Coors Brewing Co. was named to Hispanic Magazine’s list of 100 US companies providing the most opportunities for Hispanics. In 1998 and 1999 Coors was cited by Fortune magazine as one of the best companies for Asians, Blacks and Hispanics.

The country’s major brewer Backus & Johnston SA (5.8 million hl) bought its main competitor Compania Cervecera del Sur SA (Cervesur) (1.3 million hl) by purchasing a minimum of 89% of Cervesur’s common shares, 45% of non-voting investment shares and 100% of Bottler Embotelladora Frontera SA’s common shares. This deal increases Backus, market share to almost 100%.

Labatt Brewing Co. has won a multi-year contract to brew and package Guinness stout for the US market. Although the duration of the contract has not been determined, Labatt expects to brew about 250,000 hl Guinness stout annually at its London, Ontario, plant. The Toronto-based brewer has been producing Guinness stout for the Canadian market since 1965. Until now the US market has been served by imports from Ireland.

According to Competitive Media Reporting, the brewing industry’s ad budget topped US$800 million in 1999. By comparison, the soft drink industry spent US$600 million on ads.

U.S. consumers still like their pop sweet and brown. Beverage Digest, a trade journal which tracks the sales of 192-ounce cases, announced that the biggest gainers in the US$58 billion carbonated soft drinks industry included the brands Mountain Dew (PepsiCo), Cadbury-Schweppes’ Dr Pepper and Coca-Cola’s Sprite. Table

Coca-Cola’s top management promised that the company would again deliver robust earnings growth of 15% in the long term after two years of stalled earnings, management shake-ups and the lay-off of 5,200 employees earlier this year. With a first quarter expected volume growth of 3%, the volume growth for 2000 should wind up in the 5% to 6% range, Gary Fayard, Coca-Cola’s chief financial officer has been quoted saying. But the financial markets are still waiting to see if Coca-Cola can return to its phenomenal record of earnings growth of 15% to 20%.

Anheuser-Busch Co., reported a 9.8% rise in first quarter net income and predicted similar results for the rest of the year, benefiting from a strong volume increase and beer price hikes. The St. Louis brewer announced net income of US$ 350.3 million compared with US$319.1 million in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose 4.7% to US$2.81 billion from US$2.69 billion. The results were helped by a 2.2% rise in domestic beer volume to 23.7 million barrels despite a price increase in February. International volume rose 15% to 1.5 million barrels due to gains in China and Britain.

Miller Brewing Co. has rolled out nationally three brands in plastic bottles. Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft and Icehouse are sold in 16- and 20-ounce plastic bottles. While Miller Lite and Icehouse are packaged in brown plastic bottles, Miller Genuine Draft is packed in a clear bottle. Miller began test marketing the plastic bottle in October 1998. Whereas Anheuser-Busch in 1999 decided to suspend its plastic bottle tests and Coors continues to explore the possibility, Miller went ahead with a national release. Plastic bottles will account for no more than 2% of Miller’s US sales this year.

Miller Brewing Co. has reshuffled its speciality beer portfolio, buying the remaining stake in the Celis Brewery Inc., an Austin, Texas-based brewer that was partly owned by Miller. In a related development, Miller sold its interest in the Shipyard Brewing Co., a Portland, Maine-based company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Miller bought stakes in both Celis and Shipyard in 1995 when craft brewing was all the rage. In 1999, Shipyard sold 24,000 barrels and Celis 15,000 barrels beer. This restructuring of the portfolio leaves Miller with only two speciality brewers in its portfolio: Leinenkugel and Celis. Miller’s US sales volume in the US in 1999 was 43.3 million barrels.

July is to be the American Beer Month, a national promotional campaign initiated by the Institute for Brewing Studies (IBS), Boulder, to raise the awareness of the variety and quality of American craft beer. The American Beer Month will provide many different avenues for celebration and promotion by brewers, brewers guilds, wholesalers, restaurants and other brewing-related companies across the nation. According to the IBS, 21 brewing organisations from throughout the US have given their endorsement of the American Beer Month campaign. For further information, see www.

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