The trends shaping the vodka category

Authenticity, provenance and natural ingredients are pushing vodka back into the spotlight. And the big players are responding to changing consumer tastes with flavour innovations and lower-ABV offerings. *This feature was originally published in the April 2020 issue of The Spirits Business Once upon a time, vodka was all about smoothness and neutrality, dressed in a gorgeous bottle. Then came the wacky flavours, swiftly followed by their widespread withdrawal. And while gin took the limelight,…

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O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co names ex-Diageo exec CEO

US startup O’Shaughnessy Distilling Company has made a number of new appointments, including hiring former Diageo executive Mike Duggan as CEO. O’Shaughnessy Distilling Company, which is due to open a distillery in Minneapolis, US, in mid-2021, is the brainchild of cousins Patrick and Michael O’Shaughnessy. After appointing Irish Distillers’ Brian Nation as master distiller in June, the startup has now expanded its team with Duggan, former Diageo executive Tom Herbst, and ex-Artesian head bartender Pip…

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Spirits industry responds to Black Lives Matter

The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the urgent need to stamp out systematic racism from all areas of society and create a more inclusive, diverse world. SB investigates how the spirits sector has responded to calls for change. On 25 May 2020, African-American George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by a white police officer, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. Footage of the shocking event was seen around the world, sparking…

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Diageo achieves zero waste to landfill target

Gordon’s owner Diageo has concluded its 2020 Sustainability and Responsibility Goals, achieving zero waste to landfill at all production sites and offices, but falling shy of its water efficiency targets. Diageo, which also owns Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff, originally set its sustainable targets in 2008, and updated the goals in 2015. The 2020 targets were chosen in accordance with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Notable achievements include a 50% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas…

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Diageo reports 47.1% profit loss in fiscal 2020

Johnnie Walker owner Diageo saw operating profit decline 47.1% in its 2020 fiscal year due to the impact of Covid-19 on its key markets. For the year ending 30 June 2020, Diageo’s reported operating profit declined by 47.1% to £2.1 billion (US$2.7bn). Organic net sales fell by 8.4% to £11.8bn (US$15.4bn). The group also noted a non-cash impairment charge of £1.3bn (US$1.7bn), related to its businesses in India, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Windsor whisky brand…

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