Liquor Industry News 1-9-13

Franklin Liquors


CDC: 1 in 8 U.S. women binge drink 3 times a month


Source: CBS News

Jan 8th


The dangerous activity of binge drinking — defined as consuming four or more alcoholic drinks at one time — can take a toll on anyone’s health. And, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals in a new report, it’s an under-recognized activity that almost 14 million American women participate in about three times a month.


The CDC’s “Vital Signs” report, published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Jan. 8, showed that one in eight women over the age of 18 admitted to binge drinking in 2011, putting down on average about six drinks per binge.The report also found one in five high school aged girls admitted to binge drinking last year.


Binge drinking costs 23,000 lives and 633,000 years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year during 2001 through 2005 for women and girls in the U.S., the authors wrote. Binging increases the risk of getting breast cancer, heart disease, sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy and other health issues, the authors noted. It may also lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and an increased risk for ADHD if pregnant women binge drink. That’s not to mention the safety risks including those associated with operating a vehicle and other drinking-related injuries, unintentional or violent.


The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism said to stay “low-risk” drinkers, women should drink no more than three drinks a day and no more than seven drinks a week. Going over that limit puts people at risk for alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse, a problem which one in four people who drink already have.


The study revealed that U.S. women aged 18 to 34 were most likely to binge drink. Whites and Hispanics and women who live in a household making about $75,000 a year were also highly likely to consume excessive amounts of alcohol at one occasion.


High school-aged girls were also likely to binge drink. About 45 percent of high school freshmen girls admitted to binge drinking, which gradually increased to about 62 percent of high school senior girls.


The CDC recommended that federal agencies and national partners should recognize that binge drinking is an important women’s health issue and work with organizations and states to help promote proven recommendations to curb binge drinking, including limiting the number of stores that can sell alcohol, holding retailers liable for harms related to sales to minors, and measures to increase the prices of alcohol. Doctors and medical professionals should also ask their patients more about their drinking habits and emphasize to pregnant women the dangers of consuming alcohol.


“It is alarming to see that binge drinking is so common among women and girls, and that women and girls are drinking so much when they do,” Dr. Robert Brewer of the CDC’s Alcohol Program said in a statement. “The good news is that the same scientifically proven strategies for communities and clinical settings that we know can prevent binge drinking in the overall population can also work to prevent binge drinking among women and girls.”


While some studies tout health benefits for alcohol, including recent ones that found protection against stroke or arthritis in women, the CDC said individuals shouldn’t begin drinking or drink more frequently just because they hear of potential benefits. Drinking should be done in moderation — meaning up to one drink daily for women and two for men. People under the age of 21, those who are pregnant or may become pregnant or those who have health problems that may be made worse by drinking should lay off the booze, says the CDC.


However, the Distilled Spirits Council, the trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the U.S., told in a statement that while they agree that over-consumption of alcohol is bad for any societal group, they feel that the CDC misrepresented how the problem of binge drinking is “unrecognized.” They argued that the alcohol and beverage industry has made many moves to help combat the problem, including encouraging people to recognize the restrictions set in place for alcohol in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. In addition, they cite the CDC’s own data that binge drinking among girls has declined 25 percent over the last decade.




Press Statement


Source: DISCUS

January 8, 2013


The following is a statement by Frank Coleman, Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President, in response to today’s CDC report on binge drinking:


The distilled spirits industry is opposed to over-consumption by any segment of our society.  


It’s inaccurate, however, for CDC to suggest in their press release that the problem of binge drinking is under-recognized. ; 


It is also misleading for them to ignore their own data which show that binge drinking among girls has declined by 25% over the last decade to historic lows. 


The spirits industry is committed to working to further reduce binge drinking through its programs such as The Century Council’s “Girl Talk.”  These are the kinds of solutions that have been making a difference.  For women of legal drinking age, we continue to encourage them to follow the advice of the Federal government’s Dietary Guidelines. 


The industry was recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for promoting the Federal Dietary Guideline on responsible alcohol consumption and has long supported moderation programs including






Source: NABCA

Jan 8th


Jeffrey R. Anderson, director of the Idaho State Liquor Division (ISLD) today was elected Chairman Elect of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association by the Board of Directors at their meeting in Florida.  He will assume the role of chairman in May 2014 following the completion of the current chairman, J. Neal Insley, who is also chairman of the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control.


Anderson was appointed director of the ISLD by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter on April 30, 2010. He also serves as director of the Idaho Lottery, a position he’s held since January, 2007. He came to state service after twenty-six years in broadcasting, recently as vice president and general manager of CBS television affiliates KBOI (Boise) and KIDK (Idaho Falls).


He was elected in 2010 to serve as second vice president of the National Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL). He had previously served as NASPL secretary, treasurer, and region IV director. In addition, he is on the board of directors of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL).


Anderson received a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration degree from California State University, Chico with a double major in communications. He resides in Boise, Idaho with his wife of 30 years, Theresa Anderson.


“Jeff brings a wealth of experience in the media sector and other disciplines that will be very beneficial to NABCA. We look forward to his leadership in the Association”, said Jim Sgueo, NABCA president and CEO.


For information about NABCA, visit


For information about ISLD visit




New whisky tax ‘would raise £1bn for Scotland’


Senior SNP advisers have called for as much as £1 per bottle to be levied on Scotch whisky in an attempt to help the country share in the success of the global export


Source: Daily Telegraph

08 Jan 2013


A NEW “tartan tax” should be levied on every bottle of whisky to bring a £1? billion boost to the Scottish Government’s coffers, senior SNP advisers have demanded.


Professor John Kay and Sir George Mathewson have both served as members of First Minister Alex Salmond’s Council of Economic Advisers and believe that an extra tax on every bottle of whisky would help Scotland share in the global success of the country’s most famous export.


Prof Kay, who advocates a £1 per bottle charge ($1.61), said the benefits going to Scotland from recent export success, notably to emerging markets in South America and Africa, had been “disappointing”. He makes the claim in a BBC Scotland programme Scotched Earth being broadcast on Wednesday.


The programme claims that the whisky industry is thought to be worth £5? billion when the produce leaves distilleries. From that, about £500?million is spent on paying around 11,000 employees and supplies are estimated to cost around £1.5?billion, leaving a £3?billion profit for the producers.


Prof Kay does not believe a new tax would lead to a fall in demand if distillers absorbed the extra cost instead of passing it on to drinkers and tells the programme: “I think the benefits to Scotland from the whisky industry are really quite disappointing. The largest producers are not based in Scotland. Their profits go mostly to people who are not resident in Scotland. They don’t pay much tax in Scotland and we don’t think they pay much tax in the UK.”


