09 July 2018

Royal Unibrew in talks to acquire owner of Lorina lemonade

Danish beverage provider Royal Unibrew has signed an agreement to carry out negotiations to acquire French company Etablissements Geyer Fréres, the producer and distributor of Lorina lemonade, PureThé and InFreshhh brands.

Under the agreement, Royal Unibrew intends to acquire the French lemonade producer to access the French soft drink market and strengthen its export portfolio. Etablissements Geyer Fréres currently produces beverage products from its production facilities located in Munster, France.

Through its beverages, the company is said to have also established a significant presence in the US market. The Lorina lemonade brand includes products such as Pink Citrus Lemonade, which are a part of the Parisian Style Soda Collection. Etablissements Geyer Fréres records annual revenues of around kr290m ($45m) and operates with market consistent earnings margins.

If Royal Unibrew’s negotiations are successful, a transaction would not be subject to any specific regulatory demands or approval by the competition authorities. Financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.

Royal Unibrew produces, markets, sells and distributes beverages within the beer, ciders, malt beverages and soft drinks markets in countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The company also offers licence-based international brands of the PepsiCo and Heineken Groups.


09 July 2018

Formosa Springs Brewery reopens following acquisition

Nine months after being sold by Brick Brewing, Canada-based Formosa Springs Brewery reopens under new ownership. Located in Formosa, Ontario, the brewery is now part of Beer Canada and The Brewers Association.

Founded in 1870, Formosa Springs Brewery is one of the oldest operating breweries in the country. It was purchased by an unnamed Canadian owner in September last year along with its beer brands Formosa Springs Draft and Red Baron. The acquisition also included brands such as Formosa Springs Draft, Red Baron Blonde, Red Baron Lime, Red Baron Platinum Light and Formosa artesian spring.

Formosa Springs Brewery executive vice-president and CEO Lisa Shao said: “We’ve been extremely busy re-commissioning our equipment and adding a fresh coat of paint to the Brewery to welcome our first official small-batch brew, which dropped on 12 June.

“We are committed to bringing new vitality to the brewery and the community of Formosa. In fact, I recently relocated to Formosa, moving into the historic Heisz House, built by the family of brewers who served Formosa Springs Brewery for over 70 years.”

Currently, Formosa Springs Draft, Red Baron Blonde, Red Baron Lime and Red Baron Platinum Light are available at select Beer Store locations and at the Formosa Springs Brewery Store in Formosa, Ontario.

Beer Canada president Luke Harford said: “Formosa Springs Brewery is a great addition to Beer Canada. Our association represents brewing companies operating in Canada with our members accounting for more than 90% of domestic beer enjoyed by Canada’s ten million beer drinkers.

“The fact that Formosa Springs Brewery brings with it almost a hundred and fifty years of brewing heritage makes their membership even more notable.”


06 July 2018

Canada invests in CGCN to develop domestic grape and wine cluster

The Government of Canada is set to provide investment for the development of a grape and wine cluster via the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network (CGCN), which comprises grape and wine producing organisations from across the country. To be offered under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriScience Clusters, the C$8.4m ($6.3m) investment will be used by CGCN to develop the new national research cluster.

Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay said: “I’m thrilled to be launching Canada’s first-ever grape and wine cluster. Our domestic grape and wine sector has had a positive impact on Canada’s economy, and it continues to grow.

“Today’s announcement will help increase the market share of Canadian wines by supporting research that improves wine quality and vineyard management practices, addresses challenges faced by the sector, and builds upon Canada’s international reputation as a top cool-climate wine producer.”

An additional C$3.7m ($2.8m) will also be provided through industry contributions to help growers better protect their crops, test new wine varieties, and analyse growing practices in Canadian vineyards.

CGCN’s chair Hans Buchler said: “This is the first time the four-grape growing provinces have joined forces to form the Canadian Grape and Wine Science Cluster. Research plays an important role in the continuous enhancement of the quality of grapes and wine and the reduction of the environmental footprint of the entire production cycle.

“We are very grateful for the investment that the Government of Canada and Minister MacAulay provide toward the ongoing success of the Canadian Grape and Wine sector.”


06 July 2018

Starbucks launches on-demand cold brew coffee in India

Global coffee company Starbucks has introduced a new on-demand cold brew coffee variant in India.

Called Nitro Cold Brew, the new beverage is Starbuck’s latest addition to its signature Cold Brew range. After handcrafting the Cold Brew recipe, Starbuck’s baristas mix the coffee with nitrogen to deliver a new experience. It is claimed to be produced using high-quality coffee beans, and offers a smooth, sweet taste. It is suggested to be served straight from the tap without ice.

Tata Starbucks marketing, category and digital head Veetika Deoras said: “At Starbucks, innovation is always brewing. We take great pride in partnering with customers in their journey of coffee exploration. We are pleased to introduce Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew in India, taking our Cold Brew craft to a whole new level.

“It is a sensorial coffee drinking experience, and one that has the potential to redefine the language of coffee in India.”

Starbucks will also be offering the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew, which is made by serving Starbucks Cold Brew over ice and topped with a house‐made vanilla sweet cream. Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew is currently available in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Noida, and Kolkata.

Starbucks entered the Indian market in 2012 through a 50/50 joint venture (JV) with Tata Global Beverages and currently operates 118 stores in India. Starbucks’ stores are operated by the JV, TATA Starbucks Private, and branded as ‘Starbucks Coffee ‐ A Tata Alliance’.


05 July 2018

Atos to provide IoT services for Coca-Cola Connected Cooler programme

French IT services provider Atos has secured a new multinational contract to provide end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) services for the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (Coca-Cola HBC) Connected Cooler programme.

