OK, Tell Me More?
Last week, Constellation Brands, the owner of Corona beer, announced that it would increase its investment in Canopy Growth – Canada’s largest medical marijuana producer. The deal, valued at ~R59.5 billion, will give Constellation a 38% stake in the cannabis producer.
Hmm, Go On?
It turns out that investing in cannabis companies isn’t the only way brewers are trying to diversify* their portfolios. Earlier this year, another beer maker, Molson Coors, acquired a kombucha (think fermented tea) startup, while Heineken has recently developed an initiative aimed at delivering cold brew coffee – alongside their beer – to your home.
What’s The Issue Brew?
Experts believe the alcohol industry is going in the same direction as the tobacco industry. An increased global focus on public health and physical wellbeing is making alcohol less popular.
Initially, big beer companies started to acknowledge the trend and looked to the craft beer market to mitigate the slowdown in sales. However, the volumes of craft beer sales have also started to nosedive in the US – signalling to the globe that brewers need to start looking into new markets for attractive returns.
Where To From Here?
In addition to getting more creative in their offerings (think cannabis, kombucha and cold brew) big beer companies have also started to consider low alcohol and non-alcoholic beer and cider brands.
Locally, 2017 saw AB InBev, the world’s largest beer company, launch Castle Free – a non-alcoholic version of the popular brew. AB InBev has also highlighted that it aims for 20% of its total sales to come from low-alcohol and non-alcoholic products by 2025. So, we’re likely to see more of these options on the shelves in the future.