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Breaking News on Beverage Technology & Markets

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Premium Indulgence

Premium is not the new normal, but as wealth levels increase in emerging markets, and affluent Western consumers crave difference, there's a real appetite for small batch, 'craft' products made with quality ingredients that command a higher price. The spirits world has always taken the lead, but the trend is spreading to beer, cider and even soda.

Product launches in the beverage aisle

What’s hitting the shelves? Ginger Ninja juice, vodka for women, Twix shakes and more

M&M’s peanut thick shakes, sweet and spicy Ginger Nija juice, and art-inspired vodka: just some of the beverages springing onto shelves across the globe.

Dispatches from Canadean International Beer Strategies Conference, Amsterdam

What's brewing in beer? Premiumisation, Africa, non-alcoholic and craft

Look beyond the headline figures and there are promising prospects for beer, according to Canadean. Opportunities include the African market, premiumisation, non-alcoholic beers, and the continued popularity of craft. 

Gin made with ants: Distillery adds new dimension to insect potential

A UK craft distiller and a Danish food lab have collaborated to produce Anty Gin: a product using the essence of red wood ants and botanicals. 

Dispatches from Vitafoods Europe

It’s getting juicy in the functional beverage aisle: Juices see success with healthy and natural positioning

Functional beverages are now less about fortification, and more about honing in on the natural health benefits of their ingredients, according to Innova Market Insights.

Keurig brings back My K-Cup reusable pods even though they conflict with DMR technology

Coffee company Keurig Green Mountain will bring back the reusable My K-Cup pod at the behest of a small, but passionate group of consumers in a move that ostensibly undermines...

Special edition: Authentic Tea Tastes

What’s next in tea? Functional claims, hot tea pods, and increased attention from Coca-Cola

Major soft drink players are turning their attention to tea as a focal point for innovation and volume growth, delegates at World Tea Expo will hear this week.

What does 170-year-old Champagne taste like? ‘Spicy, smoky – with fruity and floral notes’

Champagne salvaged from a Finnish shipwreck can offer winemakers new insights into wine conservation, according to researchers. 

Mars Drinks strikes deal with Taylors of Harrogate

Mars Drinks has sealed an agreement with Taylors of Harrogate to include its premium coffee and tea in Mars Drinks’s UK-wide portfolio of workplace products.

Whisky industry urges free trade to boost exports

Sinking whisky exports underline the need for the next government to press for more open markets and ambitious Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), urges the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

‘Consumers have an insatiable appetite for new experiences’

Message on a bottle: Personalized text lights up Medea Vodka bottles

Consumers can use their phones to programme personalized messages on bottles, with Bluetooth technology and an app launched by Medea Vodka. 

Behind the buzzword: Premiumization

Savvy shoppers and the potency of premiumization: Brands need to justify ‘premium’ tags

Consumers are prepared to pay for high-end products – but sticking the word ‘premium’ on a bottle is no longer enough, according to Mintel.

Classic cocktail craze: Gruppo Campari sees triple digit Campari growth in Argentina

Gruppo Campari is looking to Argentina and Brazil as key emerging markets for the group that are driving growth across the Americas.

‘Bridging beer’ and Chibuku to go: SAB Miller plays Africa’s price ladder

SAB Miller has stressed the importance of Chibuku and ‘affordable clear beer’ made using local ingredients as ‘bridging beers’ to trade Africans up to mainstream and premium brands.

Land of Fire and Honey...Jack Daniel’s fuels Brown-Forman

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire could replicate the success of Tennessee Honey, Brown-Forman says, as it pushes the cinnamon-flavored whiskey out across the US. 

Brown-Forman CEO: ‘Mixability & premiumization’ potential gives US whiskey edge over Scotch

Brown-Forman boss Paul Varga insists that Scotch and vodka are less versatile than American whiskey, as the distiller of Jack Daniel’s and Southern Comfort revealed its Q3 fiscal 2015 results.

South Africa calls for bulk wine withdrawal to ‘create value at origin’

The South African wine industry is keen to raise the country’s reputation as a premium wine producer by shifting its export emphasis from bulk to bottled.

Beverage bites: news up to February 26, 2015

George Clooney’s tequila, why a latte is less likely to spill than coffee, and more beverage bites

George Clooney’s tequila, a fire at Diageo’s Burghead Maltings and why a latte is less likely to spill than a standard coffee. Just some of the news nuggets in this...

Beam Suntory fights ‘frivolous’ lawsuit attacking Jim Beam bourbon's handcrafted credentials

Beam Suntory insists it will fight a US class action filed last week accusing the company of deceptive advertising for describing San Diego’s Jim Beam bourbon as ‘handcrafted’.

‘We don’t want your plonk!’ German wine consumers turn to higher quality wine

German consumers are prepared to pay more for a better quality still wine, says Mintel, as drinkers become sceptical of mass-production and demand authenticity and quality. 

Beer… and beyond! SAB Miller Latin America wants to grow in other beverages

SAB Miller wants to develop its premium beer portfolio in Brazil and increase beer consumption across LATAM, but also strengthen its hold on other beverage sectors in the region.

Direct to consumer sales will snare ‘significant revenues’ for US wineries: Wine Intelligence

US direct to consumer wine sales grew 15% in 2014 off a relatively low base, but will become a significant future revenue source for small to mid-sized wineries, according to Wine Intelligence.

Red Espresso hopes to capitalise on European coffee capsule explosion – with tea

‘We're not a commodity, we're a niche!’ Red Espresso puts rooibos tea in ‘coffee’ capsules

Red Espresso is launching its rooibos tea capsules in Europe, eyeing up a continent with an ingrained coffee culture and obsession with health, convenience, and coffee pods.  

‘Snack and beverage co-purchases beat peanut butter and jelly!’ Frito-Lay CEO Tom Greco champions PepsiCo's 'Better Together' policy

Frito-Lay CEO Tom Greco insists snacks and beverages occupy common ‘demand spaces’, and PepsiCo’s ‘Better Together’ approach gives it the scale to outpace its rivals at retail level.

Wake up and smell the coffee pods: Coffee shop culture leads to sales boom

Coffee pods are driving growth in the ground coffee sector, says FMCG market and shopper intelligence firm IRI, thanks to cheaper coffee machines and the popularity of the coffee shop...

Pernod Ricard CEO glosses Absolut sales slide: ‘The US vodka category is suffering’

Pernod Ricard CEO Alexandre Ricard admits that Absolut is under pressure in a ‘very challenged’ US vodka category where flavored varieties in particular are struggling.

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