As much of Europe starts to reopen after lockdown, there is cautious optimism amongst many that the changes we’ve seen in the drinks industry could have a lasting impact in a post-Covid-19 world.

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In this issue, we take a look at the rise of spirits, and how the at-home premium trend could offer hope to on-premise in what are undoubtedly going to be some difficult coming months. Similarly, there has been a surprising gin boom in the US recently. Could high-end gin be about to make it big in America, and could one particular tonic brand have a hand in things?

Many other sectors are starting to embrace the potential of AI and machine learning. However, the drinks sector has seemingly been slow to adoption. We take a look at how some distilleries are, however, now beginning to use AI – and to great success.

The shift by many consumers towards ecommerce during lockdown has been widely acknowledged as a huge opportunity.  But what has this meant for beer, wines and spirits, and will new trends for direct-to-consumer will outlive the pandemic? We speak to Molzi’s CSO to find out.

The disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic could prompt brewers to look again at shipping beer in bulk. We find out about a new ‘bag-in-tank’ shipping solution, which could offer solutions to longstanding logistical challenges.

Elsewhere in the world, away from Covid-19, the recently announced updates to the Rainforest Alliance’s sustainability programme offers renewed hope for many, as the NGO reinforces its stance on environmental issues whilst bolstering economic and social matters for farmers. We take a glance at what these changes mean.

Lastly, we delve into the UK government’s strategy for handling the pandemic, examining how the same tactics which were used previously to shape its obesity policy, especially the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, have been used over the last few months, and ask if in a post-pandemic society these methods should be reassessed.

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In this issue

The US, gin, and tonic

The hunt for good news at the moment is proving quite the challenge, but Richard Woodard for one is feeling positive. Whisper it, but could high-end gin finally be about to make it big in the US, thanks in no small part to a tonic water brand?

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On-premise has hope with spirits

The coronavirus pandemic has decimated the on-premise sector around the world, with lockdowns leading to zero sales and furloughed staff in the channel. Richard Woodard looks at how, as lockdown eases, those bars and pubs that are still standing could see consumers’ stronger relationship with spirits provide a healthier and sustainable future.

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Spirited Away: distilleries embracing AI

The process of developing new spirits has not changed notably in many years – until now. Peter Nilson takes a look at how some distilleries are using AI and machine learning to not just challenge, but also come out on top, in the world of spirits.

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“Watershed moment” for ecommerce: Molzi CSO

Charlie Merrells, chief strategy officer for Amazon agency Molzi, talks to Andy Morton about what the rush to online has meant for beer, wines and spirits, the mistakes companies make when selling on Amazon and whether new trends for direct-to-consumer will outlive the pandemic.

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Shades of green: sustainability in review at The Rainforest Alliance

Recently announced changes to The Rainforest Alliance’s sustainability programme have highlighted a renewed effort to improve the sustainability of, amongst other ingredients, tea and coffee. Peter Nilson casts an eye over what third-party certification means for consumers, and the new measures being introduced.

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Could bulk beer shipping be another coronavirus legacy? 

Ben Cooper looks at how the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic could prompt brewers to look again at shipping beer in bulk, with ‘bag-in-tank’ shipping now offering solutions to longstanding logistical challenges.

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Covid-19 prompts a re-evaluation of nudge theory in marketing

Covid-19 has seen nudge theory, previously applied to the drinks industry to tackle obesity, turned on UK Government lockdown policy with less than ideal results. Meanwhile, anti-obesity policies have been left to gather dust. Ben Cooper considers how the situation may prompt a re-evaluation of future policy as part of the post-Covid-19 reset.

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Next issue preview

It wouldn’t be surprising to hear that if, due to the coronavirus, wellness products are on the rise. In the next issue, we’ll be looking into the matter.

CBD was touted as a huge trend this year, but as we reach the tail end of 2020, how successful was it and what can we expect for the future?

Although more of Europe will be opening up over the coming months, and businesses plan to begin to return to some sort of normality, there will undoubtedly be more Covid-19 impacts that raise their head. We’ll be taking a look at how the retail sector is affected.

You’ll be able to read the latest analysis and insight in the next edition, but until then, keep up to date with the latest news on our Covid-19 timeline.

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