September's top stories: Fonterra cuts lead-time for UHT products, Yili’s yogurt drinks

Fonterra has cut down the lead-time for UHT milk exported to China by 70%, Chinese dairy firm Yili launches two UHT yogurt drinks and Kingsley Beverage plans to build its first European plant in Peterborough, UK. Drinks-Insight-Network wraps up key headlines from September.


Fonterra reduces lead time for UHT milk exported to China by 70%

New Zealand-based multinational dairy company Fonterra has cut down the lead-time for UHT milk exported to China by 70%.

This will allow the dairy co-operative to advertise the freshness of its milk in the Asian country, which is its biggest market.

The company stated that it reduced the lead-time for UHT products exported to China from 100 days to just 34 days.

It focused on every aspect of the supply chain, from production, sailing time and schedules to customs clearance in order to bring down the lead time.

Chinese dairy firm Yili launches two UHT yogurt drinks

Chinese dairy company Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group has partnered with SIG Combibloc, a packaging manufacturer, to launch two new UHT yogurt drinks, which contains alginate balls filled with juice.

Intended for teenagers customers, the drinks have been produced using SIG Combibloc’s Drinksplus technology and are available in two flavours, apple and strawberry, in 250ml cartons.

SIG Combibloc's Drinksplus solution has enabled the company to fill products with 10% solid pieces using conventional beverage filling machines.

Corby Spirit and Wine to acquire Domaines Pinnacle's spirits business

Corby Spirit and Wine, a Canadian marketer and distributor of spirits and imported wine, has signed an agreement to acquire the spirits assets of Domaines Pinnacle, a Quebec-based spirits and cider producer, for $12m.

The deal includes Domaines Pinnacle's spirits portfolio of Canadian brands, including the unique Ungava Premium Canadian gin brand, Chic Choc spiced rum, and a range of maple-based liqueurs, including Coureur des Bois and Cabot Trail, in addition to related production assets and inventory.

Following the completion of the deal, the brand portfolio and other assets acquired by Corby will be operated as Ungava Spirits, which will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corby, incorporated to purchase the Domaines Pinnacle spirits assets.

Skinner’s Brewery adds new bottling line at Truro facility in UK

UK-based Skinner’s Brewery has installed a bottling line at its site in Truro, which will double its bottled ale production.

The Cornish brewer has made a major investment in its site, as part of its strategy to meet the growing demand for its bottled ale range.

The company said that its new bottling line enables it to expand distribution further outside the South West market.

Skinner’s Brewery commercial director Mike Pritchard said: “Our new bottling plant will ensure Skinner’s is well-placed to roll out our expansion plans and in doing so create five new jobs within Cornwall; the new facility has already created new positions."

Boxed Water expands product distribution in Southern California

US-based packaged-water company Boxed Water Is Better (Boxed Water) has partnered with Haralambos Beverage Company and John Lenore to expand distribution of its products across Southern California.

Boxed Water selected the two companies as they both also agree with its commitment to sustainability by seeking to reduce their carbon footprint and through their support of reforestation efforts.

Apart from its latest expansion in Southern California, the US-based packaged-water company plans to expand the distribution of its product across the country, by partnering with additional distributors.

Kingsley Beverage plans to build its first European plant in Peterborough, UK

Kingsley Beverage, a South African drinks manufacturer represented by Savills, has secured a build-to-suit deal for its first manufacturing plant in Europe at Peterborough Gateway in Peterborough, UK.

The South African beverage company will invest £36m into the project.

The company submitted a planning application and construction is expected to begin this month following receipt of approval.

The new facility will be spread across 150,000ft2 and will include manufacturing, warehouse and office spaces. It will be developed by Roxhill Developments.

Sazerac acquires The Last Drop Distillers

Sezerac, a US spirits brand, has acquired The Last Drop Distillers, a global producer of exclusive spirits.

Financial details of the transaction have not been divulged by either company.

The existing Last Drop Distillers team will continue to run the business autonomously.

The Last Drop Distillers co-founder and chairman James Espey said: “This acquisition marks the next stage of The Last Drop Distillers story that will see us take the brand into the next phase, while retaining and building on our core values of exclusivity, craft and excellence."

MillerCoors introduces Zumbida in the US

MillerCoors has launched Zumbida, a beverage inspired by traditional Mexican aguas frescas, in the US.

The drink reportedly comes in a fruity flavour that is characteristic of aguas frescas.

The drink is available in select US markets, including Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and Denver. It has a hint of carbonation and a touch of alcohol. The drink is reported to have a crisp, clean finish, and contains 4.2% alcohol by volume (ABV).

Benromach Distillery launches Benromach Hermitage 2007

Benromach Distillery, a UK-based producer of Scotch whiskey, has launched Benromach Hermitage 2007 in its Wood Finish range.

This latest whisky follows the launch by the company of limited edition Wood Finish expressions Hermitage 2005, Château Cissac 2006 and Sassicaia 2007.

The company claims that its new product has been initially matured in bourbon barrels for six years, and then the spirit was transferred to oak casks for a further 31 months.

United Liquors to distribute Flaming Leprechaun Spirits in US

3 Hearts of Ireland and Malcolm Brown, the brand owners of Flaming Leprechaun Spirits, have signed an agreement with Massachusetts-based United Liquors for the distribution of their products in North America.

United Liquors is a division of Martignetti Companies, a wholesaler of wine and distilled spirits in New England, as well as the one of the largest distributors in the US.

Flaming Leprechaun will be available in Massachusetts from this month and in New England by the end of the year. Malcolm Brown intends to expand the product throughout the US over the next two years.