just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
In This Issue...
I’ve been busy, you’ve been busy, we’ve all been busy. What a week that was. There was something for everyone last week, and I’m approaching burn-out having tried my best to cover it all.
With Anheuser-Busch launching a new energy drink , and Coke and Nestlé unveiling a calorie-burning beverage, as well as Pepsi’s Q3 results, our soft drinks coverage has been back to its busiest.
The wine harvest, meanwhile, keeps everyone in that sector on their toes at the moment, and the spirits side remains colourful, with Whyte & Mackay takeover talk intensifying. Diageo, meanwhile, added to our burden with a seminar on its plans for Asia and China last week – watch this space for more details on that one.
As for the brewers, SABMiller had the World Cup to thank for propping up its sales in the US during the first half of the year, while what sounds like crazy talk suggests that Anheuser-Busch could be a takeover target itself. At US$44bn, we’re certainly talking silly money but, as one analyst told me last week: “Nothing would surprise me about Anheuser-Busch anymore.” The general consensus, however, suggests that a bid is unlikely. After all, A-B didn’t get to hold the ‘biggest brewer in the world’ title through pure luck. Granted, the company has seen better days, but it’s not through bad management that it is on hard times at the moment. Could anyone really do better?
Finally, I hope you’ve taken the time to read my interview with Patrick Ricard. Colourful, is it not? And Bacardi, you know where I am if you’d like right to reply.
So, after that manic week, how to relax? How about nipping to Moscow for four days, followed by Kiev for two days, with InBev this week? Looks like I might need some of that energy drink.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
While the hip vodka brand 42 Below has made quite a splash in the premium vodka market, it is the brand’s growth potential in this vibrant category that tempted Bacardi to part with US$91m, and few observers think the company has taken a major risk in doing so. Chris Brook-Carter runs his eye over Bacardi’s latest acquisition.
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