New design for Hogs Back Brewery TEA

June 2017

Hogs Back Brewery is launching a new design for its flagship TEA – or Traditional English Ale – with the aim of updating the brand while retaining the heritage which has made it one of the leading regional ales in the South East.
The new TEA design will be introduced onto pump clips, bottles and POS from early July. It retains the iconic and widely-recognised Hogs Back hog, but has been pared down to create a cleaner and more impactful look. The new packs will be advertised in a press and poster campaign later this year, designed to bring TEA to an even wider audience.
Hogs Back managing director Rupert Thompson said, “Making changes to TEA was something we approached with great caution; drinkers across Surrey and beyond have huge affection for the brand and its popularity has been integral to the brewery’s success since its foundation 25 years ago.
“However, the character of Hogs Back Brewery has evolved over the last few years as we’ve launched new beers such as Hogstar English Craft Lager, London’s Outback and Montezuma’s Chocolate Lager, together with new packaging formats including keg and cans.
“Updating TEA, our most widely-distributed brand, immediately modernises the brewery’s image overall, and ensures all our beers communicate our positioning as a contemporary, innovative craft brewery with a rich brewing heritage.
“This builds on a recent growth in TEA sales, which may be a sign that more pubs are recognising that excessive brand rotation can turn off customers who want at least one or two well-known and consistent local beers that they can trust.”
TEA was the first beer to be brewed at Hogs Back Brewery. It was an instant hit and has remained largely unchanged, other than moving from two hops to a single variety; it is now 100% Surrey Fuggles. It is a full-bodied bitter, brewed in small batches using English malt carefully balanced with all the Fuggles hops grown locally, either in the Hogs Back hop garden adjacent to the brewery, or at Puttenham, just four miles away.
TEA is one of the most popular and fast-growing beers in the South East and Hogs Back Brewery continues to expand its presence in this key heartland, enjoying 22% year on year volume growth. Distribution of TEA is at an all-time high with stockists including Enterprise, Mitchells & Butlers, Youngs, Greene King and Punch as well as independent free trade outlets.

Tuaca Redesign Celebrates Classic Italian Heritage

June 2017

Tuaca Liquore Italiano has been given a design makeover that celebrates its authenticity and heritage. The new bottle design aims to broaden the brand’s appeal as consumers’ passion for spirits with provenance continues to grow.
The new bottle design has a more classic shape, while the label proclaims Tuaca’s status as ‘Originale Italiano’. Overall, the rebranding uses strong Italian cues and bold graphics to showcase Tuaca’s unique identity and reflect its rich, genuine roots.
Legend has it that the liquid was created for Lorenzo the Magnificent, an Italian ruler in the 15th century during the Renaissance period. In the 1930s, brothers-in-law Gaetano Tuoni and Giorgio Canepa recreated it and named it Tuaca, a combination of their names. An importer from San Francisco brought the spirit to the USA in 1950.
Tuaca also built a cult following in Brighton in the 1990s and still has a huge following in the area as the shot of choice in many bars and clubs. US spirits company Sazerac acquired Tuaca in 2016, and Hi-Spirits is now distributing it in the UK.
Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Hi-Spirits is excited to maximise the potential for this unique brand, and we plan to drive brand awareness and great taste experiences, creating advocacy with consumers throughout the country.
“Tuaca already has very loyal drinkers among both bar professionals and consumers looking for authenticity. With the new packaging, we can better communicate the brand message and personality. Part of our plan is to return Tuaca to its glory days in Brighton and beyond. With its Italian heritage and wonderful taste experience, Tuaca has the strength to further broaden and expand its popularity.”
The new-look Tuaca will be supplied from the start of July 2017. POS is available to reflect the updated branding and drive visibility of Tuaca in outlet. For details, email Tuaca has an RSP of £23.
For more information, contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email, or visit

