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Consortium Of China’s Coke Bottlers Has Reaped Significant Benefits

May 1, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The China Bottlers Purchasing Consortium (CBPC), a Coca-Cola/bottlers group created in 2002 to share procurement knowledge and best practices, has become an effective way for Coca-Cola to undertake supply chain initiatives, including implementing World Class Operations (WCO) across the supply network. The eleven suppliers who now comprise the CBPC WCO are strongly focused on operational excellence, a priority that has helped them achieve a turnaround in performance, revenue, and growth. Between November 2017 and March 2020, the collective value of the profit improvement projects (PIPs) undertaken across the supplier network totaled more than $800,000. Other benefits for Consortium members include increased competitive advantages, reduced materials waste, the creation of sustainable value for customers, and reduced consumption of electricity and water.
Graeme Faulkner, "Coca-Cola Suppliers in China Share Their Quest to Become World-Class", Industry Week, May 01, 2021, © Endeavor Business Media LLC
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Siemens, Squire Coke China Launch Digitalization Initiative

April 13, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The Munich, Germany-based technology company, centered on manufacturing, infrastructure, and transportation, will work with Swire Coca-Cola on digitalization of Swire’s plant construction, supply chain intelligent management, and training of digital talent. They will also jointly build digital plant benchmarks in the beverage industry to promote digital transformation of Swire Coca-Cola in China and around the world. The manufacturing information system (MIS) customized by Siemens for Swire Coca-Cola was applied to its digital production line in Hangzhou. Swire expects that the new initiative will result in an annual production capacity of 550 million cans of Coca-Cola.
"Siemens, Swire Coca-Cola partner on digitalization", TradeArabia News Service, April 13, 2021, © Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group
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Eat Real Tries Again To Enter Chinese Market

April 12, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
The U.K.-based maker of healthy snacks – hummus and lentil chips, quinoa puffs, etc. – has been successful at distributing globally. But it ran into a snag when it tried marketing in China two years ago. The company was working with three different distributors, and sold its products via online channels such as Tmall. But the Chinese distributors sold the snacks under three different names, confusing consumers and sparking a price war. The company eventually abandoned the market last year. Now, after reorganizing its business strategy and brand positioning for China, the firm expects to enter the country within the next months. It will bring in only six SKUs, instead of 20, and work with a single distribution partner.
Guan Yu Lim , "Rebrand and reintroduce: U.K.’s Eat Real outlines second attempt to enter China with clean and healthy snacks", Food Navigator ASIA, April 12, 2021, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Swire Coca-Cola Builds Bottling Infrastructure To Keep Pace With China’s Growth

March 16, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
Despite continuing uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, the Hong Kong-based Coke bottler is investing heavily in advanced production capabilities, digital supply chains, and ecommerce channels in China. Swire executives say China's resilient economy and stable social environment – not to mention its effective control of COVID-19 – have ensured a strong domestic consumption market, while supporting a global supply chain. Swire’s sales revenue surged 34 percent year-on-year in the first two months of this year, after it saw sales increase by two percent in 2020.
Zhong Na, "Coca-Cola bottler seeing robust growth in China's recovery", China Daily, March 16, 2021, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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Danone’s New Honest To Goodness Non-Dairy Creamer Brand Targets Younger Market

March 15, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
As more consumers brew coffee at home, the company hopes its new line of plant-based creamers will appeal to younger coffee drinkers looking for sustainable and transparent sourcing. Gen Z coffee drinkers, who consume about 28 billion cups of coffee a year, are looking for transparency in product sourcing, while Millennials are committed to sustainability: 75 percent shop with the environment in mind. In the 52 weeks ended Feb. 20, sales of non-dairy coffee creamers are up 32 percent from the same period a year ago, according to Nielsen data. Danone’s Honest to Goodness brand is partnering with environmental organization EarthDay.org, in an effort to promote sustainability by planting trees in Madagascar.
Katie Tsai, "Danone looks to grab more coffee creamer sales with launch of plant-based Honest to Goodness brand", CNBC, March 15, 2021, © CNBC LLC
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Stockholders Push Danone To Divest Stake In Chinese Dairy

March 1, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
According to reports, disgruntled Danone shareholders have pushed the company to sell its $2 billion stake in Mengniu dairy later this year to fund stock buybacks and boost shareholder returns. The announcement came hours before Danone’s board met to discuss its response to calls from investors such as Artisan Partners Asset Management for management changes. Danone Chairman Emmanuel Faber’s suggestion that he shed his CEO role was later approved by the board of directors. Danone first took a stake in Mengniu in 2013. Its 9.8 percent holding is held indirectly in a venture with COFCO Corp., Mengniu’s biggest shareholder. Danone said that China will remain highly strategic for the company following the sale. 
Corinne Gretler, "Danone Plans to Sell China Dairy Stake to Appease Shareholders", Bloomberg, March 01, 2021, © Bloomberg L.P.
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President Of Suntory (China) Holding Says China Was A “Bright Spot” In 2020

February 8, 2021: 12:00 AM EST
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s global business slid by five percent in 2020. But China managed to buck that trend. According to Tetsuho Kikuchi, director president, the Chinese market turned out to be a rare bright spot where Suntory saw positive figures for 2020, as it did in 2019. This was due to the country’s effective prevention and control of the pandemic and the steady economic recovery. And because of that surprising performance, Suntory hopes to further increase sales in China from around $310 million to $3.1 billion over the next decade, expanding business from the eastern part to the whole country. Kikuchi said China is “the most important market in the world, and Suntory wants to keep pace with China’s growing economy.”
Huang Yixuan, "China now Suntory's most important market", Shine.cn, February 08, 2021, © Shanghai Daily
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Nestlé’s Functional Powdered Milk Product For Adults Approved In China

