Nestlé to enhance Eau Claire plant's production capacity

Nutritional products manufacturer Nestlé announced plans to enhance the manufacturing capacity of its Eau Claire facility in Wisconsin to meet increasing demand.

Nestlé's factories in Wisconsin currently manufacture more than 200 products, including infant formulas, medical nutrition products, and drinks such as Gerber Good Start, Peptamen, and Boost. The firm intends to invest in enhancing the production capacity and optimise assets at the facility to meet consumer needs.

The investment is expected to increase capacity from 100,000t to approximately 120,000t, resulting in additional temporary construction and facility jobs.

Heineken's DB Breweries in New Zealand acquired Tuatara Brewing

Heineken's New Zealand-based brewing firm DB Breweries acquired craft beer producer Tuatara Brewing Company.

Following the acquisition, Tuatara will continue to produce its craft beer from the facility on the Kapiti Coast and pilot brewery in Wellington.

Founded in 2002 by Carl and Simone Vasta, Tuatara had production of more than 2 million litres of beer last year.

Australian researchers identify sorghum varieties for baijiu production

Researchers from the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre (AEGIC), the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, and the Functional Grains Centre at Charles Sturt University teamed up to identify the quality and varieties of sorghum to produce baijiu for China.

Funded by AEGIC and the Grains Research and Development Corporation, the study will focus on gaining a better understanding of sorghum grain in high-quality baijiu production.

Baijiu is China’s national drink and one of the world’s top-selling spirits. Sorghum is a key ingredient.

Coca-Cola Amatil invest $90m to remodel Australian supply chain

Coca-Cola Amatil made plans to invest approximately A$90m ($69.4m) over the next three years to remodel its supply chain across Australia.

The company intends to make optimum use of its existing plant and lay greater focus on technology and automation.

Coca-Cola Amatil Group managing director Alison Watkins said this decision was taken after conducting a thorough review of the company’s Australian supply chain network.

Scotch Whisky Association urged UK Government to reduce excise duty by 2%

To help the drinks industry support jobs and investment, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) urged the UK Government to cut excise duty on spirits by 2% in the budget to be presented on 8 March.

According to SWA, the present level of tax on an average priced bottle of Scotch is too high and more government support is needed.

The UK market for Scotch Whisky continued to grow in 2016, reversing the dipping demand seen in recent years.

Broo to build green brewery facility in Australia

Broo acquired 15ha of industrial land from Major Projects Victoria to develop a green brewery facility in Australia.

Land has been acquired on Ballarat Western Link Road within the new Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) Industrial Park for about A$2.16m ($1.65m). The company plans to develop the facility at the site over the course of the next 24-36 months.

Upon development, the brewery is set to provide substantial capacity to produce its own beer and other beverage products, as well as to provide contracted brewing services for third party beer labels. Planned production capability is expected to be up to 480 million bottles per year.

Starbucks introduced two macchiato beverages in US and Canada

Global coffee company Starbucks launched two new macchiato beverages, Coconutmilk Mocha Macchiato and Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato, at its US and Canada stores.

The new additions are available only for a limited period.

Starbucks Coconutmilk Mocha Macchiato is a hot beverage featuring espresso shots poured over steamed coconut milk and has a hint of white chocolate mocha sauce. It also includes caramel sauce and a swirl of mocha sauce, creating five layers of espresso sweetness.

California wine exports reached $1.62bn mark in 2016

US wine exports in California reached $1.62bn in terms of winery revenues in 2016.

In spite of financial challenges, winery revenues grew by 1% from 2015, while volume was 412.7 million liters (45.9 million cases).

Wines from California were mainly exported to 10 major markets including the EU's 28-member countries, accounting $685m, followed by Canada, $431m; Hong Kong, $99m; Japan, $87m; China, $82m; Mexico, $24m; South Korea, $23m; Switzerland, $19m; Singapore, $14m; and the Philippines, $13m.

New study found consumption of one energy drink could be fatal

A new study conducted at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney revealed consumption of just one or two energy drinks could be life-threatening for young people born with genetic disorder Long QT Syndrome.

According to the study, people with the syndrome are at higher risk of potentially fatal heart rhythms after consuming the drinks.

Conducted for two years, the study included 24 people within the age group of 16 to 50 years that had Long QT Syndrome. The patients were given either energy drinks or control drinks over a 90-minute period. They were put under continuous observation, undergoing regular electrocardiagrams (ECG) and blood sample tests.

Dutch beer maker Heineken acquired Kirin's Brazilian unit for €664m

Dutch beer giant Heineken entered into an agreement with Japan-based Kirin Holdings to acquire Brazil-based beer and soft drinks producer Brasil Kirin for €664m.

The company plans to enhance its presence in the country, improve scale, and support its portfolio through a strong commercial platform.

With Brasil Kirin's portfolio being complementary to Heineken's current beer business, the transaction is expected to boost the further growth of Schin, Bavaria, Kaiser, Amstel, and Devassa brands.