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Bottler News

Tracking Competitor Developments


AmBev Signs Agreement To Purchase Recyclable PEF From Avantium

Brazilian brewing company AmBev and Dutch renewable chemicals company Avantium have signed an offtake agreement on recyclable PEF for soft drinks bottles. Under the terms of the deal, AmBev will buy 100% plant-based PEF from Avantium’s flagship plant in Delfzijl, Netherlands, which is currently being built. Avantium’s Delfzijl plant will produce furandicarboxylic acid from plant-based sugars, which is a key ingredient for preparing PEF. AmBev will use the PEF to manufacture bottles for its portfolio of soft drinks in Brazil and Latin America. Avantium expects to open the plant by the end of next year, with the commercial launch of PEF scheduled to begin in 2024. 


Asahi To Raise Prices In October

Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. is set to raise prices for the first time in 14 years on its flagship Super Dry beer brand and dozens of other products on October 1. By raising prices by 6-10 percent, Asahi hopes to maintain profitability for the next fiscal year. The move comes amid surging consumer prices in Japan due to the yen's drop to a 24-year low, higher energy costs, and logistical challenges caused by the crisis in Ukraine. The company isn't planning price hikes beyond that, but trends in input costs may force their hand.

Asahi Considers Full-Scale Push Into North America

The CEO of Asahi Group Holdings Ltd. stated the company is considering full-scale entry into the North American beer market. Asahi is considering the push after pausing major acquisitions in the past couple years to pay down debts from acquisitions in Europe and Australia. The company would consider brand acquisitions or working with start-up companies in the region. Asahi also plans to aggressively promote product launches in the non-alcoholic and low-alcohol markets that are proving increasingly popular worldwide.


Asahi’s Peroni Enters The Chinese Market

Asahi Group-owned Peroni Nastro Azzurro has officially entered the Chinese market. Asahi is confident Peroni will perform in the resilient and growing Chinese beer market, which is the largest in the world. More specifically, Asahi hopes Pernoi will appeal to younger consumers, who seek quality lifestyles and premium products. Going forward to 2030, Asahi hopes to be one of the leading players in the Chinese market. 


Carlsberg Maintains Poland Output Despite CO2 Concerns

Carlsberg has yet to reduce its production in Poland despite pressure on CO2 supplies in the country. Last week, Polish fertilizer suppliers Anwil and Grupa Azoty announced cuts in output amid soaring gas prices in Europe. CO2 is a by-product of fertilizer production and there had been concerns at Carlsberg about the supply of the gas to its brewing operations in Poland.

Carlsberg Denmark Reveals Fiber Bottle

Carlsberg’s Denmark division unveiled its 100% bio-based and reusable Fiber Bottle in Copenhagen at SailGP. The bottle comprises wood fibers, whilst the internal barrier is made from plant-based PEF polymer lining, developed by Carlsberg’s partner Avantium. The PEF lining is made entirely from natural raw materials, is compatible with plastic recycling systems, and can degrade into nature should it end up outside national recycling systems. Calsberg claims the Fiber Bottle has a CO2 release 80 percent lower than a disposable glass bottle. The Fiber Bottle originates from the open innovation collaboration, Paper Bottle Community, with which Carlsberg continues to collaborate to make the bottle commercially available over time.


Beam Suntory Expands Boston, Kentucky Distillery To Produce Renewable Energy

Beam Suntory will invest more than $400 million to expand production at its Booker Noe distillery in Boston, Kentucky, which produces Jim Beam. The expansion will increase capacity by 50%, while reducing the distillery’s greenhouse gas emissions by the same percentage through the use of anaerobic digestors that will produce renewable natural gas to power the facility. Beam Suntory has entered into an agreement with 3 Rivers Energy Partners to build a nearby facility to convert spent stillage into biogas, which will be treated to renewable natural gas standards and piped directly back to the Booker Noe facility. The digestors will also produce a high-quality, low-cost fertilizer, which will be made available to local farmers. Upon project completion, which is expected in 2024, the Booker Noe distillery will be 65% powered by renewable natural gas and 35% by fossil-based natural gas. In addition to capacity expansion, the investment includes added land, warehouses and 51 new local jobs. 