December 16, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The company claims the product, introduced under the Yiyang Active brand, has been clinically proven to enhance mobility during aging by supporting bone health, muscle strength, and joint functionality. The move from the Swiss food giant comes as global consumers are increasingly concerned about healthy aging. The powdered beverage is the first Nestlé product with functional food approval in China. It was developed by Nestlé R&D and clinically tested in a collaboration between Nestlé and the Peking University Third Hospital.
Elizabeth Green, "Healthy aging in China: Nestlé unveils functional milk beverage supporting mobility", Food Ingredients First, December 16, 2020, © CNS Media
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Nestlé To Sell Yinlu Peanut Milk Brand To Chinese Firm

November 25, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The company will sell its Yinlu peanut milk and canned rice porridge businesses in China to Food Wise Co., Ltd. The deal includes all of Yinlu's operations, including its five factories in Fujian, Anhui, Hubei, Shandong and Sichuan. Yinlu brands had sales of $767 million in 2019. The transaction allows Nestlé to focus on the infant nutrition, confectionery, coffee, culinary, dairy, and pet care in China. Nestlé will retain its ready-to-drink (RTD) Nescafé coffee business and distribute the products across most of the Greater China Region. Yinlu will continue to manufacture the Nescafé RTD products for Nestlé and will distribute the products in several provinces. Yinlu will continue to manufacture and sell Nestea products under license from Nestlé.
"Nestlé agrees to sell Yinlu peanut milk and canned rice porridge businesses to Food Wise Co., Ltd.", GlobeNewswire , November 25, 2020, © GlobeNewswire, Inc.
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McDonald’s To Invest $382M In Promoting Its Coffee Brand In China

November 18, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The company plans to spend the money opening new McCafé coffee shops inside its 3,600 restaurants to capture some of the growing Chinese demand for coffee. The money will also be spent on upgrading equipment, marketing, and staff training. Coffee shops will be opened in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen by the end of the year. This will be followed by an expansion of its business in seven other cities including Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Xiamen.  By 2023, McDonald’s expects to run more than 4,000 McCafé outlets on the Chinese mainland. 
Emma Upshall, "McDonald’s to invest over $380m in Chinese coffee market", FoodBev Media , November 18, 2020, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Hangzhou Wahaha Group Modernizes Its Marketing To Reach Younger Generations

November 11, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The key strategy of the Chinese beverage company is to meet the needs of younger consumers while maintaining brand growth. Communicating with young people – including the generations born after 1995 and even 2010 – is a top priority. China's Generation Z (those born after 2010) have benefited greatly from global interconnectivity, scientific and technological development, and consumption upgrades. They are willing to pay for what they are interested in and what they value. Recognizing this, Wahaha has been marketing to niche segments, launching community-based and interactive campaigns targeting young consumers who share interests and hobbies, dubbed “tribes”' or “niche circles,” and who demand more personalized beverages. Wahaha advises beverage companies to switch from standardized production in bulk to individualized and customized production, while imposing more flexible yet strict conditions in terms of R&D, manufacturing, and product management.
Jenny Chan, "Wahaha targets China’s health boom, livestreaming and Gen Z’s ‘tribes’", WARC, November 11, 2020, © Ascential Events (Europe) Limited
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Yili Now Ranks In Top Five Of World’s Dairy Companies, Rabobank Says

September 7, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
A survey by Dutch multinational banking and financial services company Rabobank ranked Chinese dairy producer Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co., Ltd. (Yili) among the top five dairy producers in the world. According to Yili, Rabobank reported that it is one of the Asian companies “making major moves,” moving into the top five after year-on-year growth of nearly 20 percent. Yili reported a total operating income of 47.53 billion yuan ($7 billion) in the first half of 2020. Yili said recent data showed its current production and sales are “now fully recovered” from the COVID-19 outbreak.[Image Credit: © Yili Innovation]
"Yili makes global top 5 in Rabobank's global dairy report", PR Newswire , September 07, 2020, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Coca-Cola’s Restructuring Aims To Streamline Operations Globally

September 4, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
As part of the comprehensive reorganization initiative announced last week, Coca-Cola is pruning its Africa business unit from the previous Europe, Africa & Middle East division and making it a distinct operation led by Bruno Pietracci, current Africa & Middle East business unit president. Europe will also stand on its own, led by Nikos Koumettis. The Middle East operations will be combined with Eurasia. Vamsi Mohan Thati, head of the South Pacific business unit, was appointed president of the Greater China business comprising mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Mongolia. South Korea will be paired with Japan as a single unit. Latin America, Europe, and North America will also have new operational leaders. Lastly, T. Krishnakumar, president of the India and Southwest Asia business unit, was named chairman of Coca-Cola India, and Sanket Ray, COO of the Mainland China business, was named president of India and Southwest Asia.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
Andy Morton, "The Coca-Cola Co splits off Africa in structural overhaul", just-drinks, September 04, 2020, © just-drinks.com
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Nestlé SA To Sell China Water Business To Tsingtao

