Alcohol was main cause for hospital admissions last year, says PHE

A report published by Public Health England (PHE) revealed that around 338,000 people were hospitalised in England between 2017 and 2018 due to the consumption of alcohol.

Published as part of the ‘Statistics on Alcohol, England 2019’ report, these figures have risen by 15% in the last decade.

The figure was calculated using a combination of clinical coding and alcohol-attributable fractions (AAF), a methodology developed by North West Public Health Observatory that estimates what proportion of cases of a health condition are alcohol-related.

PepsiCo to buy Hormel Foods’ CytoSport business

PepsiCo agreed to acquire Hormel Foods’ supplements business CytoSport.

Based in California, the subsidiary’s muscle milk and other nutrition products contain high levels of protein for sports applications. They are sold to the US market.

The acquisition is said to be in line with PepsiCo’s current strategy and will support its protein business.

Nestlé to release first range of Starbucks-branded coffee products

Nestlé announced the global launch of a new range of coffee products under the Starbucks brand.

The Swiss transnational food and drinks company secured a $7.15bn licensing agreement with Starbucks in August last year. The deal gave Nestlé perpetual rights to market Starbucks’ consumer packaged goods and foodservice products worldwide.

Its new range of coffee products includes single-origin coffees and Starbucks blends, including Caramel Macchiato and Cappuccino.

UK’s WSTA estimated no-deal Brexit to cost wine industry £70m

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) warned that the wine industry may have to spend an additional £70m for import/export documentation if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The country had access to the EU’s Excise Movement Control System (EMCS), which kept track of alcohol shipments and documents consignments electronically. A no-deal Brexit would have resulted in the loss of this system and likely cause delays at ports.

Wine imported to the UK from a non-European nation has to be accompanied by a VI-1 form and lab tests results. With no Brexit agreement in place, this paperwork would also be required for shipments from the EU.

Constellation Brands to divest certain wine brands

Constellation Brands is reportedly planning to divest any of its wine brands that currently sell for less than $11 a bottle.

Constellation Brands CFO David Klein announced the plans during the food and consumer products event Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) in Boca Raton, Florida, US.

Klein was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Everything that’s not a power brand, you can assume that we’re either going to sell it, discontinue it or milk it very quickly over the next year or so.”

Diageo submitted plans for Johnnie Walker visitor centre in Edinburgh

Diageo submitted plans to the City of Edinburgh Council to construct a seven-floor visitor centre for the Johnnie Walker whisky brand.

Located on 146 Princess Street, the new centre will be part of Diego’s £150m investment in Scotch whisky tourism.

Diageo submitted a planning application to the building’s current owner Parabola. The proposal would see the restoration of the existing building and a clock tower on the corner between Princes Street and Hope Street.

AB InBev’s ZX Ventures acquired remaining stake in RateBeer

AB InBev’s venture capital arm ZX Ventures acquired the remaining stake in the consumer review site RateBeer.

The acquisition was confirmed by RateBeer’s co-founder Joe Tucker on the company’s website.

Tucker said: “While this won’t impact the day-to-day for anyone using on the site, I wanted to let you all know that ZX Ventures, a division of AB InBev, has fully acquired RateBeer.”

CCEP to spend more than €500m on customer service

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is planning to invest more than €500m ($567m) this year to improve its customer service.

This move is reported to be part of the company’s on-going multi-year €1.5bn ($1.7bn) investment programme, which focuses on new technology, supply chain capabilities and coolers.

CCEP CEO Damian Gammell said: “We’re investing in key areas of the business to make it easier for customers to do business with us, and to offer consumers a wider range of great products.”

Australian Vintage invested $7.8m in new wine bottling facility

Australian Vintage opened a new bottling facility at its Merbein site in Victoria.

The winemaker has made an A$11m ($7.8m) investment in the project to support both sparkling and still wine bottling for its McGuigan, Tempus Two and Nepenthe brands.

The facility will be able to package still and sparkling wines at 11,000 and 7,000 bottles per hour respectively.

Distell to invest £10.5m for Scotch whisky distillery renovation

Distell initiated a three-year refurbishment programme for its Bunnahabhain Distillery on the Isle of Islay, Scotland.

The company announced an investment of £10.5m for the programme, which will be used to upgrade the distillery.

The upgrade will restore several original buildings and increase their life-span. Other buildings will be removed and relocated to create more space and better operational flow across the site.