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FoodBev Weekly News Bulletin – 30/06/23
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

30 June 2023

FoodBev Weekly News Bulletin – 30/06/23


FoodBev Media’s Melissa Bradshaw rounds up this week’s food and beverage news, including: Monster closes in on Bang Energy acquisition A notice of auction for the sale of Bang Energy owner, Vital Pharmaceuticals, has been cancelled with US-based Monster Beverage set to complete the acquisition. A court document filed on 28 June said that Monster subsidiary, Blast Asset Acquisition, was the successful bidder for Vital Pharmaceuticals’ assets. The document showed the two parties had entered into an asset purchase agreement whereby the assets were valued at $362 million. Vital Pharmaceuticals filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2022 to help the company recover from multiple lawsuits. Monster Energy was awarded approximately $293 million in damages, in a false advertising and trade secrets case against Vital Pharmaceuticals two weeks prior to the filing. The jury found Vital and its former CEO to have falsely advertised the “super creatine” ingredient of Bang Energy. Monster was granted a permanent injunction by the court in April, preventing Bang Energy from marketing its drinks as containing “super creatine” or any other form of creatine. Swire Pacific to sell Swire Coca-Cola, USA for $3.88bn Hong Kong-based conglomerate Swire Pacific has announced plans to sell its US unit for a total consideration of $3.88 billion. The sale to JS&S (Beverages), a unit of Swire Pacific’s parent firm, John Swire & Sons, is subject to the approval of Swire Pacific’s independent shareholders. Swire Coca-Cola, USA produces and sells Coca-Cola and other drinks in 13 states across the Western US. The Coca-Cola Company has authorised Swire Coca-Cola, USA to retain all of its rights under its existing bottling agreements after the change in ownership. Swire Pacific said that the sale is consistent with its strategic focus on Greater China and South East Asia and will help it to fund long-term investments with strong growth potential in its core divisions as well as new growth areas. Diageo ends business relationship with Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Diageo has ended its business relationship with Sean Combs after the rapper accused the company of racism in a US lawsuit. Diageo announced the decision to sever ties while formally responding to the lawsuit, which it called to be dismissed. The document released in relation to the lawsuit at the beginning of the month stated that Diageo starved Combs’ brands of resources for production, distribution and sales. A Diageo spokesperson said that Combs’ actions had “clearly breached his contracts” and left the company no choice but to end the relationship. The food and drinks giant said it had invested more than $100 million in the US DeLeón tequila brand and had “tried for years” to salvage the broken relationship with Combs. Combs’ attorney, John C. Hueston, said that Combs has complied with his contractual obligations related to funding, describing Diageo’s decision to end its deals with Combs as a “cynical and transparent attempt to distract from multiple allegations of discrimination”. WHO to declare aspartame sweetener as potentially cancerous Sources have revealed that in July, the commonly used artificial sweetener aspartame will be listed as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” for the first time by the World Health Organization's cancer research arm. Aspartame is used in many products including Coca-Cola diet soda, Müller light yogurts and Mars’ Extra chewing gum. The ruling is intended to assess whether something is a potential hazard or not. However, it does not take into account how much of a product a person can safely consume – this advice comes from a separate World Health Organization expert committee on food additives, as well as determinations from national regulators. Since 1981, the Joint World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization's Expert Committee on Food Additives has said aspartame is safe to consume within accepted daily limits. Ardent Mills launches bakery replacement products Flour-milling and ingredient company Ardent Mills has launched two new products, Ardent Mills Egg Replace and Ancient Grains Plus Baking Flour Blend. Ardent Mills Egg Replace is a replacement for dried and liquid whole eggs, designed to provide long-term cost efficiency and supply chain stability. It is made from four ingredients including chickpea flour, and is designed for optimal taste, function and ease of use in bakery applications. Ancient Grains Plus Baking Flour Blend is blended from whole-food ancient grains and chickpeas to provide more quality protein than traditional flours. Ardent Mills said it simplifies baked goods innovations and reduces reliance on added protein ingredients. Both products are gluten-free, plant-based and contain no major US food allergens.

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