Headlines

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

Wirtz Announces New National Leadership Team

Wirtz Beverage Group announced a new National Leadership Team composed of four company leaders. Danny Wirtz, Julian Burzynski, Art Wirtz and Ed Callison will all now serve as executive vice president. Under the new structure, each executive will oversee dedicated areas of business and the state affiliate teams in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada and Wisconsin. “Investment and change is nothing new to Wirtz Beverage,” said Rocky Wirtz, President Wirtz Beverage Group. “Early on, we made a commitment to do the things needed to remain a state-of-the-art distribution business with topline service to all our partners. With our national team, we’ve created a model to do just that, focused on long-term success and growth.”

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First Beverage Launches Small Brand Fund

First Beverage Ventures, the private equity arm of First Beverage Group, a financial services firm focused exclusively on the beverage industry, has announced that it has launched a new private equity fund which will invest in small and emerging beverage brands. The fund’s limited partners include The Coca-Cola Company’s Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) group, the successful and experienced beverage distributor David Kahn, and high-net-worth individuals and family offices. First Beverage plans to invest in emerging beverage companies and services within the next two to three years with opportunities for follow-on investments.

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Coke & Pepsi Earnings Better Than Expected

t's been a good week to be in the soda business. While the debate over whether Pepsi or Coke taste better will probably go on forever, there's no denying the beverage companies have fairly healthy balance sheets. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola both reported better-than-expected earnings this week, proving to investors that consumers still like their soda (or pop if you're from the Midwest) and snacks. (CNN Money)

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Diageo Sees Slowdown in Emerging Markets

Diageo said third-quarter sales increased, aided by a strong performance in the United States, but also revealed a sharp slowdown in key emerging markets. Group sales, excluding acquisitions, disposals and currency effects, grew 4 percent in its third quarter, or the three months to the end of March, Diageo said in a trading update. That compared with a 6 percent increase in the same part of its previous financial year. Volumes meanwhile slid 1 percent, AFP reports. (Hong Kong Standard)

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SABMiller Revenue Up 7 Percent

lobal brewing giant SABMiller plc (SAB) has reported a 7 percent rise in group revenue on an organic‚ constant currency basis for the 12 months ended March 2013. Releasing its full year 2013 trading update on Thursday‚ SABMiller reported group revenue per hectolitre (hl) was up 3 percent‚ reflecting excise-driven price increases and the impact of regional mix. Including the impact of the Foster’s transaction and other acquisitions and disposals‚ and after adverse currency translation effects‚ reported group revenue for the year was up 10 percent. (iAfrica)

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Pure Vida Enters Fla. Through RNDC

Pura Vida tequila founder and chairman Stewart Skloss has announced that Republic National Distribution Company (RNDC) has been commissioned to be Pura Vida’s distributor in the premier tequila market of Florida under the tutelage of RNDC regional President, Tom White, effectively expanding Pura Vida’s current reach into eight states. “Pura Vida Tequila is excited to partner in Florida with RNDC – best in class and highly recognized in the industry, they are the perfect partner in this expansion. We are lucky to be working with such Florida industry leaders as Bill Wickham and Bill Barnes, with their direction and support, we are going to make some great waves- Florida way” said Skloss.

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