Beverage World presents the latest news from across the worldwide beverage market.

A-B InBev, Coke express concerns over FIFA charges

Anheuser-Busch InBev and the Coca-Cola company, major FIFA sponsors, are publically expressing concern about the arrests and allegations surrounding soccer’s global governing body. From Coke’s statement: “This lengthy controversy has tarnished the mission and ideals of the FIFA World Cup and we have repeatedly expressed our concerns about these serious allegations…” (MarketWatch)


Distillers take a shot at lower liquor taxes

Large and small distillers have united in a push to lower federal excise taxes on distilled spirits, which could increase their profits and make liquor cheaper for consumers. The Distillery Innovation and Excise Tax Reform Act, which was introduced last week, would reduce the federal excise tax on distilled spirits from the current $13.50 per proof gallon to $2.70 on the first 100,000 gallons for all distillers. Once the 100,000 gallon threshold is reached, the bill would reduce the excise tax to $9 per proof gallon. (bizjournals.com)


A-B talks expansion of Florida can plant

A subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch is considering a major expansion of its can manufacturing plant in Jacksonville, Fla. Metal Container Corp. is promising to spend $170 million and hire 75 new employees at an average salary of $75,000 a year. The proposed incentive package from the city is up to $12,045,000, according to legislation being filed with the Jacksonville City Council. (Florida Times-Union)


Nestle taps into bottled water on-demand

Nestlé SA says its U.S. water home-delivery business grew twice as fast as shipments to brick-and-mortar stores last year. In the first quarter of this year, it grew three times faster, and Nestlé expects the momentum to continue. (Dow Jones Business News)


Growth in Illinois craft beer predicted with new law

In an agreement hailed by both brewers and distributors, an updated law is expected to come before the Illinois General Assembly this week that clears up a patchwork of rules that brewers have long criticized as stymieing growth and innovation. The new legislation would allow a brewer to make 120,000 barrels of beer per year — well more than almost every brewery in Chicago — while operating as many as three retail facilities, such as brewpubs and taprooms. Current law, which has been cobbled together over years of negotiations, limits brewers to 30,000 barrels of production if they own multiple types of breweries. (Chicago Tribune)


Former Pepsi CEO Sculley on creating the Pepsi Challenge

John Sculley, former Pepsi CEO, relishes the moment Pepsi marketing surpassed Coca-Cola. Speaking at the Socialbakers Engage conference in Prague Sculley said: “Most people don’t realize Pepsi was a regional brand, not nationwide. In markets throughout a large part of the South West we were outsold ten to one by Coca-Cola. We knew from a taste test that the two were comparable so we created a campaign called Pepsi Challenge which first launched in San Antonio, Tex.” (Marketing Magazine, U.K.)