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European Business News – Week ending June 17, 2011

 Breaking News
  • Florette Further Expands its UK Business In line with its strategy to be a major player within the UK fresh produce category, Florette UK & Ireland (part of the French Agrial group) has acquired the Wigan site of MyFresh Prepared Produce, a producer of a wide range of salad and vegetable products. MyFresh, Wigan, which employs almost 300 people and was [...]...
  • FrieslandCampina Simplifies its Organisation Royal FrieslandCampina intends to simplify its organizational structure into four to be set up global business groups – Consumer Dairy, Specialised Nutrition, Ingredients and Basic Dairy. A less complex structure will enable FrieslandCampina to more decisively respond to the market developments and to innovate better with respect to strategic priorities. The objective of the new [...]...
  • Heineken’s Acquisition of Punch is Cleared The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has accepted proposals by Heineken to resolve concerns over its £402.7 million acquisition of Punch Taverns, one of the UK’s largest leased pub companies, with a portfolio of more than 3,500 pubs nationwide. In June, the CMA said that Heineken’s proposed purchase of part of the Punch Taverns estate [...]...
  • Changing Consumer Tastes Drive Long-term Global Sugar Market Slowdown The consumers’ shift away from sugar consumption is an important driver behind significant changes in the food and beverage industry. These changes will have long-term ramifications, including a likely slowdown in the worldwide sugar market, according to the latest report of Rabobank ‘Sweetness and Lite’. A combination of changing preferences, product reformulations and government pressure have [...]...
  • How is the Rise of E-Commerce Changing the Role of Physical Stores? The rise of the internet has allowed retailers to directly connect with consumers from beyond the physical store revolutionising the competitive space more than ever. The world recently saw the acquisition of Amazon and Whole Foods which sent shock waves through the retail industry. This unforeseen merger has put retailers under pressure more than ever [...]...
  • SPX FLOW Appoints Pierre Sbabo as Vice President, Food and Beverage in EMEA SPX FLOW has announced the appointment of Pierre Sbabo as the Vice President of its Food and Beverage business in EMEA. He comes from a strong background in the water and process technology markets with truly international experience. With a Master’s Degree in Marketing and International Business from ESC Chambery, Sbabo has worked for global leaders [...]...

European Business News – Week ending June 17, 2011

June 19
19:42 2011

In a week when the famous Tetley Brewery in Leeds shut its doors for the last time, after 186 years of business, reflecting the continuing decline in the overall UK beer market, three other stories told a different story. Tetley owner Carlsberg UK first announced its plans to close the Leeds brewery, resulting in the loss of 140 jobs, in November 2008. Tetley production is being out-sourced to Marston’s brewery in Wolverhampton, and to Molson Coors in Tadcaster.

However, while the Tetley Brewery was closing, English regional brewers Fuller, Smith & Turner and Shepherd Neame were reporting solid trading, despite the deep economic recession.

London-based Fuller, Smith & Turner increased profit before tax by 16% and turnover by 6% last year. Its total beer volumes increased by 2% as the company again grew its share of the UK ale market. Fuller’s flagship London Pride brand is the UK’s leading premium ale and this year became the number one free trade cask ale by value in Britain.

Headed by its quintessentially British Spitfire brand, Kent-based Shepherd Neame, which is Britain’s oldest brewer, reported that own beer volume grew by 3.6% for the 48 weeks to 28th May 2011.

Cask Ale Revival

Although the UK beer market is in long-term decline, regional brewers have been able to grow sales in the traditional cask ale sector. As the UK beer industry has consolidated, the large international brewers – Heineken UK, Carlsberg UK and Molson Coors – which now dominate the industry have tended to focus on their larger brands and to the neglect their cask ale brands. Indeed, some of the larger national brewers no longer produce cask ale.

This market vacuum has been filled by regional brewers and small craft breweries (microbreweries) which have helped to fuel and to capitalise on growing consumer demand for a greater diversity of traditional and innovative, locally produced beer. In addition to Fuller, Smith & Turner and Shepherd Neame, other regional brewers such as Marston’s, Greene King and St Austell Brewery, have been driving and benefiting from the revival in real ale.

Craft Brewing Renaissance

Julia Austin, managing director of Tyne Bank Brewery, with head brewer Mark McGarry.

The real ale renaissance has also seen the number of breweries in the UK, which had fallen to just 200 in 1970, increase to over 750 last year. The latest of these new craft breweries is Tyne Bank Brewery, a 20 barrel plant, opened in the North East of England. The enterprise has been established on the site of the old Hadrian & Border Brewery by former chemical engineer Julia Austin, who aims to sell her ales to independent pubs, wholesalers, chains, private individuals and event organisers in the North East region.

Dairy Consolidation

Meanwhile on the international front, French group Lactalis is about to become the world’s largest producer of dairy products after receiving clearance from the European Commission to proceed with its Eur3.4 billion bid to acquire the 71% of Parmalat, its Italian counterpart, that is does not already own.

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