Sir George is the former chairman of Mr Salmond’s economic advisers and was previously chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland. He said a 50p per bottle tax may lead to higher prices but argued that “would not be a major percentage of the sales price”. “It would seem to me there’s room there for something,” he said. “I don’t believe it [the industry] would be substantially harmed and I believe that the success could be spread around a little more.”


The industry is angrily resisting the move. Peter Lederer, director of Diageo, the drinks giant, which has headquarters in London and is also listed on the New York stock exchange, said a new tax would send the wrong signals to those thinking of investing in the Scottish economy.


He said: “If the argument in an economy is to take a successful business and keep taxing it because it’s successful, [that] gives the wrong impression.”


Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said that Scottish-made whisky is competing in tough international markets, where it is up against other whiskies and spirits.


He told the programme: “I cannot see why any government would apply a production tax which would make Scotch whisky less competitive overseas against other drinks which are cheaper to produce and cheaper to sell. We have already enjoyed over a billion pounds of investment into Scotland in the last four years.


“I will put my head on the block now and say that we’re going to enjoy £2? billion of investment in the Scotch whisky industry in the next three to four years.”




How Scotch whisky conquered the world


Source: BBC

By Douglas Fraser

Jan 8th


Scotch whisky is a national brand worth toasting. It is a drink that can only be distilled and matured in one country – Scotland – but which sells in to 200 markets around the world. How did Scotch go from cottage industry to global phenomenon and how does it benefit its country of origin?


Scotch whisky is ideally positioned to gain from the growth of the middle class in emerging markets such as Asia, South America and Africa. And for the new clientele it comes packaged in tradition and offers quality provenance.


Gavin Hewitt, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, explains: “We are appealing to the emerging markets. We’re appealing to the affluent, the middle-class people who are aspirational, people who see Scotch whisky as the drink of choice.


“They can afford it, and it means they’re part of a global network.”


Moreover, it works as both a means of celebration and sharing, and (unlike champagne) it’s well-suited to drowning one’s sorrows when times are not so good.


But while benefiting from globalising markets, it breaks the rules by avoiding worldwide megabrands.


Instead there are thousands of blends, distillery malts, maturation ages and expressions from different types of cask.


Each move up the premium ladder boosts profits.




Whisky shopper


    Exports were worth £4.23bn in 2011

    Each second, 40 bottles were shipped overseas, earning £134

    The USA and France were the biggest export markets, with the top 10 also including South Africa, Taiwan, South Korea and Venezuela

    Brazil’s imports rose 48% in one year.

    Scotch represents almost 4% of the Scottish economy – roughly a quarter of Scotland’s exports and also quarter of the UK’s food and drink exports

    It is reckoned to employ about 10,600 people directly, and indirectly, 25,000 more.

    74% of Scotch whisky is sold in blends, bottled in Scotland.

    Almost 10% of volume is single malts, though they represent close to double that share of value.

    The value added by the whisky industry is £275,000 per worker, less than energy but more than the finance sector.

    Sources: SWA and Scotch Whisky Industry Review


This is in an industry struggling to distil enough to meet global demand now, let alone its projections of where the market will be within five to 12 years when much of its output will be ready for the market.


Yet there is a question of whether this success story is a result of Scottish success, or down to the world-class marketing strategies of the big distillers?


And there is also a question about who benefits from the success of Scotch?


The leading distiller is Diageo, which currently has more than 35% of the market. With its proposed acquisition of a controlling share in India’s United Distillers, including Whyte and Mackay, the company is on course to have roughly 40%.


A bit amateurish


How it came to have that dominance is worth recounting.


Alan Gray says the industry used to be run by the ‘seat of its pants’ Alan Gray says the industry used to be run by the ‘seat of its pants’


Distillers Company was formed during the inter-war years of the early 20th Century from numerous families which had previously controlled whisky in Scotland, many of them having pioneered exporting to the British empire.


Within Distillers, the different houses competed against each other for business.


Alan Gray, who has been a financial analyst of the whisky industry for more than 40 years and is author of the Scotch Whisky Industry Review, recalls that it was a bit amateurish.


He says: “A lot of the whisky industry in the 1960s and into the 70s was by the seat of their pants.


“They thought ‘things are looking good, we’ll just produce it, we’ll always get rid of it’ and, as a result, sometimes there were overhangs of stock in the market.


“That depressed whisky prices which wasn’t good for the image.


“The industry is now much more professional and more commercial, more aware of the need to conserve cash, capital, to use it efficiently and, crucially, marketing also has improved immensely.”


In the 1960s, Distillers Company was financially hard hit by diversifying into pharmaceuticals.


It was responsible for the thalidomide drug, intended to combat morning sickness during pregnancy, but which led to numerous physical deformations in babies.


By the 1980s, with growth stalled and distilleries being mothballed, a new breed of businessman had spotted the potential of the industry and of this inefficient giant within it.


USA and France are the biggest markets but Brazil has risen by 48% in one year USA and France are the biggest markets but Brazil has risen by 48%


One of them was Ernest Saunders, who had been hired by Guinness to rejuvenate the family brewer.


He fought a fierce and bitter takeover battle to get control of Distillers, using tactics that would later land him in jail for one of the most notorious cases of insider trading of the 1980s.


The tactics also included winning the support of Scottish business grandees with a promise that Guinness, along with its new distilling arm, would have its headquarters in Edinburgh.


After winning the battle, the promise was quickly forgotten, and the company that would later be rebranded as Diageo remains headquartered in west London.


Last year, it had profits of £3bn, with a third of its business in whisky.


It owns brands such as Johnnie Walker, which goes worldwide, J&B, with its strength in France, whisky’s second biggest market, and Buchanan’s and Old Parr for Latin America.


Just 20% of Scotch whisky is made by companies based in Scotland Just 20% of Scotch whisky is made by companies based in Scotland


It can also boast an impressive stable of other spirit brands ranging across Smirnoff Vodka and Gordon’s Gin, alongside newer acquisitions that put it in a strong position, with local grain spirits from Vietnam to Turkey.


The other big growth company is Pernod Ricard, which bought much of the Canadian-based Seagrams in 2000. It now has more than 20% of the Scotch whisky market, with brands including Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s and Glenlivet.


Although Scotch whisky must be made in Scotland, only about one fifth of the total output is made by distilling companies which are based in Scotland.


These include William Grant & Son, which pioneered the modern malt whisky category through its Glenfiddich brand.


And also the Edrington Group, based in Glasgow, with brands including Famous Grouse, Macallan and Highland Park.


The three sisters who used to own it set up the Robertson Trust to be the beneficiary of Edrington’s profits. That trust disperses the funds to charitable causes, mainly in Scotland.


New into the market are smaller distillers. Some saw an opportunity to buy mothballed production with bonded warehouses of stock, and they have seen their investment handsomely rewarded.


That is at least in valuation. It can take a lot of patience to see cash flow.


