food & drink

There you are, taking it easy on your summer holiday in Istanbul or Dubai, searching online for the next restaurant to sample. You may not know it, but the information you seek could be coming to you courtesy of a small company based in Gurgaon, near New Delhi.

Zomato, an online restaurant directory, has become a household name in India. That could soon be true in many other markets. Over the past year the website has expanded quickly overseas – from Poland to New Zealand – through a mixture of acquisitions and organic growth. Continue reading »

The slaughter of cows is banned in many states in India and the export of cow meat is prohibited across the country.

But go to any major Indian city and you will find steaks and beef burgers on the menu in high-end restaurants, a new phenomenon that has has led to confusion and protest alike. Continue reading »

Chandon

“A bright and fresh fruit bouquet of citrus blossom, green apple with hints of tropical fruits and vanilla.”

It’s the sort of “tasting note” you would expect of wines from the luxury French brand Moët Hennessy – except that this one is made in India.

This week, the label launched its first products made specifically for the Indian market: its Chandon Brut and Chandon Brut Rosé sparkling wines. Continue reading »

Hello China

China’s distressingly frequent food quality scandals are bad news for Chinese citizens but may be good news for UK food exports – so long as China can be persuaded to eat foods it has never eaten before, and UK food brands can adapt their traditional fare for a different kind of palate. Continue reading »

Is Russia the world’s toughest beer market? It’s beginning to look that way, after Heineken said on Tuesday it would see a 10 per cent decline in volumes sales in the country this year. That’s even worse than a recent gloomy assessment by Carlsberg, which said volume had slumped by 7 per cent in the first half.

“Russia is a very, very difficult market,” René Hooft Graafland, Heineken’s chief financial officer, said on a conference call, warning that profits were likely to fall this year “in the low single digits”, sending the brewer’s shares down 5 per cent by mid morning in Amsterdam. Continue reading »

The great expectations that Mexico’s largest dairy company, Grupo Lala, generated when it said it would go public three weeks ago, were not exaggerated.

On its debut on the Mexican stock exchange on Wednesday, the company’s shares rose 7.6 per cent to close at 29.59 pesos, reflecting the great appetite the company had generated among investors because of its track record and growth prospects. Continue reading »

By Luke Smolinski and Pan Kwan Yuk

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are known for their cheery attitudes to the world. Their slogans include: “open happiness”; “life tastes good”; “the best drink created worldwide”.

But these days, life is tasting a lot less sweet for the two drinks giants as both struggle with waning growth in key emerging markets.

 Continue reading »

The century-old global battle over who gets to call their beer Budweiser, the Czech Republic’s Budejovicky Budvar or Beligian-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, has seen the Belgians defeated on the Italian front, following a court ruling that allows the Czech brewer to use the brand on the Italian market.

Petr Samec, Budvar’s spokesman, told CTK the Czech news agency on Tuesday that the Italian decision “a great victory”, adding: “This is probably the toughest loss for ABI in more than 100 years of global war for the Budweiser brand.” Continue reading »

By Nicholas Watson of bne

Stock Spirits Group is preparing an IPO on the London Stock Exchange which it hopes will raise about £50m to help finance its goal of becoming central and eastern Europe’s leading spirits producer. Continue reading »

A Chinese manufacturer and direct seller of health, cleaning and beauty products with Malaysian roots may not be the most obvious cross-border investor in the South African wine industry. But Guangdong-based Perfect China is selling volumes of classic wine with a French heritage produced in South Africa’s vineyards. It is one more sign of the potential for Asian investors with an innovative eye for Africa. Continue reading »

Wine night in Nanning

When Luca Famiglietti, a 45-year-old Italian wine supplier, first came to China in 1995, he never thought he would end up selling wine from his motherland in Qinzhou Port, Guangxi province two decades later.

But despite the allure of richer trade areas, Qinzhou, China’s sixth “free-trade port”, is emerging as a trade hub for the poorer southwestern Chinese region, including the provinces of Guangxi, Yunnan and Guizhou. Continue reading »

There’s a telling exhibit in Mexico City’s Interactive Economy Museum illustrating relative levels of human development and well-being. Photographs show (sometimes) smiling families from around the world with all the food and drink they consume in a week.

What’s striking about the Mexican family is just how much soda it gets through – there is a line of bottles on the table – and the exhibit is already few years old. Today, the amount of fizzy drinks guzzled would probably be even higher. Continue reading »

Nearly three months after putting its restaurant chain, Vips, up for sale, Wal-Mart de México y Centroamérica has finally found a taker: Alsea, Mexico’s largest fast and casual-restaurant operator, as well as the sole owner of all Starbucks coffee shops in the country.

The price tag for the 362-oulet chain? 8.2bn pesos ($627m). Continue reading »

Mexico is not only one of the world’s biggest soda drinking nations. It also has an apparently unquenchable thirst for bottled water.

According to a study from Inter-American Development Bank, the country has the world’s highest per capita consumption of bottled water, with Mexicans using on average about 127 gallons (480 litres) of bottled water per person in 2011. That’s more than four times the per capita level of consumption in the US. Continue reading »

The Indian rupee is down by over 10 per cent since May. While that may hurt some of the poorer off in society as prices of imported goods pick up, the better off may notice less.

But here’s a little kick for the privileged: prices are rising rapidly in fine dining restaurants. Continue reading »