October 19, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
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The biggest story on just-drinks last week was Anheuser-Busch InBev's widely-expected divestment of many of its brewing assets in Eastern Europe. The sale, to private equity group CVC Capital Partners for US$2.2bn, saw the brewing giant sail past its target this year of $7bn-worth of disposals.
Whilst A-B InBev has proved more than adept at getting reasonably good prices for some of its divestments, especially in the current environment, the list of sales suggests that what we are now observing is – and I don't think A-B InBev will hate me for saying this – a rather 'dull' company.
Battlegrounds for A-B InBev now appear to be primarily Latin America – where AmBev has quite a stranglehold in the region's largest beer market, Brazil – North America – where the biggest beer brand is A-B's Budweiser – and Western Europe – where InBev is well-entrenched with the likes of Stella Artois and Beck's.
AmBev, Anheuser-Busch and InBev were always very similar companies in the way they operated. Now that the sales have been completed, I believe we can expect few alarms and even fewer surprises from the company going forward.
Elsewhere, last week, we previewed this week's TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes. Our team is out on the Cote d'Azur today, tomorrow and Wednesday, so if you've something to say to them, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Finally, here in the UK, the case for minimum pricing for alcohol received medical backing from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Now, I'll just go ahead and say it, because you can't: Quite how anyone in the medical profession can claim to have ANY experience in the effect pricing has on abuse of alcohol is beyond me. As one drinks executive said to me earlier this month: “A link between price and abuse? Show me the evidence.”
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
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The duty-free industry’s most important annual trade show, the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) World Exhibition, celebrates its 25th anniversary in Cannes next week. This US$37bn global business has always prided itself on knowing how to throw a good party. But few heading to this year’s show will be in the mood to celebrate the silver jubilee, despite the lavish dinner and rock concert which organiser TFWA has planned. Joe Bates reports.
The food and drink industries of the ten countries that joined the European Union in 2004 have been transformed by this expansion of Europe’s borderless market. Food and drink companies and markets in the countries that joined the EU on 2007, Bulgaria and Romania, are facing a similar transformation. But what of the countries that are still knocking on the door of the EU for future membership? How will their food and drink sectors fare, assuming their countries are admitted. And how could this further expansion impact on the EU’s existing food and drink sectors? Here we investigate and analyse the potential results of more EU expansion.
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