BenRiach on Speyside is targeting the high-spending consumer BenRiach on Speyside is targeting the high-spending consumer


Billy Walker, with two South African investors, bought BenRiach on Speyside with less than £8m. It is now worth about three times that, and his company has bought the Glendronach distillery as well.


He is targeting the high-spending consumer.


Mr Walker says: “There’s a market out there that’s very interested in the top end and, frankly, pricing is not an issue. It is availability and having something different and something special.”


With single malts increasingly differentiated through maturation in sherry and Madeira casks, prices can reach into hundreds of pounds.


Mr Walker says: “We have to have 12-year old expressions, but we have to be outside that.”


“That’s a very cluttered area. We try to create expressions – 16, 20, 25-year olds – that take us out of the clutter.”


Companies such as BenRiach are thriving in the slipstream of big players such as Diageo, with their marketing push.


Diageo opened the Roseisle distillery three years ago Diageo opened the Roseisle distillery three years ago


For all the dominance of the big players, and control of the industry from headquarters outside Scotland, there’s a recognition that – for now, at least – everyone in whisky is winning from its growth.


And there’s a lot more to come, not least if India, the world’s biggest whisky market, lowers its 150% tariff barriers.


That is why the big distillers are also continuing to invest.


Only three years after opening Roseisle, near Elgin in Moray, with capacity to produce 10 million litres of spirit each year, Diageo has announced a five-year plan which includes the building of at least one more on that scale, while it expands other distillery capacity.


According to the SWA’s Gavin Hewitt: “We have already enjoyed more than £1bn of investment into Scotland in the past four years.


“I will put my head on the block now and say that we’re going to enjoy £2bn of investment into the Scotch whisky industry in the next three to four years”.


Scotched Earth will be shown on BBC1 Scotland at 22:35 on Wednesday 9 January. It is also scheduled for broadcast several times on the BBC News Channel during Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 January.




United Kingdom: Pub giants face legal crackdown over ‘greedy’ tactics


Britain’s biggest pub companies have been accused of “greedy” and “exploitative” behaviour towards their tenant landlords – and face fines for “unfair” treatment of the publicans.


Source: Daily Telegraph

By Nathalie Thomas

08 Jan 2013


Business Secretary Vince Cable has declared war on pub companies who are “squeezing” their tenants through contracts that are “focused on short-term profit”.


Large companies such as Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns, which lease their properties to tenant landlords, have been accused by campaigners of hastening the demise of Britain’s pubs by “overcharging” for drinks and rent.


It is estimated that 23,500 of Britain’s 50,000 pubs are run on “tied” agreements, which can force publicans to buy beer at 50pc above market rates and pay “excessive” rents on the pubs they run.


According to the Campaign for Real Ale, more than 3,500 tied pubs have closed since 2009.


Mr Cable announced plans for an independent adjudicator with the power to fine large pub companies if they are found to be exploiting their tenants. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will also consult on a statutory code to stamp out poor behaviour.


Mr Cable said: “There is some real hardship in the pubs sector, with many pubs going to the wall as publicans struggling to survive on tiny margins.


“Some of this is due to pubcos exploiting and squeezing their publicans by unfair practices and a focus on short-term profits.”


BIS says it will ensure tied pubs will be “no worse off” than publicans who are on contracts that allow them to make their own decisions.


The crackdown was announced ahead of a debate in Parliament today, at which the Government was facing a potential revolt.


It was feared rebel MPs could side with Labour’s shadow pubs minister, Toby Perkins, who was pressing the Coalition to stand up to “greedy” pub companies.


The beer industry already has a voluntary code of behaviour and recently introduced its own arbitration board, the PICA-Service. But campaigners say self-regulation has been “a farce”.


Greg Mulholland, chair of the all-party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, said: “The reality is that the big pubcos continue to overcharge their licensees in inflated prices and higher rents and the only way to stop this unfair business practice is for the Government to step in.”


The surprise move was greeted with dismay by the pub industry, which raised concerns over how the statutory scheme would be funded. Industry figures stress it is not in their interests for their tenants to fail.


A spokesman for Punch Taverns said: “We are disappointed that self-regulation was not given time to work but will now work with others in the sector to help ensure statutory regulation is as effective as possible.”


Enterprise Inns said: “We note the government’s announcement and look forward to contributing to the consultation process in due course.”


The British Beer & Pub Association said the industry had “made considerable progress in establishing an effective system of self-regulation.”




Their cup runneth over


Britain’s drinking culture is deeply unhealthy. So is the politics of drink


Source: The Economist

Jan 5th 2013


IN THE last hours of 2012 The High Cross, a large, charmless pub in the middle of Leicester, was filling with its usual mixed crowd. Teenaged revellers in glittery minidresses downed sticky vodka cocktails alongside middle-aged couples sipping real ale and wine. There was a lot of chatter; no music. The High Cross, owned by the chain J D Wetherspoon, is a budget pub, which dispenses with expensive entertainment licences and other frills to keep prices low. After getting tanked up for a tenner, most of the revellers would be off somewhere fancier to see in the new year.


Budget pubs are thriving in austerity Britain, masking a decline in pricier traditional watering-holes. J D Wetherspoon has opened cheap boozers in a former bank, post office and cinema. But none offers so pithy a comment on modern Britain as The High Cross. Its fine brick-and-stone building was constructed in the late 19th century by a temperance outfit, the Leicester Coffee and Cocoa House Company, which sought to wean working people off the demon drink by providing pleasant surroundings in which to drink tea, coffee and cocoa for a penny a pint. “Is that right?” chuckled Clare, a tattooed reveller at The High Cross. “Didn’t work then, did it?”


Indeed not. Britain has a big drink problem. Like most chilly north European countries, it has an ancient tradition of getting blotto. But Britons manage to combine Scandinavian bingeing with liver-pickling Mediterranean levels of consumption. After a three-decade-long surge in drinking, over 60% of British adults drink alcohol in any given week and one in six get drunk at least once. The health implications are catastrophic: alcohol-linked deaths have risen by 20% over the past decade. Noisy binge-drinkers also cause some crime and a lot of disruption-over which Britain’s popular newspapers have an almost obsessive concern. “Twenty Thirsteen: Boozy revellers go bonkers”, splashed the Sun this week. No wonder two-thirds of Britons believe the national drink habit is out of control.


Like the Victorian elders of Leicester, the coalition government is trying to do something about it. Shortly before the festive season it announced plans to end bulk discounts on booze and enforce a minimum alcohol price of around 45p per unit. The idea, so far tested only in computer models, is that this would lead to a big reduction in the most harmful drinking, which is most prevalent among the poorest boozers, as well as the rowdiest bingeing. A minimum price would certainly affect behaviour, if it could be implemented: a version previously promised in Scotland, one of Britain’s most sozzled regions, has been challenged by the European Commission on free-trade grounds. Yet it is an odd solution, reflecting both widespread misunderstanding of the issue and political timidity.