August 28, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Swiss company said the sale to Tsingtao Brewery Group, which will include local brand “Dashan Yunnan Shan Quan” and factories in Kunming, Shanghai, and Tianjin, is part of a strategic cooperation agreement with the Chinese brewer. Tsingtao will produce and market the Nestlé “Pure Life” brand in China as part of a licensing agreement. Financial details of the sale were not disclosed.[Image Credit: © Nestlé Waters North America Inc.]
Sophie Yu and Brenda Goh, "Nestlé says will sell China water business to Tsingtao Brewery Group", Reuters, August 28, 2020, © Thomson Reuters
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Nongfu Spring’s Hong Kong IPO Expected To Raise $1B+

August 25, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Hangzhou, China-based beverage maker could raise more than a billion dollars by pricing its shares as high as $2.77 in its Hong Kong initial public offering. The company, which is selling 388.2 million shares, will start trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sept. 8. Five cornerstone investors have subscribed for stock in the sale, including fund manager Fidelity, hedge fund Coatue, and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC. The $1.08 billion IPO will be one of the largest in Hong Kong in 2020.[Image Credit: © Nongfu Spring]
Scott Murdoch, "China's Nongfu Spring to raise $1.1 bln in Hong Kong IPO", Reuters, August 25, 2020, © Thomson Reuters
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Australia May Block Kirin Holdings Sale Of Lion Dairy & Drinks To Chinese Firm

August 20, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
An Australian Financial Review report citing an unnamed source says “diplomatic issues” may be behind a government decision to block China Mengniu Dairy’s purchase of Lion Dairy & Drinks, owned by Japan’s Kirin Holdings. Australia’s competition regulator approved the $429 million sales in February, but the sale is opposed by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. The new comes against a backdrop of deteriorating diplomatic relations between Australia and China, after Canberra called for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. China, meanwhile, recently imposed dumping tariffs on Australian barley and halted beef imports from four Australian firms. China is Australia’s largest trading partner.[Image Credit: © LION]
Antonia Garrett Peel, "Australian government may block China Mengniu Dairy-Lion purchase deal", FoodBev Media , August 20, 2020, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Swire, COFCO Announce Further Investment Plans In China

August 17, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Two Coca-Cola China bottling partners have announced plans to further expand production capacity and build local supply chains in the country. Swire Coca-Cola (Hong Kong) plans to put six new production lines into operation, with a total investment of 250 million yuan ($36 million) and an additional annual output value exceeding 1.7 billion yuan ($245 million). The company will also add a plastic bottle production line to its plant in central China's Hubei Province, which is expected to be operational in May 2021. COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd. (Beijing), a joint venture with Coca-Cola, is building a 270 million yuan ($39 million) factory in southwestern province of Guizhou, its first in that region. The new plant, scheduled for operation by the end of 2021, will start with two advanced PET soda production lines with an annual capacity of 170,000 tons.[Image Credit: © Swire Coca-Cola HK]
"Coca-Cola continues to expand investment in China supply chain", Xinhuanet, August 17, 2020, © XINHUANET.com
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Nongfu Spring Plans $1B Public Stock Offering in Hong Kong Next Month

August 3, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The Chinese bottled water maker is expected to list its shares in Hong Kong as early as September if the IPO proceeds. Hangzhou-based Nongfu Spring reported a 17.3 percent year-on-year increase in total revenue to ¥24 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) in 2019, up from ¥20 billion yuan a year ago. It also recorded a 2019 profit of ¥4.95 billion yuan, a 20.6 percent increase from 3.61 billion yuan in 2018, according to its prospectus filed in April. The company’s planned development strategies include brand building, expansion of production capacity, investment in infrastructures, and exploration of overseas market opportunities. It is finalizing the purchase of its first overseas water source and production plant, Otakiri Springs, in New Zealand.[Image Credit: © Nongfu Spring]
Isabel Wang, "Chinese Bottled Water Giant Nongfu Spring Prepares for $1 Billion Hong Kong IPO in September", Pandaily, August 03, 2020, © Pandaily
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Luckin Coffee Chain Faces Punitive Actions After Financial Fraud Confirmed

July 31, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
After Chinese investigators confirmed that the Luckin Coffee chain, the country’s answer to Starbucks, had committed $300 million accounting fraud, the Ministry of Finance announced it would punish the company. The agency investigated two Luckin subsidiaries, as well as related companies and 23 financial institutions relating to the scandal, confirming that the coffee chain had fabricated sales of 2.25 billion yuan ($322 million) and revenue of 2.12 billion yuan ($304 million), and said it will move take punitive action that will be made public later. The scandal led to Washington tightening scrutiny of Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges. Luckin Coffee’s business model was built on outselling  rivals by quickly expanding its outlets and offering deep discounts to build the customer base. [Image Credit: © www.luckincoffee.com]
Iris Ouyang, "Beijing watchdogs to punish Luckin Coffee, related firms after confirming US$300 million accounting fraud", South China Morning Post, July 31, 2020, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd.
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China’s Wholly Moly Wants To Replace Rice With Whole Grains In Country’s Diet

