10 april 2019

Coca-Cola Amatil’s venture capital platform moves into Indonesia

Coca-Cola Amatil’s (CCA) venture capital platform Amatil X has launched operations in Indonesia to support local food and beverage start-ups. Through this initiative, CCA aims to capitalise on Jakarta’s reputation as the next start-up capital of South-East Asia in terms of investment and number of deals.

Coca-Cola Amatil Group managing director Alison Watkins said: “There is rapid growth in start-up and venture capital funding in Jakarta, and we aim to be part of that trend.

“We are seeing growth in the food and beverage sector where consumer trends and technology are merging. For example, restaurant tech is personalising the experience for consumers and driving profitability for customers.

“We aim to harness that growth to deliver technology solutions for customers and consumers, including in on-demand delivery and in-store analytics. This will benefit Amatil in Indonesia, Australia and across the region.”

Amatil X’s pilot partnership is between Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia and Digitaraya, a local accelerator programme that is powered by Google Developers Launchpad.

The venture capital platform will seek companies that address on-demand delivery, distribution optimisation, in-store analytics and sustainable packaging.

Amatil X also announced the establishment of the Amatil X Academy programme, which aims to build entrepreneurial capability. It is supported by venture studio and innovation group BlueChilli.

BlueChilli CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin said: “At BlueChilli, our mission is to help people anywhere solve society’s greatest challenges with technology.

“As part of this, we are committed to helping world-class organisations like Coca-Cola Amatil embrace the lean start-up methodology, so they can better adapt to disruptive shifts, innovate rapidly and transform their business for the future.”

Launched in April last year, Amatil X has invested in start-ups Doshii and TabSquare.


8 april 2019

Coca-Cola bottler Arca Continental plans to invest $681m in 2019

Arca Continental is planning to invest around MXN13bn ($681m) this year to strengthen its operations. The company manufactures, distributes and markets non-alcoholic beverages under The Coca-Cola Company brand. The money will be used for market execution in its food and beverage divisions.

Of the total MXN13bn ($681m), Arca will allocate around MXN4.6bn ($240m) to its Mexican business, MXN3.4bn ($178m) for its activities in South America and MXN5bn ($261m) for its operations in the US, including MXN3bn ($157m) for a new manufacturing plant in Houston.

The company will continue to reinforce and expand its production, distribution and customer service capabilities in 2019 to strengthen its position and capture new opportunities for organic and inorganic growth.

Arca Continental board of directors chairman Manuel L Barragan Morales said: “In 2019, we will focus our efforts on innovation and on fine-tuning our diverse commercial initiatives. We will also reinforce operations in the US and in all our territories through greater digitisation projects and a more profound analysis of the information we collect from the market.”

“In 2019, we will focus our efforts on innovation and on fine-tuning our diverse commercial initiatives.”

Arca Continental CEO Arturo Gutierrez Hernandez spoke about the company’s performance last year and outlined its main strategies for this year. The company’s sales have increased 14% year-on-year to $8.33bn in 2018, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 5.7% to $1.44bn with a total consolidated volume of 2,220 million unit cases.

Morales added: “I am sure that in this new stage, guided by the effort, support and vision of Jorge Santos Reyna and the board of directors, by the continued collaboration with The Coca-Cola Company, as well as the leadership of our CEO, Arturo Gutierrez, we will maintain our firm positive evolution, fostering the growth of our employees and excellence in the service we offer our customers and consumers.”

Arca Continental is reported to be the second-largest Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America. It is engaged in the production and distribution of salted snacks under the Bokados brand in Mexico, Inalecsa in Ecuador and Wise and Deep River in the US.


5 april 2019

Constellation Brands reports 7% increase in 2019 net sales

US beer, wine and spirits producer Constellation Brands has reported net sales of $8.1bn, representing a 7% increase for the financial year 2019. 

Net sales of Constellation’s beer brands increased by 11.6% for the year, with the Corona brand family shipment volume reaching 150 million cases and the Modelo brand family reaching 125 million cases. Wine and spirits net sales decreased by 2.9% for the end of the financial year, with $2.913bn compared with the previous year of $2.919bn.

Constellation Brands signed an agreement with E. & J. Gallo Winery days before releasing its results to sell a portion of wine and spirits business for approximately $1.7bn subject to closing adjustments.

President and chief executive officer Bill Newlands said: “We’ve positioned our wine and spirits business for success with our announced plans to sell a portion of the business, which enables us to continue to strategically focus on our powerhouse, high-margin and high-growth brands. During fiscal 2019, our beer business delivered industry-leading double-digit sales and operating income growth led by our powerful, high-end brands and successful consumer-led innovation.

“Overall we’re confident in our ability to drive top-line growth of mid-to-high single digits over the next three to five years across our entire business.”

Chief financial officer David Klein added: “In fiscal 2019, we generated record operating cash flow of more than $2.2bn which enabled a return of more than $1bn to shareholders through a combination of dividends and share repurchases.

“In fact 2020, we remain committed to increasing our quarterly dividend. Longer term, we expect the powerful cash generation capability of our core business to enable significant cash returns to shareholders of $4.5bn in the form of share repurchases and dividends over the next three fiscal years.”

The company expects net beer sales and operating income growth to increase by 7% to 9% for the upcoming financial year. But they are expecting a decline of 25%-30% for net sales in the wine and spirits sector with operating income to fall by 30%-35%.


4 april 2019

Pernod Ricard announces 2025 sustainable packaging plans


4 april 2019

Constellation Brands to divest wine and spirits brands for $1.7bn

Constellation Brands has agreed to sell nearly 30 brands from its wine and spirits portfolio to E&J Gallo Winery for $1.7bn to accelerate growth and increase shareholder value.

