Beam Bought By Suntory, Pepsi Bringing New Water

There are two extremes you’ll encounter when it comes to drinks at your restaurants; on one hand, you have money-conscious or health-conscious individuals that may go straight for a water, and not give a drink menu a look. The other side of the coin is that there are those willing to give their liver a bit of a kick in a safe amount, and tackle the hard drinks menu. Between the two are your standard tea, coffee, soft drinks, and juices.

The Associated Press reports on a drink you may have actually just seen this weekend. PepsiCo brought out a new, premium drinking water to the red carpet for the Golden Globes this weekend. Entitled “Qua,” this drink is a premium water that is being slowly brought to the world’s attention; supplying it to celebrities who appeal to their demographic is a way to bring it out without running any bit of marketting.

Additionally, their marketing is admittedly up in the air. The name and design of the drink may change up before it reaches mass market for sales. Qua appears to be comparable to SmartWater from their competitor, Coca-Cola. Both are made from tap water, and Qua is both “micro-filtered” and lacks sodium.

At the end of the day, the drink is water, plain and simple. Ecologists recommend drinking straight tap water, as the bottles are a detriment to the world, both from production to disposal.

The Associated Press also reports that Beam Inc. will be purchased by Suntory Holdings Ltd. Don’t know the names? You surely know the drinks. Beam Inc. produces Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, while Suntory is a dominating force in Japan when it comes to hard drinks (they’ve stretched out to everything from soft drinks and sandwiches after establishing their power with liquor). It’s a $13.62 billion dollar deal that will create the third-largest global premium spirits business.

This follows recent years of Maker’s Mark being so popular and successful that Beam Inc. temporarily considered reducing the alcohol content to keep the drink on shelves, a move that was so negatively responded to that they backed out before ever starting it.

The two companies have worked together before this acquisition, with Beam selling Suntory products throughout various countries in Asia, and Suntory sells Beam products in Japan.

Beam stockholders will have to approve the deal, but their stock went from $16.14 to $83.11 with this news.

What do these bits of liquid refreshment news mean to you? For Qua, it means you might have a new drink you’d want to stock, especially if you offer bottled water and carry Pepsi products. For Suntory, it’s unlikely much will change; they obviously like the success that Beam has had with it’s brands in America, and if anything, this just might mean the people who sign the checks have changed.