July 24, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The young Shanghai-based company has its marketing eyes fixed on the country’s younger, more health-conscious generation with its instant oatmeal made of oat bran. The company raised several million dollars from C Ventures, led by a Hong Kong billionaire, to take advantage of China’s burgeoning health food market. “China has a severe lack of wholegrain food options,” said Claire Fang, founder and chief executive. “We want to introduce [whole grains] into young people’s diet in a way that is easy for them to embrace.” The market for natural health food in China is forecast to expand to $26 billion in value by 2022, an annual rate of 12 percent since 2017. Wholly Moly, which generates 90 percent of its income from e-commerce channels, including a store on Tmall, posted sales of $15 million in 2019 and hopes to triple that this year. The company works with farms and milling factories in the Midwest and northern U.S. as well as southern Canada, because the oats harvested there are said to be more aromatic and chewier than cheaper oats planted in China or Australia.[Image Credit: © Yum Delight, Inc./WhollyMolyChina]
Yujing Liu, "Health food start-up Wholly Moly aims to shake up the Chinese diet, swapping rice for American wholemeal oats", South China Morning Post, July 24, 2020, © South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd.
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Chinese Consumers Spending More On Healthful Snacks

July 22, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Thanks largely to the stay-at-home lifestyle enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, China's snack market is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years with a major trend toward fresh and healthful food, according to Beijing-based think tank EO Intelligence. The sales volume of China's snack market will reach three trillion yuan ($429 billion) in 2020 and surpass four trillion yuan ($572 billion) in 2025. Seventy-one percent of survey participants said snacks are important to their physical and psychological health; and more than 85 percent of snack-loving Millennials said freshness and healthful qualities are priorities in choosing snacks. Another report by U.K.-based Barclays Bank said Generation Z consumers pay a lot of attention to snack nutrition and prefer plant food.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
Zheng Yiran, "Consumer spending on healthy, fresh snacks rises", China Daily European Edition, July 22, 2020, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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Nestlé SA Settles On Six Major Bidders For Yinlu Foods Group

July 17, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
The list of bidders for the company’s Chinese business unit was trimmed to six, including three food and beverage companies and three private equity firms. Yinlu Foods Group, a maker of instant porridge and Nescafe ready-to-drink coffee, could fetch at least $400 million. Binding bids are due by the end of August from China Resources Beer Holdings Co., Tingyi Cayman Islands Holding Corp., Dali Foods Group Co., FountainVest Partners, Affinity Equity Partners, and Citic Private Equity Funds Company management have also been invited to participate in the bidding. Yinlu, which specializes in the production and sale of canned foods and beverages, was acquired by Nestlé in 2011.[Image Credit: © Yinlu Food Group Co., Ltd]
"Nestlé Narrows Bidders for Yinlu Foods Unit in China", Bloomberg News, July 17, 2020, © Bloomberg LP
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Food And Beverage Giant Wahaha Ponders Billion-Dollar IPO

July 3, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Chinese beverage company Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co. is considering an initial public offering that could raise more than $1 billion, Bloomberg reports. An adviser is working with the company on the IPO, which would probably take place in 2021. Wahaha markets products ranging from bottled water, yogurt drinks, and juice to instant noodles, sold in more than 30 countries, including Canada, Singapore, and the U.S. It maintains 80 production plants and employs about 30,000 workers. Bloomberg notes that Wahaha joins fellow Hangzhou-based beverage firm Nongfu Spring Co. in seeking a first-time share offering. Nongfu filed for its Hong Kong IPO in late April and plans to raise about $1 billion.[Image Credit: © Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co.,Ltd.]
"China Beverage Firm Wahaha Said to Mull IPO Above $1 Billion", Bloomberg, July 03, 2020, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Coke’s Costa Coffee Launches Cross-Branded Coffees In China

June 30, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Chinese branches of Costa Coffee will be serving in-store brewed Coca-Cola-flavored coffees – Latte and Cappuccino – in Chinese branches of Costa Coffee. The drinks are the first cross-branded products to come out of Coca-Cola's $4.9 billion purchase of Costa Coffee in 2019. The coffees, available since May, are part of the summer menu in China. A cold brew coffee designed to be served over ice will be available later. Meantime, PepsiCo is deepening its partnership with Italian coffee company Luigi Lavazza, which launched two new Lavazza RTDs in the U.K. last week.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
Andy Morton, "Costa Coffee brews Coca-Cola-flavored coffee for China", Just-drinks.com, June 30, 2020, © Just-drinks.com
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Carlsberg Partners With 7-Eleven In Hong Kong On Special Beer Promotion

June 19, 2020: 12:00 AM EST

Visitors will be able to sample a rotating selection of Carlsberg brews, beginning with Elephant Strong, Carlsberg Export, and Unfiltered, an unfiltered, full-bodied pilsner. Visitors between June 24 and July 21 can receive a limited-edition Carlsberg beer glass set when spending $60 or more.[Image Credit: © Carlsberg Breweries A/S]
Jenny Leung, "7-Eleven and Carlsberg open new concept store in Hong Kong", Time Out Hong Kong , June 19, 2020, © Time Out Hong Kong Company Limited
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Huiyuan Juice Products Now Featured On All Three Of China’s Major E-commerce Platforms

June 2, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Fruit and vegetable juice firm China Huiyuan Juice is reportedly investing heavily in its e-commerce platforms to maintain its leadership rank in the China Brand Power Index. Consumers can now purchase Huiyuan’s products – 100 percent juices, nectars, and juice drinks – in the Huiyuan Beverage Flagship store on the Pinduoduo platform, as well as on China’sother  e-commerce platforms, Tmall and Jd.com. Pinduoduo has 600 million active users, 3.6 million merchants, and an annual transaction volume exceeding $140 billion.[Image Credit: © Myriam Zilles from Pixabay]
Guan Yu Lim , "Packs a punch: Huiyuan Juice embraces new retail models as it seeks to hold on to top ranking", Beverage Daily, June 02, 2020, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Brazil’s Citrosuco NFC Orange Juice To Launch In China

