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FoodBev Weekly News Bulletin – 02/06/23
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

2 June 2023

FoodBev Weekly News Bulletin – 02/06/23

FoodBev Media’s Siân Yates rounds up this week’s food and beverage news, including:

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs accuses Diageo of racism in US lawsuit American rapper Sean Combs is suing Diageo, accusing the British drinks giant of racism, and of deliberately undermining a joint-venture spirits brand. In a court filing, lawyers for Combs say Diageo and its executives have deliberately “typecasted” Cîroc vodka and DeLeon tequila, deciding they are “black brands” that should be targeted only to “urban consumers”. Combs says that Diageo choked off production, distribution and sales of the two brands. The artist's lawyers are seeking a court order “to provide the equal treatment” they say Diageo “contractually promised”. Combs plans to seek “billions of dollars in damages due to Diageo’s neglect and breaches” in a separate lawsuit. In a statement, a Diageo spokesperson told FoodBev that the company “categorically denies the allegations” made and will “vigorously defend” itself in the appropriate forum.

PepsiCo opens its most sustainable factory in EuropePepsiCo has established a new factory in Poland, described as the company’s greenest facility in Europe. The plant emphasises the industry’s increasing recognition of the circular economy as a framework to help address global food system challenges. It will house new sustainability solutions that demonstrate aspects of a circular economy in action. These include collecting rainwater and heat process water for reuse and generating its own energy via rooftop solar panels. The plant is set to be climate neutral by 2035.

Asda acquires majority stake in EG Group UK supermarket chain Asda has agreed to purchase the majority of UK-based petrol forecourt convenience retailer EG Group’s UK and Ireland fuel, foodservice, grocery and merchandise business. The sale – valued at £2.27 billion – is said to be a “transformational” step for EG Group, as it strengthens its platform to further invest in its strategy to roll out foodservice, grocery and merchandise to create multi-purpose convenience retail sites across its estate. The deal will also accelerate EG Group’s strategy to deploy emerging fuels and EV chargers under its proprietary brand, evpoint, across the existing site network and third-party locations.

Heineken buys back €333m in shares from FEMSAHeineken has bought €333 million worth of its shares from Mexican Coca-Cola bottler, Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB (FEMSA). The beer giant purchased approximately 2.5 million shares in Heineken at a price of €92.75 per share (totalling €235 million) and approximately 1.3 million shares in Heineken Holding at a price of €77.25 per share (totalling €98 million) for an aggregate amount of €333 million. Credit Suisse and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek are acting as advisors to Heineken. The purchase is part of the sell-down offering by FEMSA of €2.7 billion in Heineken shares and €1 billion in Heineken Holding shares at the same prices per share, which was successfully completed today.

DSM-Firmenich expands lactase enzyme rangeDSM-Firmenich has unveiled Maxilact Next, which the company says is “the fastest pure lactase available on the market”. Maxilact Next enables customers to achieve a 25% reduction in hydrolysis time, producing lactose-free milk faster than its existing range of efficient Maxilact enzymes. DSM-Firmenich says that 70% of consumers worldwide are unable to properly digest lactose and that its portfolio of Maxilact enzymes provides solutions for manufacturers to optimise their raw material usage, increase yield and productivity, and maintain the highest quality standards.

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