10 September 2018

Seedlip to launch non-alcoholic spirits variant Grove 42

UK-based spirits producer Seedlip is set to expand its non-alcoholic spirits portfolio with the launch of Grove 42 to the US market.

Grove 42 is a citrus blend of copper-pot distillates, including bitter orange, mandarin, blood orange, lemongrass, sansho peppercorn, ginger and lemon.

Seedlip founder Ben Branson said: “Very excited to be launching Seedlip Grove 42. It marks an important focus on both the fascinating world of the citrus genus and soda as a signature mixer, allowing Grove to truly shine in a completely sugar and alcohol-free cocktail.”

In 2015, Seedlip launched one of the world’s first non-alcoholic spirits, meeting the needs of consumers that wanted a new considered approach to drinking.

The company claims that its new spirit delivers a bright year-round flavour profile with orange zest, mandarin, juicy blood orange undertones, and an uplifting spice character from lemongrass and ginger.


10 September 2018

S. Martinelli & Company to launch sparkling cider

US-based apple juice and sparkling cider producer S. Martinelli & Company is set to introduce its new beverage 1868 Hard Cider.

The launch will also mark the 150th anniversary of the family-owned company.

Martinelli & Company’s president Gun Ruder said: “We are very excited about the launch of our 1868 Hard Cider. It’s a great way for us to celebrate Martinelli’s rich heritage, as most people don’t realise that we were founded as a hard cider company in 1868.”

1868 Hard Cider was named in recognition of the year that the company was founded and will be initially distributed in the West Coast region.

The company claims that its juice and cider products are made from 100% US-grown fresh apples, including Newtown Pippin, Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Mutsu and Honeycrisp brands.

The apples were freshly pressed, pasteurised and cooled in the bottle to retain their natural fresh flavour.

The juice product is said to have an extended shelf life, with no chemical preservatives or sweeteners.


10 September 2018

US startup Drinks raises funding to develop wine platform

US-based startup Drinks has raised $15m in a Series B capital round to develop and scale-up a ship-to-home wine platform.

With the addition of this latest round, the company’s total funding has now reached nearly $25m.

The Series B capital round was led by Beverly Pacific, with participation from Shea Ventures.

Other participating investors included the founder of Svedka Vodka Guillaume Cuvelier, the former Sequential Brands Group CEO Yehuda Shmidman and Drinks’ CEO Zac Brandenberg.

Brandenberg said: “This round of financing is a validation of DRINKS’ leading marketplaces, best-in-class technology and data science, and groundbreaking ship-to-home wine platform.

“As the technology leader in the wine industry, we will continue to disrupt the way wine is sold by leveraging our digital reach and marketplace efficiencies to bring consumers the highest quality wine at the lowest prices, direct to their door.”


7 September 2018

Edrington Acquires Wyoming Whiskey to Expand to US Whisky Market

Scottish spirits company Edrington has acquired a minority stake in US-based bourbon producer Wyoming Whiskey to expand its spirits portfolio to the US whisky category.

Edrington’s CEO Ian Curle said: “We’re pleased to be partnering with the Mead family to bring Wyoming Whiskey into the Edrington portfolio.

“This deal is a further step towards becoming the world’s leading premium spirits company and adds to a brilliant year, which has seen us open our award-winning distillery and brand home for The Macallan.”

Under the deal, US whisky brand Wyoming Whiskey will become part of Edrington Americas’ portfolio, which includes spirits brands such as The Macallan, Highland Park, The Glenrothes, Brugal, The Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark, Snow Leopard vodka and Tequila Partida. 

Wyoming Whiskey will be part of Edrington Americas’ nationwide distribution network, and the Scottish spirits company will assume all sales, marketing and distribution of Wyoming Whiskey products. 


4 September 2018

Black Storm acquires gluten-free drinks manufacturer

UK-based Black Storm Brewery has acquired gluten-free drinks manufacturer Autumn Brewing. The acquisition is reported to be part of the company’s strategy to further strengthen its position in the UK market. 

Autumn Brewing director Peter Briggs told media sources: “The transfer of ownership provides a number of benefits for Autumn Brewing and its award-winning Alt Brew brand of naturally gluten-free beer.

“There are great opportunities to develop the brands for the long term, continue to increase awareness of the availability and variety of gluten-free beer in our target markets, as well as reaching a wider beer-drinking audience. 

Black Storm offers a wide range of gluten-free drinks, including craft ales that are produced in the UK. In addition to craft ales, the company operates a bottle shop and tasting room called Storm Cellar. 

Black Storm founder and director Paul Hughes was quoted by chroniclelive.co.uk as saying: “We are delighted to add Autumn Brewing to the Black Storm family. 


3 September 2018

Coca-Cola agrees to acquire UK’s Costa Coffee for $5.1bn

Global beverage firm The Coca-Cola Company has reached a definitive agreement to acquire UK-based coffee company Costa from its parent company Whitbread for £3.9bn ($5.1bn). 

Established in 1971 in London, UK, Costa is one of the major coffee brands worldwide and operates 4,000 retail outlets, a coffee vending operation, at-home formats and a roastery. 

With the acquisition, The Coca-Cola Company intends to establish a strong coffee platform in Europe, the Asia Pacific (APAC), the Middle East and Africa.

The Coca-Cola Company president and CEO James Quincey said: “Costa gives Coca-Cola new capabilities and expertise in coffee, and our system can create opportunities to grow the Costa brand worldwide. 

“Hot beverages is one of the few segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand. Costa gives us access to this market with a strong coffee platform.”

Coca-Cola also intends to make use of Costa’s expertise in the coffee supply chain, including sourcing, vending and distribution.


30 August 2018

Nestlé completes $7.15bn licensing deal with Starbucks

Nestlé has completed a $7.15bn licensing deal with Starbucks granting the Swiss transnational food and drink company perpetual rights to market Starbucks’ consumer packaged goods and foodservice products worldwide.

The completion follows a previous licensing deal with Starbucks signed by Nestlé in May this year for the perpetual global license of Starbucks’ consumer and foodservice products.

Under the new partnership, the two companies will work together on Starbucks’ existing range of roast and ground coffee, in addition to instant and portioned coffee.

Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said: “This partnership demonstrates our growth agenda in action, giving Nestlé an unparalleled position in the coffee business with a full suite of innovative brands. With Starbucks, Nescafé and Nespresso, we bring together the world’s most iconic coffee brands.

“The outstanding collaboration between the two teams resulted in a swift completion of this agreement, which will pave the way to capture further growth opportunities.”

The agreement covers Starbucks packaged coffee and tea brands such as Seattle’s Best Coffee, Teavana, Starbucks VIA Instant, Torrefazione Italia coffee, and Starbucks-branded K-Cup pods.


30 August 2018

Coca-Cola to acquire soft drink brand Moxie soda

The Coca-Cola Company has agreed to acquire US soft drink brand Moxie from its bottling partner Coca-Cola of Northern New England.

Claimed to be the official state beverage of Maine, the soft drink brand is expected to continue its bottling operations in New Hampshire, US.

Coca-Cola spokeswoman Lauren Thompson was quoted by Associated Press as saying: “Moxie is a great brand with a great heritage. Coca-Cola Northern New England has been a strong steward of the brand over the last decade and we take seriously our responsibility to ensure it stays true to its Northeastern roots.”

The deal is expected to close in Q4 2018.

Earlier this month, Coca-Cola signed a definitive agreement to acquire a minor stake in sports drink maker Bodyarmor.