beverage bites: news up to May 21, 2015

Wine in the limelight; Pepsi launches Limon; and more beverage bites

'This May, raise a glass' says the slogan for Aussie Wine Month. Pictured: Tasmania

This week is a good one if you like drinking wine: it’s Aussie Wine Month, English Wine Week, and London Wine Week. Meanwhile, Pepsi Limon hits the shelves, while Tesco cuts sugar in soft drinks… read on for more beverage bites.

How much wine does Australia make?

Australian wine organisations are collaborating to put data from various surveys across the sector into an overarching Wine Sector Survey 2015.

The publication will combine data from the Australian Grape and Wine Authority (AGWA) Price Dispersion Survey, the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia Vintage Survey, the South Australian Crush Survey and the Murray-Darling / Swan Hill Wine Grape Crush Report.

The combination of the surveys will mean grape and wine producers only need to provide information once, saving time and paperwork, said Brian Smedley, chief executive, South Australian Wine Industry Association.

The new survey will give production figures by region and variety, offer grape growers and wine producers access to better data, and give a barometer of industry performance, say industry representatives.

Wine producers can participate in the survey by emailing agwa.surveys@agwa.net.au

Tesco reduces sugar

Tesco is to commit to a 5% reduction on sugar across its soft drink range, a move greeted as significant given that the supermarket giant accounts for approximately 30% of UK soft drinks sales.

Campaigners hope this will encourage other retailers to follow suit.

Aluminum or Aluminium? Whichever way you spell it, recycling rates are up

A report released by the Aluminum Association and Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) says that aluminum cans have the highest recycling rate out of all beverage containers, with 56.7% of consumers recycling this packaging. The associations compare this to PET (31.2%) and glass (34.1%) recycling rates.

The report also claims the average recycled content of aluminum beverage containers is higher than PET or glass, with cans containing 70% recycled content on average. Researchers compare this to PET (3%) and glass (23%).

Pepsi Limon

Pepsi announced the launch of Pepsi Limon yesterday: cola with ‘just the right amount of authentic lime juice.’ Pepsi says the drink offers a tart, refreshing taste to appeal to Hispanic consumers.

The drink is now available in 20oz and 2l bottles in selected markets including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Chicago.

A good week for wine

English Wine Week kicks off on Saturday (23rd May), with vineyards and outlets across the country ready to offer consumers a chance to learn more about local wines.

Production figures for English wine from the 2014 harvest show a significant growth in volume, with 47,433 hectolitres produced (6.3m bottles). This is a 42% increase in volume from 2013.

Meanwhile, London Wine Week launched on Monday. Now in its second year, the event celebrates the capital’s wine scene, with tastings, masterclasses, self-guided wine tours and more. London Wine Week runs until Sunday.

On the other side of the globe, Aussie Wine Month takes place throughout the month. The event – which includes wine tastings, regional festivals, food and wine dinners and vineyard activities – seeks to raise awareness of the diversity and quality of Australian wines.

Gin made with ants, Ball's in-can straw technology, NPD boom in plant waters and more - see the related news section below for more of this week's stories.

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