Industry news round-up: July 1, 2013

The Alchemist LeedsOur weekly round-up of industry news, for June 24 to July 1, 2013

Late-night award winners announced
The winners in the first ALMR Late Night Awards for the bar and club industry were announced last night (June 30), run by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR). The Bacchus award for best drinks went to The Alchemist in Leeds (pictured), The Culinary award for best snacks was won by London group Hawksmoor, and The Red Carpet award for total hospitality went to Be At One Group. The Skills and Smiles award for service standards and training went to Beds and Bars and the award for best entertainment went to Cameo in Bournemouth, part of The Luminar Group. The Full House award for marketing was won by Novus Leisure. Click here to read more.

Glasgow bartenders win Everest challenge
David Smilie and Alec Dyson from Booly Mardy’s in Glasgow reached the top in a cocktail competition inspired by Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay’s joint conquest of Mount Everest. The Everest 60 Challenge asked teams made up of bartenders and bar-backs to develop a serve using premium Siberian vodka Mamont that would embody the “spirit of adventure”. David and Alec created The 56 Degree Mamont Martini (pictured), incorporating a single malt Speyside whisky, Italian wine and absinthe. Click here to read more.

New look for Jeremiah Weed
Drinks group Diageo is building up the profile of its Jeremiah Weed cider and spirit drinks with the launch of a new-look bottle label and a £1million marketing campaign. The new bottle will carry the label description of “Kentucky Style Cider Brew” from July 1 to highlight the brand’s Kentucky heritage. The £1million marketing campaign, designed to educate consumers and drive trial of the product, includes a national TV ad campaign, a new 330ml PET bottle and festival sampling. Click here to read more.

Newcastle set to introduce late-night levy
Plans to introduce a late-night levy on bar, pub and club operators in Newcastle are expected to be approved this week after they were backed by the local council’s cabinet. The proposals will be debated at full council on Wednesday (July 3) and, if the vote is in favour, it would be implemented from November 1 this year. It would make Newcastle City Council the first local authority to introduce the late-night levy which allows it to charge a fee to on-trade premises serving alcohol between midnight and 6am. Click here to read more.

Sourz adds limited-edition flavour to range
A new limited-edition flavour is being introduced for the Sourz liqueur range by distributor Maxxium UK, chosen by the brand’s fans on Facebook. Sourz Spirited Toffee Apple will be available at selected bars and exclusively at Tesco, in the autumn. Consumers were invited to choose the next product through the “Sourz Flavour Generator”, which included the variant on its best-selling Sourz Apple.

Premium mixers come together with Cott
Cott Beverages has brought together established drinks brands into a new range of soft drinks and mixers aimed at the on-trade. Available in 200ml glass bottles, they are Old Jamaica Ginger Beer, Caribbean grapefruit crush Ting and Ben Shaws mixers, with varieties Bitter Lemon, Tonic Water, Low Calorie Tonic Water and Soda Water.

Branding revamp for Fusion juice drinks
Frobishers Juices has revamped the look of its Fusion range of not-from-concentrate blended juice drinks. The new look picks up the green, blue and purple from the bottle labels to create a fractal pattern to reflect the flavours blended in the drinks. They are Apple & Raspberry, Apple & Mango and Orange & Passionfruit. The new branding will be unveiled at the Imbibe show at Olympia in London on July 2 and 3.

Relaunch for mixers and soft drinks
CBL has relaunched a number of drinks brands formerly owned by Silver Spring Soft Drinks including Perfectly Clear Flavoured Water and 1870 Mixers and Fruit Squeeze. It marks a move into brand ownership for CBL, formerly solely involved in contract packing. The 1870 mixer range has been given a facelift to improve stand-out and communicate its use of high-quality ingredients without full sugar. Available in 200ml glass bottles, the range includes Tonic, Tonic Light, Soda Water, Bitter Lemon and Ginger Ale.

