October 5, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
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Story of the week last week was the announcement by FEMSA that it has opened discussions over the future of its beer business.
The Mexican beer market was always set to be the next battleground for consolidation amongst the global brewers, as we predicted last year. Whilst the downturn postponed any such movements, could the news spark the recommencement of proceedings? If it does, the smart money is on Australia being the next theatre of combat. Foster's divestment of one of its vineyards in the country last week could serve as another step towards 'sexing up' its wine operations. Any separation of its beer and wine units would leave the Australian company's brewing arm vulnerable to a bid in the future.
Take a look here, meanwhile, for a closer look at the situation in Mexico.
While opportunities may loom for brewers in Mexico, last week brought storm clouds for those operating in Russia. Plans to triple excise tax on beer from January 2010 are set to go before the country's parliament this autumn, in a move that could shrink Russia's beer market and damage profits for multinational brewers. Carlsberg, which owns market-leader Baltika, is particularly at risk, one analyst told just-drinks.
Elsewhere in the drinks world, Constellation Brands used its half-year results to provide an upbeat assessment of the wine giant's efforts to restructure its business.
Also in wine, senior members of the UK wine trade met last week to discuss market opportunities for wines with a lower alcohol content in the country. All major supermarkets have reported rising consumer demand for wines with a lower abv.
Finally, in soft drinks, just-drinks caught up with Coca-Cola's chief marketing officer, Joe Tripodi last week.
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
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The opportunity to grab some time with the chief marketing officer of a company the size of The Coca-Cola Co. doesn't come along very often. However, when just-drinks was invited to Zurich by the company last week, the chance to grab an audience with Joe Tripodi was the clincher. Olly Wehring puts the questions to Tripodi, and his time starts... now.
Innovation in drinks packaging is more intense today than it has been for decades, with cutting-edge innovation in intelligent materials, microchip integration and nanomaterials allowing designers to create boxes, bottles, cans and sacks that they could not dream of before. What are the latest innovations and developments? just-drinks has investigated in Europe, North America and Asia, with a special global focus on nanotechnology.
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