Wine Sales Are Booming

Wine Sales Are Booming

Following the closure of many on-trade bars, pubs and restaurants across the world, shops which sell wine and other alcoholic beverages are seeing a dramatic uplift in sales as consumers seek to enjoy a drink at home.

One alcohol delivery service, Drizly, based in Boston MA, have stated that earlier this month the announcement of a lock-down led to the biggest day of sales on record, outstripping otherwise busy periods such as New Years Eve and Halloween.

Meanwhile in the United Kingdom, the government specifically added provision for shops selling alcohol to stay open within the coronavirus lock-down rules.

Kent based winemaker and drinks company Chapel Down have seen sales in supermarkets and off licences grow substantially and direct online sales multiply dramatically as their customers seek to continue to enjoy their brands at home. Chapel Down report that on the current sales trajectory, their sales to consumers enjoying the drinks at home could more than make up for their loss of trade to licenced venues.

However, some nations have taken their lock-down further, effectively introducing a period of prohibition. South Africa, although continuing to harvest and produce wine, have introduced a ban on the purchase of both alcohol and tobacco in a bid to curtail incidence of domestic violence and to improve personal hygiene, adherence to social distancing measures and to mass-protect the nation’s immune systems.

The department of Aisne in northern France began with a similar approach but faced huge backlash from residents, forcing them to lift the ban and allow the purchase and consumption of alcohol.

Current trends suggest that widespread abstinence is unlikely. The wine market has been described in the past as recession-resistant — people like to enjoy a glass as much in good times as they do in bad times.

With many large-scale businesses rapidly adapting to this shift in demand, we hope that smaller, artisan and local producers do not neglect this opportunity to shield their businesses from the impacts of the virus. After all, when this is over, we are all going to need a drink to celebrate!

More information:

Watch: Globe Guides – Wine Trails: France, Italy & Iberia

Download: Globe Guides – Wine Trails: The New World

Read: Châteauneuf du Pape Wine Festival

Read: Vinotherapy – the Glass of Wine Cure

Main image: Malbec Wines from Mendoza’s Vineyards, Pilot Productions

By Sofi Summers

Consumer Brands Save the Day Amid Hand Sanitiser Shortages

Consumer Brands Save the Day Amid Hand Sanitiser Shortages

As stocks of hand sanitiser gel begin to run dangerously low across the world amid the COVID-19 outbreak and spread, many alcohol producing companies and companies with denatured-alcohol licences and supplies of alcohol have pivoted their businesses to try to help close the gap – especially for health professionals and those most at risk. This mixture of small and large businesses show us all how lending a helping hand can make a huge difference.

Alcohol Brands

BrewDog

BrewDog is a beer and spirits manufacturer based in Ellon in Scotland, and have switched their production lines to produce alcohol hand-gel totally free of charge to ‘those who need it’ across local charities and the community. The first batch of hand sanitiser was delivered to Aberdeen hospital to help the hard working staff stay safe.

Punk Sanitiser by BrewDog

Punk Sanitiser by BrewDog

Psychopomp Microdistillery

Psychopomp is an artisan gin distillery based in Bristol, England, who have also begun to produce hand sanitiser gel to distribute among the community free-of-charge, but in exchange for a charitable donation to the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

Warner’s Distillery

Warner’s Distillery in Northamptonshire usually prides themselves on saving the world from mediocre gin, but in light of the sanitiser shortages they have turned their production efforts to saving the world a little more generally.

Leith Spirits

Edinburgh based Leith Spirits have received much deserved praise in the press for their efforts. Having begun production of hand gel rather as opposed to their usual selection of gin, the company issued a plea on social media for plastic bottles to package the hand gel in order to keep production moving.

Pernot Ricard

Jameson Distillery, Sean O'Neill, Flickr Creative Commons

Jameson Distillery, Sean O’Neill, Flickr Creative Commons

Pernot Ricard, producers of drinks brands including Absolut Vodka and Jameson Irish Whiskey have put their Arkansas factory to good use by producing hand sanitiser instead of booze as the company reports a 20% hit to their operating profit due to the coronavirus. The French company hope to utilise some of their other USA factories to further increase their supply to help combat the empty shelves and dwindling hospital stores of hand sanitiser.