Britain’s noisy youthful drinkers, who attract most of the public ire, are in fact a diminishing part of the problem. Binge-drinking rates among those aged 17-24 fell by roughly a third between 2005 and 2010. The cause, though hotly contested, is probably due to a cocktail of factors including health education, the tides of fashion and, most obviously, a tough economy. At a time of job insecurity, suggests Fiona Measham, a criminologist at Durham University, young Britons are increasingly reluctant to “go into the office on a Monday morning looking green in the face.”


The real threat these days is less to law and order than to overall public health. Britain needs to reduce booze consumption across the board. To that end the government would do much better to raise taxes on all drink, which is currently cheap in real terms. That would also provide much-needed revenue: a minimum price, by contrast, would probably fill the coffers of the drinks industry. Yet this solution, which would affect everyone, is politically unpalatable. Some in David Cameron’s Conservative party are already worried that minimum pricing could affect many middle-class, Tory-voting drinkers, too; by one estimate, a third of the wine currently sold in shops costs less than the suggested minimum price.


Britain’s battles with the bottle have always involved a heady mixture of anxieties about health, morality and social class. Britain’s first licensing act, passed in 1552, made an early distinction between rich and poor boozers by enforcing strictures on “common alehouses” which did not apply to wine taverns. Elizabethan antis, in an early example of censorious scapegoating, were also minded to blame growing levels of public drunkenness on decadent foreign, or Catholic, influences. (They also carefully maintained that Brits could outdrink any foreigner. “The great drinkings of foreign countries compared to ours are but sippings,” wrote one 17th-century pamphleteer.)


But it also spreads cheer


Growing prosperity and urbanisation were likelier causes of both drunkenness and its critics, because they brought rowdy commoners into greater proximity with gentler inebriates. And this class-infused tension is discernible in every major campaign against drink that has followed: from the 18th-century crackdown on the “gin craze” (in which William Hogarth’s etching of “Gin Lane”, a nightmare of sozzled depravity, played a similar role to the lurid tabloid exposures of today), to the high-minded Victorian temperance movement, and the exaggerated popular concerns over “binge Britain” of today.


That is a pity, not only because partial understanding of the problem leads to cack-handed policies. It is also because, as well as trouble, Britain’s buttoned-up society gets a lot of precious bonding and cheer from the bottle, which is too often ignored in the public browbeating. It would certainly be impossible to think of a New Year’s Eve without it. Or so your columnist concluded as he stepped out of The High Cross, nicely glowing, and smiling on the revellers of Leicester, including a couple of Asian girls who appeared to be peeing in a doorway nearby.




Resolved to give up alcohol for January? It could do you more harm than good, by Dr Christian Jessen


Source: Daily Mail

By Dr Christian Jessen

9 January 2013


This year avoiding alcohol for the month of January has become something of a competition, writes Dr Christian Jessen


This has long been the season of detox, dieting and giving up drinking. But this year avoiding alcohol for the month of January has become something of a competition.


It seems it is no longer enough to steer clear of the strong stuff – you have to tell everyone you’re doing it, too.


It’s been dubbed doing a ‘Dryathlon’ by one charity – and its ‘Dryathletes’ are appealing for sponsorship to help them stay on the straight and narrow.


There can’t be an office worker in the country who hasn’t had an email ping into their inbox from people looking for ‘support’ from their friends as they take on their  ‘biggest challenge yet’ – staying off the sauce till February 1.


The craze is backed by two major charities who are avidly targeting Facebook and Twitter users to reach a whole new class of social drinker.


Cancer Research UK, which is running the Dryathlon campaign, is asking drinkers to raise money for alcohol-related cancer research by staying off booze this month.


Meanwhile, Alcohol Concern is running a very similar Dry January appeal to raise money and awareness in a bid to stop today’s social drinkers becoming the dependent drinkers of the future.


So what’s not to like about a dry January? Surely a lengthy period of abstinence after a few weeks of indulgence is good for your health?


Well, I’m afraid it’s all poppycock. As a doctor, you might expect me to give the concept my total backing, but I’m afraid you’d be wrong.


At the very least, a dry January is a complete waste of time health-wise. At worst, it’s actually bad for you. Why? Because the whole concept is totally unsound.


Instead of being a sign of virtuous behaviour, it’s more likely to signify a broader problem.


As I said, most people are giving up alcohol in January just so they can go back to boozing with a vengeance in February.


In all likelihood, they’ll end up drinking more, not less – despite the month’s break.


I worry that heavy drinkers aren’t embarking on this period of abstinence because they want to radically change their habits forever. Far from it.


They simply want to be able to feel they can drink like fishes from February 1.


It’s human nature to want a quick fix. Most of us would love to pop a vitamin pill instead of eating a plate of broccoli.


Having a dry January has the same appeal.


Giving up for a month seems a small price to pay for a year’s binge-drinking. But I believe the very idea of it sums up the extent of the problem we as a nation have with alcohol.


Usually people want to raise money for charity with a serious challenge, such as running a marathon or climbing a mountain. It says a lot if we think abstaining from drink for 31 days is a massive achievement.


I suspect most people having a dry January are worried that they are drinking too much already. And that’s quite probably true.


But, medically speaking, it’s far better for you to have a consistent two days a week without alcohol all year round.


The Royal College of Physicians agrees. In 2011, it gave evidence to the House of Commons’ science and technology committee that having two or three alcohol-free days a week is the safest way of consuming booze – far safer than drinking a little every day.


I know some people might argue that a month off drink gives your liver and kidneys more chance to regenerate. But this is totally spurious.


Don’t kid yourself that you can atone for the sins of the year in one month. If you then hit the booze at the same level as before – or increase it – your body will actually be worse off.

The real damage we do to ourselves is by consistent, long-term drinking.


The liver is fabulous at regenerating itself. It metabolises alcohol efficiently at a unit per hour. But to work properly it needs regular days off.


Livers aren’t usually fatty organs, but regular overdrinking means fat collects there and reduces how well it works. And this is where the serious health problems lie.


The British Liver Trust doesn’t support dry months. Instead it, too, suggests people drink sensibly throughout the year by sticking to the recommended alcohol intake and having two or three dry days every week.


Like me, the charity worries that not drinking in January gives us an excuse to go in for excessive drinking the rest of the year.


For another danger with a dry January is that if you cut something out completely, you’ll crave it even more. You’ll sit there, sipping your glass of water, salivating as your friends knock back the booze, and count the days till you can hit the bottle again.


And, with February 1 falling on a Friday this year, I fear that many people won’t need an excuse to make up for lost time.


If someone has been used to drinking consistently, they’re likely to suffer all sorts of unpleasant side-effects from a sudden, complete withdrawal – the sort of symptoms we commonly associate with alcoholics.


