Beverage Bites: News up to April 17, 2015

Kruger and cognac, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola’s sports sponsorship, and more beverage bites

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Actress Diane Kruger became Martell Cognac's ambassador this week
Actress Diane Kruger became Martell Cognac's ambassador this week
This week Danone and Nestlé both posted healthy results for their waters businesses, while PepsiCo scored a basket with NBA sponsorship. Meanwhile, two barrels of cognac will shortly start making their way across the Atlantic in an 18th century replica frigate...

Read on for more nuggets of news in this week’s Beverage Bites feature.

Three-pointer for PepsiCo as it takes NBA sponsorship from Coca-Cola

PepsiCo and the National Basketball Association (NBA) have signed a multi-year marketing partnership.

The deal marks the end of a 28-year partnership between Coca-Cola and the NBA. 

PepsiCo becomes the official marketing partner of the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association, NVA Development League, and USA Basketball, as of next season. 

However, Coca-Cola has hardly been left out in the cold - it announced its partnership with the United States Soccer Federation and Major League Soccer (MLS) on Monday as well.

Danone’s water business sees sales increase…

Danone’s waters business reported a 18.9% increase in sales (8.6% like-for-like change) as it released its Q1 2015 results on Wednesday. 

Sales were worth €1.1bn in the first quarter of 2015, compared to €895m in the first quarter of 2014.

Danone’s water brands include Aqua and Evian.

Growth was driven by a 6.7% increase in volume and 2% increase in value, with ‘very good performance’ in Europe, the company said. Growth was also attributed to steady gains made by brands such as Mizone and Aqua in Asia.

Overall, Danone’s Q1 sales (across its divisions of waters, dairy and nutrition) were up 4.8% (like-for-like) to €5.5bn , in line with its roadmap.

… as does Nestlé…

Nestlé Waters keeps delivering ‘solid, broad-based organic and real internal growth’ across all its regions, the company said this morning as it issued its Q1 results. 

Emerging markets saw double-digit growth, while developed markets had mid-single-digit growth. Overall, the company reported sales of CHF 1.7bn ($1.78bn), with 7.3% organic growth and 7.5% real internal growth. 

Strong growing brands include Nestlé Pure Life; premium international brands Perrier and S.Pellegrino; Erikli (Turkey); Al Manhal (Saudi Arabia); Buxton (UK); and Yunnan Shan Quan (China).

For the company overall, Nestlé saw sales of CHF 20.9bn ($21.9bn), showing 4.4% organic growth and 1.9% real internal growth. Organic growth in emerging markets was 6.7%.

Diane Kruger, in a photoshoot with Mary McCartney

Diane Kruger becomes Martell Cognac’s ambassador

As Martell House celebrates its 300th anniversary this year, hollywood actress and model Diane Kruger has become the brand’s ambassador. 

The cognac brand says she “personifies the very essence of modern-day French Art de Vivre, elegance and style.”

Kruger studied at Cours Florent, a prestigious French private drama school. 

And finally... ship-shape US sales for cognac

Two barrels of Hennessy cognac will set sail this weekend on a voyage from France to the US, on board a replica frigate. 

The French company has seen a drop in sales to China, and so is turning its attention to the US instead. (Cognac exports in 2014 were up 13% to the US, compared to a fall in 26% to China, according to Bloomberg). 

The frigate is a handcrafted replica of the Hermione, the frigate that - in 1780 - delivered Marquis de Lafayette and French troops to General Washington - a historic voyage that “changed the course in our quest for independence,”​ explains The Friends of Hermione-Lafayette.

The reconstructed Hermione has taken 17 years to build, and will sail 3,819m across the Atlantic with the cognac on board. 

The barrels will be auctioned off once they reach the US. 

See the related news section below for more of this week's news.

The replica frigate

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