The biggest spirits stories of 2019

The industry has faced many pressing issues in 2019 and The Spirits Business has been there to cover the news in detail. Here, we highlight the most important stories that made headlines in the past 12 months. Last year saw a number of big companies hit the headlines including Diageo, which breathed a sigh of relief after it avoided strike action across its Scottish distilleries. However, the Johnnie Walker owner came under criticism after being…

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Alexandre Ricard: 2019 ‘transformative’ year for Pernod

Alexandre Ricard, the CEO of French giant Pernod Ricard, is steering his company through turbulent times, facing debilitating tariffs, investor pressure and, most recently, headline-grabbing allegations of impropriety. But, he tells The Spirits Business, retreating to the watchtower is not an option: now’s the time for action. In Alexandre Ricard’s words, 2019 has been a “transformative” year for Pernod Ricard. The French drinks giant has made a remarkable number of acquisitions, started construction of a…

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Cognac and brandy brands to watch in 2020

As Cognac introduces a new age reference and expands production capacity, the brandy sector could benefit from its growing use in cocktails. We predict the brands that will shine in 2020. In the 12 months to 31 July 2019, Cognac exports grew in terms of both volume and value – marking the fifth consecutive year the category had registered such success. Shipments topped 211.1m bottles, up by 2.5% on 2017/18, while value exports hit €3.4bn…

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Pernod Ricard and Wuliangye sign strategic alliance

French drinks group Pernod Ricard has signed a strategic partnership with Chinese baijiu maker Wuliangye International to boost its presence across Asia. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding on 14 November. The agreement will help the firms to “carry out collaborative communication and comprehensive exchanges by jointly strengthening infrastructure, developing regional sales channel systems starting from South East Asia, with potential expansion to other markets in Asia outside of China and beyond, at…

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Drinks industry deals top $12bn in Q3 2019

Drinks industry sales and acquisitions were valued at US$12.74 billion during the third quarter of 2019, according to new research from analyst Global Data. In the three months to September 2019, the value of these deals increased by 328.04% compared to the previous quarter. The figure was also 167.6% higher than the previous four-quarter average of US$4.76bn. The largest spirits company acquisition was Heaven Hill Brands’ US$266 million takeover of Black Velvet Distilling, which was…

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