade expo for wine technology and innovation and UIV, the organizer of the exhibition since 1963, has intended to make the expo an information center for wine professionals from around the world.