You may feel bad-tempered, be jumpy and jittery and have trouble sleeping.


Of course, this may prompt a reassessment of your drinking habits. But because you’ll feel better when you drink, I worry it’s more likely to make you convinced that the sooner you hit the bottle again, the better.


The other reason why I don’t support a dry January is because a moderate – and I mean moderate – intake of alcohol is actually beneficial. Alcohol can protect against heart disease, for instance.


Depriving yourself of an occasional glass of wine won’t do you any favours.


January can be a particularly bleak time, coming as it does after the excitement of Christmas. But you’ll ride it through much better if you allow yourself little treats and keep things consistent.


Of course, it’s great that campaigns such as Dry January are helping us all think about how much we drink. The truth is that most of us could benefit from examining our habits.


But my advice is to use January not as a chance to cut out  alcohol altogether, but to gradually cut back.


Start a new regime of only drinking every other day. If you can drink moderately only three or four days a week, you’ll be setting the foundations for a truly healthy 2013.




US brewer launches beer for dogs


Source: the drinks business

by Gabriel Savage

8th January, 2013


An Oregon brewer has created a beer aimed specifically at dogs.


Daniel Keeton, who works in the tasting room at Boneyard Brewery in Bend invented “Dawg Grog” after seeing how much his dog Lola enjoyed beer.


Described as “a healthy, nutritional, liquid treat for your best friend”, the non-alcoholic beer is made from organic, low sodium vegetable broth, spent grain from Boneyard Brewery, water and glucosamine powder containing ginger, cinnamon, flax seed and honey.


The brew is now being sold in local shops and is available online for US customers, priced at $36 for a six pack.


“Two things that have become part of the Bend lifestyle are beer and dogs,” Doug LaPlaca, CEO of Visit Bend, which stocks the beer, told KTVZ. “So to create something that would take advantage of the two we thought was a brilliant idea.”


This is not the first beer to be crafted with dogs in mind. Last year the drinks business reported that a UK pub had started selling a beef flavoured beer so that owners didn’t feel they had to leave their pet at home when they went out for a pint.




Beam to Webcast February 1st Conference Call on Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results


Source: Business Wire

Press Release: Beam Inc.

Jan 9th


Beam Inc. (BEAM), a leading global premium spirits company, will offer a live Internet webcast of its fourth quarter and full year results conference call. The webcast will be available under “Webcasts and Presentations” in the Investors section of the company’s web site,, beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET on Friday, February 1, 2013. It is recommended that listeners log on 10 minutes prior to the start of the call.


The conference call will feature comments on Beam’s fourth quarter and full year results by president & chief executive officer Matt Shattock and chief financial officer Bob Probst. The company plans to report results for the fourth quarter and full year the morning of February 1st, prior to the conference call.


An Internet replay of the conference call will be available at beginning the afternoon of February 1st.


Individuals without Internet access may listen to the call by dialing 1-877-226-0730 prior to 10:00 a.m. ET on February 1st.




Anheuser-Busch to unveil Budweiser Black Crown (Excerpt)


Source: CBS

Jan 8th


Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) said Tuesday that is introducing a new specialty beer – an amber lager with a higher alcohol content – and will promote its new brew with a Super Bowl ad.


The maker of Budweiser, Bud Light and other brews will launch Budweiser Black Crown with a 30-second ad on Feb. 3 during Super Bowl 47, though the beer will be available in stores nationwide starting Jan. 21. It will be sold in 12-ounce glass bottles in six- and 12-packs, and in 22-ounce single bottles.


The maker of Budweiser, Bud Light and other brews said Tuesday that Budweiser Black Crown is an amber lager. The first ad promoting it will run on Feb. 3 during Super Bowl 47, though the beer will be available in stores nationwide starting Jan. 21.




New Zealand: Pernod Ricard NZ falls deeper into red on $119m write-down, dwindling sales


Source: National Business Review

Paul McBeth

Wednesday January 09, 2013


French liquor giant Pernod Ricard’s local unit widened its annual loss after writing down the value of assets and investments by some $119 million as falling sales and higher costs flattened its margins.


The New Zealand holding company, Millstream Equities, reported a loss of $182.4 million in the 12 months ended June 30, according to financial statements lodged with the Companies Office.


That is up from a loss of $105.3 million a year earlier when it booked a $99 million loss on the sale of local assets including the Lindaeur brand.


The liquor company wrote down assets by $19 million and booked a $100 million impairment charge on goodwill in the latest year.


Gross profit almost halved to $39.4 million on an 8.7 percent fall in sales to $235.9 million as costs were bolstered by under-utilised wineries and poor weather lowered production.


Last year Pernod Ricard closed its Hawke’s Bay Winery in Napier and shifted those operations to the Church Road winery down the road. The move was part of a decision to exit “non-strategic” vineyards and led to a $6 million impairment charge on the company’s biological assets.


The global parent injected $715.4 million of new capital during the year, almost doubling the shares on issue and keeping the company’s equity positive at the balance date.


The company took a $24.1 million provision for legal claims in the period.


Pernod Ricard is one of several companies fighting the Inland Revenue Department over its use of mandatory convertible notes – a hybrid security with characteristics of debt and equity.


The tax department alleges the securities, which let companies juggle debt and equity to provide a tax advantage, were used simply as a means to minimise tax.


“The company and group will continue to dispute the proposed adjustments,” the financial statements say.


Pernod Ricard also flagged a dispute over the sale of Lindaeur and associated assets in 2010.


The company says it received a High Court judgment in its favour after the June 30 balance date, which has since been appealed by Lion Nathan subsidiary, Lion Beer Spirits & Wine (NZ).


Pernod Ricard did not disclose what the dispute was over citing commercial sensitivity, but did not think it “probable that an outflow of resources will be required”.




Wine Scams: The Ultimate Hall Of Fame


Source: Forbes

Jan 8th


Seven years after a French co-operative based in the north eastern province of Champagne-Ardenne was accused of selling fake vintage bubbly, the perpetrators – three former managers of the Esterlin Champagne co-operative have finally been sentenced, reports


Between 2002 and 2005, the co-operative’s former president, commercial director and chef de cave had sold 426,000 bottles of non-vintage Champagne to the French discount chain Ed, owned by Europe’s largest retailer, Carrefour, claiming that they were vintage cuvées. The men, whose fraudulent activities were discovered when two former Esterlin employees tipped off the authorities, were given eight-month suspended prison sentences and ?2,000 fines. In addition, the co-operative has to pay a fine of ?20,000 and the court further levied a ?2.841 million fine payable to French customs and excise.


