Uber to buy on-demand alcohol marketplace Drizly in $1.1bn deal

3 February | acquisitions

Uber Technologies, which owns food delivery platform Uber Eats and ridesharing platform Uber, has agreed to buy US-based on-demand alcohol marketplace Drizly in a stock and cash deal valued at around $1.1bn.

Uber expects to pay over 90% of the consideration to Drizly stockholders in shares of Uber common stock and the rest in cash.

The deal, subject to regulatory approvals, should close in the first half of this year.

Operating in compliance with local regulations in over 1,400 cities across the majority of the US states, Drizly delivers beer, wine and spirits to customers in collaboration with local merchants.

Following the acquisition, Drizly will become a fully owned subsidiary of Uber.

Uber plans to eventually integrate Drizly’s marketplace to its food delivery platform while maintaining a separate Drizly app.

2 February | acquisitions

Heineken acquires full ownership of Brixton Brewery

Heineken has acquired a 100% stake in south London-based brewer Brixton Brewery for an undisclosed amount.

In 2017, Heineken invested in Brixton Brewery to acquire a minority stake in the company.

The investment enabled the London-based brewer to expand a second brewery site located close to the company’s first brewing facility.

With a workforce of 25 members, Brixton Brewery is a London Living Wage employer, as well as a member of the Living Wage Foundation.

29 january | regulations

WSTA urges UK Chancellor to cut alcohol duty

The UK’s Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has called on the Chancellor for a cut in alcohol duty to help businesses in the country thrive and compete in the global market.

The WSTA said that the high duty rates in the country are preventing investments in the sector after Brexit.

The WSTA alleged that the duty is so high in the UK that 55% of the average priced bottle of wine and 73% of an average priced bottle of spirits, at 40% ABV, sold in shops and supermarkets is now taken by the Treasury through tax and VAT.

28 january | partnerships

ABG expands distribution partnership with Pacific Edge Wine & Spirits in US

Alcohol manufacturer and distributor Amber Beverage Group (ABG) has expanded its partnership with the Pacific Edge Wine & Spirits to launch its Rooster Rojo tequila in the US.

Based in California, Pacific Edge Wine & Spirits has been distributing ABG’s KAH Tequila in the US market since June.

Under the newly expanded partnership, Pacific Edge Wine & Spirits will distribute ABG’s Rooster Rojo tequila in the US market.

27 january| investment

Beam Suntory to setup new global headquarters in New York City

Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark brand owner Beam Suntory has announced that it will be establishing its new global headquarters in New York City by mid next year.

The company said that its existing headquarters in Chicago will serve as the home for its North American business unit and certain corporate positions.

The new global headquarters will be located at 11 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, for which the company entered into a long-term lease agreement for approximately 100,000ft2 of space.

Additionally, the alcoholic beverage producer will relocate most executive leadership team positions, its global brand house organisation and select global corporate function roles to its new office space.

8 january | sustainability

UK sets up fund to help distilleries slash carbon emission

The UK Government has created a £10m fund to help 17 distilleries to go green by switching to low-carbon fuels such as hydrogen.

Funding will be offered to 11 Scottish distilleries and six distilleries based in England, enabling these distilleries to kick-start green innovations.

Funding will help the distilleries to harness energy sources such as low-carbon hydrogen, biomass, and repurposed waste to power their operations.

As part of this initiative, the distilleries will be receiving funding ranging between £44,000 and £75,000 in the first phase.

Distilleries welcomed the rollout of the first phase of funding to cut carbon emissions and support new green jobs.

In brief

Campari UK to distribute Trois Rivières agricole rum

Campari UK is set to distribute agricole rum brand Trois Rivières from February onwards, further bolstering its Prestige portfolio.

Chobani introduces RTD cold brew coffees in US

Chobani, makers of oat milks and probiotic drinks, has announced the launch of Chobani Coffee, a ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee in the US.

Alfa Laval acquires beverage technology company Sandymount

Swedish firm Alfa Laval has acquired US-based beverage technology company Sandymount to boost its position in sustainable beer production. Sandymount owns a unique and patented membrane technology to concentrate beer.

PowerPlant Ventures acquires ZICO coconut water from Coca-Cola

Private Equity fund PowerPlant Ventures has announced the acquisition of ZICO coconut water from The Coca-Cola Company. PowerPlant Ventures was co-founded by Mark Rampolla, who established ZICO in 2004 and sold to The Coca-Cola Company in 2013.

NGS signs deal to bring paediatric nutritional shake to US medical market

Nutritional Growth Solutions has signed a vendor agreement with Independent Medical Co-op to bring its paediatric nutritional shake called Healthy Height to the US medical market.

24 december | NPD

Molecule completes full-scale test of cannabis beverage production in Canada

Canada’s craft-focused cannabis beverage maker Molecule Holdings has announced the completion of its first production-scale cannabis beverage run at its facility in Lansdowne, Ontario.

The cannabis beverage has also submitted two notices of new cannabis products (NNCPs) for its new house brand, 52 Saturdays.

23 december | npd

Diageo adds zero alcohol variant to Gordon’s portfolio in UK

Diageo’s London dry gin brand Gordon’s has expanded its portfolio with the addition of a new alcohol-free variant called Gordon’s 0.0%.

With the launch of new expression, Diageo aims to further bolster its presence in the no alcohol spirits sector.

For producing the alcohol-free variant, the company is said to have used a unique distillation process, in which each botanical is said to have been individually immersed in water, heated and distilled before blending it together.

In brief

AAK plans to build plant-based foods centre in Netherlands

Swedish vegetable oils and fats producer AAK has unveiled plans to build a new Plant-based Foods Global Center of Excellence within the company’s premises in Zaandijk, the Netherlands.

Arla Foods Ingredients to invest in dry blend lactose production capacity

Arla Foods Ingredients has announced that it is investing in its dry blend lactose production capacity to help infant formula manufacturers reduce their emissions by nearly 25%.

Chr Hansen launches bioprotection solution for fermented plant-based products

Global bioscience company Chr Hansen has expanded its FreshQ line with the addition of FreshQ DA culture to strengthen the fermentation of plant-based products.

Mother Raw secures funding to accelerate growth across North America

Canadian plant-based condiments brand Mother Raw has closed its Series A financing round to accelerate growth across the North American market.

Danish Crown to invest $321m to automate pork production

Denmark-based meat processing company Danish Crown will invest nearly kr2bn ($321.5m) in automating operations and improving its production capabilities.