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The term ready-to-drink hardly seems adequate these days to describe a category that has fractured and fragmented into almost as many style variations as there are brands.

Highlighting the spicy notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in rum should be a more approachable flavour push for retailers than the traditional gin botanicals of juniper, orris root and angelica.

There are a multitude of roles and career paths in the drinks industry but the idea of moving into the sector for the first time, or shifting across or upwards into a new role, might seem challenging, particularly in an industry that promotes and thrives on well-established relationships.

At the start of 2020 Italian drinks distributor Illva Saronno launched its UK subsidiary, Disaronno International UK.

Big companies are making moves that highlight their expectations for growth in online and the off-trade. Sonya Hook reports

Wines packaged in boxes flew off the shelves in 2020 as consumers switched their buying habits for more convenient, sustainable and bulk-buy options.

Agave makes its mark

17 February, 2021

Tequila’s share of the UK spirits market remains relatively modest compared to the US, but it is an increasingly busy category, with launches and premium brands pulling up both its quick-hit image and commercial performance.

Treasuring the future

17 February, 2021

As we move further into 2021 the UK wine industry is waiting for the day when it can come up for breath and see what life will be like after both Covid-19 and Brexit.

Hanging with the cool kids

29 January, 2021

The map for cool climate wines is expanding, with more countries and regions gaining recognition as producers of quality wines.

With an enviable collection of drinks covering on-trend categories such as rum, mezcal, tequila and gin, as well as niche drinks including pisco, raicilla and liqueurs, Speciality Brands has a portfolio which appears versatile enough to tap into a number of emerging premium spirits trends.

Consumer buying habits have changed considerably since coronavirus hit the UK and there’s no telling what might happen when we move out of the pandemic era.

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you a global pandemic, tells you to stay indoors, puts you in charge of your little angels’ education and closes the pub, you’ll need something far stronger than lemonade.

It is no longer unusual to see queues at convenience stores across Britain and the pandemic has driven people to shop locally and less often, supplemented with online delivery orders.

Budvar's Czech points

27 November, 2020

The assumption when a drinks brand relaunches with a new look is that it’s to sell more stuff.

Vegan-friendly drinks

27 November, 2020

Thankfully someone came up with a name more glamorous than “chickpea water” and the versatile vegan ingredient aquafaba was born.

How exclusives can draw spend

20 November, 2020

The UK economy is suffering and there is talk of a Covid double dip recession, which paints a grim picture for the future of retail.

Abel & Cole has been delivering organic food to British households for 30 years, and its ethos of offering good quality organic food and drink from ethical growers and producers, made in sustainable ways, is probably now more relevant to consumers than ever before.

If Covid-19 has taught us anything about how Brits respond to a crisis it’s this: when the proverbial hits the fan, we reach for the wine.

The significant shift in shopper behaviour is an ongoing trend and the switch to online shopping continued over the summer, even when national lockdown measures ended.

The changing drinks landscape has led Halewood Wine & Spirits in a new direction and precipitated a name change.

Helen Mulholland has worked at Irish whiskey distiller Bushmills for 27 years, having started with an apprenticeship placement as part of her university course.

Earlier this year Laura Riches and Laura Rosenberger joined forces when they spotted a gap in the market for a new approach to the bag-in-box format for wine.

When the on-trade giant Bibendum Wine saw its sales come to an abrupt halt in March this year, the company naturally turned itsattention to its specialist retail business, Walker & Wodehouse, but it required a huge effort to refocus the business in a short time.

Brewdog: Growing up gracefully

24 September, 2020

Has Brewdog come of age? The Aberdeenshire brewer founded in 2007 has consistently put industry noses out of joint with stunts which it insists represent a refusal to play by the traditional rules of beer marketing – while generating great publicity both for itself and the craft brewing scene as a whole.

Following lockdown developments in wine consumption, the spirits giant has new plans for its off-trade presence.

The search continues for improved sustainable alternatives to traditional wine bottles, and younger consumers are proving very receptive.

The average UK household throws away £355.68 worth of food each year, which adds up to a shocking £9.7 billion annually across the country.

Amazon reaps BWS rewards

29 July, 2020

The market for in-home consumption of alcohol saw rapid growth across the board during lockdown and, with people being forced to stay at home, online was a natural beneficiary.

Buyers Guide to Cider

21 July, 2020

Over the past few months consumer trends have changed dramatically, with shops reporting a surge in demand for flour, pasta makers and bicycles alongside a drive towards online and convenience shopping.

Virtual crocheting, Zoom pilates and online museum tours are things we swiftly came to expect from 2020 and there appear to be no limits to the activities consumers can access via a screen.