Industry news round-up: October 21, 2013

lee potter cavanaghOur weekly round-up of industry news, for October 14 to 21, 2013

Glenfiddich names Malt Mastermind finalists
The finalists in the competition to find the Glenfiddich Malt Mastermind have been announced, with seven bartenders – instead of the usual six – due to compete at the Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown on October 28. From London, they are Gareth Evans of Social Eating House, Evan Rage of London Cocktail Club, Marcis Dzelzainis of Satan’s Whiskers, and Marco Abreu of Aqua Shard, plus Henry Yates from Boilermaker in Nottingham, Jamie Ireland from Hotel Missoni in Edinburgh and Till Britze from The Last Word in Edinburgh.
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Incentives support glittering J2O launch
Britvic Soft Drinks is bringing back its limited-edition J2O Glitter Berry, a combination of red grape, cherry and spice with edible gold glitter that sparkles when the bottle is shaken. It is also promoting it for a signature serve, the J2O Glitter Ball, mixed with amaretto. It is supported by an on-pack promotion offering consumers the chance to win one of three “ultimate” parties and a trade incentive for licensees to win a Christmas shopping trip to New York.
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ALMR welcomes levy and EMRO victory
Council decisions to abandon plans for extra late-night restrictions and charges have been welcomed by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers. Warrington Borough Council in Cheshire voted against an Early Morning Restriction Order (EMRO) to curb sales of alcohol after midnight while Woking Borough Council in Surrey voted against an EMRO and a late-night levy that would have imposed extra charges on late-night premises. Norwich City Council postponed hearings about three proposed EMROs until 2014.
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Johnnie Walker to recruit new whisky drinkers
Major new activity for Johnnie Walker whisky in November is set to bring a new generation of drinkers to the category. Diageo is investing £7.2milllion in marketing activity including Johnnie Walker’s first TV ad in the UK for 50 years alongside a new bottle design. It aims to challenge the perception that whisky is an old man’s drink. It will also promote a new signature serve Johnnie Red & Ginger, mixing Johnnie Walker Red Label and ginger ale.
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Heineken promotion offers football tickets
Consumers will be able to win tickets to UEFA Champions League and the Heineken Cup matches through an on-trade promotion for Heineken. Building on the brand’s long-standing partnerships with the tournaments, the promotion runs through a “Match Your Ticket” scratchcard available when buying two pints or bottles of the beer. The scratchcards reveal a unique code that must be texted to a number provided for a chance to win tickets.
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New role drives Stonegate pre-booked sales
Stonegate Pub Company, which operates 548 pubs and bars across the UK including The Living Room and Slug and Lettuce, has created the role of head of pre-booked sales. It has appointed Alex Griem, who spent eight years in marketing and pre-booked sales at Revolution bar operator Inventive Leisure. He will help to develop and grow revenue from group bookings across the estate including cocktail masterclasses.
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Gold and cinnamon variant for Jungfrau
A new variant of herbal liqueur Jungfrau is being introduced by Global Brands with real 23-carat edible gold leaf and the flavour of cinnamon. Jungfrau Gold Edition is aimed at “weekend millionaires” who are looking to splash out. With ABV of 30%, the liqueur comes in a clear glass bottle and is supported by “luxury” point-of-sale materials.
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New York plan to revamp Detroit bar
A new venue with “the preppy American feel of an East Coast beach club” is to replace Detroit, the bar in London’s Covent Garden originally founded by mixologist Dick Bradsell in the wave of 1990s “style bars”. The 160-capacity basement venue will be launched in November as Earlham Street Clubhouse, offering sophisticated cocktails alongside pizza by the slice. It is being created by bar and club entrepreneur Jez Hall with Tim Entwistle and James Hoole, founders of on-the-go Go Food outlets. Design is by Matt Rawlinson of Raw Design.
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Masonic history inspires Movida replacement
The former site of Movida nightclub under the London Palladium in the West End is to be transformed into a new club that resembles a Masonic temple. Movida’s former directors Marc Merran and Eamonn Mulholland have teamed up with Jean Philippe Kley to develop Mason House which is due to open in November.
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Revolution grows beyond its vodka roots
Revolution bars have moved further away from their trademark vodka offering with a new menu across the estate. Operator Inventive Leisure has extended its list from 18 to 33 cocktails, made up of classics and popular recipes, using a broad range of spirits and liqueurs. It is part of an “Evolution” programme to revamp the nationwide chain.
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Bars add Mandarin menus for Chinese students
Stonegate Pub Company has responded to the increase in Chinese students in the UK by bringing in a menu in Mandarin Chinese at its Scream bars across the UK. It has produced the extra food menu alongside one in English at all 43 of its student-oriented Scream bars in university towns and cities.
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Escapade plans ‘cutting-edge’ Manchester bar
Dan Purnell of bar services specialist Escapade Bars is to open a luxurious new cocktail bar called Elixir to bring “creativity and rawness” to Manchester’s Deansgate area. Scheduled to open in November, it promises cutting-edge drinks, experimental methods, unique ingredients and exemplary service.
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Special cask release for Caribbean rum
The first in a new collection of limited-edition premium rums from Angostura on the Caribbean island of Trinidad has been released in the UK. Bottled at 40% ABV and aged in special casks, Angostura No 1 is a blend of rums aged from 10 to 12 years and then left for an extra 12 months in first-fill bourbon casks.
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Winners announced in rum industry awards
Virgin Gorda – a blend of rums from Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados – has been named boutique rum of the year in the annual Golden Rum Barrel Awards. It was selected from rums on show at Boutique Rumfest, held as part of Rumfest in London on October 12 and 13. Destilerias Unidas in Venezuela, producers of Ron Diplomático, was named rum distillery of the year, and Diplomático’s Tito Cordero won master blender of the year. The awards also announced the first batch of inductees into the new Rum Experience Hall Of Fame.
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Diplomático single-vintage rum brought to UK
A limited-edition single-vintage rum from 2000 is to be introduced by Venezuelan rum producer Diplomático in the UK. Master blender Tito Cordero chose it from a selection of reserves laid down to age 13 years ago. It will be available in the UK from Speciality Brands.
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Doctor Who inspires bar’s new cocktails
The bar team at the London Marriott Hotel West India Quay hotel in Docklands have created cocktails to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who to tie in with the official celebration at the nearby Excel centre from November 22 to 24. The vodka-based drinks have names such as the Sonic Screwdriver and the Dalekquiri.
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Heineken deal for London football stadium
Cider and beer business Heineken UK has extended its long-term partnership with Charlton Athletic Football Club by agreeing a new exclusive contract to supply draught and packaged cider and beer at the club’s 27,111- capacity stadium The Valley in south-east London. It includes Foster’s, Kronenbourg 1664, Strongbow, John Smith’s and Murphy’s Irish Stout and premium packaged Heineken, Desperados, Tiger and Bulmers cider, served in the public concourse bars and private banqueting and conference facilities.

