June’s top stories: Spirit duty revenues top beer in UK, Shamrock Farms launches cold brew coffee

WSTA reported that an increase in gin sales by 12% in 2016 has helped spirits to overtake beer in UK, and Shamrock Farms has launched a new cold brew coffee beverage across the US. Drinks-insight-network.com wraps up the key headlines from June 2017.


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WSTA says spirit duty revenues top beer in UK

The UK’s Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) reported that an increase in gin sales by 12% in 2016 helped spirits to overtake beer.

The country's HM Revenue & Customs earned an additional £225m in revenue from spirit drinkers due to a freeze in spirits duty in the 2016 budget, which took the Treasury’s total spirits duty to more than £3.38bn.

As part of the Budget, beer duty was also frozen and led to a contribution of £3.32bn.


Shamrock Farms launched Cold Brew Coffee and Milk across US

Arizona-based dairy firm Shamrock Farms launched a new cold brew coffee beverage across the US.

After an initial launch in Arizona, the company released its new refrigerated product across major grocery and convenience stores in the country including Publix, ShopRite, Stop & Shop, and Giant.

Shamrock Farms' chief marketing officer Ann Ocaña said: "We're always looking for opportunities to grow and innovate and we see tremendous potential in the rapidly growing refrigerated, ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee category."


Heineken completed acquisition of Brasil Kirin Holding

Dutch brewing company Heineken completed an acquisition of Brasil Kirin Holding from Kirin Holdings.

On 13 February this year, Heineken entered an agreement to acquire Brasil Kirin for $664m. On 24 May, the Dutch brewer received the required regulatory approval from the Brazilian Competition Authority (CADE) for the acquisition.

Competition authorities have approved this transaction without any conditions.


Carlsberg launched Carlsberg Non-Alcoholic 0.5% organic beer in Sweden

Carlsberg launched its popular drink Carlsberg Non-Alcoholic 0.5% in an organic variety in Sweden.

It is now expected that more than one in three non-alcoholic beers sold in Sweden will be organic upon the products' introduction.

Carlsberg Sweden marketing manager Karin Atterfors said: “The great thing about beer is the taste, not the alcohol percentage, and we have seen that awareness about taste and ingredients has dramatically increased when it comes to beer.

“More and more consumers want to drink both non-alcoholic and organic; therefore, we are delighted to be able to combine the ‘green aspect’ with the non-alcoholic.”

"More and more consumers want to drink both non-alcoholic and organic; therefore, we are delighted to be able to combine the ‘green aspect’ with the non-alcoholic."


Yealands Wine Group completes sale of Crossroads Winery

New Zealand-based Yealands Wine Group closed the divestment of Crossroads Winery in Hawke’s Bay.

Yealands Wine Group did not divulge the financial details but stated that it will retain control of the brand.

Yealands had earlier stated it is open to selling the winery and its three vineyards separately reported Thedrinksbusiness.com.


Diageo agreed to acquire Casamigos for up to $1bn

Diageo signed a definitive agreement to buy Casamigos, a premium tequila brand in the US, for up to $1bn.  

An initial consideration of $700m will be paid and a further potential $300m will be given based on a performance-linked earn-out over 10 years.

The Casamigos brand was created in 2013 by Rande Gerber, George Clooney, and Mike Meldman.


Tesco introduced new range of low-alcohol wines

Tesco unveiled a new range of low-alcohol wines across all its stores in the UK.

The range includes Cabernet Tempranillo, Grenacha-Rosé, and a Sauvignon Blanc, all of which contain less than 0.5% alcohol.

Tesco's master of wine James Davis said: “With the consumption of alcohol in the UK down by 18% over the last decade, we're seeing increasing numbers of customers who want to enjoy the social aspect of having a drink and are looking for a quality wine drinking experience, but without the alcohol."


AB InBev to sell German beers brands Hasseroeder and Diebels

Reuters reported that Anheuser Busch InBev is selling its German beer brands Hasseroeder and Diebels.

The firm is looking at offloading non-core assets after its takeover of SABMiller in 2016.

AB InBev owns brands such as Budweiser and Stella Artois. The company sent out information to potential bidders.


MBWS to distribute Champagne Duval-Leroy in France

Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits (MBWS) secured a distribution deal from Champagne Duval-Leroy, which will become effective from 1 September.

This deal will see MBWS France distribute champagne on behalf of Duval-Leroy in Modern Trade.

It covers the distribution of permanent presentations of the Duval-Leroy brand, in addition to special vintages that will be introduced at particular campaigns and wine fairs.


Brockmans introduced two new cocktails

UK-based Brockmans Gin introduced the new Brockmans Curious Blue and Brockmans Herbal Sour cocktails that complement and enhance the botanicals and berries.

The Brockmans Curious Blue cocktail drink features a mixture of blueberry liqueur, lemon juice, blueberry puree and ginger beer.

On the other hand, the Brockmans Herbal Sour cocktail drink is made using gomme, which serves as a classic alternative to simple syrup, along with hints of muddled ginger and tarragon that pair with Brockmans botanical character.