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January 22, 2021

If you read only one thing … – This week’s must-reads on just-drinks

Here's a look at the biggest stories and the best content from just-drinks this week.

By Rhodri Morgan

Here’s a look at the biggest stories and the best content from just-drinks this week.

Mark Rampolla founded Zico Coconut Water in 2004, building the brand into a major force in soft drinks and introducing a generation of consumers to low-sugar, functional waters. The strength of the brand was underlined in 2013 when The Coca-Cola Co bought Zico for an undisclosed fee.

While we’re all very much stuck in the middle of the cloud, silver-linings are there to be seen for drinks brand owners – provided they really want to see them.

Ben Cooper looks at the likely predominating sustainability issues for drinks companies in 2021 as the world (hopefully) emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and the recovery begins.

Back for his first just-drinks outing of 2021, former beverages analyst Ian Shackleton considers how his stock of the year fared in 2020, who gets his backing this year and what the wider drinks industry will look like, come December.

From our data centre:

National Rums of Jamaica has confirmed the appointment of a new CEO with Martha Miller replacing Neil Glasgow at the helm. Glasgow, who only move up to the CEO position last year, made way for CFO Miller at the start of this month.

Arbikie Highland Estate has announced an expansion of the 1794 expression of its namesake Highland Rye Scotch brand to Singapore. The Angus-based distiller today announced a partnership with Spun Spirits, a spirits distribution start-up based in the country, to facilitate the expansion of the iteration.

From our news pages:

The founder of Zico Coconut Water has queried The Coca-Cola Co’s ability to build challenger brands as the group offloads a slate of beverages. Mark Rampolla sold Zico to Coca-Cola in 2013 but last week announced his investment company had bought the brand back.

Heineken is to reduce its headcount in South Africa by 7%, blaming the coronavirus and a subsequent alcohol ban for a downturn in the country. The Netherlands-headquartered brewer said yesterday the job cuts, equal to about 70 employees, follow a global review and are a result of the current market pressure in South Africa.

The Coca-Cola Co has ended an 18-year sponsorship arrangement with basketball player LeBron James amid reports the NBA star will join PepsiCo’s Mtn Dew brand. The soft drinks giant said it had “mutually agreed to part ways” with 13-time All-Star player James after his contract ran out.

Monster Beverage Corp has named CFO & COO Hilton Schlosberg as co-CEO as the company unveiled a range of new products for 2021. Schlosberg will sit alongside current CEO Rodney Sacks at the helm of Monster, the company announced late last week.

The Coca-Cola Co has ended its membership of food lobby group the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI). In a statement, Coca-Cola said it left ILSI earlier this month.

Pernod Ricard is lining up the launches of 20%-abv “Light” expressions under its Beefeater gin and Ballantine’s blended Scotch whisky brands. The two products, called Beefeater Light and Ballantine’s Light, will roll out in Spain this month, the brands’ owner said today.

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