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

Heineken was among the multinational brand owners to announce its results for 2020 this week

Heineken was among the multinational brand owners to announce its results for 2020 this week

In just-drinks' results coverage:

Molson Coors Beverage Co has followed the trend among listed drinks brand owners of seeing the final quarter of 2020 return to the lows of the first six months of the year. Just over three months ago, the North American group was in a positive mood when its third-quarter sales dip of 3.6% built on H1's -14.3%.

The Coca-Cola Co has delivered an improved final three months of 2020 but full-year sales still plunged as the soft drinks giant took a heavy hit from COVID-19. Sales in the three months to the end of December fell 3% on 2019 totalling US$8.6bn, Coca-Cola said on Wednesday.

Group sales in the second quarter of fiscal-2021 have underlined Pernod Ricard's belief that growth is on its way as the rate of decline slowed compared to the previous three months. In October last year, Pernod reported a sales slide of 5.6% from the three months to the end of September. 

Heineken appears to have crawled over the line last year, as a tough final three months offset the green shoots of growth seen in Q3. Following a first half in which sales tumbled by 16.4%, the group sounded more upbeat in late-October, as the reopening of the on-premise channel suggested better times ahead.

A strong fourth quarter helped PepsiCo deliver a more balanced full-year beverages performance after a coronavirus hit H1. The group's drinks volumes jumped in the final three months of 2020 by 5%, driven by a 14% increase in Europe.

Coca-Cola European Partners has seen its hopes for a bounceback in the run-up to the end of 2020 fail to materialise, as full-year sales finished down by double digits. The bottler, which operates across most of northern and western Europe, had gone as far as forecasting a "robust" second half of 2020 back in August. Despite posting an improvement on the 16% sales slump in H1, CCEP this week reported a top-line fall from the full 12 months of 11%.

A second-half rebound for Coca-Cola HBC has stalled slightly as fresh lockdowns across Europe put quarterly volumes back into decline. Fourth-quarter volumes slipped 1% in the three months to the end of December compared to a 1% volumes uptick in Q3, CCHBC said yesterday.

From our analysis and comment pages: 

A protracted trade dispute has blocked single malt Scotch whisky's access to the all-important US market at a time when the category desperately needs to demonstrate its relevance. As trends rapidly accelerate, this lack of visibility could damage Scotch for years to come, warns spirits commentator Amy Hopkins.

You may tire of hearing it, and I may tire of writing it but there's still no escape: COVID-19 has triggered such a seismic shift in consumer behaviour that we'll be tracking the changes it has fostered for years to come. One key trend to have emerged from the ashes is consumer awareness that a number of the causes - and results - of climate change increase the risk of future pandemics.

just-drinks counted down to the big game on 7 February and rounded up the drinks adverts as they were released.

A recently-released study used alcohol-attributable data - based on combining average alcohol intake from diverse European populations - to judge the effects of moderate alcohol consumption on the risk of cancer for all populations. The research was based on earlier calculations of risk, extensively covered in previous publications by the senior author.

From our news pages:

The European Union will lose up to one-sixth of its bars and restaurants as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Heineken's CEO has warned. Speaking after Heineken's full-year results yesterday, Dolf van den Brink said he expects 10-15% of the EU on-premise to go bankrupt over the next three years.

The Coca-Cola Co CEO James Quincey has promised a return to pre-pandemic levels of innovation as the company carries out a major brand cull. Speaking to analysts after full-year results on Wednesday, Quincey denied the reduction in numbers of "master brands", announced last year, will mean a narrowing of Coca-Cola's new product ambitions.

Heineken is to cut one-tenth of its staff in a bid to stem losses from a coronavirus-hit 2020. The reduction, which will affect about 8,000 employees out of a total Heineken headcount of 86,000, forms part of a EUR2bn (US$2.4bn) cost-cutting programme over three years announced Wednesday, alongside full-year results.

A US cannabis trade organisation has launched a beverage offshoot in a bid to provide a united front for its members. The American Trade Association for Cannabis & Hemp formed the Cannabis Beverage Council last month, bringing together a number of players in the category including Constellation Brands' cannabis partner, Canopy Growth.

The Coca-Cola Co is to launch Coke bottles in the US made from 100% recycled plastic. The move, announced Tuesday, will bring fully-recycled-plastic Coca-Cola brand bottles to the group's home market for the first time, following similar moves abroad. 


Expert Analysis

Opportunities in the Americas Spirits Sector

Opportunities in the Americas Spirits Sector

The global spirits sector was valued at US$823,604.3 million in 2019. Over the forecast period, the global spirits sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.7% to reach US$894,041.4 by 2024. Americas ...

VIEW REPORT

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