June 1, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Brazilian orange juice supplier Citrosuco and Chinese premium juice company Zero Degree Fruit Shop are partnering to launch Citrosuco’s Mombuca in China. Mombuca is marketed as a unique variety of “not from concentrate” (NFC) juice from Brazil with a balanced taste between acidic and sweet. NFC is a small category in China, competing with fresh fruits and artisanal freshly squeezed juices (not commercially packaged). NFC is seen as a high-end drink for tier one and tier two white collar workers and mostly sold at convenience stores. Euromonitor pegs retail sales of NFC juice in China at $690 million by 2023. A smaller company than Nongfu Spring, Zero Degree is said to be more agile and bolder in experimenting with new flavor and taste.[Image Credit: © Citrosuco]
Hope Lee , "Brazil’s Citrosuco introduces new orange juice to China", IEG Vu, June 01, 2020, © IHS Markit
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Danone’s New Plant-Based Sports Drinks, Powders Debut In China

May 21, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Danone is targeting sports enthusiasts and exercise fans in China with a new plant-based sports nutritional beverage Vega One Sport and other Vega One plant protein powders sold online. Vega One has no artificial colors or artificial sweeteners, carries a U.S. non-GMO Certification, and has passed NSF Certified Sport international sports banned substance testing. Danone depends on China for at least ten percent of its global sales achieved a revenue growth of around 2.6 percent worldwide in 2019, The company hopes to increase plant-based sales worldwide from $2.19 billion in 2019 to around $5.5 billion by 2025. According to Nielsen, Danone led the world’s plant-based products in 2018.[Image Credit: © Danone S.A.]
Hope Lee, "Danone launching plant-based sports beverages in China", ihsmarkit.com, May 21, 2020, © IHS Markit
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Coca-Cola Expands High-Speed Bottling Capacity In Southwest China

May 19, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola continues to lay the groundwork for expansion in the Chinese market with the opening of a high-capacity bottling facility in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province. The new COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd (CBL) facility can make 120,000 cans an hour, making it the fastest fully automatic production line in the world, according to the company. The current industry average is between 66,000 cans and 90,000 cans every hour. The bottling line is also the only automatic production line in the global Coca-Cola system that can produce a variety of different packaging specifications at the same time. The company's first plant in China was built 21 years ago in Chengdu, where three new lines were built last year. CBL plans to accelerate production when the COVID-19 pandemic eases, increase investment in equipment renewal and technical transformation, and optimize and upgrade industrial capacity.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
"Coca-Cola sets up fastest bottling factory", English.Eastday.Com, May 19, 2020, © English.Eastday.Com
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Coke Sets Up JV With Chinese Dairy Giant To Sell Chilled Milk

May 13, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has set up a joint venture with China’s Mengniu Dairy Co to produce and sell chilled milk in the country. The JV is “a reaffirmation of its long-term commitment to the Chinese market” the company said. It will look to make full use of the advantages of both companies, including dairy development and processing techniques, brand influence, and distribution channels. The partnership will create a portfolio of consumer-centric beverages, according to a Coca-Cola statement.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
"Coca-Cola, Mengniu's JV to sell chilled milk", ECNS.cn/China Daily , May 13, 2020, © Chinanews.com
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Luckin Coffee Fires CEO, COO Over Fabricated Sales Reports

May 12, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Following an ongoing internal investigation that uncovered evidence of fraud by two of its top executives, Beijing-based Luckin Coffee Inc., a coffee company and coffeehouse chain with 4,507 locations in China, announced changes to its board of directors and senior management, effective May 11. The investigation shed light on “fabricated transactions described in the press release issued by the company on April 2, 2020.” Luckin fabricated sales last year of as much $310 million, according to a Bloomberg report. The company terminated CEO Jenny Zhiya Qian and COO Jian Liu, and forced their resignations from the board. The company said it also suspended six other employees “who were involved in or had the knowledge of the fabricated transactions.” [Image Credit: © www.luckincoffee.com]
"Luckin Coffee Announces Changes to Board of Directors and Senior Management", Luckin Coffee , May 12, 2020, © Luckin Coffee Inc.
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Coke’s Costa Coffee Chain Will Introduce New RTD Coffees In China This Year

April 30, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
U.K.-based coffee chain Costa Coffee will debut its RTD Black Americano and Classic Latte drinks this year in China, in what is seen as a crucial market for the Coca-Cola-owned firm. The launch marks an important step in its multi-category expansion strategy, which was accelerated after Coca-Cola acquired the company last year. According to Chief Operating Officer Shakir Moin, China is a priority target because the coffee market is growing, with RTD coffee expected to increase the fastest though it is increasingly competitive. The mission is to offer busy consumers both high-quality coffee and convenience. The company plans to distribute the RTD products into Tier-1 and 2 cities first, which Moin cited as “high-potential markets,” before gradually entering other cities. The products will be available on e-commerce platforms, as well as in retail channels such as hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores, traditional grocery stores, and vending machines in the country.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]
Guan Yu Lim , "Coca-Cola-owned Costa Coffee seeks to crack China’s booming ready-to-drink market", Beverage Daily, April 30, 2020, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Nestlé Unveils Q-Cup Machine That Makes “Superfood” Smoothies, Shakes

