February 9, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
The period from 2006 to 2008 has been a relatively quiet one for the Champagne industry. But the peace has not lasted long.
Last week, you may remember, I flagged up the conundrum facing the drinks industry here in the UK, after the country's chief medical officer recommended that parents resist giving their children any alcohol at all before they are 15 years old. Many thanks to those readers who contributed to the avalanche of responses, the fruits of whose labours you can read here.
We always welcome dialogue with our readership, so feel free to add to the debate by emailing me your thoughts.
In the news last week, speculation rose around Anheuser-Busch InBev's next disposal, following the sale of its 20% stake in Tsingtao. The brewer is staying silent, but most analysts believe it is looking to sell South Korea's Oriental Brewery for up to US$2.5bn. Asahi and Lotte Group have denied a plan to launch a joint bid, while SABMiller chose not to comment on reports that it has been approached by A-B InBev representatives.
Back in the UK, meanwhile, Cobra Beer did its best to entice potential suitors, reporting sales well ahead of the UK beer market over the last six months. News of Cobra's success came as senior cabinet ministers agreed to meet representatives of the stricken beer and pub industry in the country.
Elsewhere, there was relatively positive news for New Zealand wine exports and Spanish wine shipments. In soft drinks, PepsiAmericas and Red Bull also provided some welcome respite from the economic gloom.
A just-drinks analysis of the US spirits market, however, suggests slowdowns for Diageo and Pernod Ricard in the country.
Both companies are scheduled to announce their half-year results later this week.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
Ethical consumerism has brought heightened pressure on soft drinks companies with regard to the environmental and social impacts of sourcing, manufacturing and distributing their products. But, Annette Farr writes, it has also been a catalyst for some laudable charitable projects which reflect well on the companies behind them while dramatically improving the lives of some of the world’s most impoverished people.
The beginning of a new year once again sees the publication of the Euromonitor International industry outlook from just-drinks, which takes stock of the current state of play in the spirits, beer, wine and soft drinks sectors and looks ahead to what promises to be an exciting and busy year across all four categories. The expected activity in our industry, however, will play out against a background of economic gloom, which looks set to contaminate all areas of all businesses.
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