Ribena Launches Sparkling Zero Sugar Variant

Ribena is building on its popular Sparkling range this month with the launch of Ribena Sparkling Zero Sugar. The Zero Sugar variant will help retailers meet the growing demand for zero sugar choices within the flavored carbonates category. Alongside the new launch, the rest of the Ribena Sparkling range will have an updated pack design. The new look aims to make the drinks stand out to encourage trial and drive additional purchases. The new packs will also showcase reduced-price PMP bottles to help drive value at a time when consumers are price sensitive. The latest updates from Ribena Sparkling will be supported by a significant marketing spend, which will see a raft of OOH, PR, social media and in-store marketing roll out across the country.

Asahi Pushes Canned Beer And Healthier Innovation Businesses

Asahi has highlighted plans to focus more strongly on its canned beer and healthier innovation businesses as it braces itself for cost pressures in Japan. Asahi claims its canned beer sales have been growing faster than the wider market over the past six months, with market growth at 10% from January to June 2022 but Asahi sales growing 26%. The company’s efforts to strengthen its canned beer business will focus on the Asahi Super Dry brand, which grew 9% from January to June 2022. Asahi will also focus on its healthier product innovation, particularly within sugar-free drinks. 

Britvic Details Plans To Face Cost Of Living Crisis

Britvic plans to prioritize responsiveness and adaptability in the coming months in order to face the cost of living crisis. While Britvic claims its brands have been resilient during economic downturns, it will look to communicate its products’ benefits and value with customers. The company will also work to optimize its channels, including working with retail partners and building into new strategic areas like digital commerce. Brtivic is also preparing for the future through innovation, specifically in existing core brands, non-HFSS options, and new spaces. 

Carlsberg Marston’s To Permanently Close Jennings Brewery In Cockermouth

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company is set to permanently close its Jennings Brewery in Cockermouth, UK within the next month. The brewery has operated at below capacity for a number of years and has seen a significant decline in volumes, which was also impacted by the pandemic. Following the closure of the brewery, Jennings Cumberland Cask ale and bottled beer brands will be produced at Carlsberg Marston’s Brewery in Burton.The business is providing support to colleagues throughout this period and is actively exploring opportunities for redeployment within the company.

Suntory Looks To U.S. Canned Cocktail Market

Suntory is looking to push into the U.S. canned cocktail market after it’s seen success in the Australian market. Last year, Suntory launched -196 Double Lemon in Australia, a strong, lemony canned cocktail that quickly became a top seller in the category. Suntory wants to replicate the success in the U.S. market, but did not specify which canned cocktail from its catalog it will bring to the U.S. Expanding overseas is a matter of survival for Suntory as it faces an aging market and a shift away from alcohol among young people in Japan. 

Frucor Suntory Appoints First CMO For Oceania

Frucor Suntory has appointed its first ever CMO for Oceania, Allison Yorston. The appointment marks a new direction of growth for the business across the Oceania region. Yorston’s first campaign as CMO is for V Refresh, a new product line under the V Energy brand. V Refresh provides a lighter and crisper taste for younger consumers, and will roll out this weekend.

Carlsberg Reports Strong Half Year Results

Carlsberg has reported strong business performance for the first half of the year, and claimed its results were “well ahead” of pre-pandemic levels. The company saw organic revenue growth of 20.7 percent to $4.84 billion for the first half, and experienced organic volume growth of 10.2 percent in Western Europe, and 13.2 percebt in Asia. Carlsberg expects high-single-digit percentage organic operating profit growth for the full year. The company reports it has not seen rising living costs impacting beer sales, but that higher raw material prices would pressure earnings in the second half of the year.

