Bottler News

Tracking Competitor Developments

Ambev

AB InBev’s Brazilian Beer Brewing Venture Boosts Local Cassava Farmers

Local farmers in Brazil’s Maranhão state are benefiting from a partnership between the state’s Communist party and the local subsidiary of international brewer AB InBev. The partners have launched an affordable and sustainable beer, Magnifica, brewed from cassava, also known as manioc. Launched in December in Maranhão, sales of Magnifica are booming, providing a stable income – and a reason for optimism – among cassava farmers. Cassava is one of the world’s “most inclusive crops,” grown by smallholders in more than 100 countries. Each month, AmBev buys 600 tons of cassava from 175 producers in Maranhão, with a goal of reaching 250 producers by the end of 2019.[Image Credit: © Anheuser-Busch InBev]

Asahi

Asahi Reorganizes European, Global Operations To Better Manage Its Acquisitions

The Asahi Group has been busy the past few years acquiring European beer brands, including the beer division of U.K.’s Fuller, Smith & Turner early in 2019. This rapid growth in Europe has prompted the company to announce a new “operating model” of its European and international businesses. Basically a reorganization, the new model involves the formation of Asahi Breweries Europe Group, which will lead Asahi's "full-portfolio markets." Asahi International will be responsible for worldwide "premium-led portfolio opportunities," not including operations in Japan and Oceania as well as the group's joint ventures with Lotte in South Korea and with Tsingtao in China. The unit will also hold responsibility for Asahi U.K., which runs the company's breweries in the country. The reorganization will be effective as of 2020.[Image Credit: © Asahi Beverages]

Britvic

Britvic Pledges To Improve Sustainability, Reduce GHG Emissions

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) – a partnership between nonprofit eco-charity CDP, the U.N. Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – encourages companies worldwide to set science-based targets to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, enabling them to transition to a low-carbon economy. British soft drinks producer Britvic just signed a Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to minimize its environmental impact, including removing plastic from the supply chain through lightweight bottles; all of its plastic bottles, cans and glass are fully recyclable. The company aims to reduce GHG by 30 percent per kilo of milk over the next decade to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.[Image Credit: © Britvic PLC.]

Carlsberg

Carlsberg’s High-Tech Flavor-Preserving Bottle Cap Debuts In Vietnam

To counter the tendency of beer to oxidize when exposed to air – resulting in unwanted flavors – Carlsberg scientists came up with the idea of a bottle cap that absorbs oxygen from the bottle’s head space. The ZerO2 cap, recently launched into the Vietnamese market on the Carlsberg Premium Smooth Draught line, allows the cap to perform up to 15 percent better than standard bottle lids over the full shelf life of a product. The beer stays fresher for a longer period of time. Carlsberg Vietnam’s brands include Carlsberg, Tuborg, Huda, Huda Ice Blast, Huda Gold, and Halida.[Image Credit: © Carlsberg Breweries A/S]

As Russian Taxes On Beer Dent Carlsberg’s Sales, Nonalcoholic Drinks Pick Up The Slack

Danish brewer Carlsberg has taken a revenue hit in its second-largest beer market as Russia imposes ever-higher taxes on beer. But sales of its nonalcoholic beverages may be picking up the slack: they are now more than 10 percent of Carlsberg’s revenue in the country over the past two years, thanks not only to taxes, but to the rise of a Russian health-consciousness movement. The company has responded with Russian production of Barley Bros, a brewed soft drink sold in flavors like lemon with mint and apple with green tea. The company’s Baltika 0 Grapefruit alcohol-free beer is also picking up sales there. Though Russians are anything but teetotalers, the country nevertheless had one of the world’s sharpest decreases in alcohol consumption over the 12 years that ended in 2016.[Image Credit: © Carlsberg Breweries A/S]

Companies

Suntory Beverage Launches Decade-Long Program To Achieve Sustainable Packaging

Suntory Beverage and Food Europe (SBFE) says it will transition away from virgin plastic packaging derived from fossil fuels to 100 percent sustainable bottles over the next ten years. The company’s goal is to use plastic that has been previously used or bio-sourced (plant-based) to reach its packaging target. The company is investing in innovative technologies like enzymatic recycling and Japanese Flake to Preform processing to implement the change. The company will initially use 50 percent sustainable plastic packaging (rPET) across primary packaging by 2025.[Image Credit: © SUNTORY HOLDINGS LIMITED]

Australian/Japanese Brewers Create Asahi’s Latest New Beer Launch

Brewers from Australia and Japan have joined forces to create Two Suns Premium Dry Beer, launched this month by Asahi Premium Beverages. Two Suns is made in Australia using 100 percent Australian malt and wheat and precise Japanese brewing techniques. The brewers behind Two Suns – Geoff Day from Australia and Yosuke Tajika from Japan – have combined their brewing expertise to create a beer that has low bitterness and low carbohydrate. Asahi invested more than $5 million in its biggest ever new product launch, including a significant outdoor media campaign, consumer and trade launch parties, a brand ambassador program, and digital and social media promotions.[Image Credit: © Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd]

Suntory

Beam Suntory’s New Bourbon Enters GTR Market

Beam Suntory is launching its new bourbon whisky brand Legent into the global travel retail (GTR) market. It will be exclusively with Dufry in the duty-free market (excluding Asia) for 12 months, then will be rolled out across the rest of the GTR marketplace. The new product starts as a Kentucky Straight Bourbon made with the Beam family recipe, is aged in wine and sherry casks, then blended with more Kentucky Straight Bourbon. The product is distilled by Fred Noe, seventh-generation master distiller of Jim Beam, and then blended by Shinji Fukuyo, fifth-ever chief blender of Suntory, the founding house of Japanese whisky. Legent is available in 75 cl for the Americas territory, and 70 cl for all other markets.  Japanese whisky was a star performer in the GTR category in 2018, according to the alcoholic beverage industry database IWSR.[Image Credit: © PR Newswire Association LLC]
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