In this issue

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.

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 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 also bolstering economic and social support 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.

Peter Nilson, editor

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