just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
In This Issue...
Although we’re still no clearer on when the bidding for Sweden’s V&S Group is set to start, last week saw the runners and riders start to take shape. While it may have been somewhat predictable, especially after the company bought the Swedish vodka brand Svedka last month, Constellation Brands’ announcement that it will not be bidding could be the start of a shake-down of bidders.
The favourites – at the time of writing – are Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Bacardi and Fortune Brands. Pernod also appears to have high hopes elsewhere in the category, as it looks to close the purchase of Stolichnaya from Soyuzplodoimport. Indeed, company chairman Patrick Ricard said last week that he sees no reason why Pernod couldn’t own both.
Not without a fight or two, I’ll wager.
Elsewhere, Britvic’s UK soft drinks report, unveiled last week, confirmed what most soft drinks companies already know. In 2006, the company discovered that, while the soft drinks market increased 7% in value on 2005, it was the stills category that took the lion’s share of sales – 57% of the market compared to 43% for CSDs in the off-trade.
While it would be harsh to say the sun has set on carbonates in the UK, with ‘health and wellness’ picking up the pieces, it is very clear where growth is going to come from in the future.
Finally, our thoughts and condolences go out to the Gallo family, following last week’s passing of co-founder Ernest, at the age of 97. Whatever your thoughts on the Gallo company, there can be no denying the major role the company has had on bringing California’s wine industry to international attention.
And that’s quite a legacy.
For more on Constellation pulling out of the race for V&S, click here.
For further details on the Britvic soft drinks report, click here.
To read about Ernest Gallo’s passing, click here.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
If prime target consumers for international spirits in China have as much difficulty telling whisky from Cognac as a recent report suggests, marketers may have to up their game to reap the rewards the mother of all emerging markets has to offer. Ben Cooper reports.
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