Of course, this isn’t an isolated case of unscrupulous dealings, as illustrated quite spectacularly below in our carefully curated Wine Scandal Hall of Fame. The world of wine, some fine, some well, less so,  has been riddled with scams, gambits and crooked schemes since the days of the Roman Empire when swindlers doctored wines with various substances, including lead, to make them taste sweeter. That victims could (and did) die from a swig too many was clearly not enough of a deterrent.


Wine Scandal Hall of Fame


1. 16 Million Bottle of Sour Grapes – France/ US , 2010

Whilst we mere mortals might not be equipped with the olfactory tackle to distinguish the voluptuous chocolate and dark cherry notes of Merlot from the ethereal strawberry and violet perfume of Pinot Noir without the assistance of a label, you’d think that US wine giant E&J Gallo might just have someone on staff who could do just that.


Well, it appears not.


After sniffing around for year and perhaps quaffing a glass or two of vino, French authorities charged 13 defendants including several wine co-operatives, executives from two wineries and the conglomerate Sieur d’Arques with selling Gallo wine which was labeled Pinot Noir, but was really the aromatic grape cut with far less expensive Merlot and Syrah. The quantity involved is a spectacular 3.57 million gallons worth nearly $5.5 million. That would be enough to fill 16 million bottles, or 460 oil tankers.


Winemakers Gallo who’ve been dealing with grape juice for nearly 80 years they really should have been tipped off by some not-too-elusive clues. The amount of Pinot Noir that was exported from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in Southern France between 2006-2008, the window of deception, far exceeded the amount of previous years. In fact, this really was a case of wily Frenchmen turning water into wine. Though Sieur d’Arques’ suppliers produce a total of 15,000 hectoliters of Pinot Noir annually, 135,000 hectoliters were sold to the gullible Americans for its Red Bicyclette brand.


2. Death By Tainted Wine – Italy, 1986

At least 20 people died and Italy, the motherland of the Bacchanalian beverage, was forced to temporarily freeze all wine exports when cheap tipple was adulterated with  methyl, or wood, alcohol to raise the wine’s alcohol content to the average 12 percent. The contamination only affected low grade booze that was sold to neighboring European countries to mix with their own local wines and the locally drunk, unpedigreed Vino di Tavolo that was sold at such low prices that only adulterated incarnations could be profitable.


3. Not-So-Sweet, Sweet White – Austria 1985

An odorless chemical found in anti-freeze, diethylene glycol, was used by some white wine producers in Austria to sweeten their booze and upgrade the quality of drier whites to more expensive, fuller bodied, fruity offerings. Why not just add sugar, you ask? Well, that would be a pretty crass con as the addition of sugar is highly detectable. In small doses diethylene glycol is somewhat harmless and the amount used in the scam was low enough not to have any detrimental effect on drinkers. You would have to chug 28 of those adulterated bottles every day for two weeks to notice any effects, and by then you’d be long dead of alcohol poisoning. Still, anything that belongs in anti-freeze should stay in anti-freeze.


4. Coloring Clarets – France 1973

Three wine merchants in the posh Bordeaux wine region “manufactured” some typically deep red claret which didn’t contain any of the world famous red at all. The conniving  trio mixed mediocre white wine with dark red wine to create 1.45 million liters of the perfectly colored concoction. Allegedly several old Bordeaux families who literally had the red stuff flowing through their veins they had been dealing with wine for so long, had bought the adulterated wine and re-sold it in bottles bearing prestigious Bordeaux labels.


5. Oops, I Accidentally Made Me Some Tipple – US, Prohibition

A wine scam of the most unique varietal occurred during the prohibition when wine production was illegal. Grape growers would sell bricks of grape concentrate together with a packet of yeast. A warning label accompanying the curious duo would advise against combining the concentrate and yeast with water and sugar in a sealed pot and letting the mixture sit for seven days lest “an illegal alcoholic beverage” would result.




Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte sees 2012 volumes slip (Excerpt)


Source: Just-Drinks

By Stuart Todd

8 January 2013


Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte (CNF) has posted a slight dip in full-year volumes, but still delivered its “second biggest performance” in its history.


The Champagne house said earlier today (8 January) that total volumes in 2012 totalled 9.5m bottles, a slide of 1% on 2011. Last year was the second largest volume performance for CNF, despite what the company called “a very unstable year”.




Napa’s Long Meadow makes major Rutherford acquisition


Source: Decanter

by Courtney Humiston in Sonoma

Tuesday 8 January 2013


Napa Valley’s Long Meadow Ranch has recently purchased 36.4ha (90 contiguous acres) of prime vineyard property in the Rutherford appellation.


The winery now joins renowned names like Inglenook (fomerly Rubicon Estate), Quintessa, Beckstoffer and Beaulieu Vineyard as one of the 10 largest land holders in Rutherford.


The price has not been disclosed but Rutherford vineland, among the most prized in California, typically sells for more than US$200,000 per acre, or around US$500,000 per hectare.


The purchase combines four parcels of land currently planted to 30ha of vines – primarily Sauvignon Blanc, but 4.4ha of Cabernet Sauvignon and a small amount of Merlot. Owner Ted Hall says the clay-based soil is ‘ideal for Sauvignon Blanc’ and adds he will change the plantings very little.


‘This is a defining moment for us,’ Hall said. He founded Long Meadow Ranch in 1989 with the purchase of 263ha in the Mayacamas range – only 6.4ha of which are currently planted to vine – where he also built the winery and where renowned winemaker Cathy Corison made the wine for Long Meadow throughout the 1990s.


‘[The acquisition] establishes us with a grape supply that will allow us to move forward,’ Hall said. He plans to expand his Sauvignon Blanc program by building a white wine production facility on the property.


About two hectares of currently fallow land will be used for non-vineyard agriculture and, along with LMR’s five existing – and adjacent – acres of gardens in Rutherford, will supply Long Meadow Ranch’s Farmstead Restaurant in nearby St Helena and the local farmer’s market with eggs, produce and honey.


The garden will also provide ‘educational opportunities’ for visitors, according to Hall, including a ‘Farm to Table boot camp’.


‘Ted and [son] Chris Hall have always looked at a piece of property in a more diverse way,’ said Paul Wagner, executive director of the Rutherford Dust Society, the appellation’s trade organisation.


Long Meadow Ranch Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 was awarded 15.25/20 (84/100) in Decanter’s Napa and Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon panel tasting in the current issue of Decanter magazine.




Naked Wines invests $150K in Randall Grahm


Source: the drinks business

by Lucy Shaw

8th January, 2013


Online wine merchant Naked Wines has invested US$150,000 in Californian winemaker Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz.


The customer-funded company united over 150,000 “angels”, each of which invested $1,000 to help Grahm launch two wines in collaboration with Naked.


Rhône varieties enthusiast Grahm runs Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz, where he makes a variety of wines, including top Rhône blend Le Cigare Volant.


Keen to find new ways of selling wine in the US, Grahm’s collaboration with Naked Wines allows him to cut out both marketing and sales costs.


