Beverage bites: news up to April 24, 2015

Heineken sees Asian growth, wine gets the comedy treatment, and more beverage bites

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

"Mate, we are trying to make some good TV here!" Plonk launches season 2 trailer
"Mate, we are trying to make some good TV here!" Plonk launches season 2 trailer
This week Ball Corporation announced expanded capacity for can ends at a Poland plant, while Coca-Cola said it was eyeing up the growing plant-based protein drinks market in China. Meanwhile, South Australia’s wine industry looks forward to its starring TV role. Read on for more nuggets of news in this week’s Beverage Bites feature. 

Heineken’s growing Asian market

Heineken’s group revenue grew 2.2% organically with group revenue per hectolitre up 0.3%, the company said as it released its Q1 trading update on Wednesday.

Highlights include growth in the premium segment across most markets, with volume in the sector up 6.2%. Vietnam, Brazil, China, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Canada and the UK contributed to this growth in particular.

Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific showed the largest volume growth: consolidated revenue grew 9.9% organically and volumes grew 11%. Group beer volume grew 8.4% organically, with double-digit growth seen in Vietnam, Cambodia, and the export markets of Taiwan, Korea and Hong Kong.

Coca-Cola China eyes up plant-based protein drinks

Coca-Cola China has announced its intention to acquire Xiamen Culiangwang Beverage Co, a company that produces plant-based protein drinks.

The deal is worth around $400m.

Xiamen Culiangwang’s best-selling products include green bean, red bean and walnut variants, sold under the brand China Green Culiangwang.

Coca-Cola said the proposed acquisition will help it “provide a diverse range of beverage products to Chinese consumers, with plant-based protein drinks representing a growing beverage category in China.”

Flying dragon: Heineken Russia and Rexam launch rice beer can

Rice beer brand Feilong has new packaging (pictured right) thanks to a partnership between Heineken Russia and beverage can manufacturer Rexam.


Feilong’s Chinese cultural influence is seen in the use of two shades of white (reminiscent of silk) for the backdrop, and a flying dragon in multiple colours. The beverage itself is described as a premium lager.

Cans are produced at Rexam’s Argayash plant in Russia and distributed across Eastern Siberia and Far East areas of Russia.  

Beverage can end production in Poland from Ball

Ball Corporation will expand capacity for can ends at its Lublin plant in Poland, it announced on Thursday.

The company says 60 jobs will be created in the country as a result, with room to expand operations as the market in central and eastern Europe grows.

The Lublin facility was built in 2008 to make metal beverage cans. Investment was suspended and beverage can manufacturing equipment was redeployed to Ball’s facility in Belgrade in 2010, following the economic downturn in 2008. 

Now, the Lublin plant offers the ‘optimal location’ for beverage can ends, Ball said.

And finally… More Plonk, anyone?

Tourism officials in South Australia are looking forward to the second season of Plonk, an Australian satirical comedy.

Plonk follows ‘the trials and tribulations of a small television crew as they try to produce a unique, engaging and credible wine program… failing miserably along the way.’

The first series was set in New South Wales, but series two (which will be premiere in June) will be based in South Australia. The trailer for the series was released this week.

“The show is quirky, irreverent and creative and plays beautifully to South Australia’s strengths​,” said Leon Bignell, minister for tourism. “South Australian wineries, restaurants, events and winemakers feature heavily throughout the six episode series, showcasing our regions and experiences to a national and international audience.

The series will feature the Barossa, McLaren Vale, Clare, Coonawarra, Adelaide Hills and Adelaide regions. 

plonk 5
Filming plonk in McLaren Vale - 'a barrel of laughs'

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