Coca-Cola HBC has operations in 28 countries in Europe, Russia and Nigeria. The programme has been designed to provide insights into consumer behaviour and retail performance while helping to improve operational efficiency and increase sales revenue. Under the new partnership, Coca-Cola HBC will roll out the Atos Codex Connected Cooler solution and have the first 300,000 coolers connected by the end of this year.

Coca-Cola HBC Group business solutions and systems director and CIO Alain Brouhard said: “By connecting the coolers, we are starting our journey towards digitising the marketplace and establishing a connected environment with our customers and shoppers.

“Such an environment will allow us to accelerate time-to-market and increase operational efficiency, while at the same time gaining more insightful market analytics to engage better with our consumers.”

Using the Atos Codex Connected Cooler IoT solution, Coca-Cola HBC will be able to access point-of-sale data, including in-store cooler placement and availability, temperature, stock-level, product placement, customer behaviour and trends. The solution will enable Coca-Cola HBC to connect, collect and manage data from connected coolers across 28 countries where Coca-Cola Hellenic operates. The Connected Cooler solution also provides an added value with customised offers and localised promotions.

For more than ten years, Atos has been working with Coca-Cola HBC as a strategic IT partner in developing and managing its key IT solutions. Last month, Coca-Cola HBC announced that it is making its cold drink equipment smarter through seamless connectivity using IoT technology, which enables the company to track performance and product inventory.


04 July 2018

Food and drink industry could lose billions if plain packaging rule hits

Fears have arisen that the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) plain packaging ruling could affect the food and drink industry. The WTO recently rejected a complaint by Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Indonesia against Australia’s plain packaging on tobacco products rule, which states that the government can remove branding from any legal product that is perceived to be harmful to public health.

One of the arguments set forward by a complainant states that these restrictions remove the ‘exclusive rights’ of the trademark owner, and that the brand loses its unique factor, which affects the commercial value of the product.

Brand valuation and strategy consultancy firm Brand Finance estimates that plain packaging could contribute to businesses losing $300bn globally if the food and beverage market is included in the ruling, particularly alcohol, confectionary, savoury snacks and sugary drinks.

Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said: “The WTO decision is a major setback for the branded goods industry and opens the floodgates to similar actions being taken by governments against other product categories, like alcohol, sweet drinks, confectionery [and] salty snacks.

“It is not just about tobacco; it is about a much broader range of perfectly legal branded products that will be constrained from trading profitably and effectively. It will destroy many well-known brands that have built up huge market shares over the years. We sincerely hope that the WTO changes its mind and, on appeal, the decision is reversed.”

AB InBev, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Danone, Mondelez International, Pernod Ricard and Heineken are the main companies predicted to lose around $187bn if the plain packaging rule is extended. These eight organisations control 1,242 brands, with over 900 in the markets predicted to be affected the most. PepsiCo is expected to be hit the worst, with 27% of its total enterprise value at risk. Although Nestle would likely lose $24.3bn of its brand contribution value, this estimate is only 10% of its enterprise value.


03 July 2018

Diageo to build new whisky testing centre in Scotland

UK-based alcoholic beverages company Diageo has begun construction work on a new whisky testing centre in Scotland. Located in Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, the company is investing £6.4m for the new whisky testing centre, which will be equipped with high-tech equipment.

Diageo’s International Supply Centre director Ewan Andrew told media sources: “Our Technical Centre in Menstrie is a crucial part of our business globally, delivering excellence in science and innovation.

“This investment will create new state-of-the-art facilities for our talented team of whisky specialists and scientists to enhance the industry-leading work they do on growing and protecting our business around the world.”

The initiative is part of the company’s plan to invest £150m in its Scottish operations over the next three years. The investment will also see the upgrade of a network of 12 whisky distillery visitor centres. The new centre will serve as a hub for innovation in spirits and environmental sustainability. Its construction is expected to be completed by next year.

With the construction of the technical centre, Diageo aims to further strengthen its presence in the Clackmannanshire region. Clackmannanshire and Dunblane MSP Keith Brown said that the latest announcement from Diageo will be a boost to the economy.


03 July 2018

Coca-Cola Femsa acquires distributor of Coca-Cola in Uruguay for $250.7m

Coca-Cola Femsa has acquired Montevideo Refrescos (Monresa), a producer and distributor of Coca-Cola in Uruguay. With this acquisition, Femsa is set to expand its footprint across 11 countries and extend its operations to the Philippines, Mexico, and South and Central America. The acquisition deal was made with The Coca-Cola Company for $250.7m on a cash-free and debt-free basis.

Coca-Cola Femsa CEO John Santa Maria said: “As part of our strategic framework and the consolidation of leadership in the global beverage market, the integration of Monresa reaffirms our commitment to generating economic and social value for our shareholders and stakeholders.”

Established in 1943, Monresa is a producer and distributor of Coca-Cola for the brand’s trademark beverages. It offers a wide portfolio of 169 brands to more than 396 million consumers daily. With its 67 manufacturing plants and 344 distribution centres, Coca-Cola Femsa markets and sells approximately four billion unit cases a year. In March this year, Coca-Cola Femsa announced plans to close its operations in Ciudad Altamirano, Mexico, to preserve the safety and security of its employees.

During the announcement, the company said in a statement: “The current lack of the necessary conditions to efficiently and safely operate within this part of the State of Guerrero, as exemplified by the recent unjustified assault on one of its employees, led the company to make this decision.”

Based in Mexico, Coca-Cola Femsa is reported to be the largest coca-cola bottler in the world in terms of sales volume.