Diageo

Diageo, the makers of Smirnoff Vodka and Johnnie Walker Whiskies have pledged to produce enough denatured alcohol to make 8 million bottles of sanitiser, to be distributed among the front line staff treating coronavirus patients in the UK, Ireland, Italy, USA, Brazil, Kenya, India and Australia.

Cosmetics and Fragrance Brands

LVMH

Dior Midnight Charm, an LVMH perfume, Wesley Vieira Fonseca, Flickr Creative Commons

Dior Midnight Charm by LVMH, Wesley Vieira Fonseca, Flickr Creative Commons

Luxury fashion, cosmetics, fragrance and drinks conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) have turned their fragrance laboratories into hand-gel powerhouses, providing free-of-charge supplies of the sanitisers to overstretched hospitals. It has also been reported that the company has ordered 40 million face masks to distribute among the French health services, with the first 10 million masks paid for out of LVMH coffers, amounting to 5.4 million Euros. Bravo!

 

 

Pai Skincare

Our neighbours, West London based organic skincare brand Pai have launched their new ‘Acton Spirit’ Hand Sanitizer, named as such as the team believed that it summed up the amazing resilience and community spirit we have all seen here in West London. Pai sent out the initial batch to key-workers and is working on a second batch to make available for the public to purchase. For every tube purchased, Pai have pledged to provide key-workers and health professionals with one, too.

Pai's "Acton Spirit" hand sanitiser in makeshift packaging

Pai’s “Acton Spirit” hand sanitiser in makeshift packaging

BeYou

BeYou is a bit of an anomaly among this list, for its products mostly seek to provide women relief from period pain. BeYou impressively shifted their production to help beat the shortage of hand sanitisers within a week, and have been giving them away free with orders.

Ormonde Jayne

London-based luxury fragrance company Ormonde Jayne initially began manufacturing small amounts of hand gel to ensure the safety and hygiene of all of its staff members, and now they have begun distributing it among customers who purchase any of their delightful fragrances in-store or online.

More information:

Read: World’s Deadliest Plagues

Read: Where in the Wild has the Coronavirus Come From?

Worldometer: Live COVID-19 Updates

GOV.UK Guidance

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidance

Australian Department of Health Guidance

Main image: The Old Jameson Distillery, Neil Turner, Flickr Creative Commons

By Sofi Summers

Where in the Wild has the Coronavirus Come From?

Where in the Wild has the Coronavirus Come From?

Following the outbreak of Coronavirus which is currently spreading from its source in Asia accross the world, scientists are trying to figure out where it has come from, and exactly how it transferred from the animal kingdom to humans.

So far, scientists have ascertained that the virus has been transmitted inter-species – or that is has ‘host jumped’ – from animals to humans, making it a ‘Zoonotic’ virus. Whilst widely reported that this likely came from a bat, it has not been confirmed. Bats are believed to be the original carrier of the former SARS virus and of many other ‘coronaviruses’ due to their particular animal behaviours, such as living in large colonies and covering large distance by flight.

Providing that the virus was originally carried by bats, scientists believe that it unlikely that its first human transmission arose out of direct contact with the notoriously tricky-to-catch mammals. Rather, it is understood that the bats may have transmitted the disease among other wild species more likely to be handled by humans.

Pangolin, Adam Tusk, Flickr Creative Commons

Pangolin, Adam Tusk, Flickr Creative Commons

In fact, it has been suggested by some that bats may have passed the virus on to pangolins, which are poached from the wild to be illegally trafficked to places where their scales and meat are either considered a delicacy, or a form of medicine. This black market trade is completely unregulated and so it would be difficult to trace the transaction where the transmission occurred. It is believed that of the many places that pangolins are trafficked to, Wuhan in China is one, and is also – perhaps coincidentally – where the virus first presented in humans.

Read: You’ve Probably Never Heard Of The World’s Most Trafficked Animal

Scientists are attempting to prove the truth of this scenario as they work to find wild animals carrying the virus but finding the sequence of events is “a bit of a detective story”, according to Prof Andrew Cunningham of Zoological Society London (ZSL).

More information:

Read: Midnight Remedy: Bat Soup

Watch: Globe Trekker – Central China

DVD: China (3-shows)

World Health Organisation: Travel Advice


Main Image: Ground Pangolin at Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa, David Brossard, Flickr Creative Commons

By Sofi Summers