Tag Archives: drinks

Carlsberg boosts beer production capacity in Kazakhstan

APRIL 19 2024 (The Bulletin) — Danish beer producer Carlsberg launched a new $50m factory near Almaty. Reports said that the new factory will add roughly an extra 30% to Carlsberg production volumes. Beer consumption is growing in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.


— This story was published in issue 565 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on April 23 2024

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2024

Coca-Cola expands production in Uzbekistan

APRIL 8 2024 (The Bulletin) — Coca-Cola’s manufacturer and bottler in Uzbekistan said that it would invest $165m building two new plants. The investment by Coca-Cola Ichimligi Uzbekiston is another sign that Uzbekistan’s economy is booming. One of the factories will be built near Samarkand and the other near Namangan.


— This story was published in issue 564 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on April 15 2024

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2024

Azerbaijani mineral water wants to export to Europe

OCT. 22 2021 (The Bulletin) — Azerbaijani mineral water producer Badamly said that it plans to start exporting to Europe and that it has applied for an export licence. Badamly Mineral Water is currently only exporting to FSU countries. The plant used to produce around 350m bottles per year until the late 1990s but now produces around half that at its plant in the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan. The most famous mineral water export from the South Caucasus is Georgia’s Borjomi.


— This story was published in issue 505 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on Oct. 28 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Armenia to drop cognac branding on brandy exports

YEREVAN/JUNE 10 2021 (The Bulletin) —  Armenia’s government agreed to stop marketing its premium brandy products to Europe as cognac from 2032, part of a trade deal that it signed with the EU four years ago.

The announcement that Armenia would finally drop using the cognac brand came 10 days after PM Nikol Pashinyan had been in Paris meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron to lockdown France’s support for Armenia over its ongoing border rows with Azerbaijan. 

France, a key ally of Armenia, has been pushing for the cognac title to be used only by brandy produced in its Cognac region. In return for dropping the term cognac, the EU promised to spend 3m euro helping Armenia build up a new brand for its brandy exports to Europe.

The TASS news agency quoted Armenia’s deputy PM Mger Grigoryan as saying that a new brand for Armenian brandy had not yet been decided upon.

“I am not ready to disclose such details so far because major market players have no consensus so far,” He said.

Armenia had appeared to drag its feet over imposing a ban on the cognac branding after signing an Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the EU in 2017 that improves trade relations and enforces European standards. 

EU law protects regional names on European food and drink products, although Armenia will still be able to market its brandy as cognac in Cyrillic on bottles sold to Russia, its main export market. The EU struck a similar deal with Moldova in 2014 when it agreed to drop using the cognac term too. Premium Moldovan brandy is now called Divin.

Brandy is an important part of Armenia’s branding and it is famed across the former Soviet Union. Its most famous producer is the Yerevan Brandy Company which markets its products under the Ararat brand and is owned by France’s Pernod Ricard.


— This story was published in issue 48 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on June 16 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Coca-Cola to build new bottling plant in Azerbaijan

BAKU/FEB. 2 2021 (The Bulletin) —  Coca-Cola will build a new $30m bottling plant in Azerbaijan, a sign of confidence in a quick recovery from an economic downturn linked to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Media reports said that the new bottling plant will be built in either Ismayilli region or Gabala region and will create more than 100 jobs, adding to the, roughly, 300 people that Azerbaijan Coca-Cola Bottlers already employs.

Turkey’s Coca-Cola Icecek, which also has operations in Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, owns  Azerbaijan Coca-Cola Bottlers. The Turkish company that produces the Efes beer owns 50% of Coca-Cola Icecek and the Coca-Cola company in Atlanta also owns a 20% stake.


— This story was first published in issue 471 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Uzbekistan wants to sell stake in Coca Cola bottling plant

TASHKENT/JUNE 22 (The Bulletin) — the Uzbek government said it wanted to sell its 57% stake in its joint-venture with Coca-Cola, the largest soft drinks producer in Central Asia.

The sale of the two production plants in Uzbekistan, for an undeclared amount, highlights the government’s commitment to its much-vaunted privatisation process, a process that has touched most sectors of an economy that was once considered off-limits to foreign investors.

Uzbekistan’s State Asset Management Agency gave no other details on the potential sale but it is one of the country’s most-prized manufacturing assets and will attract interest.

In March, Coca-Cola said that it planned to invest $31m into the joint venture to “modernise and expand the production capacities of factories in Tashkent and Khorezm province”.

It also said in its statement at the time that it had increased capacity by more than a third in 2018 and by another third in 2019, reflecting large growth in the soft drinks market in Central Asia and also in Uzbekistan which has experienced an economic boom under Shavkat Mirziyoyev, president since 2016.

“According to the findings of the study conducted in 2019, the market is expected to grow by 1.8 times in the next 10 years due to the growth in population, income and the tourist inflow into the region,” Coca Cola said in its March statement.

This was shortly before the Uzbek government locked the country down to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Economists have said that the lockdown strategy, adopted by most countries, will tip Uzbekistan into a recession this year.

The sale of its stake in the Coca-Cola joint-venture is just the latest asset that the Uzbek government has put up for sale. Earlier this year it said that it wanted to find a foreign partner to run its airline, Uzbekistan Airways. It was unclear if a deal with Uzbekistan Airways may also involve selling off a stake.


— This story was first published in issue 451 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin on June 23 2020

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2020

Value of Georgian wine exports rises 20%

JAN. 4 (The Conway Bulletin) — Georgia earned 20% more from wine exports, an important part of both its economy and national identity, in 2018 than in 2017, the Georgian National wine Agency said. Russia was once again the top importer of Georgian wine, followed by Ukraine and then China. Georgia earned $203m from wine exports in 2018. The total volume of exports increased by 13%. Georgian wine experts have said that China will become its biggest wine foreign wine market over the next decade.

>>This story was first published in issue 396 of The Conway Bulletin on Jan. 11 2019

Carlsberg expands production site in Kazakhstan

JAN. 8 (The Conway Bulletin) — Danish brewer Carlsberg increased its capacity at its plant in Kazakhstan by 20% in 2018, Victor Semak, head of Carlsberg in Kazakhstan, told the Trend news agency. The beer market, for on-trend craft ale and also for mainstream larger, in Central Asia and the South Caucasus has been growing. Mr Semak said that Carlsberg had a 41.2% share of the Kazakh beer market.

>>This story was first published in issue 396 of The Conway Bulletin on Jan. 11 2019

Alcohol ban imposed in Turkmenistan

JAN. 1 (The Conway Bulletin) — Turkmenistan imposed strict new alcohol laws on Jan. 1 that will outlaw alcoholic drinks on public transport and in sports centres. The sale of alcohol will also be banned altogether on national holidays. One characteristic of Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov’s tenure as Turkmen president has been his emphasis on health edicts. He wants to ban smoking by 2025 and from 2021 restaurants and bars will be banned from selling alcohol at the weekend.

>>This story was first published in issue 396 of The Conway Bulletin on Jan. 11 2019

Armenian randy production soars

JAN 4 (The Conway Bulletin) — Brandy production in Armenia, something of a bellwether for the state of the wider FSU economy, increased by 41% between January and end-November to 27.9m litres, official statistics showed. This comes on top of a 27% increase for the same period in 2016 compared to 2015. Powered by Russia and oil prices, the FSU economies are recovering from a slump in 2014-16.

— This story was first published on Jan. 5 2018 in issue 356 of The Conway Bulletin