April 27, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has launched a new Q-cup machine that enables people to create healthful drinks from natural ingredients at home or in the office. nesQino, launched in China, comprises a silent, digitally connected Q-cup machine, superfood sachets, and three base sachets: smoothie, oat shake, and milk shake. Users can make 21 “superfood” drink recipes designed by nutritionists using fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, roots, microalgae, and probiotics. Complementary base sachets are made from dairy milks, cereals, and plant-based ingredients. The company uses advanced flash-freezing and drying techniques, and patented powder technologies, to naturally preserve ingredients without additives, preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors. The packaging is recyclable in China.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]
"Nestlé launches nesQino to create healthy, customizable superfood drinks", Nestlé , April 27, 2020, © Nestlé
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Coca-Cola Says It’s In China “For The Long Term,” Coronavirus Or Not

March 15, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s top executive for China and Korea says the company is committed to the region, no matter what happens with the coronavirus.  “We are here for the long term,” says Curt Ferguson, who notes that China is the company’s next biggest market. “We’re here to invest. We’re here to build it.” China is Coca-Cola’s third largest market in terms of unit case volume. The company sees great opportunities in this important market and will continue to invest for long-term growth, Ferguson said. The company’s annual report noted that the Covid-19 virus situation continues to evolve, “and the company expects to provide more information during its next earnings call in April.” Ferguson, president of Coca-Cola Greater China and Korea, thanked the Chinese government for their quick and decision action in tackling the coronavirus. “I just wanted to give our appreciation to all the first responders out there – the nurses and doctors that kept us all safe. You kept us strong.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
Dave Makichuk , "Coca-Cola boss: We’re sticking with China all the way", Asia Times, March 15, 2020, © Asia Times
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Coke Partners With Chinese Online Retailer JD.com To Explore Innovative Recycling Methods

January 22, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola and China’s largest online retailer JD.com have partnered in a search for new plastic recycling technology. The Chinese company will apply its nationwide logistics system in a pilot project to help collect used beverage bottles from households. The collected bottles are being sent to recycling facilities in partnership with Coca-Cola, where they’ll enter the circular value chain. JD.com launched its Green Stream Initiative in 2017 to reduce the environmental impact of logistics activities. Between June 2017 and December 2019, the company cut use of disposable packaging by nearly 30,000 tons, saving a million tons of paper. Coca-Cola unveiled its World Without Waste initiative two years ago to help collect and recycle the equivalent of 100 percent of its packaging globally by 2030. The recycling partnership was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.[Image Credit: © JD.com]
"Coca-Cola, JD.com to launch recycling program in China", JD.com, January 22, 2020, © JD.com
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Chinese Study Links Longer Life, Less Heart Disease, With Tea Drinking

January 15, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
A recent study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found an association between tea consumption and reduced risks of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, especially among consistent, habitual tea drinkers (i.e., three or more times a week). Habitual tea drinkers had 1.41 more years than nondrinkers free of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, and lived 1.26 years longer. Of the 100,902 Chinese adults in the study, 31.6 percent drank tea three or more times per week at baseline. Standardized questionnaires were used to collect data on tea consumption. The median follow-up was 7.3 years.[Image Credit: © Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay]
Jeff Gelski, "Study links tea to longer life expectancy", Food Business News, January 15, 2020, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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Wahaha Set To Enter Bubble Tea Market In China

January 15, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
China’s largest beverage maker, Hangzhou Wahaha, announced it is entering the already crowded milk bubble tea market in the near future. Wahaha's sales have slid since reaching a peak in 2013, and the company is desperately in need of new products. The Chinese bubble tea market has tremendous potential: the expected market size could be as much as $72.6 billion. There are thousands of players in the market, each offering different ingredients, prices, marketing, and product design. Meanwhile, Chinese consumers are said to be shifting from low-quality tea to new tea products with better ingredients or design. [Image Credit: © Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co.,Ltd.]
Lin Zhang, "Chinese beverage giant Wahaha enters bubble tea market", Cgtn.com, January 15, 2020, © Beijing ICP prepared NO.16065310-3
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Chinese Coffee Company Debuts Smart Vending And Coffee Machines

January 8, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Beijing-based Luckin Coffee Inc. announced it has launched unmanned smart vending and coffee machines. The Luckin Pop vending machines will be placed in office buildings, bus terminals, airports, on college campuses, and at other locations. The smart vending machine and the Luckin Coffee Express machine are new channels in the "unmanned retail network" that Luckin is building. The company says the innovations eliminate payroll and rental costs, as well as other expenses. At the end of 2019, Luckin Coffee had 4,507 self-operated stores. Luckin stock has nearly doubled – up 96.3 percent – over the past three months. [Image Credit: © www.luckincoffee.com]
Tonya Garcia, "Luckin Coffee launches smart vending machines, Luckin Pop", MarketWatch, January 08, 2020, © Marketwatch, Inc
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New Chinese Craft Brewery Is Carlsberg’s First Outside Of Europe

