13 FEB 2018

Route-based servicer Cott to acquire Crystal Rock Holdings

Multinational route-based business firm Cott has entered a definitive agreement to acquire office and home refreshment products provider Crystal Rock Holdings for around $35m.

Approved by both companies’ board of directors, the transaction values Crystal Rock at $0.97 per share in cash.

Crystal Rock Holdings markets and distributes water and coffee services, office supplies and refreshment beverages through its subsidiary Crystal Rock.

Cott CEO Jerry Fowden said: “The Crystal Rock acquisition is another positive step in our stated strategy to pursue acquisitions in the higher margin home and office water delivery and coffee services categories, where we believe our platform, operating strength and synergies can be leveraged.”

As per the merger agreement, Cott’s affiliate will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Crystal Rock’s common stock.

Expected to close next month, the transaction is subject to various tender offer conditions.

13 FEB 2018

Britvic to launch new Fruit Shoot product Juiced

British soft drinks producer Britvic is set to launch Juiced, a new Robinsons Fruit Shoot product.

Claimed to be made with real fruit and natural flavourings, Juiced contains a blend of water and juice.

Britvic’s Great Britain marketing director Kevin McNair said: “Found in more households than any other kids drinks brand, Fruit Shoot has led the kids’ segment with category-growing innovations such as Hydro and now Juiced.

“Made from 100% naturally sourced ingredients, Juiced provides parents with a great tasting drink that their kids will love.

“By stocking Fruit Shoot you can be sure you’re offering your customers the right solution for their kids, whether at home or on the go.”

Juiced is said to be free from added preservatives, sugar, sweeteners and artificial colours or flavourings.

As per consumer research findings, the new line-up reported positive feedback from adults and children, with 94% of consumers willing to purchase the product.

12 FEB 2018

Revolver set to repackage beer products into cans

US-based beer brand Revolver is set to provide a canned release of its Blood & Honey, Sidewinder, Full-Tang IPA and Long-Range Pils’ products later this month.

Revolver co-founder Rhett Keisler said: “Texas is a big, hot outdoor-friendly state, and there are a lot of opportunities here where we think cans will go that bottles can’t.

“Texans like cans and they’re the fastest-growing segment of the market. They’re lighter, easier to transport and they give us the ability to get into venues where we previously weren’t able to go.”

The brewer has been installing a new canning line in its Granbury brewery in Texas.

Revolver made the decision to move to cans following a dip in sales of its glass bottle packaged products, which are sold in locations such as sports stadiums, golf courses, beaches, lakes and rivers.

12 FEB 2018

Scotch whisky exports rise in 2017

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has reported a significant rise in the size and volume of global Scotch whisky exports last year.

As per data collected by the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), global sales of  Scotch has grown in volume by 1.6% and value by 8.9%. Worth £4.36bn, this totals around 1.23bn bottles exported, which accounted for more than 20% of all UK food and drink exports.

Single Malt Scotch Whisky also saw growth, rising 14.2% to £1.17bn in 2017.

SWA CEO Karen Betts said: “These encouraging figures show how popular Scotch Whisky is right around the world.

“Already a strong export that is loved for its sophistication, diversity and provenance, it’s great to see Scotch continuing to grow in established and new markets.

“With more than 40,000 jobs supported by the Scotch Whisky industry across the UK, 7,000 of which are in rural areas in Scotland, it is crucial that we continue to support both the new wave of whisky entrepreneurs and established distillers who are taking Scotch to the world.”

9 FEB 2018

PepsiCo launches new water category drink bubly

American food and beverage firm PepsiCo has launched new fruit flavoured water-based drink bubly to the market.

Claimed to be free from artificial flavours, sweeteners and calories, the new water-based drink range features flavours Limebubly, Grapefruitbubly, Strawberrybubly, Lemonbubly, Orangebubly, Applebubly, Mangobubly and Cherrybubly.

The drinks are packaged in 20oz single-serve bottles and 12oz cans of eight and 12 packs.

PepsiCo North America Beverages Water Portfolio vice-president Todd Kaplan said: “When we looked at the sparkling water category, we saw an opportunity to innovate from within by building a new brand and product from the ground up to meet consumer needs.

“We created bubly to provide consumers with a great-tasting, flavourful, unsweetened sparkling water in a fun, playful, and relevant manner that is unlike anything we’ve seen in the sparkling water category today.

“This is an exciting addition to our PepsiCo portfolio, which is why we’re committed to make bubly one of our biggest product launches to date and are introducing the new brand to the world during the Academy Awards.”

8 FEB 2018

Carlsberg Group completes acquisition of Greek brewer Olympic

Carlsberg Group has completed an acquisition of Greek brewery Olympic.

The acquisition follows a merger of the two companies in 2014, which saw Carlsberg Group gain a majority stake in Olympic of 51%. This latest deal sees Carlsberg Group purchase the remaining 49%.

Carlsberg Group CEO Cees ‘t Hart said: “Olympic Brewery is a historic Greek company and a very strong player in the Greek market. It is thus a positive and logical next step that we announce today, strengthening our presence in Southern Europe.”

Olympic Brewery operates two breweries in the city of Thessaloniki and the island of Evia (Euboea) respectively.  Its portfolio of beer brands include Mythos, Mythos Radler, FIX Hellas, FIX alcohol-free, FIX Dark, Kaiser and Henninger, as well as its Carlsberg, Tuborg and Somersby cider brands.

With nearly 450 employees in Greece, Olympic Brewery operates 90,000 point-of-sale locations, which include more than 2,000 partners and suppliers.

7 FEB 2018

Coca-Cola India to launch Thums Up in SWA market by March next year

Coca-Cola India (CCI) is planning to launch its largest selling cola brand, Thums Up, in neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal as part of its expansion in South-West Asia (SWA).

Scheduled to be launched by the end of March this year in SWA, Thums Up is expected to become the first-ever Cola beverage brand from India to reach sales of $1bn by 2020.

Thums Up was initially introduced in 1977 and acquired by The Coca-Cola Company in 1993.

Coca-Cola India and SWA unit president Krishnakumar said: “Coca-Cola India is accelerating forward towards becoming a total beverage company by broadening its product portfolio and entering new product categories in India.

“We are taking key steps towards making India the fifth largest market for Coca-Cola Company globally by giving the consumers more beverage choices.

“The launch of Thums Up in SWA market is a key milestone towards speeding the brand’s journey to become the first home-grown billion-dollar beverage brand.”

6 FEB 2018

Carlsberg launches new cask-conditioned Jacobsen beers

Carlsberg has launched its new cask-conditioned Jacobsen beers, which are now available at one of Denmark’s Michelin-starred restaurants.

The new Jacobsen Chanterelle Lager and Jacobsen Sour Rye have been developed as part of new gastro collaboration with researchers from the Nordic Food Lab at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food Science.

The collaboration is aimed at developing beers with new raw materials, methods and sensory profiles targeting the restaurant industry in Denmark.

Jacobsen Brewmaster Morten Ibsen said: “The starting point was a shared curiosity about whether we could brew beers of sufficiently high quality to match Denmark’s elite gastronomy.

“In practice, Nordic Food Lab contributed gastronomic insight and access to unique high-quality Nordic ingredients, while the researchers at the Carlsberg Research Laboratory were responsible for preparing the raw materials and carrying out test brews, and we brewers at Jacobsen took care of the cask-conditioning and racking.”