In Brief…

Danish ingredients firm Chr Hansen reports a 23% increase in H1 2010/11 revenue to €315m, with operating profit also climbing 23% to €71m.

In Chile, Nestlé and Fonterra-owned dairy company Soprole withdraw their joint venture proposal following opposition from local antitrust authorities.

Suntory-owned Frucor Beverages announces that Managing Director Mark Cowsill is to step down, with his successor yet to be named.

Coca-Cola Co announces a US$40m investment to upgrade its manufacturing plant in Hanoi, Vietnam.

In India, United Spirits acquires a 41.54% stake in bulk spirits manufacturer Sovereign Distilleries for an undisclosed sum.

According to reports, German drinks group Eckes-Granini is in talks with Russian bottled water producer Visma over the establishment of a fruit juice joint venture in Russia.

PepsiCo Americas Beverages unveils Diet Mtn Dew Supernova, its latest permanent variant of Mountain Dew, as chosen by consumers.

Coca-Cola Co decides not to renew its sponsorship deal with footballer Wayne Rooney.

Mars Consumer Drinks has launched the Mars Refuel Drink Fund to encourage UK residents to try new sports. The company will donate £5,000 each month to the winning applicant.

In the US, Coca-Cola Co trials ‘Give it Back’ in-store merchandise display racks made from corrugated cardboard which can be returned or recycled by stores.

Swiss flavours company Givaudan sees Q1 2011 sales decline 5.1% to CHF 1.01bn, with flavour division sales down 4.5% to CHF 544.9m.

Swiss biopharmaceutical company Evolva Holding is to acquire US-based Abunda Nutrition to further the development of fermentation-derived stevia products.

Irish Dairy Board sees FY 2010 sales rise 6% to €1.9bn, boosted by an 18% increase in branded sales, but sees operating profit dip to €26.9m as the DPI specialty foods business struggled.

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company announces its intention to begin production in Moldova this spring.

Packaging company Rexam is to build a 1.2bn capacity beverage can plant near Belém, Northern Brazil, to be operational by mid-2012.

Indian soft drinks producer Rasna announces plans to enter the premium beverage segment, with an as yet unnamed product.

Tetra Pak is about to release the world’s first carton bottle for ambient white milk. The new bottle shaped aseptic package is made from renewable Forest Stewardship Council certified paperboard and features am injection moulded top with screw closure.

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has announced that Dennis Carpenter has joined IBWA as manager of membership services.

In Denmark, Scandinavian dairy cooperative Arla Foods announces a DKK 615m investment to expand yellow cheese production at its plants in Nr. Vium and Taulov, and the closure of its dairy in Falkenberg.

In India, Hindustan Unilever and PepsiCo revive their Lipton tea joint venture, with the relaunch of the Lipton RTD ice tea brand.

Unilever extends its Lipton tea decaffeination partner­ship with Evonik Industries, and makes plans to extend their collaboration beyond tea to other food and beverage products.

Innocent orange juice (with bits & smooth) is now available in fully recyclable 330ml ‘carafettes’ made from 35% rPET.

Japan’s Suntory Beverage & Food announces plans to become the first Japanese soft drink manufacturer to use recycled plastic in its bottles, starting with 2 litre Oolong-Cha tea bottles from May 2011.

Nestlé sees 6.4% organic sales growth in Q1 2011 to CHF 20.3bn, with the Nestlé Waters division reporting a 4.4% organic rise in sales to CHF 1.5bn.

Coffee chain Starbucks announces plans to quadruple its outlets in mainland China to 1,500 by 2015.

In Sweden, the Swedish Chemical Agency and the National Food Administration put forward proposals to phase out the use of Bisphenol A in epoxy resin-based food and beverage can linings – Web 18.4.11

Coca-Cola India is to re-enter the powdered soft drink market with a new Fanta-branded product priced at just Rupees 5, to attract low income consumers.

Danone Canada unveils a 100% recyclable cane-sugar based bioplastic bottle for its drinkable yogurt range.