Industry news round-up: August 5, 2013

oddkaOur weekly round-up of industry news, for July 29 to August 5, 2013

Odd-flavoured vodka to be launched in UK
Pernod Ricard UK is to launch new vodka range Oddka in the UK, with flavours such as Salty Caramel Popcorn and Fresh Cut Grass. Produced by Polish vodka maker Wyborowa, the quirky brand is aimed at people aged 18 to 24 with branding featuring the eccentric 19th-century inventor character of Wit Oddoski. Oddka has proven a success for Pernod Ricard in the US where it was launched last year. It is being launched in the UK on- and off-trade in September. Click here for more at

Tony Conigliaro plans new bar
Leading cocktail specialist Tony Conigliaro (pictured) is to open a “concept-based” bar in London with two bartenders formerly at the international Experimental Cocktail Club (ECC) bars. Tony, who is behind London’s 69 Colebrooke Row and Zetter Townhouse bars, is partnering former ECC bar manager Nicolas de Soto and ex-ECC bartender Konstantin “CoCo” Prochorowski on the project. They are developing Airmail, described as “an entirely new concept-based bar”, which will open in an undisclosed location in London later this year. Click here for more at

Rum Attic added in Revolution evolution
Inventive Leisure has re-opened its Revolution bar in Brighton bar after a £300,000 investment that has introduced a new space called the Rum Attic. The area offers a Cuban party experience, with the largest selection of rum to be found in the city. It takes the company’s total investment in July to £1million after its Swansea and Manchester bars were also refurbished under its new “Evolution” investment scheme. Click here for more at

Bars to celebrate Mr Jack’s Birthday
Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands is investing in over 10,500 promotions across the on-trade for the annual Mr Jack’s Birthday celebrations throughout September. Focusing on the target audience of “independent-thinking males”, it will see promotional kits sent to licensees including a variety of instant-win competitions with prizes such as limited-edition branded T-shirts and key-rings.Click here for more at

Trade opposes Blackpool’s EMRO plan
The British Beer and Pub Association is opposing Blackpool council’s plan to implement an Early Morning Restriction Order that would ban premises from selling alcohol after 3am. It has submitted its representation to the council’s consultation, arguing the EMRO would not necessarily help with crime and disorder and would move demand for late-night entertainment elsewhere, damaging Blackpool’s economy.

Diageo reports “resilient” GB figures
Drinks giant Diageo has reported that its trading in Britain is “resilient”, with double-digit growth for its premium Reserve Brands portfolio in the year to June 30, offsetting the impact of a weaker beer market. Diageo GB country director Andrew Cowan said increased investment in Reserve Brands led to 14 per cent net sales growth, driven by luxury vodka Cîroc and super-deluxe variants of Johnnie Walker. Tanqueray also performed well thanks to a resurgence in the demand for gin. Globally, sales rose five per cent organically to £11.4billion while pre-tax profits remained level with the previous year at £3.1billion.

WKD plans promotions for students
SHS Drinks is preparing to wow students with its latest activities for WKD to tie in with the start of the new academic year. It will be giving away thousands of pairs of eye-catching, flashing LED “shutter-shades” glasses with bottle purchases. Student-oriented outlets will also be supported with witty point-of-sale materials and a range of student-specific cocktail jug recipes. Click here for more at

Bomb serves continue to grow
Energy bomb serves are now sold in two-thirds of bars and almost half of all pubs, according to a new report from on-trade specialist CGA Strategy. Rates of sale in the on-trade continue to rise, up nine per cent year on year. The best-seller is the Jägerbomb, served with Jägermeister liqueur and energy drink Red Bull, but other popular variations include Glitterbombs, using Goldschlager, and Skittlebombs, using Cointreau. Click here for more at

Bar operators shortlisted for employer awards
Be At One, Urban Leisure Group, Mothership Group, The Roof Gardens and The Breakfast Club are among bar and pub operators shortlisted for this year’s Best Employers in Hospitality Awards for England & Wales. Run by leading online job-board, the awards are judged completely independently by the employees of the companies who enter via an online survey. Click here for more at

Guinness taps into technology in on-trade
Consumers can win a free pint of Guinness by tapping their smartphone against the brand’s font as part of a new high-tech interactive strategy by the brewer. The “near field communication” technology is currently being trialled in 20 bars and pubs operated by Stonegate Pub Company until the end of August. It is built into the contemporary new “gate” fonts that have been rolled out for Guinness across the UK and Ireland since the end of last year. Click here for more at

Luxardo searches for Masters of Maraschino
Bartenders are being challenged to create a new serve for Luxardo Maraschino liqueur with the prize of a trip to Italy and a vintage bottling. Now in its third year, Luxardo will host the Masters of Maraschino competition at Boutique Bar Show in London on September 24, 2013, judged by representatives of the UK Bartenders Guild and Matteo Luxardo from Luxardo. Entries need to be submitted by September 1. Click here for more at

Taste Japan finds sake cocktail champion
Ryu Okada of Sussex-based mobile bar company Kampai Cocktails has won a competition that highlighted the mixability of sake. For his Nadeshiko Martini, he combined Sho Chiku Shirakabegura Kimoto junmai sake with prosecco, home-made rhubarb syrup and a dash of rhubarb bitters plus a garnish of a sprinkle of cinnamon. The Sake Shake-Up Champion was voted for by members of the audience attending Taste Japan at the Hyper Japan event at Earls Court, London, last month. Click here for more at

Rum pop-up celebrates Jamaica
Jamaican rums Wray & Nephew and Appleton Estate have been chosen for a pop-up at The Jam Tree bars in Chelsea and Clapham in London from August 6 – Jamaican Independence Day – until August 20. Alongside Jamaican food and reggae tracks, cocktails will include a Jamaican Mule and a Mary Pickford and original recipes such as an Usain Bolt, made with Appleton Estate, Jamaican sorrel and sugar, topped up with prosecco or champagne.

