Venezuela - What does Chavez's death mean for brewer Polar?
This beggars belief. Only hours after it was announced that
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez had died of cancer on 5 March 2013, the
Forbes business magazine, on its website, ran an article
entitled, yes, "What does the death of the 'Comandante' mean to
Venezuelan billionaires? Will they get richer now that the '21st
century socialist' is gone?"
At brewer Polar, which has 75 percent of the Venezuelan beer
market, they cannot have been too pleased with this sort of
contentious reporting as their owner gets mentioned in the
Georgia - Brewers' woes, vintners delight
For such a small market as Georgia's, a country in the Caucasus,
four brewers are actually quite a crowd. This may be one of the
reasons why Castel-Sakartvelo, the smallest one, was put up for
sale. From what we have heard, the former Castel business in
Georgia, which since 2006 has been owned by BIH, itself
majority-owned by Citigroup Venture Capital International (92%)
and Jean Paul Lanfranchi (8%), a French lawyer once associated
with Mr Pierre Castel, has been sold to the Georgian businessman
Temur Chkhonia, who holds both the McDonald's and Coca-Cola
licences in Georgia.
Under normal circumstances, this could be interpreted as an exit
by the company's private equity owner. After all, they and their
ground staff have managed to significantly grow the business in
recent years, at least in terms of volumes.
However, what may have hastened the sale is the fact that in
April last year a new EUR 30 million (USD 39 million) brewery,
Zedazeni, came on stream, whose major owners are a group of
businessmen-cum-politicians associated with Georgia's
controversial former president Mikheil Saakashvili. The man
behind this brewery project happens to be Iago Chocheli, who
sold Georgia's Natakhtari brewery to Turkey's brewer Efes in
Australia - What's become of Foster's former wine business?
On the face of it, the former Foster's wine business, Treasury
Wine Estates (TWE), on 28 February 2013 posted disappointing
half year results to the end of December 2012: net profits fell
23.2 percent to AUD 45 million (USD 45.9 million) and net sales
dipped 3.4 percent to AUD 816.9 million, while EBIT dropped 20
percent to AUD 73.4 million and volumes slipped 2.5 percent to
16.5 million cases. However, Treasury's share price rose
markedly following the results release. How can this be?
Bartenders to create a new brand for Diageo
That's a job many will covet: being a spy for Diageo, visiting
bars to suss out all the latest trends in taste and culture.
Diageo's R&D people are like the CIA - although they will object
to the comparison - who run a string of informers everywhere to
detect changes in consumer preferences when it comes to drinks.
Like the fashion industry, the global drinks industry is
increasingly looking to the street or bars respectively for
inspiration. But to be on the safe side, Diageo have also been
calling on bartenders in many countries around the world to come
up with ideas for a new spirit or liqueur.
Earlier this year, Diageo launched a competition among
bartenders in western Europe, called "Show Your Spirit", whose
winner will see his or her concoction become the latest addition
to the drinks group’s Reserve collection of luxury brands.
Entries for the competition close on 18 March. The finalists
will be announced on 15 April this year.
New figures show UK alcohol consumption down 3.3 per cent in
2012 was the first year since 1998 that alcohol consumption has
dropped below eight litres per head, per year (7.99 litres).
Consumption per head is now 16 percent lower than it was in 2004
when the current trend began, says the British Beer & Pub
Association (BBPA), which has compiled the new data based on
HMRC alcohol tax returns.
- SABMiller seeks to end licensing agreement with Molson Coors
Seeing that their own brands are not really going anywhere in
the highly lucrative Canadian market, Miller Brewing Company,
the U.S. subsidiary of SABMiller, has terminated its Canadian
licence agreement with Molson Coors Canada as of 22 July 2013.
Although Molson Coors Canada has filed a lawsuit in Ontario
seeking to prevent the termination of the license agreement,
Miller is vigorously defending that action and maintains its
right to terminate, Canadian media report.
It's a funny thing that in the business world divorce procedures
by one partner are often resisted by the other. It's probably
not because the abandonee is still harbouring deep feelings for
its former partner. More likely it's the sudden drop in
taken-for-granted profits that makes the one left behind seeking
a court ruling to prevent the other from walking out on them.