Revenues up for soft drinks giant
International soft drinks group Britvic has reported 4.4% growth in revenue to £1,321.9million for the past 12 months. Boosted by warm weather in July, it increased volumes in the last three months of its financial year, including the GB market, and expects to be able announce operating profit at the end of November slightly above previous guidance.

Industry reports slower sales growth
Britain’s pub, bar and restaurant groups saw sales growth slow in September after a summer of solid trading. Collective like-for-like sales grew just 0.4% compared to the same month last year, according to figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker. “The good summer weather has been generally good for the eating and drinking market but September seems to have delivered something of a hangover for the sector. Sales growth last month was the lowest since April,” said Peter Martin of CGA Peach, the business intelligence specialist that produces the tracker.

ALMR warns on business rate increase
Licensed hospitality may be hit with an increase in business rates that could cost the sector up to £58million, according to estimates by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers. It is based on the Office for National Statistics’ announcement last week of RPI of 3.2% for September 2013. The annual business rate increase for April is currently set by reference to the previous September’s rate of RPI.

GO IN launches interactive room planner
Hospitality furniture specialist GO IN has launched an interactive 2D Room Planner to help plan the best seating layout for virtually any room. In just a few clicks, it creates a plan view of a room, determines the best combination of tables and chairs for the space and generates a PDF file showing the finished design and a list of the required furniture. Visit

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