MillerCoors, the North American joint venture between SABMiller and Molson Coors, seemed to have timing on its side when it launched last summer. The partnership became official only weeks before news that its largest competitor, Anheuser-Busch, would soon become part of the even larger InBev. The news could have been troubling to the new partnership, but becoming a more powerful competitor is exactly what brought the two brewers together and what it spent months preparing for ahead of the merger.
The MillerCoors joint venture has created an expanded brewery network throughout the United States that allows the company to move beer production closer to distributors, increasing product freshness and reducing the number of miles beer is trucked to its ultimate destination. Miller Brewing’s hometown brewery in Milwaukee, Wis., for example, is set to take on production of some Coors brands and put it closer to the 125 Midwest distributors it serves.
Beverage cans come in all shapes and sizes these days, and while demand for traditional 12-ounce sizes has dropped, the market for slim cans, super-sized 16- and 24-ounce cans, and smaller 8-ounce sizes is keeping canning technology on its toes.
Despite challenging economic forecasts for 2009, more than half of respondents to Beverage Industry’s annual Product Development Survey expect their research and development budgets to remain in line with last year’s spending, and more than one-third believe they will see an increase.
As consumers become more discerning about ingredients, the search for a wider, more user-friendly range of natural color options continues to dominate beverage color development. Ingredient companies are finding new sources for color and new systems to make them more stable in finished formulations.
Icelandic Water Holdings opened the doors of a new bottling facility in Ölfus, Iceland, in September, hoping to bring a taste of Iceland to the rest of the world through its Icelandic Glacial bottled water.