Big brewers’ news

Molson Coors Canada is focusing to make hard seltzer a high priority this year with an upgrade to the Toronto facility which expands the capability to produce spirits and malt-based hard seltzers. The expansion, coming in 2022, quadruples the facility’s capacity and includes the installation of reverse osmosis, nanofiltration technology, a flavor kitchen, a blender and canning line. RMI – A continuation of the transformation beyond beer for Molson Coors and greater production flexibility to meet widening consumer preferences.

Carlsberg announced support for the implementation of global standards for online alcoholic sales issued by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). The IARD comprises 12 beer, wine and spirits companies who work with online retailers to apply robust standards across the entire supply chain to combat harmful drinking. RMI – With increased e-Commerce volumes this is a critical initiative to promote responsibly consumption.

AB InBev is partnering with Embark a driverless truck technology start-up, and several shippers and cargo haulers (Werner Enterprises, Mesilla Valley Transportation and Bison Transport) to test Embark’s autonomous trucking system. Embark started in 2016 and has a fleet of 16 autonomous trucks moving refrigerated and dry goods for clients, currently operating with human safety drivers where US state law requires. RMI – Finding qualified truck drivers is a major problem in the US, and technology like Embark’s offers a long-term solution to address this problem.

Heineken announced several management appointments. Erin Antan joined Heineken as Asia Pacific Corporate Affairs Chief. Hans Essaadi was appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Breweries Plc as of July 31st 2021.

Heineken makes an offer for a majority stake in Distell, a South African beverage company focused on wine, spirits and cider. The transaction would potentially include Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (Amarula and Viceroy distribution) and Bunnahabhain Scotch whisky. To complete the transaction, competition concerns could result from both companies holding strong positions in the cider market. RMI – Another example of brewers expanding beyond beer to provide a wider range of alcohol products.

Marston’s (Carlsberg UK JV partner for brewing operations), recorded a pretax loss of £105M for their H1 fiscal period, citing post-lockdown sales hitting 80% of pre-pandemic levels. The company also indicated that it drawn down £164M of the £280M bank facility, which is in place until 2024. RMI – Results clearly indicate the negative impacts from the pandemic and the degree required to return to pre-Covid profitability. It is good to see Marston’s continued investing in pub infrastructure to better deal with social distancing and related space limitations.

Beverage companies are setting up relief initiatives to support India’s terrible Covid-19 situation. AB InBev and Diageo committed oxygen concentrators, essential aid kits, masks and test kits across the country. Further support including funding to help government hospitals with oxygen plants and mini-bed hospital units. RMI – Great support from these companies in helping a country ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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