December 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Danish brewer Carlsberg said it has officially put into operation its new craft and specialty brewing facility in Tianchang, China, as it seeks to expand premium and specialty product lines. The new brewery is the company's first local plant for draught beer to be established outside of Europe. Carlsberg Beer Anhui Co Ltd, a wholly owned unit of Carlsberg, has invested more than $14 million in the new brewing facility, with a production capacity of 10 million liters a year, will be a central hub for craft and specialty product lines such as K1664, Greenberg, and Brooklyn. The brewery will serve the China market as well as the rest of the Asia Pacific region. [Image Credit: © Carlsberg Breweries A/S]
Ding Yining, "Carlsberg opens new craft, specialty beer facility in Anhui", Shine.cn, December 13, 2019, © Shanghai Daily
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Mythical Chinese Emperor Inspires New Range Of CBD-Infused Teas

November 26, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Connecticut-based start-up Sh’nnong Beverage Company, co-founded by former PepsiCo exec Jill Beraud, has introduced a range of plant-based and CBD-infused iced teas in more than 500 Vitamin Shoppe stores in the U.S. Each Má Functional Iced Tea with CBD+ Natural Botanicals “elevates” the benefits of CBD infusion by combining it with nearly 20 herbs and spices “inspired by the original Má brews of Emperor Shennong,” a mythological deity in Chinese folk religion. The drinks, naturally sweetened and containing fewer than ten calories, are available in three CBD variants: focus, with ginkgo biloba, gotu kola, and rhodiola rosea; relax, with caffeine-free bai mudan tea blended with chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, elderflower, and passionflower; and detox with green tea, lemon, chamomile, schisandra berry, and dandelion root. Each flavor is available for $4.99.[Image Credit: © Sh'nnong Beverage Co.]
Jules Scully, "Sh’nnong Beverage Company releases CBD-infused iced teas", FoodBev Media Ltd, November 26, 2019, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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China’s Mengniu Dairy Buys Australia’s Lion Dairy From Kirin

November 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Two weeks after Australian authorities conditionally approved Mengniu Dairy’s (China) acquisition of infant formula producer Bellamy, the company has agreed to buy Australian Lion Dairy & Drinks from Kirin Holdings for $407 million. The deal includes all white milk, milk-based beverages, yogurt, juice and water ice brands and assets, as well as Dairy & Drinks’ licensing agreement for the Yoplait brand. Mengniu will own Lion’s beverage unit’s international business and its share of the joint ventures with Vitasoy Australia Products and Capitol Chilled Foods Australia. The deal does not include Lion’s alcohol businesses in Australia and New Zealand, nor its Lion Little World Beverages firm.[Image Credit: © China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited]
Emma Upshall, "Mengniu makes $407m offer to acquire Lion Dairy & Drinks", FoodBev Media , November 25, 2019, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Wahaha Founder Is On A Quest To Modernize His Company

November 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Zong Qinghou, the 74-year-old founder of China’s largest privately held beverage company Hangzhou Wahaha Group, is determined to come up with fresh product ideas and modern operational modes to rekindle consumer interest in his company. Analysts say Wahaha hasn’t kept pace with changing consumer tastes in China, where consumers are looking for beverages that are innovative and new. “Wahaha is still very price-focused, and hasn’t captured the trading-up trend as well as it could have,” says one analyst. While he concedes that Wahaha’s products was once perceived as cheap and old-fashioned, Zong says he’s working to modernize his products. The company recently launched a major upgrade of packaging and ingredients, has expanded into nutritional tablets and meal replacement biscuits, and plans to increase the current number of 6,000 distributors to 10,000 by year end. Perhaps most importantly, however, is Zong’s willingness to experiment with social media and e-commerce. He has promised to lift sales by at least 50 percent next year, to $10 billion.[Image Credit: © Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co.,Ltd.]
Yue Wang, "China's Richest 2019: King Of Beverages Zong Qinghou Aims To Revitalize Wahaha", Forbes Media, November 06, 2019, © Forbes Media LLC
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Coca-Cola Unveils BodyArmor Hydration Beverage On China’s Tmall Platform

November 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola China is introducing a second hydration sports drink – Powerade debuted there earlier this year – using its Chinese language Tmall store. The company said that by introducing BodyArmor on Tmall it is taking advantage of China’s digital eco-system and range of e-commerce platforms “to expand our touch points with consumers.” BodyArmor is sold in the Coca-Cola Tmall store at premium retail prices of $15.30 for a pack of six bottles and $30.60 for 12 bottles. The regular variant comes in 11 flavors, including pineapple coconut and strawberry banana. Two other variants – BodyArmor Lyte and BodyArmor Sportwater are not yet available in China. Coca-Cola purchased a minority stake in BodyArmor in August 2018; it is managed by the company’s Venturing and Emerging Brands (VEB) investment unit.[Image Credit: © BA Sports Nutrition, LLC]
Pearly Neo , "Sports exclusive: Coca-Cola China banks on e-commerce to market BodyArmor ", Beverage Daily, November 05, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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South Korean Confectioner To Launch Mineral Water Into China

November 4, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
South Korean confectioner Orion, best known for the chocolate snack Choco Pie, plans to launch its first mineral water product, Jeju Yongamsu, this month in South Korea and then in China in the first half of next year. It will be priced at the upper-middle level in the price range of bottled mineral water sold in China, the company said. The mineral water is naturally filtered through 400,000-year-old basalt, making it rich in minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Orion has signed a contract with Chinese coffee chain Luckin Coffee, which operates about 3,000 stores nationwide, to supply it with 530 ml bottles of the mineral water, as well as snack products. Orion also plans to export the mineral water to Vietnam.
Lee Shin-hyung, "Korean firm aims to quench China’s thirst", Asia Times, November 04, 2019, © Asia Times (Hong Kong) Limited
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Nestlé Looks To Sell Controlling Stakes In Chinese Beverage Company

