14 November 2018

Pentair to launch new IoT service solution for brewers

Pentair is set to introduce a new internet of things (IoT) service solution for beer membrane filtration (BMF) systems. The new solution enables breweries to monitor critical process performance data, optimise operational efficiencies and improve beer quality. It is also designed to reduce uptime and extend beer production runs, while lowering operating and upstream costs.

Pentair’s filtration solutions technology vice-president Dominik Elsaesser said: “At Pentair, we work to deliver smart, sustainable solutions that empower our customers to make the most of life’s essential resource.

“The new IoT service solution for our BMF systems is designed to help our customers run their operations more efficiently and improve product quality and safety, while at the same time, reduce energy, water and cleaning chemical consumption.”

The solution provides brewers with a customisable dashboard where they can view relevant process parameters and make adjustments in real-time. Pentair is demonstrating its new solution at BrauBeviale 2018 from 13-15 November in Nürnberg, Germany. The company will also showcase its sustainable solutions, which are aimed to help customers improve and move water and fluids, while reducing energy consumption and operating costs.

Headquartered in the US, Pentair offers a comprehensive range of smart, sustainable water solutions to homes, businesses and industries worldwide. With a workforce of approximately 10,000 employees, the company is present in nearly 130 locations in 34 countries.


13 November 2018

Diageo to sell certain brands to Sazerac for $550m

Multinational alcoholic beverages company Diageo has agreed to sell 19 brands to US-based distiller Sazerac for an aggregate consideration of $550m. The brands involved in the transaction include Seagram’s VO, Seagram’s 83, Seagram’s Five Star, Myers’s, Parrot Bay, Romana Sambuca and Popov, as well as Yukon Jack, Goldschlager, Stirrings and The Club. Other brands included in the deal are Scoresby, Black Haus, Peligroso, Relska, Grind, Piehole, Booth’s and John Begg.

Following completion, around £340m ($437m) of net proceeds after tax and transaction costs will be returned to Diego’s shareholders through a share repurchase. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to take place early next year.

Diageo’s CEO Ivan Menezes said: “Diageo has a clear strategy to deliver consistent efficient growth and value creation for our shareholders. This includes a disciplined approach to allocating resources and capital to ensure we maximise returns over time.

“Today’s announcement is another example of this strategy in action. The disposal of these brands enables us to have an even greater focus on the faster-growing premium and above brands in the US spirits portfolio.”

Diageo has also entered long-term supply contracts with Sazerac for five of the brands, which will each last for a period of ten years. The UK-based firm noted that all of the other acquired brands will transition to Sazerac over a period of one year from the deal’s completion. In March this year, Diageo acquired Belsazar, a vermouth aperitif brand from Germany’s the Black Forest.


12 november 2018

Saputo launches ultrafiltered milk Joyya in Canada

Canada-based milk and cream processor Saputo has launched ultrafiltered milk product Joyya, which is said to contain approximately 75% more protein and 25% less sugar than regular cow’s milk. Providing 16g of protein for every 250ml serving, the milk does not contain artificial flavours or colours. It is also hormone and additive free. The fresh milk passes through a series of specialised filters designed to concentrate the nutrients found naturally in milk such as protein and calcium while reducing the amount of lactose.

In recent years, cow’s milk has been challenged by plant-based alternatives. To understand Canadians’ milk consumption habits, Saputo commissioned a nation-wide survey with Maru/Blue that found around 87% of responders continue to drink or cook with milk regularly and 40% consume it daily. Around 43% of responders choose milk products for their protein and almost a third wish milk had more protein.

A major reason for opting for milk alternatives was curiosity, and more than a quarter of responders had sought an additional source of protein in the past, even though the most common plant-based milk alternatives offer less than 3g of protein per 250ml serving. About 50% of Canadians have tried milk alternatives in the last five years, and 75% returned to using cow’s milk. The survey found that 91% of consumers surveyed want to buy milk produced on local farms.

Saputo’s vice-president of strategic business development for fluid, bottling and culture products Kim-Tuan Nguyen said: “Joyya ultrafiltered milk is more than milk, it is ultramilk’. It’s a simple choice that’s packed with unique and quantifiable benefits.

“We know Canadians crave more out of life, and therefore expect more from their milk. By adding a new premium product to the milk category, Joyya ultrafiltered milk is providing more of the good and making dairy relevant again.”

The milk comes packaged in a 1l polyethylene terephthalate (PET) ergonomic bottle for easy pouring. It is available as skimmed milk, partly skimmed milk, whole milk and chocolate dairy beverage varieties.


12 November 2018

Johnnie Walker opens whisky retail store in Madrid, Spain

Johnnie Walker has opened its first flagship experiential retail store in Madrid, Spain. First announced in October, the new store is expected to become a leading destination for Scotch and whisky lovers. It hosts a variety of immersive experiences such as whisky appreciation classes and tastings, and the flagship store features some of the rarest single malts in the world used by Johnnie Walker. It also features exclusive limited-edition curated collaborations.

The new store offers an interactive hosting area where guests can discover the craft of cocktail making, a personalisation service where people can find unique gifts, and a tasting table where they can explore flavours. The store also provides seasonal offerings. Madrid was chosen as the location for the retail store due to its strong tourism and retail opportunities.

Johnnie Walker’s global brand director John Williams said: “We’re always looking for new ways to surprise and engage our customers and this kind of experiential Johnnie Walker flagship store does just that. It also adds a sense of fun and discovery to shopping and is a whole new way of experiencing the diversity and rich heritage of Johnnie Walker.”

Prior to this decision, parent brand Diageo announced the investment of £150m in Scotch whisky tourism throughout Scotland. In 2020, Johnnie Walker will celebrate its 200th anniversary.


