Drinks Retailing September/October issue now live

What’s in this issue? Well, as the cover suggests, we’re gearing up for Christmas. Last year, we certainly entered uncharted territory and although masks and social distancing are old hat now, this year is still set to be unusual.

First, supply chain issues caused by both Brexit and Covid bring the looming threat of empty shelves. While the government is making changes to HGV tests, there are questions around safety. At the same time, the amount of paperwork brought about by our exit from the EU is doubling shipment times in some cases.

Meanwhile, uncertainty around Covid and the winter months is affecting consumer confidence, with questions over vaccine boosters and indoor gatherings on many people’s lips.

There are some bright spots, though, and lockdown has inspired a wave of home entertainment – and home improvements. Industry pundits are confident consumers will continue to make cocktails at home and treat their guests to more premium propositions across all categories. It’s no surprise then that drinks producers are working with retailers to produce cocktail kits – in fact, one stat from Pernod Ricard suggests that more than half of UK homes now own a cocktail shaker.

As we approach the run up-to Christmas, we can expect to see shoppers stock up ahead of shortage scares as we all make a cautious return to gatherings. We’ll see the rush before Christmas, but perhaps not quite as we know it.

PS - the Pernod Ricard/The Whisky Exchange news broke just as we were going to press. We were lucky enough to get some time with The Whisky Exchange co-founder Sukhinder Singh - check out the interview on page 8.