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Spirits soar at Diageo

Food & Drug Packaging, July, 2005 by Graham Wiemer

Diageo was formed by the 1997 merger of alcoholic beverage giant Guinness with food and spirits company Grand Metropolitan.

It is the world's largest producer of alcoholic drinks, with brands including Captain Morgan, Crown Royal Guinness Stout, Harp Lager, Smirnoff vodka and Tanqueray gin. The company also owns 45% of Jose Cuervo (Mexico) and 34% of Moet Hennessy (France), and sells its products in more than 200 countries around the world.

Diageo formed a partnership this year with Heineken for the production and distribution of Guinness in Russia. In addition, the company acquired The Chalone Wine Group and added the winery into its current United States wine operations. It also purchased Bushmills Irish whiskey from Pernod Ricard, while agreeing to stay out of any negotiations regarding the takeover of Allied Domecq (the world's No. 2 liquor company) by Pernod.

Distinctive packaging by Diageo includes the Smirnoff flavored vodka bottles, with their pinched-in, decorated waists, and the Smirnoff Signatures premixed cocktails, which come in glass bottles painted to resemble metal cocktail shakers.

Probably the most newsworthy event for Diageo this year was its announcement in late June that its Crown Royal web site,, would include such information as calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, alcohol per serving, and standard serving size for Crown Royal whiskey The company also is urging the federal government to adopt regulations that would allow beer, wine and spirits companies to display this information on cans and bottle labels.

--Graham Wiemer, Associate Editor

COPYRIGHT 2005 Stagnito Communications
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

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