We had a couple of game-changers last week. Well, one-and-a-half.
- The shoo-in game-changer dropped early on Monday, when Gruppo Campari announced its plan to take control of Lascelles deMercado, the parent company of the Appleton Estate and Wray & Nephew Jamaican rum brands. The transaction, which is true to type, according to one analyst, sees what we always felt to be an under-invested pair of brands paired with a company that makes no secret of its intentions to buy and to boost.
- Meanwhile, the maybe-maybe game-changer followed on Wednesday, when Britvic and AG Barr said they are in talks over a possible merger. Should the move complete – and there is still a way to go yet – we could be looking at the creation of “one of the leading soft drinks companies in Europe”, according to Britvic. The merger would also provide some much-needed relief to Britvic's shareholders, according to one analyst.
- Away from the M&A scene, SABMiller decided to go back to basics in Australia. The brewer, which has inherited a market share headache in the country from Foster's Group, is returning its Victoria Bitter brand to its original abv, while restoring the beer's full name and old tagline.
- The wine world will be looking at the US market with fresh eyes this week, after research published last week claimed the sector is taking share from beer and spirits in the country. While the likes of Moscato have helped to improve the lot of wine in the country, the category is also benefiting from its versatility and approach to innovation.