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Major Events of the Global Beverage Industry in 2018

2018 is a busy year for the beverage industry. From marijuana to coffee, from Coca-Cola to brewed beer, let's review some of the major events that took place in the beverage industry in 2018.

What are the major events of the beverage industry in 2018?

PepsiCo bought Soda Stream for $3.2 billion

PepsiCo has incorporated SodaStream, an Israeli foaming water brand, into its investment, announced its acquisition in August and completed the deal in December.

SodaStream allows consumers to convert tap water into a flavored bubbly drink at home, tapping into trends in personalized and customized products.

Both SodaStream and PepsiCo have emphasized their commitment to sustainable development by focusing on a concept that does not depend on disposable plastic bottles.

Similarly, Danone announced a major investment in Berlin-based start-up Mitte in August. This investment is an intelligent household water supply system that converts ordinary tap water into mineralized water.

Introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) in Scotland

After six years of court proceedings, Scotland became the first country in the world to introduce minimum unit pricing (MUP) for alcohol in May.

The bill sets a minimum unit price of 50p as a measure to help address the damage caused by cheap, high-strength alcohol.

It is estimated that the cost of alcohol abuse in Scotland is 3.6 billion pounds ($4.9 billion) per year, the UK has the highest alcohol-related mortality rate. The Scottish government says MUP is expected to save 392 lives in the first five years.

Opponents of MUP argue, however, that there is no link between alcohol price and the reduction of alcohol-related hazards, and that MUP distorts competition by punishing efficient and low-cost alcohol producers.

Opening up cannabis space

Canada legalized leisure marijuana in 2018, and interest in such marijuana has surged. More markets are expected to relax cannabis laws to varying degrees in the coming years. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo said they had no plans to enter the cannabis product category.

Reform of sugar tax

Sugar taxes have been introduced in key markets such as the UK, Philippines and South Africa on the basis of momentum over the past few years. In 2019, people will pay attention to these markets.

In 2018, sugar tax in the United States, Ireland, Estonia, France, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Chile, Sri Lanka and many other markets has also become news. However, sugar tax is controversial. With various markets trying to introduce, abolish, transform or resist tax revenue, sugar tax has become a continuous battlefield.

Prepare to levy plastic packaging tax

In October, Britain confirmed plans to impose a "world-leading" tax on plastic packaging in 2022, including plastic bottles, pallets and cans. The tax will apply to plastic packaging with less than 30% recyclable ingredients. In 2018, plastic pipettes have been the focus of attention. Many companies have promised to ban plastic pipettes from their businesses, including Disney, Poly Liga, Starbucks, Diageo and Scotch Whisky Association.

A record number of breweries

Statistics show that breweries on both sides of the Atlantic are booming. In October 2018, there were more than 7,000 breweries in the United States and more than 9,500 in Europe.

In both markets, the growth of small businesses and refined breweries has led to the growth of breweries. The American Brewers Association says that in the United States, small breweries and bars are the "growth engines" of refined beer. European brewers attribute the prosperity of breweries to the rise of small breweries and small and medium-sized enterprises. Innovations in the field of beer brewing on both continents are still growing, although the data from Intelligent show that Europe is now a hot spot. Five years ago, the retail market share of brewed beer in North America was 52%, compared with 29% in Europe, but now it accounts for 19% in North America and 54% in Europe.

Bottled water boom goes beyond all other categories

Another milestone in 2018 comes from the category of bottled water. Bottled water is used to be a fairly common and boring drink, but now it will surpass all other soft drinks in the world. Consumer health concerns are a key factor in the growth of this category. Water provides calorie-free, pure hydration. In other markets, bottled water can guarantee consumers' safety and quality.

Coca Cola bought Costa coffee

Coca-Cola entered the coffee industry in a big way, announcing in August its acquisition of Costa coffee, based in the United Kingdom. Costa, founded in London in 1971, is now the world's second largest coffee chain, with footprints in China and more than 30 other countries. Essentially, the acquisition helped Coca-Cola leap into one of the fastest growing categories of coffee drinks. This category grew by 6%, currently worth about $0.5 trillion.

Nestle acquired Starbucks retail brand

Lavazza acquired Mars' coffee business

Looking forward to new changes in beverage industry in 2019.