Press Clips: AB InBev to Merge With PepsiCo?

abinbevThose folks associated with the beer and beverage industries have heard the rumor before: Anheuser-Busch InBev could merge with PepsiCo. The speculation resurfaced this week, as Bloomberg floated the possibility of a deal and cited the beer giant’s willingness to make moves.

“With almost $90 billion in deals over the last 10 years, including the 2008 acquisition of the maker of Budweiser, no other beverage company spends like AB InBev does,” the article notes.

As Bloomberg previously reported, the retirement of Peter Swinburn, CEO of Molson Coors Brewing Co., seems to have cooled rumors of AB InBev merging with SABMiller Plc. However, this week’s article suggests that AB InBev (worth about $170 billion), could entertain the idea of constructing a less beer-centric business model through merging with the snacks and soda company PepsiCo (worth about $142 billion).

The article notes that no deal is imminent and AB InBev and its advisers are still deciding if a deal makes sense from strategic and financial perspectives.

“From a strategic perspective, it doesn’t strike me as too, too crazy,” Ali Dibadj, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., told Bloomberg. “If you look at the strengths of ABI, they’re very clearly around cost-cutting and distribution, particularly in a difficult volume environment like beer. I think those could be translated pretty directly to the Pepsi business in the North American marketplace.”

Not Craft Beer, Craft Soda

No matter PepsiCo’s ownership fate, the cola and snacks company continues to seek growth platforms outside of its carbonated soft drink core. Its latest effort arrives in the form of craft soda.

Pepsi will test Caleb’s Kola, named after Caleb Bradham, who developed the Pepsi Cola recipe in the 1890s, at select Costco stores in Maryland, New York, Virginia and Washington D.C.

“Pepsi isn’t oblivious to the fact that a growing number of Americans, especially those picky twenty-somethings that seem to be throwing the whole consumer goods industry for a loop, just don’t want to drink conventional soda,” writes Quartz. “So it’s capitalizing on the popularity of all things artisanal — from craft beer to handmade soap — and betting on this: People still love sugary soft drinks.”

A 10 oz. bottle of Caleb’s Kola contains 29 grams of sugar and 110 calories, compared to a 12 oz. can of Pepsi that has 41 grams of sugar and 150 calories.

Explosive Weed

No, we’re not talking about the Dre track. A batch of marijuana-infused sodas exploded at Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham, Wash., covering the store with glass shards and a sticky mess.

“It sounded like a shotgun going off,” store manager Zach Henifin told “You can actually feel it, it was that explosive.”

The pomegranate-flavored weed soda, titled “Legal” and made by Mirth Provisions, also exploded at a few shops in Vancouver. Adam Stites, the founder of Mirth Provisions, said that the batch had a higher yeast concentration that led to excess carbon dioxide in the bottles.