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January 8, 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 Jason Ingle

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

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2021 will shape their respective sectors. Here’s our wine expert, Chris Losh, with his take on the year ahead.

As 2021 kicks off, soft drinks commentator Lucy Britner offers her views on the key trends that are set to shape the category during the next 12 months.

Drinks industry groups on both sides of the Atlantic have called for immediate talks after the US announced additional tariffs on European Union alcohol imports, including Cognac and still wine.

Hopes that 2021 will see a lessening of the tariff turmoil of the past two years in alcohol were dashed last week when US trade authorities announced new levies on European Union imports.

If only briefly, alcohol and cannabis met for the first time in 27 years in 2019, with consumption trends among one grouping of US teenagers reaching touching distance.

On just-drinks’ news pages:

Anheuser-Busch InBev closed last year with a US$3bn boost, offloading a near-50% stake in can production unit Metal Container Corp. The transaction, which was both confirmed and completed late last month, sees the group sell 49.9% of the unit to a consortium of institutional investors led by private equity group Apollo Global Management.

Kirin Holdings is to pay about US$30m for a minority stake in India’s B9 Beverages, the owner of craft beer brand Bira 91. Confirming the deal to just-drinks this week, Kirin said it will take a single-digit holding in New Dehli-based B9.

C&C Group has bought a minority holding in Scottish craft brewer Innis & Gunn. The Magners and Tennent’s brand owner has taken an 8% stake in Edinburgh’s Innis & Gunn, which brews some of its whisky-barrel-aged beers at C&C’s Wellpark Brewery in Glasgow. 

A remarkable sales showing in the fiscal third-quarter has returned Constellation Brands to growth in its year to date. Three months on from posting a near-5% decline in sales from the first half, Constellation this week reported a 22% rise from the three months to the end of November.

Michigan looks set to become the next US state to allow cannabis beverages after authorities issued official guidelines on how to secure production approval.

PepsiCo has launched a marketing programme for brand Pepsi, encouraging US consumers to support black-owned restaurants. The activation, called ‘Dig In’, aims to generate at least US$100m in sales for black-owned restaurants over the next five years.

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