Of the escalating costs for selling wine in the US, Grahm said: “I don’t know if I’m competing against myself, but the wine world is changing.


“There has been an enormous proliferation of brands and the consolidation of distribution. There is a finite limit to how much we can produce under Bonny Doon.


“Through Naked Wines I have the freedom to experiment, the flexibility to blend, and the fact that they pay for the grapes helps me big time.”


The result is Close but no Cigare, a 13.8% abv Mourvedre/Syrah/Grenache blend made from grapes that didn’t make it into the final Le Cigare Volant blend.


“Every year is with its challenges, and some lots are close to inclusion, but don’t quite make the cut,” said Grahm.


“We are privileged to share this unusual wine funded by the Naked Angels and have enjoyed our collaboration with this forward-thinking group,” he added.


Priced at £18.50, the inaugural 2011 vintage of Close but no Cigare is a blend of 76% Mourvedre, 12% Syrah and 12% Grenache.


Grahm has also produced a 12% abv 2011 Syrah/Viognier blend featuring 25% Viognier via the collaboration, which, along with Close but no Cigare, went on sale through the company this week.




Diageo promotes Gladman to Africa role


Source: Brand Republic

By Gemma Charles

08 January 2013


Philip Gladman, the top European marketer for Diageo’s white spirits brands, is to join its African operations.


Chris Lock replaces him as category marketing director for white spirits, Diageo Western Europe.


Gladman, who has overseen marketing for brands such as Smirnoff and Gordon’s Gin, is taking up the role of marketing and innovation director for Diageo Africa with immediate effect. He joins the drinks company’s executive team for the continent and its global marketing leadership team.


Gladman has been at Diageo for 12 years. He previously worked as its GB marketing director and, prior to that, as global brand director for Smirnoff, where he oversaw the launch of its Nightlife Exchange Project.


At last year’s ISBA conference, Gladman argued that brands with social-media followings of fewer than 1m were better off investing in TV ads.


Lock previously managed white spirits brands in the UK and has been marketing director for Smirnoff Europe. His most recent role was category marketing director for Baileys and portfolio.




Darden announces big executive moves


Olive Garden president steps down and company appoints new chief marketing officer, brand presidents


Source: NRN

Erin Dostal

Jan. 8, 2013


Darden Restaurants Inc. appointed a new chief marketing officer Tuesday, alongside new brand presidents at LongHorn Steakhouse and Olive Garden.


The company also said that Olive Garden’s current president, John Caron, would be leaving the company after 10 years.


The new executive appointments are as follows:


Will Setliff was promoted to senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Darden. According to LinkedIn, Setliff had most recently served as executive vice president for Darden’s Specialty Restaurant Group, which includes concepts Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and The Capital Grille. He joined Darden in April 2012 and was previously senior vice president of marketing at Target.


Setliff replaces James J. “JJ” Buettgen, who said in November that he would be leaving the chief marketer post to become chief executive at Ruby Tuesday Inc.


“Our guests are changing and we are changing with them, and one important area of change is the work we’re doing to evolve marketing,” said Darden CEO Clarence Otis in a statement. “Will’s expansive experience in driving successful, cutting-edge consumer marketing programs provides the perfect background needed to lead our enterprise-wide efforts.”


Dave George was named president of Olive Garden. He was most recently president of LongHorn Steakhouse, a job that he has held since 2003. He first joined Darden in 1998, when he became LongHorn’s vice president of operations.


“He is a proven restaurateur,” Otis said. “His feel for guests and employees and demonstrated leadership capabilities will serve Olive Garden well as we seek to…reclaim the brand’s value leadership position.”


Valerie Insignares was promoted to president of LongHorn Steakhouse. Most recently, she had served as chief restaurant operations officer at Darden, a post she assumed in February 2011. She first joined Darden in January 1997, when she became director of food and smallwares in the company’s commodities purchasing department.


“With Dave moving to Olive Garden, Val is a tremendous fit to lead LongHorn as we continue to expand it across the country,” Otis said.


Setliff, George and Insignares will report directly to Drew Madsen, Darden’s president and chief operating officer.


The executive changes come just weeks after a lackluster second-quarter earnings report, in which the Orlando-based company vowed retool its marketing efforts for its three largest brands: Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse.


The company declined to comment on the executive changes beyond a press release.


Darden operates more than 2,000 company-owned restaurants.




Word of mouth, convenience, technology key to restaurant selection


Source: NRA

by Elissa Elan

January 8, 2013


Word-of-mouth recommendation, convenience and expanded use of technology are some of the best ways to grow a restaurant’s customer base, new research conducted by the National Restaurant Association has found.


“Understanding what influences a diner to choose one restaurant over another can give an operator a distinct competitive advantage,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA’s Research & Knowledge Group. “Word of mouth has always been a restaurant’s best promotional tool and that remains the case even in today’s technology-driven world.”


According to the NRA’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast, 94 percent of adult consumers surveyed said they are likely to base their restaurant choices on recommendations from a family member or friend. Furthermore, frequent restaurant customers said they are even more likely to base their dining-out decisions on word-of-mouth recommendations.




Majestic Wine and Domino sales rise


Source: FT

By Christopher Thompson and Andrea Felsted

Jan 8th


Resurgent interest in French wines and a spike in pizza deliveries boosted seasonal sales at Majestic Wine and Domino’s Pizza.


The buy-in-bulk wine retailer reported 1.1 per cent rise in like-for-like sales for the seven weeks to December 31 compared with 2011, bolstered by a 15 per cent year-on-year rise in online sales.


Steve Lewis, Majestic’s chief executive, said he was happy with steady growth in a difficult spending climate.


“We’ve had a very good Christmas for classical French regions such as the Loire, Beaujolais and the Rhône – wines which took a hit during the first recession,” he said. “It’s a solid performance, not an exciting one – any growth in this environment is good.”


Majestic said total sales were up 5.1 per cent, bolstered by brisk sales of Sauvignon Blanc wine from New Zealand, a staple of Britain’s middle-class dinner tables. New Zealand wines account for a fifth of Majestic’s total still wine business.


The company said it was on track to open 16 stores for the financial year until the end of March, the same number as last year.


Mr Lewis added that, despite the consumer downturn, cash-conscious oenophiles were not yet down trading to cheaper wines.


“People are not trading down – they are buying better wine but less of it,” he said.


Domino’s reported a 5 per cent rise in like-for-like UK sales for the 14 weeks until December 30 as colder weather and shorter winter days saw more people order in.


That offset a weaker performance in Ireland, where a fall in spending by recession-hit consumers saw like-for-like sales decline by 3.8 per cent.


Domino’s said it opened 57 UK stores during the calendar year, compared with an original target of 60 stores. In addition, 12 stores were opened in Germany.