Focus on older drinkers as Drinkaware unveils five-year strategy

June 2017

Alcohol education charity Drinkaware has unveiled its strategy for the next five years which reflects key changes in UK alcohol consumption.
Declining total alcohol sales and growing levels of abstinence amongst the young are seeing the charity shift its focus from under-age to older drinkers.
Drinkaware has identified two groups of older at risk drinkers who are more likely to be drinking significantly above the Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines on alcohol consumption, whether that’s at home or during a night out.
Reducing the number of drinkers in both these groups, along with increasing the provision of information and advice and engagement with consumers, are the three goals underpinning Drinkaware’s five year strategy.
Campaigns focusing on older drinkers are already underway with the ‘Have a Little Less, Feel a Lot Better’ campaign targeting men aged 45-65 who drink frequently, primarily at home, and who are disproportionately at risk of alcohol-related health harms.
The ‘You wouldn’t sober, You shouldn’t drunk’ campaign and the Drinkaware Crews, now operational in 13 local areas and set to expand between now and 2022, are targeting people who are more likely to be binge drinking and the charity will continue supporting people who are using alcohol to cope with stress and anxiety.
Drinkaware has also launched an e-learning course for operators, to help employees identify and support customers at risk from alcohol harm and is working to extend the reach of its website, app and other resources to help even more people across the UK make better choices about their drinking and its effects.
Drinkaware Chief Executive Elaine Hindal said:
“Drinking culture and habits in the UK have shifted significantly over the past five years and our new strategy reflects these changing currents.
“People are seeking information and advice in new ways and are increasingly looking for personalised help, support and advice about alcohol and its relationship to their health and wellbeing.
“Our five year strategy is based on an in-depth understanding of consumer behaviour as well as building on our considerable progress over recent years.
“It provides clarity both for us and for our funders and partners, whose engagement and support will be vital in helping us to meet our goals by 2022.”
Notes to Editors
Drinkaware is an independent UK-wide, alcohol education charity with the objective of positively changing public behaviour and the national drinking culture. We aim to reduce alcohol misuse and minimise harm by helping people make better choices about their drinking. We achieve this by providing impartial, evidence-based information, advice and practical resources; raising awareness of alcohol and its harms and by working collaboratively with partners (including the medical community, public health, third sector organisations, local authorities, police and the drinks industry).
For further information visit
Drinkaware: key achievements
• Created Drinkaware Crew, a programme to train and equip staff in the night-time economy, now operating in 13 local areas
• Drinkaware app downloaded by 300,000 people
• Website attracted 9.3m unique visitors in 2016 and the charity aims to increase this to 15m. More than 1 in 10 UK adults accessed web information and advice and in key cities such as Manchester and Newcastle, this increased to more than 1 in 5.
• 70% of adults aged 18–65 years have heard of Drinkaware, confirming its position as the UK’s leading source of information about alcohol
• Provided NHS and other frontline staff with resources: 1.6 million Drinkaware unit and calorie counters, 800,000+ measuring cups and 300,000 advice booklets for parents and children
• Launched Drinkaware for Education, a free resource for teachers in primary and secondary schools
UK drinking habits
• Alcohol sales have been in significant decline since their peak in 2008
• Abstinence from alcohol is increasing in the UK and is now estimated at between 11-17% of the adult population
• Under-age drinking is declining. The number of 11-15 year olds saying they have drunk alcohol in the last week is 8% – a 10 year low.
• Evidence from the Health Survey for England (2016) suggests that amongst people aged 40-60, 33% of men and 18% of women are drinking above the Low Risk Guidelines; the health impacts of this are compounded by the fact that 28% of adults in this age group are also inactive and 69% are overweight or obese.
Sources for the above are available from the Drinkaware Strategy 2017-2022

New branding takes Southern Comfort back to its roots

June 2017

Southern Comfort has officially found its way back to New Orleans with a revamped package and new positioning, tabbed “The Spirit of New Orleans,” a nod to the brand’s connection to the colourful city for 140+ years. The new label designs have been developed to better represent the brand’s whiskey credentials and New Orleans affiliation.

Other improvements to the brand include the UK introduction of a robust 100 proof (50% ABV) expression specifically developed for the UK on-trade, in addition to the existing Southern Comfort Original 35% ABV variant. The bottles have been made taller and slightly narrower and will retain their longstanding iconic fluted shoulders plus the signature of the creator, M.W. Heron. An upscale cap rounds out the packaging enhancements.

“We believe the new packaging reinforces the brand’s authentic whiskey and New Orleans roots,” states Sazerac senior marketing director Kevin Richards. “New Orleans was an integral part of Southern Comfort’s positioning for decades. We’re excited to reinforce that critical connection into the future. Like Southern Comfort, New Orleans is adored for its uniqueness and spirited character.”

Indeed, Southern Comfort’s roots run deep in New Orleans, as does brand owner Sazerac’s. In 1874 creator and legendary southerner M.W. Heron created the first batch of his genuine smooth drinking Southern Comfort whiskey using his very own blend of fruits and spices. Around the same time the Sazerac Company was planting its roots in New Orleans at the Sazerac Coffee House on Exchange Alley in the French Quarter, home of the world-famous Sazerac Cocktail.

In the 140 years since its humble origins, Southern Comfort has become a highly successful global whiskey brand, selling in more than 100 countries. It has become a key ingredient in America’s drinking landscape and pop culture for generations. “We’re incredibly excited about our plans to strengthen Southern Comfort’s position as an iconic global whiskey brand for the next fifty years,” said Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer, Sazerac Company. “We believe Southern Comfort can be a 10 million case brand one day.”

Dan Bolton, managing director of distributor Hi-Spirits, said: “Southern Comfort in the UK is the same high quality, premium spirit that it has always been, with whiskey at the heart of the recipe. With the brand’s whiskey roots and heritage in New Orleans, a city known for good times and great cocktails, the new-look packaging and positioning captures that spirit perfectly.”

Amanda McLeod, marketing director of Hi-Spirits added: “We’re very pleased to be launching Southern Comfort 100 Proof exclusively to the on-trade in the UK and Ireland. It still features the distinctive Southern Comfort blend of whiskey, fruits and spices created by M.W. Heron, but at 50% ABV, it’s a premium spirit that will inspire bartenders to create some interesting new cocktails and mixed drinks.”

