Tag Archives: alcoholic beverages

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 12/13 July

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   Sales of alcoholic beverages in the UK have decreased by 6% in the last week of the five-week World Cup period compared to the same period a year ago, as interest in the soccer event has decreased in the last week of the tournament, despite reaching close to £ 1 billion in sales.  Sales in the first three weeks of the tournament showed an increase, however.  Champagne and sparkling wine showed the strongest growth in the past month.  Cider sales decreased by 11% compared to a year ago. England’s early World Cup exit and better weather in July 2013 have been the cause of the beverage sales decrease.

*   A Wine Intelligence study finds that UK wine drinkers almost equally accept cork and screw cap closures, at 40% each;  Australians prefer screw cap wines (55%) to cork (38%); and in the USA cork is strongly preferred (64%) compared to screw caps (21%).  The choice of closure is dictated by image and practicality, more than ‘scientific’ reasons of helping the wine to breathe, stifling ageing, or preventing spoilage.

*   A new MasterCard Multi-currency Cash Passport has been launched, and is available at ABSA and American Express Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 26 August

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  SAA flights could be disrupted from today onwards as the South African Transport & Allied Workers’ Union go on a threatened strike for all of this week.  SAA has said that it has measures in place to prevent any service disruption.

*   The bill banning the advertising and sponsorship of alcoholic beverages will go to Parliament as is, to allow comment on it to be received thereafter.

*   Cape Town actress Robyn Scott has won the Best Actress Award at the Edinburgh Continue reading →

Banning alcohol marketing will cost jobs, unlikely to reduce drinking! What about Social Media?

Amstel deliveryThe government appears determined to proceed with the ban on alcohol advertising, something it has threatened for some years now, in a bid to reduce the drinking of alcohol, the target being a 20% reduction within the next seven years, reports The Times.  The proposal to ban such advertising was approved by a committee on substance abuse, consisting of a number of Ministers, earlier this week, and now the Minister of Health wants to present it to a Cabinet committee and then to Cabinet itself for approval.

The first step in the alcohol marketing ban, as contained in a draft ‘Control of Marketing of Alcohol Beverages Bill’ was the approval granted by a committee of Ministers of Sports (Fikile Mbalula), Trade and Industry (Rob Davies), Transport (Dipuo Peters), and Social Development (Bathabile Dlamini).  The public, the wine and other alcoholic beverages industries, and the Continue reading →

Is J&B Met the last gallop for J&B?

The J&B Met is the fashion and society highlight of the year on the South African calendar, attracting many who know little about horse racing (and often about fashion too!).  Now the sponsorship of the event by one of the world’s best-known brands is under threat, and could be a threat to the hospitality industry in Cape Town too.   Today could see the last J&B-sponsored Met.

It is proposed that new legislation will see a ban on advertising of alcoholic beverages, and therefore the sponsorship of the horse racing event by J&B would no longer be allowed.   It would need a hugely powerful non-alcoholic brand, with an extensive marketing budget, to fill the J&B ‘hooves’, given the focus they have placed on the event for a number of years, not only on the day itself, but linking PR to it too, inviting VIP’s, and organising after-parties and annual best-dressed shop competitions too.  The event is so successful that South Africa generates the third highest J&B sales in the world.

The theme of today’s Met is “Larger than Life”, and fashionistas are bemoaning the difficulty of finding something suitable to wear to match this vague theme.   In the advertisement for the event, it is described as “Massive outfits, oversized accessories, gigantic personalities”.  The event is supported by Cape Town Routes Unlimited, but its blue logo is barely visible on the black background in the advertisement.   More than 50000 fashionistas are expected to be at Kenilworth Racecourse today. 

The event is a boost for fashion designers, as the TV cameras and newspaper photographers will be focusing on the couples who may win the ‘Most Elegant Couple’ prizes.    The Cape Argus reports that R18 million alone is expected to be spent on clothing for the event, while the event adds another R34 million in accommodation, meals and travel related income to the economy of the Western Cape. 

The attendance by non-Capetonians seems to have declined this year, as accommodation bookings for this weekend appear to be far lower than in years before.  Typically overstating the value of the event for tourism, which is a two-day stay for non-Capetonians attending on average, is the media comment by Cape Town Tourism Executive Manager for Marketing, Lianne Burton, about the value of the event: “…essentially extends Cape Town’s summer party season by a month after the end of the school holidays (schools went back only two weeks ago, and Cape Town has just suffered one of the worst two-week summer lulls ever)!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter:@WhaleCottage

Cape Town puts sparkle back into liquor trading

Excellent news for Cape Town hoteliers is that the City of Cape Town has admitted that it has made an error in its proposed restrictive liquor trading hours, and has done an about-turn in extending trading until 2h00, even if accommodation establishments are in residential areas, reports the Cape Times today.  Previously the draft called for liquor sales to close at 23h00, which would have had a devastating effect on the bottom line of hotels in particular, and on the employment of staff and tourism in general.

The draft Provincial Liquor Amendment Bill allows each municipality in the Western Cape to define liquor trading hours for hotels, restaurants and pubs.  If they do not define them within the confines of the proposed liquor law, the Bill sets default liquor trading hours which they must abide by.   The Western Cape Bill is a “test case”, in that other provinces are set to model their own liquor legislation on that of the Western Cape, once it has gone to the provincial legislature.

The proposed draft Bill had set liquor trading hours in accommodation establishments, hotels and pubs at 11h00 – 23h00, only allowing such businesses operating in built up business areas to trade until 2h00.  The City of Cape Town’s councillor Taki Amira acknowledged at a Western Cape Provincial Liquor Conference over the weekend that ‘the city had made a mistake in its trading hours provision when it drew up the Provincial Liquor Amendment Bill, which will be passed before the end of the year’.   The Vineyard Hotel and Mount Nelson Hotel operate within residential areas, and would have had to be rezoned to be able to sell alcoholic beverages until 2h00, a process that could take months.  The City admitted that it did not know that not all hotels in residential areas were not rezoned.

Amira lambasted FEDHASA Cape, the hotel association, for not communicating with the City earlier in the process, as the draft legislation had been published more than two years ago.  Whilst FEDHASA calls itself a lobbying body in the interest of its members, it seems to have become powerless in the past few years, rather wishing to stay non-controversial and in its publics’ good books than criticise negative developments on behalf of its members (signing up with MATCH and then losing the bulk of the bookings is an excellent example).   However, the Cape Times quotes FEDHASA has having described the proposed Bill as ‘draconian’ and ‘verkrampte’, heavy words indeed.   FEDHASA Cape only met with Amira a week ago!

Roy Davies, GM of the Vineyard Hotel, is delighted about the City’s about-turn on the trading hours.  He said that a special plea had also been made about the serving of champagne and sparkling wine with breakfast before 11h00, and it would appear that such an amendment would be made. 

Wine farms were also affected by the proposed draft, in that they were to close their liquor sales at 18h00, which would have affected weddings held at such estates as well as restaurants operating on wine farms, with sales banned completely on Sundays.   It would now appear that Sunday trading will be allowed, and that restaurants and function venues on wine farms can serve drinks until midnight.  

The Western Cape province is that with the highest alcohol-related problems, and sought to introduce the Bill to prevent the rise of alcoholism, and to reduce its impact on alcohol-related accidents.

POSTSCRIPT 26/10: Councillor Amira called this morning, and clarified that guest houses and other non-hotel accommodation establishments may serve alcoholic beverages until 23h00.  A special allowance for sparkling wine to be served, in conjunction with a meal, between 8h00 – 11h00, has also been made.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter: @WhaleCottage