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Huiyuan’s Heft

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There was a time when brands could become global leaders by focusing on the US alone. Now, a strong presence in Asia-Pacific is vital for them. Homegrown Asians could topple the traditional giants in other markets as well. London-based brand consultancy Wolff Olins predicts that almost all the globally recognised brands, at least in the beverages industry, could come from Asia and Latin America. It also says that Vijay Mallya-controlled United Spirits would become a global major. As would ChangYu, China’s largest wine producer, and Juan Valdez, a Columbian coffee chain—among others. That’s why PepsiCo shelled out $1.4 billion last year to buy Lebedyansky, a Russian juice maker, and Coca-Cola made its aborted attempt to acquire Huiyuan, China’s biggest juice group. That explains why Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company, is eager for a slice of the United Spirits pie.