Savannimals go underground
Savanna Cider, the premium South African cider brand, has launched a new advertising campaign on the London Underground featuring the “Savannimals”. Covering 80 per cent of the Tube network, it also includes primetime national TV and radio advertising. It links into the brand’s Watering Hole Tour, encouraging people to visit a nearby bar for the South African cider.

Martini celebrates birthday with competition
A social media campaign has been launched for vermouth and wine brand Martini to celebrate its 150th anniversary this year. Called “Get on the Guestlist”, it uses Google Voice Search, a voice-to-text recognition feature, to allow people to gain access to a special Martini event in Lake Como, Italy. The competition is being run via and

New online course for wine service
The Academy of Food & Wine Service (AFWS) has launched its popular entry-level training course, Licence To Work in Wine Service, in an online format. It provides the basic knowledge and skills necessary for someone to deliver an effective and efficient service in wine and have the confidence to engage with customers. For a limited period the Academy is offering the online L2W course at a special price of £40 for both members and non-members, with concessions available for multiple purchases.

Club operator cracks down on waste
The Luminar Group, the UK’s largest nightclub operator, has announced ambitious plans to halve its landfill by 2014. Attracting seven million customers each year to its 53 clubs across the UK, the company handles about 3,000 tonnes of waste. Initiatives include more bins for recycling, with segregation for different materials. It aims to ensure that over 90 per cent of waste is being recycled by the end of 2014.

Pub sites up for sale in London
A portfolio of six managed pubs across London – primarily freehold – has been brought to market through specialist property adviser Christie + Co. The sites, owned by Convivial London Pubs, include five freeholds and one very long free-of-tie leasehold. Two have successful micro-breweries operating within the public trading areas. Convivial is looking to offer the company for sale on a share or individual asset basis seeking over £16.9million for the entire share capital.

Restaurateur to invest in new bar and grill
Graham Blaikie, owner of Edinburgh’s award-winning Mercat Bar & Restaurant, has bought the former Dolphin Inn in Whitecraig, East Lothian, to launch the Mercat Grill. After acquiring the site for a six-figure sum sourced via private investors, he plans to invest a further six-figure sum in developing the new business.

Pop-up transports guests to Mozambique
The next Mile High pop-up food and drink experience, inspired by the golden age of 1950s air travel, is to celebrate Mozambique in September after the success of events with themes of Gothenburg, Beirut and Sicily. Inspired by Maputo’s lively Mercado Do Peixe fish market, the event in west London will feature bossa nova and fado soundtrack, summer cocktails and seafood cooked by chef Ollie Templeton. Visit for tickets.

New brand positioning for Midori
An advertising campaign and website will support a new brand positioning for Japanese melon liqueur Midori. Under the banner of “My Midori”, it focuses on friends coming together for a good time that will be remembered for a lifetime. The campaign’s tag line, “Discover your Midori”, reflects the versatility of the liqueur and encourages consumers to find their perfect serve. Running in August and October, it includes outdoor advertising, PR, experiential activity, social media and new website

ABV increased for Appleton Estate rum
J Wray & Nephew UK has announced that it is to increase the ABV of its Appleton White Jamaica Rum from 37.5 per cent to 40 per cent with effect from all new UK deliveries. “The product enhancement will strengthen the flavour delivery and underline its premium positioning when set against other white rums,” said J Wray & Nephew UK’s marketing manager Mariam Ridley.

Peterborough bar fittings auctioned off
Fixtures and fittings from bar and restaurant The Sessions House in Peterborough have come up for sale through London Pro Auction. The auction consists of over 500 lots of commercial restaurant and bar fixtures and fittings and a fully equipped commercial kitchen. The sale will take place online at on September 12.

SIA and police check door supervisors
Security Industry Authority (SIA) investigators joined Dyfed Powys Police to check door supervisors across Ceredigion on the night of Saturday July 27, including pubs, bars and clubs. Of the 49 security operatives checked, five were found to be working without an SIA licence. Warnings were also issued to 10 door supervisors who had failed to notify the SIA of a change of their address, and for failing to display their SIA licence properly which are both breaches of SIA licensing conditions.

Hotel pairs food and beer to support ale launch
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London has launched a beer and food pairing menu in partnership with beer sommelier Marverine Cole to tie in with the introduction of its own beer. The Beer & Bites menu is running for one month on the hotel’s exclusive Hansom Hall Terrace before transferring to the Booking Office Bar. It showcases the hotel’s new St Pancras Beer, brewed exclusively by Oldershaw Brewery.

Orchard Pig adds to London sales team
Somerset’s premium cider brand Orchard Pig has appointed a new sales team member to maintain and build relationships with outlets and wholesalers in the London area. Jennifer Holmes brings experience working for other alcohol brand such as Peroni and Pilsner Urquell.

New ad campaign for Miller Genuine Draft
Miller Brands is continuing with its high-investment TV advertising campaign in Scotland for Miller Genuine Draft, the number-one packaged lager in the Scottish on-trade. The activity, which will see two bursts of advertising in August and October, will build on the 2012 “Tonight, It’s Miller Time” campaign. It features the song “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

Intertain invests in Carlisle bar
Intertain has completed a £500,000 refurbishment of its Walkabout bar in Carlisle city centre. It has seen a complete redesign of the downstairs bar and the creation of a new nightclub, Reef, on the top floor. The outside area has become an enclosed garden with a barbecue and bar. It has also included the launch of a new food and drink menu that is to be rolled out across the rest of the estate.

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