The transaction includes six winemaking facilities in California, Washington and New York. Subject to regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to close by the end of Q1 2020.

Constellation Brands president and CEO Bill Newlands said: “One of the hallmarks of our success over the years has been our ability to evolve and stay on the forefront of emerging consumer trends.

“This decision will help enhance organisational focus on a more premium set of wine and spirits brands that better position our company to drive accelerated growth and shareholder value.”

Constellation Brands wine and spirits portfolio includes Robert Mondavi and The Prisoner Wine Company brands, as well as Kim Crawford, Ruffino, Meiomi and SVEDKA Vodka. Following the deal, E&J Gallo will add brands such as Clos du Bois, Black Box, Estancia, Mark West, Wild Horse, Franciscan and Ravenswood to its collection.

E&J Gallo CEO Joseph Gallo said: “We are committed to remaining a family-owned company focused on growing the wine industry. While we continue to invest in our premium and luxury businesses, we see a tremendous opportunity with this acquisition to bring new consumers into the wine category. We will continue to provide our customers and consumers with quality products at every price point.”

E&J Gallo Winery was founded in 1933 by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo in Modesto, California. It is claimed to be the world’s largest family-owned winery with more than 6,500 global employees.


29 march 2019

Annual gin sales top £2bn for the first time in the UK

Market data from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association shows that British consumers bought over 73 million bottles of gin last year, recording sales of £2.1bn, the first time annual gin sales have topped £2bn.

From January to March 2017, 6.4 million bottles of gin were sold in the UK, which soared to nine million bottles during the same period in 2018. Over the 2018 Christmas period, gin sales were up 40% over 2017.

Last year flavoured gin was valued at £165m, showing an enormous increase of 751% compared with 2017 as more brands brought out speciality gins.

Combined sales of British gin in the UK and for the export market have doubled in the last five years. There are 361 distilleries in the UK, more than double the amount in the country five years ago, and more than double the number of gins are available in the UK than in 2011.

Wine and Spirit Trade Association chief executive Miles Beale said: “The truly staggering rise in gin sales shows that British gin is gaining more and more fans by the day. And we fully expect to see sales rise again in March this year, just as they did last year.

“Its high time gin’s new status and reputation were celebrated and supported by government, which should be offering more support for British gin exports and a less taxing duty regime, both of which fails to support our entrepreneurial and innovative distillers.”

Pickering’s Gin co-founder Marcus Pickering said: “In terms of global thirst for British products, distilling in Britain and Scotland specifically has become world-renowned for producing high-quality products.”

Spirit makers are expecting to see an increase in gin sales in 2019. The IWSR Forecast Report predicts that gin sales will increase by 37% by 2021.


29 march 2019

Coca-Cola to release first energy drink in Europe next month

Coca-Cola is set to introduce its first branded energy drink in Europe. Called Coca-Cola Energy, the beverage will debut in Spain and Hungary. It will feature guarana extracts, B vitamins and caffeine derived from natural sources.

Coca-Cola Company sparkling business global chief marketing officer Javier Meza said: “We kept these two qualities at the heart of how we developed the recipe and are proud to offer it under the Coca-Cola brand, inviting people to try a new and different energy drink that is designed to complement upbeat and busy lives.”

“Coca-Cola Energy includes ingredients from naturally derived sources and a delicious and refreshing taste of Coca-Cola.”

Available in no-sugar and no-calorie options, Coca-Cola’s new energy drink will be packaged in 250ml cans. Coca-Cola Energy has been developed for young adults aged between 18 and 35 years. The brand will be promoted in line with Coca-Cola’s responsible marketing guidelines.

Meza added: “We plan to introduce Coca-Cola Energy in additional countries through 2019 and 2020. We will confirm plans and timings if a decision is made to launch this new brand in a certain market.”

The company offers a wide range of beverage products such as organic teas, juices, enhanced waters, ready-to-drink coffees.


28 march 2019

Alpro finds UK coffee drinkers drink more plant-based options

New research by Alpro For Professionals, the barista range from Belgian plant-based food and drink manufacturer Alpro, has found that nearly half of coffee drinkers now drink plant-based options when they are not at home.

Belgium-headquartered Alpro, which has been creating the milk alternatives for nearly 40 years, found 48% of coffee drinkers now drink coffee with plant-based milk when they are on the go. It is predicted that 21 million plant-based coffees are being served in the UK every week, with three million people in the UK opting for plant-based alternatives.

Non-dairy alternatives are increasingly popular, with three out of ten coffee drinkers now choosing a plant-based coffee shop at least once a week, while one in 14 people said they choose plant-based coffees every day. Research from the survey found that 44% of all coffee drinkers in the survey would ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ drink more plant-based coffee in 2019.

Alpro UK & Ireland head of coffee marketing Abbie Hickman said: “Our new research shows there is a massive opportunity for coffee outlets of all shapes and sizes to make sure they are making the most of plant-based during the year to come.

“No longer a niche offering, plant-based has now firmly hit the mainstream as a choice for an ever increasing number of coffee drinkers, irrespective of their dietary persuasion.

“To make the most of this opportunity, baristas and coffee shop owners should add a broad choice of plant-based options to their menu.

“And the good news is that Alpro can make it incredibly easy to either get started, or add to your repertoire. Each of our Alpro For Professionals products has been specifically developed to work with coffee in terms of both taste and performance, so whatever your plant-based ambitions, you can rest assured that you can create delicious plant-based coffee without compromise.”

Almost half of the coffee drinkers want plant-based alternatives in their favourite coffee shops, with 25% of them going back to the same business if it has a variety of plant-based alternatives.