“Yet again, Domino’s has delivered solid results in a tough trading environment,” said Lance Batchelor, Domino’s chief executive. “Our like-for-like sales growth in our core UK market has been good, and we have opened a record number of stores across the group.”


Jeffrey Harwood, an analyst at Oriel, said Domino’s was “well placed” to sustain its growth record in the UK, although Germany, a focus of Domino’s expansion last year, was too early to judge.


Elsewhere in the retail sector, Dunelm benefited from increased purchases of living room furnishings to register a 2.2 per cent increase in like-for-like sales for the 26 weeks to December 29. The homeware retailer said total sales rose by 13.4 per cent year-on-year to £340.1m.


Tesco also recovered over the Christmas period, with the highest sales growth of the big four supermarkets, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel, the consumer research group.


In the four weeks to December 23, Tesco’s sales rose 4.2 per cent, ahead of the market at 3.9 per cent and J Sainsbury at 3.7 per cent.


Aldi had the highest total sales growth, with a 32.4 per cent expansion, while Lidl’s sales rose by 12.3 per cent in the four-week period.






Source: Press Association


Jan 9th


Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s says it rang up more than £100 million in sales on Christmas Eve in a record-breaking festive trading week.


The chain reported like-for-like sales up 0.9%, excluding fuel, in the 14 weeks to January 5 after its strongest ever performance in the week before Christmas, when it also notched up £16 million in one hour on Sunday December 23.


Sales growth slowed on the 1.9% reported the previous quarter and against last year’s 2.1% rise over the Christmas period.


But the performance confirms the pressure on smaller rival Morrisons, which disclosed a 2.5% slide in Christmas sales earlier this week.


Sainsbury’s was the only one of the “big four” players to increase its market share in the run up to Christmas, to 17.1% from 17% a year earlier, while Morrisons saw its share slip to 12%, according to data yesterday from Kantar Worldpanel.


Justin King , chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said the group delivered good sales growth in “challenging” conditions.


“We expect the challenging economic backdrop to persist, with customers looking to re-balance their household budget after the festivities and so spending cautiously in the first few months of 2013,” he said.


But the group said plans to continue its money-off coupon Brand Match scheme would help ensure it was “positioned to perform well over the next quarter”.


Clive Black , retail analyst at Shore Capital Stockbrokers, said the figures implied a fall in sales volumes when factors such as inflation are stripped out.


But he said today’s figures showed a “satisfactory performance in demonstrably dull market conditions”.


Sainsbury’s has reported resilient sales in recent months at the expense of its three main competitors, although figures tomorrow from market leader Tesco are expected to show a fightback at the chain with forecasts of a 1% sales rise.


Seymour Pierce retail expert Kate Calvert said it was likely Sainsbury’s would “struggle to outperform in 2013” as Tesco is expected to reclaim recent lost sales growth.


Sainsbury’s said non-food sales grew faster than food over its third quarter, with clothing sales up 10% year-on-year and small electricals sales rising by more than 24%.


Within food, the group saw own-brand product sales grow at three times the rate of branded goods as shoppers sought to cut down their food bill.


The firm’s might in the convenience store sector helped sales from small stores rise more than 17%, while it added that online sales rose over 15%.


Ms Calvert said the performance at Sainsbury’s confirmed that Morrisons is “structurally disadvantaged” by its lack of grocery delivery service and small number of convenience stores.






Source: Daily Mail


Jan 9th


SHOPPERS turned to discount supermarkets in record numbers at Christmas, figures showed yesterday.


Aldi increased sales by 30.1 per cent in the 12 weeks up to December 23, compared to the previous year, while Lidl sales grew 10.8 per cent. Iceland saw its sales rise 9.7 per cent.


The market share of Aldi reached a record 3.2 per cent.


Edward Garner , of Kantar Worldpanel which compiled the data, said: ‘Historically, the discounter sector has seen its share dip at Christmas as shoppers treat themselves and trade up.


‘But the all-time record share of 3.2 per cent for Aldi is a sign of the times and shows that this is no longer the case. Aldi and Lidl both benefited from carrying items such as goose, venison and fine wines in their pre-Christmas catalogues this year. It seems that offering premium products at budget prices has paid off.’


Upmarket Waitrose saw sales of £300million – a growth of 5.4 per cent. But the ‘big four’ did not fare as well. Tesco, Asda and Morrisions reported decreases, while Sainsbury’s managed growth of 0.1 per cent.


Food prices rose by 4.1 per cent last month, piling further pressure on hard-pressed families. The wettest summer in 100 years has brought big increases in the cost of vegetables and fruit while droughts in the US and Russia have driven up international grain commodity prices.


A survey by the British Retail Consortium reveals that half of families plan to cut back on food spending in the next six months.


But there is some hope on the horizon. The 4.1 per cent food price rise in December was down from 4.6 per cent in November.


BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: ‘Barring any new shocks in the supply chain, I would expect food inflation to stabilise at this sort of level in the short term and we may see it starting to settle to lower levels in the second half of 2013.’




North Carolina: Mayor on ABC Commission


Source: The Daily Reflector

By Wesley Brown

Saturday, January 5, 2013


In her last appointment as governor, Beverly Perdue this week picked Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas to fill a long-standing vacant position on the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission.


The nomination was confirmed on Friday, when Perdue’s office mailed Thomas his oath papers, which are expected to be sworn by the mayor next week, most likely in Pitt County by Superior Court Judge Marvin Blount.


On Friday, Thomas, in his first year as mayor, hailed the designation – bestowed to three people statewide – as an honor and an “extension of the city’s and region’s high level of involvement” in North Carolina commerce.


“I was very honored to be given this opportunity,” Thomas said. “The commission is an enormously large enterprise that touches every community across the state and one that plays a significant role in Greenville and eastern North Carolina.”


Perdue nominated Thomas on Thursday in her final appointment as governor, Deputy Press Secretary Alana Allen confirmed on Friday.


Thomas will fill the spot vacated by A.D. “Zander” Guy Jr., who took over as board chairman in February after John Williams left the post in November 2011, said Agnes Stevens, public information officer for the state ABC Commission.


The mayor of the town of Surf City and a member of the Cape Fear Community College tustee board, Guy has served as a member of the commission since October 2009.


Thomas will join Daniel L. Briggs as the board’s two commissioners.


A native of Davidson County, Briggs was appointed in February 2011 and as a licensed funeral director and embalmer, lives in Lexington.


The commission, managed under the operation of the N.C. Department of Commerce, meets monthly in Raleigh and oversees all sale and regulation of alcoholic beverages in the state. It will convene again Jan. 16.


Allen said there are no term limits for state ABC commissioners, that they “serve at the pleasure of the governor.”


Gov.-elect Pat McCrory, who officially will be sworn in today, is not expected to modify the appointment.

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