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September 11-15, 2017

Headlines

Beverage World presents the latest news from across the worldwide beverage market.

SABMiller to review AB InBev deal, chairman says

The chairman of SABMiller said the brewer would consider the attractiveness of a $107 billion offer by Anheuser Busch InBev after the merger had undergone the regulatory process. The takeover of the London-listed brewer has come under scrutiny in recent weeks as a drop in the British currency has reduced the relative attractiveness of the all-cash offer aimed at most SAB shareholders. (Reuters)

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Sparkling Ice floats higher as diet sodas go flat

Talking Rain Beverage Co. has a winning recipe for diet soda: Don’t call it diet soda. Its Sparkling Ice is an artificially sweetened, zero-calorie carbonated drink—like mainstream diet sodas whose sales are plunging. But the upstart brand has escaped the downdraft by marketing itself as a fruit-flavored “sparkling water.” U.S. retail sales of Sparkling Ice surged 18% last year to $636 million, nearly tripling since 2012, according to data provider Euromonitor International Inc. Kevin Klock, Talking Rain’s chief executive, says the brand is on track to grow an additional 12% this year. (Wall Street Journal)

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Starbucks' loyalty program change sent customers away

Starbucks’ impressive winning streak—25 straight quarters of comparable-store sales growth of 5% or greater in the U.S.—ended on Thursday as a change to the coffee giant’s rewards program hurt a popular Frappuccino promotion…The coffee company knew it dropped the ball. In comments to Wall Street analysts, CEO Howard Schultz admitted with “candor and humility, we acknowledge we didn’t execute as well as we could have in the U.S.” (Fortune)

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Michelob Ultra bucks light, macrobrew ‘stigmas’

In an era where craft beer tends to get all the love—as well as a large and growing portion of the nation’s beer money—one “macrobrew” is racking up big gains: Michelob Ultra, a light beer that has managed to transcend both the “light” label and the Big Beer stigma…Parent company Anheuser-Busch said Ultra increased 27% last year, making it one of the fastest-growing brands in the U.S. (Money)

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Coca-Cola tops list of most powerful brands

Coca-Cola has been named the most powerful brand by Tenent Partners in its 2016 Top 100 Most Powerful Brands Report. It’s the fifth straight year Coca-Cola has taken the top spot in the study, and it’s the only beverage brand in the report’s Top Five. Tenet has tracked nearly 1,000 companies in 50 industries to develop its CoreBrand Index to measure the value that a brand contributes to enterprise value. (247wallst.com)

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Sorry America, you can’t get those 60-packs of Coors

As if you needed any more proof that not everything you read on the Internet is true, the whole state of Wisconsin just got a supersized wakeup call after rumors that Coors Light was about to release a 60-pack of cans exclusively for the Badger State were deemed untrue. The story was apparently in part spread by the unfortunately named website College Peep Show, which wrote, “MillerCoors has just announced the Wisconsin Pak, which will be on store shelves in Wisconsin only beginning August 1, 2016,” and posted two photos of the massive 60-can packs of beer seen in the wild like this one. (Food & Wine)

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