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Pernod Ricard UK (PRUK) has announced the appointment of four key roles to lead its marketing and digital transformation. The new appointments will also be part of PRUK’s aim to drive value growth across its premium spirits and wine portfolio.

McGuigan Wines has renewed its TV sponsorship with Timeless Entertainment on UKTVs Drama for a second year.

The renewed 12-month sponsorship deal, worth over £2 million, will continue to cover the Timeless Entertainment programming on UKTV’s Drama channel. Led by “an exciting new and disruptive creative” developed by agency 20something, the campaign will illustrate there are “No Drama’s, when you bring a McGuigan”.

The idents themselves play on the tropes of classic British Drama TV shows found on the channel, across a variety of sub-genres – thriller, disaster, espionage, scandal, law and crime, only to later reveal themselves as innocuous and drama-free scenarios, featuring people innocently enjoying a delicious glass of McGuigan, whether that’s with a Friday night take-away, cosied up on the sofa or socialising with friends over a long lunch.

Julian Dyer, chief operating officer for UK & Europe, said: “The renewal of the sponsorship is incredibly exciting for McGuigan. Last year’s sponsorship was a great success, with shifts in key brand metric such as brand awareness and consideration. We have taken learnings from last year’s creative and have developed an amazing disruptive new creative positioned around ‘No Drama’s, when you bring a Mcguigan’, we can’t wait to see it live.

“The creative was developed by 20something, who have been a great partner bringing the brief to life. The team at 20something from the start aligned themselves closely with the brand and worked collaboratively with us through the entire process resulting in an outstanding final product which is aligned to our consumer and the sponsorship platform. We are hugely confident that we will see even greater brand metrics shifts and growth versus last year, to say we are excited is an understatement!

Elliott Starr, Senior Copywriter at 20something said: “The wine aisle in the supermarket can be a daunting place for many people. A rushed decision on the way to a party where you might be hoping to impress can often result in paying over-the-odds for a prestigious-looking label with some fancy swirls on it. Or, worse, showing up with something deemed to be inferior. There’s a real fear about ‘getting it wrong’, it’s all a bit dramatic. If you buy a McGuigan, you know you’re getting something legitimate – all that drama disappears, hence, ‘no dramas, bring a McGuigan’.”

The sponsorship, which is now live, is expected to reach a total of over 20 million people across the country UK & Ireland. It will also be supported with a multi-channel campaign from TV and social, through to the point of purchase in store.

Casillero del Diablo, Concha y Toro’s biggest brand, has announced a major TV push for its ‘Wine Legend’ campaign in the run up to Christmas 2020.

ABInbev released its second quarter results statement today and said the first half of the year tested the company in many ways but it is now “well-positioned for a strong recovery”.

Brits consumed 1.3 billion litres of alcohol during the UK’s lockdown period, which was almost half the 2 billion litres recorded during the same period last year, according to data from Nielsen Scantrack and CGA. This is despite UK consumers spending an additional £1.9 billion on alcohol in supermarkets since lockdown began, as consumers shifted spend from pubs and restaurants.

Silent Pool Gin has secured a new UK distributor.

Waitrose is offering a specially curated case of South African wines at 25% off, for a limited time only in a bid to help support the industry.

Beer and spirits were the main contributors to the additional £85 million spent in the off-trade for the week ending July 18, although overall off-trade growth started to plateau as the on-trade picked up, according to the latest Nielsen data.

Storywood Tequila has announced a new distribution partnership with Proof Drinks in the UK.

Independent bottler That Boutique-y Whisky Company (TBWC) has revealed a plan to release batches on a quarterly basis.

Budweiser Budvar is launching a new design across all its packaging.

The Portman Group has issued a statement in response to a new Government anti-obesity initiative, which aims to put calorie information on beer, wines and spirits labels. 

Taylor's Port has launched a new digital campaign for Taylor's Chip Dry to celebrate the start of white port season. 

Independent beer shops are planning an event that resembles Record Store Day, in a bid to reignite the sector following the coronavirus lockdown.

The City of Manchester Distillery has created a new company and invested £900,000 in a drinks development and packing centre, as it expands its range of alcohol services.