October 31, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

Bloomberg reports that Nestlé S.A. may sell its controlling stake in two Chinese brands: Hsu Fu Chi, a local confectionery firm, and Yinlu, a beverage producer. Nestlé in 2011 padid approximately $1.7 billion for a 60 percent stake in Hsu Fu Chi, and $1.5 billion for a 50 percent interest in Yinlu. Nestlé acquired all of Yinlu in 2018. The company wants to sell its controlling stake in the two companies for more than $1 billion.[Image Credit: © yinlu]
Eric Schroeder, "Nestlé pondering sale of two Chinese brands", Food Business News, October 31, 2019, © SOSLAND PUBLISHING COMPANY
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DuPont Nutrition Will Work With China’s By-Health To Develop Probiotic Supplements

September 30, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences is joining forces with a China-based consumer health care company to develop probiotic dietary supplements that offer “new functions, new ingredients and new technologies” in intestinal microecology and microbiome science. By-Health moved into the global market a year ago with its acquisition of Life-Space Group, an Australian enterprise that produces and markets probiotic products for all life stages. DuPont offers a range of clinically documented strains under its Danisco portfolio to support the body’s immune system including healthy digestion, and recently launched a range of enzymes designed to help maintain the quality of durum pasta “from pack to plate.”[Image Credit: © Imo Flow from Pixabay]
Emma Upshall, "DuPont partners with By-Health to develop probiotics", FoodBev Media , September 30, 2019, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Suntory Pursues “Bottle-To-Bottle” Plastics Project

August 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
After China’s 2017 decision to stop importing other countries’ plastic waste, Japan needed to quickly find alternative destinations for its waste in regions like Southeast Asia. However, Malaysia and the Philippines have followed China’s lead and vowed to turn away shipments of plastic waste, unwilling to serve as dumping grounds for first-world garbage. Japanese leaders are considering a number of potential solutions to the growing problem, including boosting the capabilities of incinerators to burn plastic refuse as fuel for generating energy, and increasing the recycling of soft drink bottles made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Suntory has become the first major Japanese beverage company to move toward closed-loop recycling when in May it announced an initiative to use PET drink bottles made completely from old containers. It is partnering on the project with Kyōei Industry, which has developed a method for creating high-quality PET resin from recycled plastic bottles. The bottle-to-bottle movement gained momentum after a 2009 study showed that manufacturing PET bottles from used plastic emits 63 percent less CO2 than using petroleum does.[Image Credit: © SUNTORY HOLDINGS LIMITED]
Miyake Reiko, "Refuse to Resource: Suntory’s Bottle-to-Bottle Initiative to Reshape Plastic Recycling", Nippon.com, August 19, 2019, © Nippon Communications Foundation
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Coca-Cola’s Chinese Bottler Swire To Move Local Head Office To Shanghai

August 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
China Coca-Cola bottler Swire plans on moving its local headquarters from Hong Kong to Shanghai with a view to increasing visibility in the country. Coca-Cola and Swire opened a new production facility in southern China's Yunan province last year, marking 40 years since Coca-Cola's return to the country. Swire is keeping its global head office in Hong Kong.[Image Credit: © Swire Coca-Cola HK]
Andy Morton, "Swire Coca-Cola moves China HQ to Shanghai", Just-drinks.com, August 02, 2019, © just-drinks.com
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Starbucks Competitor In China Takes Market Battle To Middle East, India

July 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Flush with cash after raising $645 million through a U.S. IPO in May, Chinese coffee company Luckin Coffee is partnering with Kuwait-based Americana Group, which runs 1,900 franchises across the Middle East for several fast food brands, to set up a coffee retail business in the Middle East and India. Luckin and Americana signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing; they will run the new coffee business as a joint venture. Luckin Coffee is a major competitor of Starbucks in China, opening thousands of stores in the past two years and relying on technology for orders, deliveries and payments to give it an edge. The company has about 3,000 stores in 40 Chinese cities and plans to increase that number to 4,500 by the end of this year. Starbucks has a little under 3,800 stores in China. Starbucks has 202 stores in Dubai, 191 in Saudi Arabia, and 151 in Kuwait, as well as 146 stores in India, where it has partnered with conglomerate Tata.[Image Credit: © www.luckincoffee.com]
Rishi Iyengar, "China's Luckin Coffee is taking on Starbucks in more big markets", CNN Business, July 22, 2019, © Cable News Network.Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
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Suntory Joint Venture To Sell Health Foods To Affluent Chinese

July 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
According to sources, Suntory Holdings, which already sells whisky and soft drinks in China, has entered into a joint venture with Chinese government-affiliated conglomerate Citic to launch a health food business targeting affluent consumers. Suntory reportedly contributed 65 percent of the capital of (about $14 million), and sent an executive as its chief. Suntory will sell energy drinks online, and drip coffee through vending machines. Health supplements may be sold later.[Image Credit: © SUNTORY HOLDINGS LIMITED]
"Suntory targets China's health-conscious consumers", NHK , July 14, 2019, © NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
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