Any activity which encourages retailers to improve ranging, merchandising and special offer activity is invaluable. Winning a VIP trip to Barbados for the 2007 World Cup is something else!

CCE claims its Relentless energy drink launched in February is worth pound;2.7m (or just over pound;7,000 a day). It is investing pound;1.5m over the next 12 months, focusing on ‘tactical’ above the line activity, sponsorship and sampling. But, do we really need another energy drink in this already crowded market?

It was no surprise to see Britvic’s J2O fruit drinks win Gold in the FWD Gold Medal Awards recently. Superb quality, great packaging and masses of potential. It gets my vote.

A quick late stroll around the depot convinces me Christmas trading is shaping up well, but it’s too soon to judge the booze which appears to come later and later every year.

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