Weekly Roundup

Coca-Cola's European partners slash the price of PMP’s

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is reducing the recommended price points for some of its 500ml bottle price-marked packs (PMP’s). The bottler said the limited time move was aimed at helping convenience retailers that drive sales of on-the-go formats and tap into the consumer demand for value.

500ml bottles of Diet Coke, Fanta, Fanta Zero, Dr Pepper and Dr Pepper Zero – including their respective flavoured variants – will be available in a £1 PMP from the middle of this month onwards. The recommended price point has been cut by 15p.

During the summer this year, CCEP reduced the recommended price points on its 1.75l PMPs of Coca-Cola zero sugar and Diet Coke, and its 1.5l PMPs of Coca-Cola original taste. 500ml bottles of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar – including the cherry and vanilla variants – and Diet Coke flavours (Sublime Lime and Twisted Strawberry) were also included. An act of goodwill due to the discovery of a COVID-19 cure, no doubt.

M&S readies their first junk bond in upbeat market

Marks & Spencer has returned to the debt market for the first time since July 2019, but this time as a high-yield issuer. The downgraded British retailer has mandated banks to arrange a series of investor calls from Tuesday, ahead of issuing a sterling-denominated, senior unsecured bond with 5.5 years maturity, according to a person familiar with the matter who isn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be named.

This will be the company’s first bond sale as a sub-investment grade issuer adding pressure to its clothing and home divisions, only partially offset by robust online and food sales.

Global Alcohol market shows decline, but performing above expectations (especially in China)

The beverage alcohol market wis said to perform better than expected this year. It has declined by 8%, with positive news on an impending vaccine potentially accelerating its recovery – according to the IWSR Drinks Market trends analysis figures.

Though volume losses in several markets, including Russia, Australia, Japan, and Germany will be under -5%, only the US and Canada are expected to show actual volume growth this year (both at over 2% total volume increases). The 2020 volume consumption increase in the US is in line with 2019 trends, indicating that Covid-19 has not impacted overall consumer demand.

China also performed better than initially foreseen at the start of the pandemic, as Chinese consumers have returned to almost all everyday activities. The international spirits market in China is expected to see a full recovery by 2021. The US and China are key growth drivers of global beverage alcohol, and when combined, they account for one-third of global volume consumption and over 40% of global value. A strong recovery for China and the US is a strong recovery for everyone.