BRAZIL: AmBev to launch soft drink in US while seeking mineral water experience
The third largest beverage company in the world Ambev, is to start testing its second best selling soft drink, Guarana, in the US within the next three months.According to Ambev chief executive Magim Rodgriguez in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires, the first tests will be in a US city yet to be determined but: "I see enormous potential."Rodgriguez continued to say that Pepsi would have the rights to market Guarana Antartica in countries where Ambev doesn't run operations.Famous for its stimulant and even aphrodisiac properties Guarana is a berry that grows wild in the Amazon jungle and, as a soft drink the guarana seed extract is blended with various citric tropical fruits. Meanwhile, Ambev and Danone are still in talks to decide how the Salus partnership, due to be finalised in 60 days will work and who will run the beer and mineral water Uruguayan firm."The joint venture has a strategic aspect. We team up with Danone and see if we can learn about water. We are determined to enter the water business firmly," said Rodgriguez.Fratelli Vita, Ambev's water brand has never really taken off and according to Rodgriguez the biggest problem facing them is taxation. Apparently there are many small water companies that dodge taxes and therefore gain unfair price competitiveness.Rodgriguez continued by saying: "But I think the country is maturing and the government is seriously committed to fighting tax evasion."
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