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Mark Riley appointed Maxxium UK off-trade sales director

Published:  03 February, 2012

Premium spirits company, Maxxium UK has appointed Mark Riley as sales director off-trade.


New vodka brands for First Drinks

Published:  30 January, 2012

First Drinks has added a range of new vodka brands to its portfolio - CEDC's Green Mark and ?ubr?wka.


Maxxium UK launches Red Stag ad campaign

Published:  29 November, 2011

Maxxium UK, has launched its first advertising campaign for Red Stag by Jim Beam, in order to generate customer awareness to its target audience of 18-24 year olds.


Maxxium UK launches alcoholic foam

Published:  11 August, 2011

Maxxium UK has launched Bols Foam, with the aim of bringing molecular mixology to everyday use.


Maxxium UK announces cognac back in growth

Published:  28 July, 2011

Maxxium UK has announced the UK cognac market is back in growth by 10% in volume and value, due to its brand Courvoisier, which it says is propelling the spirit forward.


Chris Mason, Managing Director, First Drinks Brands

Published:  07 July, 2011

The first quarter of this year has been very challenging as consumers reel from increased taxation, fear of job losses and inflation growing. This has resulted in an all time low in consumer confidence.

We are in unknown territory now as we wait to see how shoppers will react to recent price increases (duty, tax and inflationary) which will possibly result in even more aggressive off-trade price promotions. So the year ahead is going to be a very competitive trading year.

In these challenging times, our primary objective at First Drinks remains the same, to build sustainable brands for the long term. To do this we take an integrated, through the line approach to brand building, ensuring that brand messages are encapsulated at every touch point with the right consumers. For example the recently launched global advertising campaign for Glenfiddich- "One Day You Will"-is part of a heavy-weight integrated campaign which includes relationship marketing, digital, social media and PR.

We are very specific about our business vision, strategy and target consumer. We then make sure we know our consumer, use available data and invest in research to target the right brand to the right consumers in the relevant outlets.

The role of innovation is always important, to evolve a brand and understand changing consumer tastes. For example within Scotch whisky, we have recently introduced a 35cl Glenfiddich 12 year old, successful for widening the price points we have to offer shoppers, a factor that has also made the 3 x 5cl Glenfiddich pack (12, 15 and 18 year old) a hit. It is now a top 10 selling malt product across the grocers all year round. For the connoisseurs and whisky explorers innovations such as Glenfiddich Rich Oak and Snow Phoenix offer an opportunity to try something unique.

We work collaboratively with our customers, setting joint goals so we can learn and earn together. Many customers use liquor as a destination category and we work with them to offer advice on how best to make the most of the opportunity. In the on-trade, we recognise the role of premium spirits, being in the right bars and at the right events focussing on target consumers.

We also need to recognise emerging growth opportunities for example year-round gifting, online sales, the convenience sector and categories such as Irish whiskey, non-cream liqueurs and golden rum.

It is becoming more costly to trade, but by innovating, stealing best practice, working with our customers on joint business plans and staying passionate we can grow.

Chris Mason is managing director of First Drinks Brands


First Drinks pushes mixed serves

Published:  06 June, 2011

Encouraging consumers to trial simple mixed serves of its key brands is central to First Drinks' summer marketing campaign.


First Drinks launches whisky gifts for Father's Day

Published:  13 May, 2011

First Drinks launches a range of whisky gift packs for Grants, Glenfiddich and the Balvenie for Father's Day on June 19.


First Drinks invests in research to help retailers drive profits

Published:  16 November, 2010

First Drinks is investing in a research programme to help retailers drive future profits.


First Drinks to take on Irish brands

Published:  09 August, 2010

First Drinks has announced that it is taking over the distribution of three brands following the William Grant & Sons acquisition of the C&C Group's spirits and liqueurs business last month.


First Drinks boosts portfolio

Published:  09 August, 2010

First Drinks is taking over the distribution of Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey, Carolans cream liqueur and Irish Mist whiskey liqueur in the UK.


Maxxium launches Sauza campaigns

Published:  09 April, 2010

Maxxium UK, is set to launch two campaigns around its tequila brand Sauza focusing on the Blanco, Hacienda Reposado and the premium Hornitos ranges.


Maxxium backs Courvoisier with £15m spend in 2010

Published:  17 March, 2010

Maxxium UK is to spend £15 million supporting its cognac brand, Courvoisier, in 2010.


£7m Christmas push for First Drinks

Published:  26 November, 2009

First Drinks is backing its brands with £7 million in advertising and promotions in the run-up to Christmas.


Maxxium unveils port support

Published:  26 October, 2009

Maxxium UK has developed an on-trade marketing kit to boost sales of port during meals.


Edrington Group launches Black Grouse in India

Published:  09 October, 2009

The Edrington Group has launched its premium brand Black Grouse into the growing Indian spirits market.


Edrington Group uses algae to cut CO2 emissions

Published:  07 October, 2009

The Edrington Group's Glenturret Distillery is the first distillery to trial an oil-producing algae to help cut carbon dioxide emissions.


First Drinks takes on Tia Maria

Published:  10 September, 2009

First Drinks has announced the UK distribution rights for Tia Maria following Illva Saronno's acquisition of the premium brand from Pernod Ricard.


Maxxium's new £1,800 Cognac

Published:  09 September, 2009

Maxxium UK is launching a new luxury Cognac, L'Essence de Courvoisier, aimed at connoisseurs which retails at £1,800 a bottle.


Maxxium pushes port message

Published:  27 April, 2009

Maxxium UK is hoping to persuade on-trade retailers to take a more proactive approach to port sales with the launch of a new promotional kit.