Industry news round-up: April 22, 2014

TanquerayOur weekly round-up of industry news, for April 14 to 22, 2014

Diageo spearheads ‘spirits revolution’
Diageo has announced a new initiative to help the on-trade to tap into the opportunity for growing spirits sales in the UK. The Spirits Revolution activity aims to inspire licensees and bar staff to look at making simple changes that will deliver extra sales and increase profits. It includes the UK launch of Diageo’s Bar Academy, offering accredited training modules for bar staff covering a broad range of topics from the perfect serve to cocktails. It covers the whole portfolio, from Smirnoff to Tanqueray, and runs across categories.
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Launch of bottled cloudy apple cider
A cloudy apple cider in bottles has been launched to appeal to drinkers in their 20s on a night-out. Lazy Jack’s has been developed by Halewood International, the company behind the Crabbie’s brand, for drinking ice-cold direct from the bottle rather than over ice. Described as an “American-style” cider, it has ABV of 4.7% and comes in 355ml bottles. It is also being promoted for pairing with American-style food such as pulled pork and barbecue dishes.
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Monkey Shoulder offers pop-up prize
Monkey Shoulder whisky has launched the brand’s first national bartender competition, with the prize of creating a pop-up bar. The Ultimate Bartender Challenge has been designed to appeal to bartenders at all levels in a fun, interactive way, moving away from the traditional cocktail competition concept. A winning team of three will set up their own bar during London Cocktail Week in October which will be paid for, promoted and supported by Monkey Shoulder.
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Cellar Trends launches Irish whiskey
Irish whiskey Uisce Beatha is to be available in the UK after leading spirits company Cellar Trends signed a multi-year exclusive agreement with ROK Drinks, part of consumer goods group ROK Stars. Uisce Beatha Real Irish Whiskey is a blend of single malt and grain whiskies which have been matured for at least four years in ex-bourbon American oak casks to deliver a soft, subtle and delicately sweet flavour with a long, malty finish.
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Rhuby launches all-female competition
An all-female bartender competition by Rhuby Liqueur has been launched as part of a campaign to support female entrepreneurs and support breast cancer awareness. Returning for a third year, the Pink Your Drink competition is to run in the UK, the US and Sweden, taking place at bars in London, New York City and Stockholm in October.
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Second site for coffee and cocktail bar
The team behind cocktail and coffee bar Shoreditch Grind in east London are to open a new outlet in London’s West End. Soho Grind will open in early May in Beak Street in Soho and will include a hidden cocktail bar in the basement.
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Mojo boosts management with new role
Bartender Sam Fish has been promoted to a new senior management role for Mojo bars as the group seeks to develop the brand further. Previously general manager of Mojo in Leeds, Sam has been appointed to the new position of product service manager, responsible for all three Mojos in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, with a focus on training, food and cocktail menus and master classes.
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Rebranding for spirit-flavoured beers
SHS Drinks is rebranding its spirit-flavoured beers under the name of Dead Crow, bringing together rum-flavoured beer Cuvana and bourbon-flavoured Dead Crow under the new single brand name. Launched in January last year, the beers have the same recipes and ABV of 5.5% but with new-look packaging to reflect a more premium positioning.
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Fruit delivery service launched for bars
New online delivery service Squish has been launched specialising in supplying fresh fruit, vegetables and juices to bars across London. Promising a rate that is on average at least 10% less expensive than competitors, it has been set up by a team with a background in the bar and drinks industry. Phone calls will be answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, supported by a website and app, with orders made before 3am delivered to a bar the next morning.
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Bartender wins trip to World Cup in Brazil
Benji Purslow, bar manager of Archer Street in Soho, London, has won a competition for Leblon cachaça. The Miracle Redeemer is served with a Miracle Fruit sweet which enhances and alters the flavours from the drink. The drink itself is made with Leblon infused with açai berries and Campari infused with goji berries plus fresh passion fruit juice and lime juice. Benji has won a trip to Brazil and tickets to a World Cup game.
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On-trade reports March sales growth
Britain’s pub, bar and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales grow 4.6% in March against the same month last year, according to latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Total sales, including the impact of new openings, were up 7.1% on this time last year. The results mark 12 consecutive months of positive growth for the sector. The tracker collects and analyses monthly performance data from 27 operating groups.

Further fall for UK alcohol consumption
Alcohol consumption in the UK fell by 2.1% in 2013 to 7.7 litres per head, according to new figures from the British Beer and Pub Association. The figures, for 2013, are 18% lower than a decade ago. Consumption in licensed premises has fallen disproportionately fast since 2001 when equal proportions of alcohol were consumed at home and in the on-trade. Nearly 70% of drinks are now consumed away from licensed premises.

Design awards open for entries
The European Hotel Design Awards 2014 is now open for entries, with categories including bar, café or all-day dining, lounge and lobby space, and restaurant. The deadline for entries is May 31. For details and to submit entries visit

Meatliquor acquires chicken restaurant
Meatailer, the company behind Meatliquor restaurants in London and Brighton, has bought acclaimed fried chicken restaurant Wishbone in Brixton, south London. Meatliquor, which also has Meatmarket and Meatmission in London and is opening Meatliquor in Leeds, plans to revamp the menu and open a second site for Wishbone later this year. It will be led by Meatliquor founders Yianni Papoutsis and Scott Collins with Wishbone co-founder William Leigh consulting on menus.

Roll-out for Orderella at pub group
Mobile ordering app Orderella has been introduced at all pubs and restaurants in the Oakman Inns group in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. The app allows customers to order and pay for drinks and food with their phone and also provides operators with insight into customers’ buying behaviour.

Gruppo Campari acquires Italian brands
Drinks giant Gruppo Campari is acquiring Fratelli Averna, the Italian producer of Averna, the second best-selling bitter in Italy and one of the best well-known bitters worldwide. The portfolio also includes herb-based bitter Braulio, limoncello Limoncetta and Grappa Frattina – marking Gruppo Campari’s entry into the grappa category. They join brands such as Appleton Estate rum, Wild Turkey whiskey, Skyy vodka, Aperol, Frangelico and Campari.

Major new campaign for Bulmers
A new multi-million-pound marketing campaign has been launched for Bulmers cider, embracing TV, press, digital and outdoor, running from April to September. The Bulmers Live Colourful communicates how Bulmers is the catalyst to colourful, fun nights with friends, showing groups of people enjoying the range of five Bulmers ciders.

Revamp for Peroni loyalty programme
Club Peroni, the on-trade loyalty club for Peroni Nastro Azzurro beer, has been relaunched with a new look and features to help independent outlets drive sales. It includes a refreshed website with an area where members can access category and merchandising information to help drive sales, interviews with people in the trade to provide inspiration and monthly e-newsletters and competitions. It features an online catalogue of rewards including branded merchandise, gadgets such as iPads and espresso machines and Italian experiences.

Sipsmith moves to bigger home
Gin and vodka producer Sipsmith has confirmed its move to new premises in Chiswick, west London, which will allow it to accommodate a third copper pot still – Constance – alongside existing stills, Prudence and Patience. Moving from its original premises in Hammersmith, west London, it will enable the company to meet growing demand for its small-batch spirits.

Cellar Trends director to retire
Malcolm Rigby is to retire in June after a 15-year career as sales director with leading drinks distributor Cellar Trends. He was one of the first seven people employed by the company when it was formed in 1999. Marketing director Terry Barker has been appointed director of sales and marketing, effective from May 1.

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