Borough Wines has appointed Kent Barker as its new commercial director for its wholesale business, the newly renamed Borough Wines Imports.

Michèle Haddon has taken over as managing director for Sopexa UK and Ireland after Anne Burchett left the business in late 2016.

William Grant & Sons UK has appointed two new UK brand ambassadors for its brands The Balvenie and Reyka Vodka.

Funkin is gearing up to expand its on-trade cocktail expertise further into the off-trade.

Hogs Back Brewery is putting its London’s Outback ale into cans, following the success of its Hogstar English Craft Lager in the same pack format.

The Association of Convenience Stores has called on the government to help secure the future of the UK’s 19,128 rural shops, allowing then to continue to provide essential services such as Post Office, for customers that would otherwise be isolated.

Morgenrot, the Manchester-based beer and wine importer, has enhanced its world beer collection with a lager from Malta.

Diageo has identified a number of emerging socialising trends for the year ahead in its first Future Series report, highlighting in particular the growing importance of entertaining at home.

Barwell & Jones plans to launch an “invigorated campaign” to promote its new Rioja wine house, Marques de Riscal, in the UK.

Wolf Blass has announced it plans to bring back its Limited Edition Rugby Label campaign in time for the key winter rugby season.

Litmus Wines has released its 2014 Litmus Red Pinot, the first red Pinot Noir released under this label since 2011.

Ka Tahi Wines is set to introduce its wines to the UK market and multiple retailers sit at the top of its wish list for listings.

Ilkley Brewery has revealed plans to introduce its bestselling beers in a new canned range.

North South Wines (NSW) is to hold its first ever portfolio tasting, as a result of three years of successful trading with case sales now hitting the one million mark.

Berkshire-based Milton Sandford Wines has bought the Secret Cellar chain of wine shops in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Milton Sandford, which is headed up by John Winchester, has been supplying the on-trade for 26 years.

Jeroboams has revealed plans to expand its estate of London wine stores to 12 over the next four to five years. Managing director Hugh Sturges, who joined the business from Berry Bros & Rudd in 2015, told OLN he wants to open two shops this year, one by the end of 2018 then potentially a new store every 18 months.

Online retailer Virgin Wines grew sales 15.4% in the run up to Christmas, making it the best festive trading period in its history.

Vinexpo is targeting 10 leading UK buyers to be part of a 100-strong annual buying trip taking in some of the most unheralded but progressive regions.

Drinks trade charity The Benevolent has appointed industry veteran Tom Yusef as chairman following the completion of Dan Townsend’s successful two-year tenure. 

The UK’s leading retailers, bar operators and communicators were rewarded for their hard work in making rum one of the BWS trade’s most dynamic categories at OLN’s inaugural Think Rum event yesterday.

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has unveiled a new £4.5m advertising campaign to support Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which it says is now the fastest growing of the top five cola brands in Great Britain.

Kingfisher Beer Europe is to market and distribute the popular Indonesia beer brand Bintang Beer across the UK and selected European markets.

Vinita Italia is ready to tap into the UK’s Italian wine market with the launch of a new UK base.

Fallen Brewing has become one of the first craft breweries in Scotland to install a canning line and move its entire beer range into cans.

Les Vignobles Foncalieu will launch two new blended wines at this year’s Vinisud show in Montpelier, France.

Pinkster Gin has launched its first limited edition bottle for Valentine’s Day.

Liberty Wines has reached an agreement to become UK distributor for Sogrape, whose portfolio includes Mateus rosé, Sandeman port and various ranges from around the world.

Gin sales grew 14.5% to £420 million in UK supermarkets in 2016, making it the best performing spirits category.

BWS sales grew 5.7% over Christmas and drove the FMCG market to its best festive performance in four years (Nielsen, four weeks to December 31, 2016).

The producer of Skinny Prosecco has revealed plans to expand the business in 2017 following strong growth last year. 

Portsmouth City Council has failed in a bid to outlaw Oranjeboom lager and K cider on grounds they promote irresponsible drinking.

Complaints about the packaging of three different alcoholic drink brands have not been upheld by The Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel.

New Zealand wine producers are gearing up for a high level of interest in their Pinot Noir wines at the annual trade tasting event in London next week, following the news that tickets for the popular Pinot Noir NZ event in Wellington, New Zealand, have already sold out.

Buckingham Schenk has added Kreglinger Wine Estates to its portfolio to boost its Australian wine selection.

Aldi has reported record festive sales for 2016 supported by strong sales for its Prosecco, alongside low-priced festive veg.

BWS sales grew by 5.7% over Christmas, making it the second best performing FMCG category and helping drive the market to its best festive performance in four years (Nielsen, four weeks to December 31, 2016).

Barefoot Wine & Bubbly is introducing a pink Pinot Grigio as part of a plan to drive value back into the rose category.

Black Cow Vodka is opening its West Dorset distillery to the public in April this year, along with a new bar and kitchen concept.

Think Rum to maximise profit

09 January, 2017

Rum is currently a star performer in the UK, with sales up 12% in the on-trade and 3% in the off-trade, with independents and c-stores growing sales by 6% (Nielsen and CGA).

Buckingham Schenk will reveal a new brand from Rod McDonald Wines at next week’s New Zealand Winegrowers tasting event.

María José Sevilla is stepping down as UK director of generic body Foods & Wines from Spain.

Thatchers Cider has commissioned its first canning line at its Myrtle Farm headquarters, as part of an £8.3m investment.

Taylor’s has released a 1967 Single Harvest Port, the fourth in a series of 50 year-old limited edition Tawny Ports.

Innis & Gunn has revealed “the first detoxing beer of its kind” to tap into the trend for lower or no alcohol products.

An English sparkling wine has triumphed over Champagne yet again in the contest to become the official partner to The Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race.

The Local Government Association has warned retailers tempted to sell illegal alcohol on the biggest night of the year that they face confiscation of stock, prosecution and being stripped of any relevant licences.

Plans have been submitted for a new whisky distillery in the Dartmoor National Park.

Tesco has reported a 30% increase in sales of premium spirits in the run-up to Christmas compared with the same period last year.

Sparkling wine was the third fastest growing grocery category in supermarkets in 2016 according to new Nielsen figures.

Bath Ales has launched a trio of hearty stouts in time for Christmas.

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