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Bottler News

Tracking Competitor Developments


Ambev SA Expects Higher Costs In 2023

Ambev SA has warned that it expects the cost of goods sold per hectolitre at its beer business in Brazil to rise between 6 percent and 9.9 percent in 2023 due to higher commodity prices and inflation. However, this represents a slowdown from 2022, when costs rose 22 percent on a yearly basis. The company reported a 35.7 percent increase in net profit in Q4 2022, beating analysts' estimates, and a 3.1 percent rise in net revenue driven by a 1.5 percent increase in volumes sold.


On The Rocks Launches RTD Midori Sour

Suntory’s ready-to-drink cocktail brand On The Rocks (OTR) Premium Cocktails has launched the first-ever Midori Sour in a RTD format. OTR's latest cocktail combines Midori Liqueur and vodka, and notes of lemon and lime, in a glass bottle. OTR’s Midori Sour is available now in 375ml and 200ml bottles at 20 percent ABV in select markets nationwide while supplies last. 


Britvic Invests £13 Million Into Rugby Factory

Britvic has announced a £13 million investment into a fifth canning line at its Rugby factory, taking it into the top five largest soft drinks manufacturing sites in Europe. The new line will see production capacity increase by 14 percent and produce 80,000 recyclable 330ml cans per hour. The investment follows the company's £27 million canning line investment in the same factory in 2021 and £19 million to upgrade its national distribution center in 2020.


Korean Liquor Company To Sue Carlsberg Over Terminated Distribution Contract

Korean liquor company GoldenBlue is filing a lawsuit against Carlsberg, alleging the beer company unilaterally terminated a distribution contract that it had assumed would be extended. GoldenBlue had signed a contract with Carlsberg in 2018, which Carlsberg only extended for two to three months at a time until October 2022. Since October 2022, GoldenBlue has been retailing and marketing Carlsberg products under non-contractual status and has covered all marketing costs. GoldenBlue received a letter of "mutual confirmation of termination" from Carlsberg on 7 March. GoldenBlue is seeking financial compensation and will also file a complaint with the Korean Fair Trade Commission.

Carlsberg Launches Alcohol-Free Beer

Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company has launched Carlsberg 0.0, an alcohol-free beer, in over 300 Tesco stores across the UK. The product has been specifically brewed to be alcohol-free and is described as a well-balanced, refreshing pilsner with a crisp hoppy bite. Carlsberg 0.0 will be available in a 4x330ml format and will be supported with in-store and online activations at Tesco, live from 20 March. Wider rollout is planned later in the year.


Suntory Beverage Plans To Pursue $5 Billion In Acquisitions In Upcoming Years

Suntory Beverage and Food’s new CEO Makiko Ono has said the company is seeking mergers and acquisitions opportunities of up to JPY700 billion ($5.4 billion) over the next few years. While Suntory’s acquisition strategy is yet to be finalized, the company sees potential in health-related drinks in the US, Asia and regions where Suntory has currently little presence.

Carlsberg Planning To Sell Russia Business

Carlsberg has denied media reports that it had agreed to sell its Russian business to Turkish rival Anadolu Efes. Last year, Carlsberg announced it was planning to sell the Russian business and book a write-down of about DKK9.9 billion ($1.5 billion). Carlsberg's board Chair, Henrik Poulsen, recently said the company has narrowed the group of potential buyers to just under 10, and that it is expected to have a deal in place before the end of the second quarter.

Asahi UK Emphasizes Opportunity For Alcohol-Free Beer In Convenience Stores

Asahi UK believes convenience stores could significantly increase their sales of low and no-alcohol beer by replicating the category's sales success in grocery stores. Sales of the product category make up 2.9 percent of total beer sales in grocery stores, compared with 0.7 percent in impulse stores. Raising impulse stores' share to match that of grocery stores would produce an extra £32 million ($41 million) in revenue for Asahi. Asahi Europe & International’s ambition is for 20 percent of its core product portfolio to be alcohol-free products by 2030.


Suntory Forms RTD Development Arm

Suntory Holdings has combined its ready-to-drink product development efforts across its three divisions into a new arm, named Suntory RTD Company. The new unit will replace the former spirits-focused RTD development department and combine the assets of the Suntory Group, which comprises Japan-based Suntory, US spirits firm Beam Suntory and Europe’s Suntory Beverage & Food. The move was designed to accelerate business growth in the growing global RTD market.
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