Drinks sector reacts to UK budget 2021

The UK budget set out a number of investments and measures to help the industry recover from the pandemic. The Spirits Business has assembled views from across the drinks sector to see if chancellor Rishi Sunak has done enough. Sunak took to the podium at the House of Commons today (3 March) for the annual budget, the second from the chancellor. The drinks sector welcomed the announcement that alcohol duty had been frozen for the…

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Diageo completes Chase Distillery acquisition

Diageo has completed its acquisition of English producer Chase Distillery following approval from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority. In October 2020, Smirnoff vodka and Gordon’s gin owner Diageo agreed to acquire Chase Distillery for an undisclosed sum. Herefordshire-based Chase Distillery was founded in 2008 by William Chase. However, the deal prompted an investigation from regulatory body the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in January this year. At the time, the CMA said it was considering whether the transaction,…

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Top 10 spirits launches in February 2021

A lower-ABV range from Grey Goose vodka, an alcohol-free Tanqueray and a new rum brand from Moët Hennessy made our pick of unmissable new spirits launched last month. February 2021 brought new product innovations from producers such as Diageo, Bacardi, Moët Hennessy and La Martiniquaise-Bardinet. Tapping into the trend for low-and-no alcohol was Diageo, which unveiled new expressions for Tanqueray gin and Baileys liqueur, while Bacardi unveiled a 30% ABV Grey Goose line. English gin…

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United Spirits plans strategic review of core brands

Diageo’s Indian arm United Spirits has begun a strategic review of around 15 brands as part of its strategy to improve profitability. The Diageo-controlled subsidiary said the review will cover a selection of its Popular brands, which consist of approximately 30 marques. However, only half of the segment will be under review, excluding Indian whiskies McDowell’s and Director’s Special. McDowell’s No 1 Whisky is the world’s biggest-selling Indian whisky brand. In 2019, McDowell’s grew 6%…

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Johnnie Walker ad complaint not upheld

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has dismissed a complaint against a Johnnie Walker TV advert that claimed it was irresponsible because it encouraged immoderate drinking. The TV advert in question was for Johnnie Walker Black Label and aired on 25 November 2020. The advert began with a scene showing a bottle of the blended whisky and a glass just over halfway full with what looked like whisky, ice and an orange peel on the counter…

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