Made to Order Smoothies and Shakes - US - December 2010
The report focuses on consumer research into the smoothie segment given its relative infancy in the beverage market. There is substantial growth potential considering the increasing number of players entering this category.
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The old cliché, that it has been a busy week at just-drinks, couldn't have rung more true last week. Indeed, what had initially been a relatively placid start to the year exploded into colour, with M&A activity leading the way.
First up, Rémy Cointreau announced on Monday that it has started exclusive talks with France's Societe Europeenne de Participations Industrielles regarding the possible sale of its Champagne business. A transaction between the two would see the arrival of an outsider in Champagne, but an outsider that has a healthy track record in the kind of luxury categories that the region should be more than comfortable with.
Then, on Wednesday, Brown-Forman confirmed it had found a willing buyer for its Fetzer Vineyards operations in Viña Concha y Toro. Whilst the sale sees another wine and spirits company reducing its presence in the former category, in order to focus its efforts more on the latter, that the Chilean wine producer has taken ownership of Fetzer suggests that the Californian wine unit still has a bright future – meaning both Brown-Forman and Concha y Toro will be toasting the deal.
In the brewing world, the week started with Anheuser-Busch InBev suggesting it might be ready to re-enter the M&A arena again in the near-future. While the company rowed back on the comments later in the week, that hasn't stopped some observers speculating that A-B InBev might be poised at some point this year for the merger of the century – with SABMiller.
And how's this for a name – MegaBrew!
Finally, and more grimly, last week saw UK off-trade chain Oddbins confirm that it has brought in outside help to “kick the tyres” of the business. Phrases like “recruited a business consultancy group” and “to advise us on strategic options” suggests a pretty bleak situation. The fat lady has not yet cleared her throat, however, so our fingers are crossed that a way out of the woods can be found. Goodness knows, the wine industry in the UK needs more routes to market – not less.
One very quick request, dear reader. If you work in the whisk(e)y category, and have around five minutes to spare, please could you head over here and give us your thoughts on a handful of questions? Thanks.
Until next time...