FoodBev Media’s Phoebe Fraser rounds up this week’s food and beverage news, including:
Asda completes £2bn EG Group acquisition
Asda Group has announced that it has completed the acquisition of EG Group’s UK business for an enterprise value of £2.07 billion.
Announced earlier this year, the deal aims to accelerate the supermarket giant’s growth in convenience and foodservice.
The acquisition forms part of Asda’s strategic plan to create a value-led convenience offer by rolling out Asda Express across EG UK’s 365 predominantly freehold sites – which include modern convenience stores on petrol filling stations and benefit from high footfall and traffic flow.
Asda said its growth strategy in the convenience market is a key part of its long-term ambition to become the UK’s second-largest supermarket. The purchase of EG Group’s UK business will create a group with expected combined revenues of nearly £28 billion, serving around 21 million customers every week.
Treasury Wine Estates acquires Daou Vineyards for $900m
Treasury Wine Estates is acquiring US wine business Daou Vineyards as it looks to accelerate its focus on luxury wines. The deal includes an upfront consideration of $900 million, plus an additional earn-out of up to $100 million.
Founded in 2007 in California, Daou was said to be the fastest-growing luxury wine brand in the US market over the past year.
The deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, includes the brand, Daou Mountain Estate and hospitality site, four boutique luxury wineries and approximately 400 acres of vineyards in the Adelaida district of Paso Robles.
The acquisition is subject to US anti-trust approval.
Keurig Dr Pepper to distribute Electrolit in the US
Keurig Dr Pepper has announced a new distribution deal with Grupo PiSa, through which it will sell and merchandise the Electrolit sports hydration beverage across the US.
The partnership marks KDP’s expansion into the sports hydration category and is designed to significantly expand Electrolit’s distribution, continuing to accelerate the brand’s growth.
In a statement announcing the deal, KDP said that Electrolit is growing at a strong double-digit rate in the US, where it already generates more than $400 million in retail sales, and has increased more than ten-fold over the past five years.
The transition of Electrolit distribution to KDP will occur in early 2024. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Notpla announces the “first and only” plastic-free packaging in the Netherlands
Notpla’s seaweed-based packaging is now “the first and only” material to have been recognised as being plastic-free under the European ‘Single-use plastics’ directive.
The official environmental authority of the Netherlands mentioned thousands of other materials tested to have been classified as plastic. This includes technologies often claiming to be “plastic-free,” such as aqueous dispersion coating which contains microplastics.
However, Notpla’s natural seaweed-based packaging is said to be the first and currently only material to have been recognised as being truly plastic-free, following a nine-month assessment process where evidence, results and materials were shared for the investigation.
Notpla uses natural extracts found in seaweed which provide the grease and moisture resistance required by food boxes for performing their function without any chemical modification.
Doritos unveils “world’s first” silent snack for gamers
Doritos and PepsiCo’s in-house agency Sips & Bites, has unveiled ‘Doritos Silent,’ the “world’s first” AI-augmented snack – powered by ‘Crunch Cancellation’.
The technology cancels the sound of the crisps’ crunch for gamers in real time as they game with each other, solving what Doritos says is a genuine consumer tension.
The new concept is powered by ‘Crunch Cancellation’ technology, where the sound of someone’s voice is separated from the noise of the crisps’ crunch. The AI then works to stop the crunch audio from being sent down the microphone – meaning gamers can snack without it distracting them from their game.
Under development for six months, the process involved the technical analysis of more than 5,000 thousand different Doritos crunch sounds to create a database. From these recordings, Doritos ‘Crunch Cancellation’ technology utilises AI learning audio driver technology to provide gamers with an uninterrupted playing experience.
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