Boston Beer Launches Sweet Tea Whiskey Through Partnership With Beam Suntory

Boston Beer’s Twisted Tea is entering the whiskey space with the introduction of Twisted Tea Sweet Tea Whiskey through its partnership with Beam Suntory. This is the third launch between Beam Suntory and Boston Beer, who formed a partnership last summer to bring several of their brands into fast growing alcohol segments. Boston Beer — which will handle national marketing and advertising, public relations, and social media promotion for the beverage — is leveraging Beam Suntory’s expertise in distillation, distribution, sales, and trade and local marketing. Twisted Tea Sweet Tea Whisky will first launch in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Ohio, Missouri and Texas, along with military outlets. 

Lotte Chilsung Reports Strong Second Quarter

Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. reports a strong second-quarter. The company’s net profit increased 31.8 percent from a year earlier, while its sales increased by 13.9 percent. Lotte Chilsung’s growth is backed by a growing demand for healthy, calorie-free drinks and a sharp recovery in alcoholic beverages due to the reopening of clubs and nightime entertainment facilities. Wine and whisky saw the sharpest growth in sales and shot up on-year by 69.1 percent and 30.9 percent, respectively.


Lotte Chilsung To Collaborate With Startups To Develop Vegan Beverages

Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. revealed it will be teaming up with startups to develop and manufacture various vegan beverages and new technologies. The announcement comes as veganism grows in popularity in Korea, with about 5 percent of the population following the diet. Lotte Group’s beverage unit’s cooperation with startups will also aim to develop new materials and technologies for its wider beverage business. 


Lotte Chilsung To Build Whisky Distillery On Jeju Island

Lotte Chilsung has announced it has received approval to construct a whisky distillery on Jeju Island, which is reputed to have Korea’s best quality water. Construction is expected to start sometime next year, but whisky release will be years away after ageing. The country’s whisky market is fast expanding. According to data from the Korea Customs Service, whisky imports surged on-year by 32.4 percent to $175.3 million in 2021. 

Research & Insights

Carlsberg Invents Breeding Tech To Develop Crops

Scientists at Carlsberg Research Laboratory have invented a non-GMO breeding method, called ‘FIND-IT’, which helps quickly find plant variants with better yields and climate tolerance. The application of the tech extends across cereal crops and other plants and bacteria that are fundamental for food production and many industrial processes. Carlsberg claims the method enables fast and sustainable crop optimization that can help meet the food requirements for the expanding global population.

RJ Corp

PepsiCo To Set Up 4 Plants In India

Varun Beverages Ltd, an Indian franchisee of PepsiCo, has been allotted land in Uttar Pradesh to produce carbonated soft drinks and juice-based beverages. This has been possible through a new government policy that fast-tracks land allotment to attract industry investment in the state. Varun Beverages has proposed to create four plants with a total investment of Rs 3,740 crore with about 5,650 expected job opportunities.


Suntory To Use The World’s First 100% Recycled Aluminum Can

Suntory Spirits Ltd. will be using what it claims is the world’s first 100% recycled aluminum can in its limited editions of The Premium Malt’s Original and Kaoru Ale CO2 Reduction Cans, which will be available in stores across Japan. The can was jointly developed by UACJ Corporation and Toyo Seikan Group Holdings, Ltd. and emits 60 percent less CO2 compared with creating a regular aluminum can. This is part of the group’s larger mission to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions across the entire value chain by 2050.

Suntory Enters Brand Licensing With Metrostar

Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I has appointed Metrostar as its licensing agency to manage brand extensions for its portfolio of drinks, including Lucozade and Ribena. This is the first time the brands have been available for licensing opportunities. Lucozade Energy is seeking partners in food, health and well-being, and the lifestyle arenas, while Lucozade Sport offers opportunities in the active clothing, accessories, health, well-being, and fitness spaces. Ribena is exploring food, sensory and lifestyle possibilities. 
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