9 November 2018

Coca-Cola’s energy drink to compete with partner Monster Beverage

The Coca-Cola Company is planning to introduce an energy drinks range that will be in direct competition with its partner Monster Beverage. The move is part of Coca-Cola’s various attempts to branch out from the sugary soft drinks category and meet the demands of health-focused consumers. Other efforts include the release of a yoghurt product to the Brazillian dairy market.

The company told Reuters it was looking to launch new drinks branded Coca-Cola Energy and Coca-Cola Energy No Sugar. They would contain caffeine derived from natural guarana extract. In the past, the firm has been cautious about entering the energy drinks market following negative press and controversy. In August, the UK Government was considering banning the sale of energy drinks to children and young adults due to health concerns and to tackle obesity in the country.

In 2015, Coca-Cola acquired a 17% stake in energy drinks maker Monster Beverage, becoming its largest shareholder. The introduction of Coca-Cola’s new energy drink beverages now comes into direct competition with its partner, which is claimed to violate their initial agreement.

A Coca-Cola spokesperson told Reuters: “We have submitted the difference in interpretation to an arbitration panel for resolution, which is the mechanism agreed by the Coca-Cola Co and Monster in the original agreements.”

The plans became public after Monster disclosed that Coca-Cola had filed an arbitration claim to resolve the dispute, reported Wall Street Journal.


8 November 2018

Coca-Cola introduces natural yoghurt to Brazil market

Soft drink maker Coca-Cola has released a natural yoghurt to further increase its share in Brazil’s $20bn dairy market following a 30% increase in sales in 2017. An exclusive report by Bloomberg stated that Coca-Cola is releasing the natural yoghurt product in response to reduced soft drinks sales.

The company first ventured into the dairy market in 2016 with the purchase of Bazilian company Verde Campo. It has since invested R$50m ($13.3m) to support the production of natural dairy products. The new yoghurt is claimed to be free from dyes, preservatives and artificial flavours.

As soft drinks consumption is declining due to health concerns, several soft drinks makers are seeking opportunities outside the segment. Coca-Cola intends to meet the requirements of consumers seeking healthier options by removing artificial ingredients from its yoghurt products by the end of November. By the end of next year, it plans to remove artificial ingredients from its cheese offerings.

Overseer of Coca-Cola in Brazil Pedro Massa told Bloomberg in an interview: “Verde Campo is an innovation bet for Coca-Cola.”

The Coca-Cola Company also has milk operations in the US under the Fairlife brand. Verde Campo’s CEO Alessandro Rios said that the firm has developed a programme that aids farmers in delivering milk containing less bacteria.


6 November 2018

Ireland to restrict alcohol advertising from 2019

Ireland’s Minister for Health Simon Harris will enforce 23 new sections of the Public Health Alcohol Bill from next year to curb alcohol consumption. From 12 November 2019, the new legislation will ban advertisements on public service vehicles, at public transport stops and stations, on children’s clothing, in cinemas showing films rated 15 or below, and within 200m of a school, crèche or local authority playground. Starting 12 November 2020, alcoholic drinks and product advertisements will only be permitted at mixed retail outlets that feature either an area separated by a 1.2m barrier or units where alcohol products are not visible up to 1.5m.

Harris said: “This is the first time in the history of our state that we have endeavoured to use public health legislation to address issues in respect to alcohol. For the very first time in our history, we are legislating for alcohol as it affects our health and it is right and proper that we do so.

“We know that we have a relationship with alcohol in this country that is not good, damages our health, harms our communities and harms many families. The measures in this bill will make a real difference to changing the culture of drinking in Ireland over a period of time.”

Starting 12 November 2021, alcohol advertising will not be permitted during sporting events, at events aimed at children, or at events involving driving and racing motor vehicles.


5 November 2018

Heineken and CRE to partner in China

Heineken has signed binding agreements with China Resources Enterprise (CRE) and China Resources Beer (CR Beer) to create a long-term strategic partnership for the mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau. Under the new partnership, Heineken will acquire a 40% stake and will become a minority partner in holding company CRH (Beer) (CBL), which controls CR Beer. The definitive contacts terms are in-line with the non-binding agreements that were signed between these companies in August.

Heineken executive board chairman and CEO Jean-François van Boxmeer said: “I am pleased we have quickly come to definitive agreements with CRE and CR Beer to join forces in China. Our long-term strategic partnership will help Heineken to significantly expand the availability of the Heineken brand and will strengthen CR Beer’s offering in the rapidly growing premium beer segment in China.

“We look forward to growing together by leveraging Heineken’s global reach and marketing capabilities to help accelerate the international development of CR Beer’s Chinese beer brands worldwide.”

Under the new partnership, Heineken China’s existing operations will be combined with CR Beer’s operations and Heineken will licence the Heineken brand in China to CR Beer on a long-term basis. Additionally, Heineken will also act as CRE’s exclusive partner for international premium lager beers in China, and together the two companies will investigate other Heineken brands to assess whether they can be licenced to CR Beer in China.

CRE chairman Chen Lang said: “We are looking forward to joining forces with Heineken in China. We believe that our strategic alliance will maximize synergies, enhance the long-term competitiveness of both companies and further increase our market share in China’s premium beer market.

“It will bring together the competitive advantages of Heineken’s international premium brands with CR Beer’s leading position and rich experience in the Chinese beer market. In Heineken we found the perfect partner to achieve our ambitions in China and to support our international business growth. We now look forward to closing the transaction.”

Completion of the transaction is subject to the customary and the regulatory approvals, and the deal is expected to close by next year.