14 January 2019

Bud Light features nutritional information and ingredients label on beer packaging

Bud Light is set to feature nutritional information and ingredients on its packaging from February this year. An Anheuser-Busch InBev brand, Bud Light will be one of the first beers in the US to feature comprehensive ingredient details such as serving size, calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, carbohydrates, sugars and protein directly on its packaging.

Bud Light marketing vice-president Andy Goeler said: “While ingredient labels are not required, consumers deserve to know more about their beer. We brew Bud Light with the finest ingredients and we’re happy to proudly display them on our packaging.

“When people walk through a store, they are used to seeing ingredient labels on products in every aisle, except for the beer, wine and spirits aisle. As the lead brand in the category, we believe increasing on-pack transparency will benefit the entire beer category and provide our consumers with the information they expect to see.”

Last April, Bud Light expanded its citrus portfolio with the addition of Lime and Orange flavours, which are brewed using real citrus peels. Bud Light claims that the new products deliver a clean and crisp taste with a natural citrus flavour. Launched in 1982, Bud Light is a light lager that is brewed using a blend of aroma hop varieties, including American-grown and imported hops. These are combined with barley malts and rice.


14 JANUARY 2019

Blue Diamond expands Almond Breeze portfolio with plant-based beverages

Blue Diamond has expanded its Almond Breeze portfolio with the launch of an almond-based milk creamer and a banana-flavoured milk product in the US. Almondmilk Creamer and Almondmilk Blended With Real Bananas are expected to strengthen the company’s footprint in the plant-based beverage category.

With a thick and silky texture, Almondmilk Creamer is available in Vanilla and Unsweetened Original flavours. It can be used in coffee or as a dairy-free substitute for traditional cream. Almondmilk Blended With Real Bananas contains half a banana in every serving and is 80 calories per cup with zero added sugar. It is claimed to be a good source of potassium, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin E.

Blue Diamond brand marketing director of non-dairy products Suzanne Hagener said: “Our new Almondmilk Creamer and Almondmilk Blended With Real Bananas exemplify how we are leading the charge in plant-based beverage innovation. These products are exciting additions to our almond milk lineup.

“As the first refrigerated almond milk to enter the market and the current number one almond milk in the US, we are proud that Almond Breeze continues to be a brand consumers reach for on grocery shelves.”

Both Almondmilk Creamer and Almondmilk Blended With Real Bananas will be available in retailers across the US from January.


11 january 2019

UK’s Big Drop Brewing raises £500,000 from private investors

Big Drop Brewing has secured £500,000 from private investors through a seed funding round. The company produces 0.5% alcohol-by-volume (ABV) beer. It received the funding after registering a 775% increase in sales over the last 12 months.

Big Drop Brewing intends to use the funds to increase its production capacity and marketing capabilities. The company also intends to move part of its production to mainland Europe in order to meet growing demand and address challenges posed by Brexit. In addition, Big Drop Brewing is considering moving its brewing operations to Canada to minimise its carbon footprint and enter the North American market.

In 2016, Rob Fink and James Kindred established Big Drop Brewing after identifying a lack of choice in low and no-alcohol beer.

Fink said: “We aim to raise the standards for low and no-alcohol beers and our numbers reflect that customers love what we do. The latest investment will unlock more resources, production efficiencies and sales potential both in the UK and globally.

“There’s a huge potential audience out there for us and we’re only just beginning. Stout is now the fastest growing beer variety in the UK due to the craft beer boom, and our version is doing phenomenally well.”

In the UK, Big Drop Brewing products are available in Tesco, Ocado, Beerhawk and through online retailers. Big Drop Brewing is also sold in Albert Heijn in the Netherlands, Systembolaget in Sweden and Alko in Finland.


10 january 2019

Heineken debuts alcohol-free beer in US market

Heineken USA has launched Heineken 0.0, an alcohol-free malt beverage with 69 calories per bottle. Created by Heineken’s Master Brewers using only natural ingredients, the new zero-alcohol option is said to offer a distinct and balanced taste.

Heineken Global Craft and Brew Master Willem van Waesberghe said: “Removing alcohol from regular 5% Heineken would have been easy, but it wouldn’t deliver the same premium beer taste that Heineken is known for. Heineken 0.0 is brewed from scratch and has a perfectly balanced taste with refreshing fruity notes and soft, malty finish.”

In a press statement, the company said that the launch of Heineken 0.0 represents a significant investment for the brand, which registered growth in the zero-alcohol segment in other markets. Heineken 0.0 is now available for purchase in both on and off-trade retail channels across the US in cans and bottles.

Heineken USA chief marketing officer Jonnie Cahill said: “For the US, the time has come for an innovation that disrupts the category and offers a new take on how and when people enjoy beer. Heineken 0.0 brings an incredible beer taste to the non-alcoholic space and opens a world of opportunity for people to come together and enjoy a brew that expands drinking occasions, not limits them.”

Heineken USA is a subsidiary of Heineken International that imports some of the key brands in the US market such as Heineken, Dos Equis Franchise, Tecate Franchise and Strongbow Hard Apple Ciders. The subsidiary also imports Amstel Light, Amstel Xlight, Indio, Carta Blanca and Bohemia brands.


