New DrinkX Podcasts Reveal the Digital Transformation of the Beverage Industry


Diageo’s Will Harvey and Rewrite Digital’s Jon Reay discuss how digital technologies such as AR and AI devices such as Alexa can help the beverage industry adapt to challenges and opportunities in the wake of Covid-19

The beverage industry’s rapidly increasing adoption of digital technology – which has been further accelerated by the Covid-19 crisis – and its implications for the future of brand marketing are explored in two new podcasts launched today.

Global drinks giant Diageo and digital consultancy Rewrite Digital are the latest industry experts to lend their voices to DrinkX, the new series of podcasts from beverage-top media company Ripples. In the new episodes, Will Harvey, Digital Innovation Manager at Diageo, and Jon Reay, Founder and CEO of Rewrite Digital, discuss how the recent global lockdown has prompted beverage brands to ramp up their use of digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR), to enhance the physical drink experience both in and out of the home.

In episode 3, Diageo’s Will Harvey describes the process of scouting new digital technologies to match and integrate with the company’s global brands. As part of the Futures team at Diageo, Harvey runs about 30 pilots a year, many of which center on harnessing new technologies to enhance the consumer drink experience – from the launch of an AI whisky navigation tool to in-home tasting sessions hosted by Alexa. Beyond the technology bubble, Harvey also discusses cultural shifts that have arisen in the context of social distancing, and how they can be channeled to create “more human-centric virtual experiences that are made with empathy”.

In episode 4, Jon Reay of Rewrite Digital discusses his ‘Digital in Drinks Report’ for 2020, which provides original research and an inside perspective on the beverage industry’s digital maturity and key priorities for the next 12 months. He shares that 78% of beverage suppliers report having increased their digital maturity in the past year, with Covid-19 accelerating the transition.

According to Reay, for these companies digital isn’t just something to which they aspire; it is a fully integrated channel which includes the use of digital data to drive strategic decisions. “It’s never too late to get on board with digital… [but] those who are leading the way will continue to move faster and we will start to see a bigger gap.”

Visit to listen to the new podcasts. DrinkX is also available on all major podcast platforms including Spotify, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.

If you’re a beverage industry professional with insights and opinions to share on the consumer drink experience, or you know someone who is, we’d love to hear from you and – potentially – we could provide you with a voice on DrinkX. Please contact us at for details.

To view Rewrite Digital’s ‘Digital in Drinks 2020’ report, click here.

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