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Bottler News

Tracking Competitor Developments


Asahi To Close UK Brewery

Asahi is planning to close Dark Star Brewing Co. in the U.K. by the end of the year as it is operating “significantly below capacity”. The entire Dark Star beer portfolio, including its signature hoppy golden ale Hophead, will be moved over to Asahi’s Meantime Brewery in Greenwich.


Britvic To Accelerate Marketing Spend

Brtivic is planning to further increase in marketing investment as it experiences strong growth despite inflationary pressures. Significant investment will be made behind the Robinsons brand, which will undergo major development to better challenge private label brands. Over the last 12 months, Britvic has upped its advertising and promotional spend by 6.4 percent.


Marston’s Brewing Company Aims To Dispose Of Eagle Brewery

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company has announced plans to exit its U.K.-based Eagle Brewery to its long-term partner, Spanish brewer S.A. Damm. Through the deal, S.A. Damm will acquire its first brewery outside of mainland Europe and its second outside of Spain. As part of the agreement, the Eagle Brewery’s beers will continue to be sold as part of CMBC’s portfolio. CMBC’s logistics operation in Bedford will continue at the site for the next 12 months before moving to a new location.


Asahi Launches Asahi Super Dry 0.0%

Asahi Europe & International has announced the international launch of alcohol-free beer Asahi Super Dry 0.0%, which offers consumers an alcohol-free version of the super-premium brand, Asahi Super Dry with the same crisp taste. Asahi Super Dry 0.0% will be available across eight markets worldwide in 2023, beginning with the launch in the U.K. and Ireland from January. A global marketing campaign to support the launch is set to roll out across digital and social channels.

Beam Suntory Collaborates With RSPB For Conservation Project

Beam Suntory and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds are collaborating as part of the second phase of the Peatland Water Sanctuary project. In October 2021, Beam Suntory and its parent, Suntory Holdings, pledged more than $4 million to restore 1,300 hectares of peatlands by 2030. The first phase saw work to restore and conserve approximately 13 hectares of peatland near the Ardmore distillery in November 2021. To mark the second phase of the conservation project, Beam Suntory will contribute more than $400,000 to restore and regenerate approximately 160 hectares of peatland at the Airds Moss reserve in East Ayrshire, which is owned by RSPB Scotland. The restoration will take more than four years. The company’s long-term aim is to restore sufficient peatlands by 2040.

Carlsberg Calls A Temporary Halt On Twitter Advertising Expenditure

Danish brewer Carlsberg has suspended advertising on Twitter as it awaits more clarity on Elon Musk’s plan for the social media platform. Carlsberg is one of a number of major consumer companies to have stopped marketing on the network, including General Mills, Mondelez International and Audi. 


Suntory Seeks To Improve Beam Suntory Profits Through Premium Whiskey Expansion

Japanese drinks maker Suntory Holdings will expand its high-end whiskey and other premium offerings as it seeks to widen its profit margin in the U.S. market. Suntory sees the focus on premium offerings as a way to combat inflation and rising production costs. The company also plans to roll out new high-margin offerings such as ready-to-drink beverages. Last year, Suntory Holdings' alcoholic beverages segment reported 16 percent operating margin, excluding taxes on alcoholic beverages. With these changes, Suntory Holdings aims to increase Beam Suntory’s EBITA margin to 25 percent from about 22 percent now.

Highland Spring Exits Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I Distribution Deal

Highland Spring has signed a deal with SHS Sales & Marketing to take over distribution of its brands within wholesale, convenience and on-trade channels. The new deal ends Highland Spring’s distribution partnership with Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I after seven years. The decision was made mutually following an “extensive strategic review” and will see the collaboration between the two companies end on 26 February 2023.

Beam Suntory Changes Leadership Team

Beam Suntory has announced several moves within its executive leadership team effective early 2023. Greg Hughes, currently President North America, and Jessica Spence, currently President Brands, will swap roles effective January 1. Hughes will also become Chief Growth and Brands Officer, leading the company’s global brands organization and spearheading growth initiatives. Yuri Grebenkin, who has led Beam Suntory’s EMEA business for the last six years, has been appointed President International. David Hunter, SVP Global Supply Chain Officer, is to retire at the end of January. Hunter’s successor will be announced at a future date. The company also announced market alignment changes to its regional structure. Oceania will become part of the company’s newly renamed Asia Pacific region and Mexico, previously part of the North America region, will become part of the International region. These leadership and market alignment moves are designed to maintain strong continuity and help further its global growth ambitions.
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