8 january 2019

Arla Foods Ingredients introduces new whey protein-based infant formula

Arla Foods Ingredients has developed a new whey protein-based concept for infant formula. Infant formulas that use human milk are said to contain high levels of protein, which is hard to digest and leads to gastrointestinal discomfort in babies such as colic and constipation. The company’s new formula contains alpha-lactalbumin and whey protein hydrolysates, which have been broken down by enzymes.

This new low-protein formula also includes whey protein concentrate Lacprodan ALPHA-10 and Lacprodan IF-3070, a partially hydrolysed whey protein (DH 9-15) with a mixture of small and larger peptides. The new formula also contains 9.7g of protein per 100g serving and has a protein-to-energy ratio of 1.9g/100kcal.

Arla Foods Ingredients is one of the first commercial producers of alpha-lactalbumin and also one of the largest producers of both alpha-lactalbumin and whey protein hydrolysates. The ingredients are produced at its manufacturing facility in Denmark using non-genetically modified organism, kosher and halal-certified milk.

In a statement, the company said: “Gut comfort is generally considered to be important for infant well-being and sleep, and discomfort can be emotionally and physically draining for both infants and parents. Furthermore, infant discomfort problems are the most common reason for parents to switch between formulas to find a solution to their infant’s gastrointestinal issues.”

Arla Foods Ingredients is an independent subsidiary of Danish-Swedish cooperative Arla Foods. It offers a wide range of ingredients for infant nutrition and supports the World Health Organization’s recommendations for breastfeeding up to the age of two.


7 january 2019

Elev8 Brands starts production of CBD beverages in cans and bottles

Elev8 Brands has commenced manufacturing ready-to-drink (RTD) cannabidiol (CBD) based beverages CBD Iced Tea and CBD Iced Coffee. Based in Orlando, Florida, Elev8 Brands specialises in the development and marketing of products for the fitness and wellness markets.

Elev8 Brands CEO Ryan Medico said: “We are so pleased to have these products moving into production. This couldn’t have been finalised at a better time. The labels look amazing and we will be placing them on social media very soon.

“For the last few months, our team, vendors, and partners have been working hard to bring the vision of CBD Iced Tea and CBD Iced Coffee to market and we have created an amazing product that will be the leader in this market sector.”

The company is currently engaged in the development of formulas and labelling for its new product lines. 

Medico added: “With new laws in place as of January 1 2019, we are experiencing very positive changes in the perception of CBD and can’t wait to provide all of our current and future customers with our new CBD beverage line.”


4 january 2019

Coca-Cola concludes $4.9bn acquisition of Costa

The Coca-Cola Company has completed an acquisition of Costa from its parent company Whitbread. Valued at $4.9bn, the deal was first announced on 31 August last year. It was completed after obtaining regulatory approvals in the EU and China.

The Coca-Cola Company CEO James Quincey said: “We see great opportunities for value creation through the combination of Costa’s capabilities and Coca-Cola’s marketing expertise and global reach. Our vision is to use the strong Costa platform to expand our portfolio in the growing coffee category.”

Established in 1971 in London, Costa is one of the major coffee brands with operations in more than 30 countries. It operates 4,000 retail outlets, a coffee vending operation, at-home formats and a roastery.

Whitbread CEO Alison Brittain said: “We wish our friends and colleagues at Costa all the very best for their future success. Whitbread acquired Costa 23 years ago, when it had only 39 shops. Costa has grown to become a leading, international coffee brand, and Coca-Cola is the right partner to take Costa to the next stage of expansion.”

Completion of the deal is expected to give The Coca-Cola Company a significant footprint in the global coffee business. The Coca-Cola Company offers more than 500 brands in 200 countries and territories. Its portfolio includes beverage brands AdeS, Ayataka, Dasani, Del Valle, Fanta, Georgia, Gold Peak, Honest Tea, innocent smoothies and ZICO, among others.


3 january 2019

Qatar imposes 100% tax on alcohol

A Qatari government official has confirmed the introduction of a 100% tax on all alcohol products sold in the country, effective from 1 January 2019. The decision is part of the Selective Tax law that was introduced last year to heavily tax goods such as tobacco and energy drinks.

In a statement, the Qatar Government said: “The State of Qatar Ministry of Finance Tax Department has advised that with effect from 1 January 2019, all alcohol and pork products imported into the State of Qatar will be subject to a 100% excise tax, calculated on the current retail sales price. This will result in a 100% price increase to QDC customers.”

Alcohol retailer Qatar Distribution Company (QDC) released a list of amended alcohol prices of beer, wines and spirits on 31 December 2018, a day before the levy came into effect.

With the introduction of the tax, a 24-bottle crate of beer will now cost SAR384 (£82), and 1l of Bombay Sapphire gin will be sold for SAR304 (£73.25). In addition, wine bottle prices will also be increased, with a South African Shiraz now costing around SAR86 (£18.50).

Consumption of alcohol in a public place will be prohibited, but it will be served in licensed bars, clubs and hotels in Qatar for people carrying the legal permit.