Southern Comfort Original 70cl has an ABV of 35%, with an RSP of £21. For more information, contact Hi-Spirits on 01932 252 100, email, or visit

Southern Comfort’s new packaging and 100 proof expression will roll out in Summer 2017 in the UK and Ireland.

Stability needed to protect hospitality sector warns Lynx Purchasing

June 2017

Whatever the outcome of the General Election, the hospitality sector urgently needs a period of market stability to help operators deal with the impact of food and drink inflation, warns buying specialist Lynx Purchasing.

With the Summer 2017 edition of the Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast showing a slight decline in the rate at which prices are rising, Lynx managing director Rachel Dobson says:  “Whoever is in Government after June 8, they will be getting down to almost two years of detailed Brexit negotiations.

“While it’s inevitable that there will be political debate about the outcome on both sides of the channel, we can only hope that the markets continue to take a more pragmatic view.  The impact of the fall in the value of sterling after the Brexit vote has now been more-or-less priced in by suppliers, so there is potentially a period of greater stability ahead if the markets focus on the long-term picture rather than constantly react to speculation.”

The Market Forecast shows that the “Lynxometer”, a basket of food and drink bought regularly by Lynx Purchasing customers, increased by 6% over the 12 months to June 2017, down from 9% in March. Dobson adds: “Prices are still rising, but not as fast, which is some respite for operators.”

Among the specific product areas featured in the latest Market Forecast are:

  • Meat: UP 5% year-on-year.  Higher global demand is a major challenge, with more Irish beef, New Zealand lamb and EU pork going to regions such as China and the Middle East. UK producers are also exporting more as a result of the fall in the value of sterling. The continued popularity of gourmet burger and steakhouse style menus is also driving strong demand in foodservice for the trimmings used to make burgers and other dishes, pushing up prices.
  • Dairy: UP 9% year-on-year. Availability of cream, used for making butter and cheese, has been low for some time, placing some upwards pressure on price. With better returns from butter than cheese, there could be challenges with cheese supplies later in the year if production stays low for any long period.
  • Fruit & veg: UP 6% year-on-year. Market prices of potatoes have been high following a poor UK crop last season; the quality and volumes of potatoes in storage has run very low, with imported crops needed to make up the shortfall. Better news, after the much-publicised problems with Spanish crops, is the arrival of the British leafy salad season, followed by peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers, as well a summer soft fruits including strawberries and raspberries.

Dobson adds: “The long-term impact of Brexit on the hospitality sector will be decided by the nature of the deal in a range of areas, including faming and fisheries policy, import tariffs, and the availability of migrant labour. Whatever is decided, it will be several years before anything changes, and operators will have plenty of notice to plan. What’

The Summer 2017 edition of the Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast can be downloaded FREE at Lynx-Purchasing-Market-Forecast-Summer-2017.pdf .

Lynx Purchasing works with more than 2,200 hospitality and catering operators to match them with the best suppliers and get the best possible prices on food and drink, as well as a whole range of essential products and services. Lynx@s buying experts help operators buy better and save time and money, year after year.

For more information on Lynx Purchasing, visit  email or call 01325 377 845


Darts competition reaches out to pubgoers on

May 2017

Leading digital platform for pubs and bars is partnering with the Worthington’s Darts Champion of Champions 2017 competition to drive footfall into the pubs and clubs hosting heats during June and July.
Every one of the 256 heats will be published on the individual pub’s page on the website, which reaches 400,000 pubgoers every month. In addition, will generate automatic notifications to their 20,000 subscribers about heats taking place in their area, to encourage them to watch them in their local. All the participating pubs are also listed on one page at making it easy for people to find somewhere near them taking part.
The contest, sponsored by Molson Coors and Red Dragon Darts, will see thousands of players stepping up to the oche, with the winner from each heat going through to the grand final in Cardiff on 26 August, to play against some of the best-known names in darts and pick up a share of the £20,000 prize money.
Stuart Mills, founder and managing director of said, “ is all about celebrating pubs and giving people reasons to visit them more often. Darts is the ultimate pub sport, so we’re happy to be partnering with this great competition and bringing it to a wider audience.
“We know from our research that a growing number of pubgoers want a ‘one stop shop’ where they can see everything that’s going on in pubs near them, rather than trawling individual pub websites, so these customers will be able to find out easily about the Worthington’s Champion of Champions fixtures.
“Our research also showed that three-quarters of respondents would go to the pub more often if they received relevant, tempting information from a single trusted source. So our targeted notifications alerting consumers to events near them have a real impact on footfall.”
Simon Hall, head of marketing at Red Dragon Darts said, “Promoting the Worthington’s Champion of Champions through is an incredibly easy and very powerful way for us to spread awareness and encourage participation among a huge population of pubgoers.
“We are delighted that the pubs and clubs taking part in our competition are getting this additional marketing boost to ensure that the heats they host are successful, well-attended, lively events – the very best of darts in the pub.”