November 30, 2009
just-drinks.com editor's weekly highlights
All new research into the global vodka markets is now available.
Perhaps this year's Thanksgiving dinner last week should have been more appropriately named 'Here's Hoping' dinner, as drinks makers' eyes turn to 2010 and pray that the US economy will return to bloom sooner rather than later.
The US economy rose by an annual rate of 2.8% in the third quarter - slower than had been expected - according to official figures released late last week, so here's hoping next year can produce some faster acceleration.
Over in the UK this morning, meanwhile, the industry is digesting the news that Ireland's C&C Group has doubled its UK cider volumes by adding Constellation Brands' Gaymer Cider Co to its Magners cider brand in the country.
We're chasing more details on the story, but it's safe to say that the deal will significantly enhance C&C Group's presence in UK cider, particularly in the faster growing off-trade. Taking this deal together with C&C's buyout of Tennent's lager earlier this year, the group has expanded annual net sales by 50% via acquisitions in its current fiscal year.
Not only that, but C&C now has facilities in England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
Gaymer is a "successful and profitable" business, a spokesperson for Constellation told just-drinks today (30 November). But, for Constellation, the business no longer fits in its plan to refocus around the core wine business. Indeed, last month, Constellation told us: “We are currently operating in a difficult environment and we need to have a focus on achieving stronger, more sustainable results by tightening the focus of the portfolio, optimising assets and finding synergies across all aspects of the business.”
Cider sales in the UK, meanwhile, are growing by 8% by volume year-on-year, according to Nielsen figures. Premium cider is faring particularly well, as just-drinks' deputy editor, Chris Mercer, heard on a trip to Aspall Cyder last week.
Look out for more coverage on Aspall in the next couple of days.
Back to last week, and features-wise we considered the return of the sparkle from CSDs in the soft drinks category, while we also looked at the worst-case scenario of a flat Christmas.
Here's not hoping...
Until next time...
Olly Wehring, Managing Editor
just-drinks can give you brand exposure to over 800 drinks buyers globally!
Carbonates are coming out of the doldrums, claims Annette Farr. The category has been becalmed for some time. But now, with a party season on the horizon and some upbeat forecasts from analysts, the sparkle is definitely coming back. Evidence of this can be seen in brand activity and encouraging sales.
In the last 12 months, just-drinks has had unprecedented access to some of the leading players in the beverage industry. This briefing collects all of these interviews - including the CEO of Diageo and the chief marketing officer of The Coca-Cola Company - in one place. In all, 15 of the world's most influential drinks players discuss their business strategies against the backdrop of one of the most tumultuous 12 months in recent history.
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