April’s top stories: Tequila sales increase in UK and Murray Goulburn to close facilities in Australia

Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s (WSTA) report revealed that the sales of tequila in the UK steadily rose last year and Australian dairy firm Murray Goulburn (MG) made plans to close manufacturing facilities in Edith Creek, Rochester, and Kiewa. Drinks-insight-network.com wraps up the key headlines from April, 2017.


Tequila sales increased in UK, says WSTA report

UK-based Wine and Spirit Trade Association’s (WSTA) new report revealed that the sales of tequila in the country steadily rose last year.

According to the marketing report, UK consumers are using tequila in cocktails or as a sipping spirit, rather than drinking shots with salt and lime.

WSTA's chief executive officer (CEO) Miles Beale said: “The UK has seen a boom in Tequila sales over the last two years, up £46 million to £173 million in 2016, an increase of 37%."

Murray Goulburn to close three manufacturing facilities in Australia

Australian dairy firm Murray Goulburn (MG) made plans to close manufacturing facilities in Edith Creek, Rochester, and Kiewa.

The company’s latest decision followed an asset and footprint review and aims to improve its cost base and increase earnings.

MG’s Edith Creek facility is planned to be closed by Q2, 2017, while the Rochester facility is expected to close by Q3, 2018. The Kiewa facility will be closed by the Q1, 2019.

Emmi to acquire stake in Brazilian dairy firm Laticínios Porto Alegre

Swiss dairy company Emmi announced it will acquire a 40% stake in Brazil’s Laticínios Porto Alegre Indústria e Comércio, which is based in Ponte Nova in the state of Minas Gerais.

The remaining 60% of the stake will be retained by Porto Alegre's co-founders José Afonso and João Lúcio Barreto Carneiro.

The Brazilian dairy firm anticipates that the collaboration will create further opportunities. Following the acquisition, Emmi will strengthen its international growth strategy.

Waitrose to expand beer lineup

UK-based supermarket chain Waitrose announced it is set to add 25 new beers to its existing lineup. 

This range expansion aims to meet growing demands for speciality beers at Waitrose stores, as beer sales rose by 33% last year.

In response to this demand, the company decided to increase its beer selection from the current 70 offerings to 95 in May.

Endangered-Wine introduced new label design to raise awareness for endangered animals

US-based Endangered-Wine launched wine products featuring new label designs on Earth Day.

The company's founders Peter Crowley and Bill Seet launched the new wines and expressed their concerns over the mass extinction of certain animal species on the planet.

The new labels were created to raise exposure and awareness.

Chapel Down released new wine collection from Kit’s Coty estate

UK-based sparkling and still wine producer Chapel Down released a collection comprising Coeur de Cuvée 2013, Blanc de Blancs 2013, and Chardonnay 2014 from single vineyard estate Kit’s Coty.

Coeur de Cuvée 2013 is produced using blocks of Chardonnay and a high-quality portion of juice, which is fermented and matured on lees in French oak for a period of seven months.

Chapel Down's head winemaker Josh Donaghay-Spire described the wine as  “a rich, elegant English sparkling wine with aromas of ripe green apple, hazelnuts, and freshly baked brioche.”

Terlato Wine acquired Klipsun Vineyards in Washington, US

Terlato Wine acquired the 120-acre Klipsun Vineyards in Red Mountain AVA in Washington, US.

Grapes grown at the Klipsun Vineyards are sold to wineries including Quilceda Creek, Seven Hills, Col Solare, and Betz Family in Washington.

Terlato Wine Group's chief executive officer (CEO) and president Bill Terlato said: "This is an important acquisition for us.”

AB InBev completed sale of Distell Group share

Global alcoholic beverage manufacturer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) completed the sale of its entire indirect stake in the Distell Group to the Public Investment Corporation (SOC), acting on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund in South Africa.

The sale was made to satisfy conditions set by the South African Competition Tribunal to execute the business deal between AB InBev and SABMiller.

Last year, AB InBev entered into a binding agreement with the Public Investment Corporation (SOC) to sell its stake of 58,674,000 ordinary shares, which is equivalent to 26.4% of Distell’s issued share capital.

TSG Consumer Partners acquired a 23% stake in BrewDog

US-based private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners acquired a 23% stake in Scottish-craft brewery BrewDog for £213m.

The brewer will use nearly £100m for its business expansion and remaining proceeds will be used to create early shareholder liquidity.

Based in San Francisco, TSG has invested in some global brands including Pop Chips and Vitamin Water. This transaction has increased the value of BrewDog to £1bn, reported The Guardian.

Subway encouraged sales of low-calorie soft drinks

Subway UK announced that it has expanded store beverage offerings to provide customer's a broader range of low-calorie options.

Including Britvic and PepsiCo beverages, Subway noted that the design of its new drinks fountains and fridge displays encouraged customers to switch to low or no sugar options. This has led to increasing sales of brands such as Pepsi Max or Diet Pepsi over full-sugar cola.

Subway's UK and Ireland country director Peter Dowding said: “The partnership with PepsiCo and Britvic has enabled us to offer our customers healthier drink options without compromising on quality or taste, reinforcing the strong healthier-for-you food-on-the-go credentials the brand already has in place.