Australia – Deception most foul!
The dispute over what constitutes a craft
beer – as opposed to a pseudo craft – has now broken out in
Australia too. While in the U.S., craft brewers complain that
the “Big Brewers” put crafty-looking beers into the market thus
hoping that their me-too creations can help them cash in on the
growing craft beer boom, Australian consumers have long grown
used to the fact that several former craft breweries are owned
by the country’s major brewers. What has now caused an outcry is
that one of the smaller craft brewers, Byron Bay Brewing, is
having a beer brewed, packaged and marketed by Foster’s/SABMiller
– without as much telling consumers.
Why this detail should have caused such a
hullabaloo is hard to fathom, unless you are prepared to accept
that in the grand scheme of things history tends to repeat
If I remember correctly, the last time craft
brewers’ labels came under scrutiny was in the mid-1990s when
the “Big Brewer” Anheuser-Busch, yes, launched an attack on
craft brewers Boston Beer Co and Pete's Brewing Co because their
labels failed to reveal that their beers were actually brewed
and packaged under contract by, you guessed right, some other
In response to the accusation Boston
Beer said in 1996 this campaign by Anheuser-Busch was aimed at
confusing consumers by making the location and ownership of the
brewery more important than what's inside the bottle.
Boston Beer’s founder, Jim Koch, added the
reason the “host breweries” were not mentioned on the label was
that they had no say in how the beer was made. Nor did they have
any control over it.
Mr Koch had a point there. But if the issue
is really such a minor one, why not come clean on it? Why not
state on the label that the brand is owned by x and brewed by z?
Unless, of course, both x and z want to make consumers believe
that their craft beers are produced in small batches in tiny
breweries by strapping men in dungarees – as many consumers
probably still do.
Here’s the story so far.
Belgium – Has the great AB-InBev money-making
machine run out of steam?
Looks like AB-InBev desperately need this
Modelo deal to go ahead as they seem to have reaped most of the
benefits from their last transaction with Anheuser-Busch in
2008. Organic growth does not seem easy to come by any longer
when you look at AB-InBev’s past financials. In actual fact, AB-InBev’s
revenues have not really risen much since 2008. True, AB-InBev
have driven up EBITDA to USD 15.5 billion from USD 12.1 billion
in 2008, but for the past two years EBITDA growth has kind of
Belgium – AB-InBev’s uphill struggle with
They need to be bullish, don’t they? Although
their USD 20 billion transaction with Mexico’s brewer Modelo is
far from cut and dried, AB-InBev said on 27 February 2013 “we
remain excited about the potential to grow the domestic Mexican
business and the Modelo brands outside of Mexico and the United
As we all know, potential is not the same as
actual reality. All of us may have the potential to win the
Nobel prize, but how likely is it that anyone is going to give
it to us?
Same with the Corona brand’s potential. While
it’s true that the Corona brand is the leader in Mexico with
almost two times the volume of the second largest brand, it is
still a piddling little brand amongst the global beer brands.
Consider this. In 2011, 29.5 million hl of
Corona were sold globally, says Canadean, a market research
company. If you deduct domestic volumes (16.9 million hl), that
leaves an export volume of 12.6 million hl. Not bad. However,
you need to bear in mind that of these 12.6 million hl, over 8.4
million hl of Corona were sold in the U.S. alone, according to
estimates by Beerinsights.com. That left 4.2 million hl in total
volumes for the rest of the world, or more precisely 38
countries in which Corona is currently sold.
UK – Oxfam slams global food and beverage
giants over CSR accountability
Stakeholder pressure on multinational
companies is rising. Last July AB-InBev got rapped by the
Berlin-based corruption watchdog Transparency International (TI)
for not disclosing enough about what it does to fight
corruption. Six months later, in February this year the UK
charity Oxfam released a report, “Behind the Brands”, which,
though wider in scope than TI’s, came to a similar conclusion:
multinational food and beverage companies, such as Nestlé,
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, are failing on CSR goals.
2009 december ·