Celebrations mark 150 years of Martini
A £1.5million programme of marketing and events is being run this summer to mark the 150th anniversary of the Martini brand. It will include consumer events, digital campaigns and activities in the on-trade aimed at new and existing fans of the Italian vermouth. It will culminate in a major anniversary event at Lake Como in Italy in September, attended by winners of a prize draw run via The brand will also feature at the Martini Royale Terrazza at the Coronation Festival in the gardens of Buckingham Palace from July 11 to 14, reflecting its Royal Warrant and position as sole vermouth supplier to the Royal Household.

New wine sales boss at Inverarity Morton
Drinks supplier Inverarity Morton has appointed Guy Chatfield as director of wine sales to succeed Tarquin de Burgh who will step down later this year after over a decade with the company. Guy joins the business today (July 1) after 15 years in the drinks trade including Concha y Toro, Matthew Clark, Justerini & Brooks, Scottish Courage and Oddbins.

Premium spirits lead growth in on-trade
Research from on-trade specialists CGA Strategy shows that premium spirits are in 12.2 per cent growth and now make up over 16 per cent of all spirit serves. Key categories in this growth are gin, up 18 per cent, and American whiskey, up 48 per cent. CGA added that many consumers now expected to see a premium range on the back bar. CGA’s Tom Lynch said: “Ensuring that bar staff are comfortable in the language of premium brands is something to consider. It’s not just a case of stocking a huge range of gins and watching the till roll. Understanding and selling the benefits of them to consumers is key. After all, we know from previous research that 86 per cent of consumers are receptive to bartender recommendations.”

Brains reports continued sales growth
Cardiff brewer and pub operator SA Brain & Co has reported continued sales growth, with turnover for the year to September 30 up six per cent to £120.7million. Gross profit was up eight per cent to £14.03million, delivering an underlying operating profit of £4.47million which was in line with the previous year. Earnings (EBITDA) grew by 2.5 per cent to £11.9million. The managed house estate saw like-for-like sales growth of nearly six per cent. Cask ale volumes were up 1.8 per cent and bottled and canned beer sales were up 17 per cent.

Weekday business weakens at pubs, reports NPD
Britain’s pubs are increasingly becoming weekend haunts and weekday business is weakening, according to new figures from research specialist The NPD Group. Between 2011 and 2012, weekday visits to pubs declined by 3.7 per cent while weekend visits increased 5.9 per cent. This is reflected in sales, with a 3.9 per cent decrease in weekday sales and a 6.1 per cent increase in weekend sales.

Consumers set to win Jägermeister events
A new campaign for Jägermeister herbal liqueur gives consumers the chance to win unique festival experiences and places at events around the country, including a large party in October. The “Give It A Shot” promotion is running via the JagermeisterUK page on Facebook and a special app. It calls on people to add their names and three friends to an event guest list on the app to be entered in prize draws. Recruitment for the campaign will include brand experience teams of Jägerettes visiting bars, pubs and clubs in towns and cities around the UK as well as summer music festivals.

Deadline looms for operations managers awards
With only a month left to enter, the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) is make a final call for nominations for its Operations Managers Awards. The competition, which features training for finalists, is split into two categories – one for operations managers in a leased estate and one for area managers typically in a managed estate. Visit or call 020 8579 2080.

Work placement scheme comes to East Midlands
The Perceptions Pub & Bars Careers initiative for creating work placements is being launched in the East Midlands at an event in July. Run in conjunction with Punch Taverns, the showcase will explain the programme and how operators can get involved. It has been set up by leading operators in the bar and pub industry. The event on July 16 is at Risley Park in Risley, Derbyshire, from 11am to 1pm. Contact or visit

Tetley offers help to profit from tea
Pubs and bars will be able to pick up advice on increasing profits through tea with a new Tea Academy for caterers from Tetley. The online resource provides insights and industry trends, education on different tea blends and how to market them. Visit

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