The creators of the Three Rivers Gin have established Alcohol Solutions and will be opening the new centre in Carrington, Manchester in September.

An initial six new jobs will be created, with the 13,000 square foot centre home to a laboratory for developing alcohol-based beverages, a canning line, a British-made bottling line and a bonded facility. The new centre will have capacity to process ten million cans and bottles per year.

Dave Rigby, a founder of the City of Manchester Distillery and Alcohol Solutions, said: “We’ve been expanding our services over the last few years, creating drinks for everyone from micro-distilleries to multinationals. Setting-up Alcohol Solutions was a natural next step and further develops our services. The investment, combined with our experience, means we have the wisdom, knowledge and capabilities to meet any opportunity to create an alcohol-based drink and bring it to market.”

City of Manchester Distillery will continue to operate out of its current premises in the city centre, where it employs six people and hosts the Gin Experience for customers to make and learn more about the popular spirit. Going forward, the distillery will trade as part of Alcohol Solutions.

Graham Gibson, a director of Alcohol Solutions, added: “We have developed the new company because we’ve become so much more than a distiller of gin and other spirits.

“We can take a concept from scratch to create retail-ready drinks, help companies perfect flavourings and ingredients, source liquids as well as bottle and can drinks, so they can be distributed and sold on a wider-scale.

“There’s a lot of value in outsourcing during the development of new alcohol drinks, and this will only grow further following the financial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies will be looking for quick and cost-effective routes to market.”

Installation is being finalised at the new Carrington site ahead of its opening in mid-September, with the potential for this to be upscaled and more jobs created in response to market demand.

Dave Rigby concludes: “The pandemic has been challenging but we’ve remained committed to establishing Alcohol Solutions and opening the new site. Our whole ethos is all about saving companies time and money when it comes to sourcing, producing and packing alcohol-based drinks.

The Royal Collection Trust has launched a small-batch dry gin, made from botanicals from the Queen’s London residence.

Little Pomona has launched Table Cider, a seasonal blend of apples that will be released in parcels in the year following each harvest.

A new British hard seltzer brand, which is made using sustainably sourced fruit, is set to hit the shelves this month.

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) has added Australian wine brand, Samuel Wynn & Co, to its UK portfolio.

Samuel Wynn & Co is an innovation developed with “authentic storytelling at the brand’s heart”, to strengthen engagement with millennials, new wine consumers and drive category growth.

The new range is inspired by the adventurous spirit of Australian industry pioneer, Samuel Wynn, and is a testament to the adventures of this journeyman and his winemaking accomplishments, according to the producer.

Online retail sales continued to soar through June, despite the re-opening of the high street.

Majestic Wine is expanding its partnership with Deliveroo, adding 54 new stores and bringing the total to 137 stores across the UK.

Master of Malt has reported a “significant double-digit” uplift for vodka sales through May, while June was “all about whisky”.

Silk Road Distillers has changed it name to Offbeat, following a public crowdfunder campaign to rebrand.

Aldi is launching an ice cava, which it hopes will be “the drink of the summer” after winemakers across Europe fuelled the trend for chilled bubbly.

The Chancellor’s statement today revealed a significant focus on jobs with a number of schemes launched to try to stop a spike in unemployment over the coming months. He has also temporarily dropped VAT to 5% for the hospitality sector. 

Beer and cider contributed to half of all off-trade growth in the last week of June, equating to more than £69 million.

Spanish liqueur brand Licor 43 has launched a UK-focused digital advertising campaign to support the launch of its latest range extension - Licor 43 Horchata - focusing on the product’s vegan credentials.

Licor 43 Horchata is a dairy-free, light and silky-smooth “cream” liqueur, which is suitable for vegans as it combines the essence of Licor 43 Original with the iconic Spanish horchata drink made from the “milk” of tiger nuts. The product launched in May and is now listed at Tesco at RRP £18.

The new campaign has been designed to reach vegan and free-from consumers and those who appreciate premium “cream” liqueurs.

Pernod Ricard UK has launched a collection of 15 rare single malts from sought-after distilleries.

Specialist premium baijiu importer and distributer, Cheng International, is launching a four-part online masterclass in the UK.
The series of classes, which starts on July 13, will focus on baijiu, China’s most famous spirit.