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Bottler News

Tracking Competitor Developments


Asahi CEO Expects Climate Change To Affect Key Ingredient Supplies In Coming Decades

Atsushi Katsuki, Asahi’s CEO, believes climate change will jeopardize beer supplies by damaging barley and hop crops around the world in the coming decades at the same time that hotter weather could increase demand. Weather volatility has affected barley crops recently, which led to record barley prices in 2022, although they have moderated this year, but are still at an historically high level. Asahi has teamed up with an agriculture company and Microsoft to track volumes and quality, and is building a global procurement center in Singapore to centralize ingredient sourcing. 


V Green Gets Its First Update Since Launch

The V energy drink is being revamped for the first time since its launch over 25 years. Allison Yorston, Oceania’s CMO at Frucor Suntory, said the new formulations are based on insights from loyal V drinkers. The new look started with the green 250ml cans earlier in September. Larger cans and bottles will follow. Yorston said that the “updates to V Green reflect our willingness to continue to innovate and drive the category forward to give consumers what they want. By changing V Green – both from a flavour and design perspective – we believe we have met the needs of existing drinkers and new ones.” 


Carlsberg Finally Gets Agreement To Buy Remaining Shares In Its India and Nepal Business

Carlsberg Breweries has had its proposed acquisition of the 33.3 percent of the shares in Carlsberg South Asia Pte Ltd it does not already own approved by the Competition Commission of India. Carlsberg South Asia Pte Ltd is based in Singapore and holds all the shares of Carlsberg’s India unit and 90 percent of the Nepal business. The deal brings to an end years of dispute between Carlsberg and CSAPL Holdings Pte Ltd, which owns the stake, after an arbitration process in Singapore in 2022. Negotiations agreed an average valuation of US$744 million. 


CMBC To Close Its Wychwood Brewery In November 2023

The Oxfordshire brewery owned by Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company will close in November. Wychwood Brewery in Witney brews brands like Hobgoblin and Dry Neck, the production of which will be moved to other sites. The brewer has used a break clause in the lease to enable it to affect the closure, which it attributes to the competitive UK ale market and a “turbulent economic outlook for the UK.” 

China’s Reaction To Fukushima Water Release A Symptom Of Its Economic Problems says Suntory CEO

Suntory’s CEO Takeshi Niinami has been talking about how the growing backlash against Japan for treated Fukushima water being released into the sea could be a result of the economic woes in China. The company still intends to deliver its investment plans in China, unless the situation changes. There has been some criticism of the decision to release of the water, even though the Japanese government has reassured the international community that it doesn’t contravene international standards. In China, there have been bans on Japanese seafood and Niinami says the outrage there may be a result of unrest in the country. Japanese exporters to China generally are concerned that the situation will affect what is a very attractive market for them. 

RJ Corp

Varun Beverages In Zimbabwe To Expand Production Capacity Next Year

The Zimbabwean business of Varun Beverages intends to build additional capacity in the country. It has expanded already from one line in 2018 to nine now, with more planned for next year to increase production of fruit juices, dairy blend juices and carbonated beverages. The company has begun testing new products to gauge consumer interest by importing products before it commits to large-scale investment in the plant.


Ardray, A New Blended Scotch From Beam Suntory Launched In The US

Beam Suntory introduced Ardray blended Scotch in the US. It blends whiskies from Beam distilleries including Laphroaig, Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Ardmore, and Edrington brands such as The Macallan and Highland Park. The launch in New York’s West Village included a chance to sample Ardray ‘Off the Rocks’ - the 48% ABV whisky poured over an ice sphere for eight seconds, which slightly chills the scotch without diluting it. It’s priced at US$85 and can be found in Los Angeles, New York, London and Shanghai. 

House Of Suntory Launches Haku® Vodka

The House of Suntory has announced the launch of Haku® Vodka in India, where vodka is gaining traction among consumers. Neeraj Kumar, Managing Director, Beam Suntory India, said that the new vodka “embodies the House of Suntory’s unwavering commitment to crafting spirits of unrivaled quality and attention to detail, which is the essence of our guiding principle, Monozukuri”. The design blends a traditional Japanese aesthetic and a modern feel, providing a minimalist, artisanal product. It will launch in multiple markets, such as Maharashtra, Goa, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana. 
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