June's top stories: Starbucks-AB InBev partner, KonaRed expands RTD coffee distribution

Anheuser-Busch InBev partnered with Starbucks for Teavana in the US, and KonaRed's three varieties of Cold Brew Coffee to be available in over 340 Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions stores in Southern California. Drinks-insight-network.com wraps-up the key headlines from June 2016.


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Starbucks partners with Anheuser-Busch InBev to launch ready-to-drink tea in US

Anheuser-Busch InBev partnered with Starbucks for the production, bottling, marketing and distribution of Teavana ready-to-drink (RTD) tea in the US. The product is expected to be launched in the first half of next year.

In the partnership, Starbucks will make use of Teavana's tea expertise, retail activation, and consumer engagement capabilities, while Anheuser-Busch will be responsible for production, bottling and distribution to retailers across the country.

Anheuser-Busch InBev chief executive officer Carlos Brito said: "This arrangement will bring together the strengths of two great companies, each with a long history of successful brand-building.

KonaRed expands RTD coffee distribution network in Southern California

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KonaRed Corporation, a US-based manufacturer of premium Hawaiian coffee products, announced that its three varieties of Cold Brew Coffee will be available in over 340 Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions stores in Southern California.

The cold coffee products will be rolled out in these outlets from July.

KonaRed president and COO Kyle Redfield said: "Our Cold Brew Coffee line is continuing to grow rapidly. We are successfully expanding our distribution regions and have recently secured new authorisations at another group of major retail store chains.

Grupo LALA to acquire branded the business unit of Laguna Dairy for $246m

Mexico-based Grupo LALA signed an agreement to acquire the branded business of Laguna dairy company in an all-cash deal for $246m.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory clearances. This acquisition is part of Grupo LALA's strategy to expand its product line in the US market, where there is presence of a large Hispanic population.

Laguna's branded business unit, which has recorded double digit growth in the last two years, is expected to sell approximately $200m in 2016.

AB InBev secures approval from South Africa's Competition Commission for SABMiller takeover

South Africa's Competition Commission gave its approval to Anheuser-Busch InBev's (AB InBev) acquisition of SABMiller. The deal will now be placed before the country's Competition Tribunal for final clearance.

South Africa is one of the three markets where AB InBev needs to get clearance in order to complete the acquisition of SABMiller for $108bn, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Regulatory agencies from China and the US are still reviewing the takeover deal. Last week, AB InBev secured clearance from Europe for the deal. AB InBev said the approval from South Africa is "an important milestone". It plans to close the takeover of SABMiller in the second half of this year.

Brown-Forman completes acquisition of BenRiach

US-based Brown-Forman Corporation closed the acquisition of distillery company BenRiach for £281m.

With this acquisition, Brown-Forman has added three single malt Scotch whisky brands; GlenDronach, BenRiach, and Glenglassaugh, to its portfolio.

The acquisition includes trademarks of three brands, three malt distilleries, a bottling plant, and BenRiach's headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Unilever to sell Latin American soy beverage business for $575m

Unilever signed an agreement to sell the AdeS soy beverage business in Latin America for $575m to Coca Cola FEMSA and the Coca Cola Company.

Unilever EVP Latin America Miguel Kozuszok said: "This sale is a step in reshaping our portfolio in Latin America to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever and enables us to sharpen our focus.

"AdeS is an iconic brand and we believe that its potential can be fully realised within the Coca-Cola system."

General Mills forms strategic sourcing partnership with Organic Valley

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General Mills signed a strategic sourcing partnership with Wisconsin-based organic cooperative Organic Valley, which will help 20 dairy farms add around 3,000ac to organic dairy production in the next three years.

The partnership is part of General Mills' commitment to double the organic acreage, from which it sources milk by 2019.

In recent years, the company boosted its natural and organic portfolio with nine brands, namely Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, LÄRABAR, Liberté, Mountain High, Food Should Taste Good, Immaculate Baking, Annie's, and EPIC Provisions.

Müller Milk & Ingredients to invest £15m in Bellshill dairy facility of Scotland

Müller Milk & Ingredients plans to invest £15m in its dairy facility in Bellshill, Scotland over the next three years.

The firm will make the investment in a new cream filling hall, high-speed production lines, and expansion of site processing capabilities and site infrastructure.

The investment is expected to modernise the dairy facility and improve efficiencies and competitiveness, whilst giving the firm the capability to broaden the range of products.

Frobishers Juices acquires Five Valleys Cordials

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Exeter, UK-based Frobishers Juices acquired drinks producer Five Valleys Cordials for an undisclosed amount.

Frobishers Juices been producing and supplying the fruit juices and premium juice drinks to the on-trade market since 1992. Its products are available in the UK and internationally in bars, restaurants, hotels, and casual dining outlets.

Frobishers Juices sales and marketing director Steve Carter said: "The acquisition of Five Valleys Cordials is an exciting move for Frobishers and will be our first step into the off-trade market.

Diageo to launch two ciders under Smirnoff brand

British multinational alcoholic beverages company Diageo is bringing the Smirnoff vodka brand into the cider category.

Smirnoff will launch two fruit-flavoured vodka-spiked ciders in August. Initially, the ciders will be available in two flavours; Raspberry and Pomegranate, and Passionfruit and Lime.

Smirnoff Cider will carry a price tag of £1.99 for the off-trade, and a recommended retail price of £4.50 for the on-trade.