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Bottler News

Tracking Competitor Developments


Carlsberg Divests Real Estate Associated With Norwegian Brewery

Carlsberg has sold the real estate associated with E.C. Dahls brewery (Trondheim, Norway) to a consortium made up of NorgesGruppen, Kjeldsberg, and Heimdal Gruppen for $84 million. E.C. Dahls will continue brewing craft and specialty beers. “In line with Carlsberg Group’s strategy, we continuously valuate our assets and take a disciplined approach to cash and costs in order to focus on investing in the top line growth priorities,” said CFO Heine Dalsgaard, noting that craft beer is one of those priorities.  “We will preserve E.C. Dahls’ brewery and develop it further as a craft and specialty brewery and cultural arena, that will be an attractive gathering for people and guests in the city.”

Beam Suntory Expands Effen Vodka Portfolio With Two New Flavors

Beam Suntory has added rosé and yuzu citrus flavors to its Effen vodka lineup in the U.S. With an ABV of 37.5 percent, the new flavors are available with a suggested retail price of $21.99 per 750 ml bottle. Both are made with wheat from northern France and are filtered and distilled in the Netherlands. The company says the rosé variant is best served with soda or combined with sparkling wine. Yuzu, a fruit whose flavor is described a blend of lemon and grapefruit, is best served neat or with grapefruit club soda. Other flavors in the Effen Vodka portfolio include blood orange, green apple, raspberry, cucumber, and black cherry.


Carlsberg Debuts Brooklyn Brewery Special Effects Beer In U.K.

Carlsberg U.K. has announced a May launch of Brooklyn Brewery's 0.4 percent ABV beer, Brooklyn Special Effects, in 35.5 cl bottles. The beer is brewed using a "specially developed fermentation method" that limits the amount of alcohol created. First launched exclusively in Sweden, the beer is described as hoppy with a bitter finish. Brooklyn Special Effects will roll out to the on-premise, and the off-premise as an exclusive to Tesco. Carlsberg holds the U.K. brand license for Brooklyn Brewery's craft beer portfolio. 


Britvic Tinkers With Recipe For Sugar-Free Tango To Make Flavor More Like Original

U.K. beverage firm Britvic announced a change in the formulation of its sugar-free orange drink Tango to get the flavor closer to the original. Available in stores now, the new version, along with new sugar-free flavors strawberry-watermelon and tropical, come with recommended retail prices (RRP) of $0.88 for a 33 cl can, $1.84 for a 500 ml bottle and $3.00 for a two-liter bottle. The company says the main recipe difference is that the "sensory profile" now more closely matches the original Orange. 

RJ Corp

RJ Corp. Ends Three-Year Convenience Store Experiment

PepsiCo’s largest South Asia bottler is backing out of a three-year money-losing retail grocery venture by closing around one hundred J-Mart convenience stores. RJ Corp. president Ravi Jaipuria said “the business model wasn’t working for us.” The $1.6 billion company operates beverage businesses and franchises of global brands, including Pizza Hut, KFC, and Costa Coffee. The J-Mart chain apparently failed to catch on in a market dominated by larger players, including the Future Group, Reliance Retail, Spencer’s Retail, as well as online grocery firms BigBasket.com and Grofers.com. 


Beam Suntory Debuts Bourbon That Represents The Blend Of Two Whisky Companies

Beam Suntory has unveiled a new bourbon that “brings together the best of the East and West:” distilled by Jim Beam master distiller Fred Noe and blended by Suntory’s chief blender Shinji Fukuyo. Legent (pronounced 'lee-jent') starts as a Kentucky Straight Bourbon, is aged in wine and sherry casks, and is then blended with more Kentucky Straight Bourbon. According to the company, the bourbon is best enjoyed neat, on the rocks or in a classic or new-age bourbon cocktail. Legent is available in 750 ml bottles (94 proof) in select markets in the U.S. for an SRP of $34.99. The company says the new bourbon signifies the five-year-old integration of Beam and Suntory.

Lucozade Ribena Suntory Redesigns U.K. Bottles To Further Its Recycling Initiative

Lucozade Ribena Suntory is redesigning its Ribena bottles, starting with the 500 ml size, to ensure all packaging is fully recyclable in the U.K. The company has promised that all of its plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025. Under the redesign, Ribena will reduce the full printed sleeves that cover some of the manufacturer’s bottles. The company recently tested Ooho plastic-free biodegradable packaging to distribute Lucozade Sport at sporting events.[Image Credit: © Lucozade Ribena Suntory]

Suntory Unveils Its Five-Country Whisky Blend, Ao

As surging demand for aged whisky has depleted stocks globally, Suntory Holdings of Japan has begun selling Ao, a mixed-source premium whisky. Ao is a no-age statement (NAS) blend made with whisky from Scotland, the United States, Ireland, Japan, and Canada. Priced at $45 per bottle, Ao was made possible because of Suntory’s global assets, strengthened by the $13.6 billion purchase of U.S. spirits maker Jim Beam in 2014. Rivals also grappling with dwindling supplies of aged stocks will be closely monitoring Ao, which will be sold only in Japan. About 30,000 dozen-bottle cases will be shipped this year. Whisky industry experts say it is hard to say whether a “world whisky” will catch on in the premium category.
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