Is it a fancy soft drink or a functional beverage? While the use of functional ingredients is on the rise, with the Australian market worth around $600 million, scrutiny is also increasing over the health claims being made.

As Australian Vintage announced a successful $15 million capital raise, it lifted its three-week suspension and resumed trading, only to see its market capitalisation almost halve as its share price fell by 45 per cent.

Global beverage company, Lion, says a drop in discretionary spending, the shrinking beer market, and increasing costs forced its closure of the Malt Shovel Brewery in inner Sydney. Malt Shovel Brewery operated for 36 years, it was founded by brewer Chuck Hahn in 1988.

More than 50 Australian wines received a gold medal at the 2024 International Wine Challenge. That performance put Australia second only to France in the total number of medals and trophies awarded. 

Allied Pinnacle has appointed Melinda Taylor as the company’s head of Product and Growth, to drive campaigns that include the recently launched high fibre wheat brand – Wise Wheat.

Lark Distilling Co has appointed Spirits Platform as its exclusive domestic market distributor. The deal is part of Lark’s growth strategy for its eponymous Single Malt and Blended Whisky and its gin brand, Forty Spotted Gin.

Synlait Milk’s largest shareholder, Bright Dairy, has agreed to provide a NZ$130 million shareholder loan, subject to shareholder approval, as Synlait reveals it is unlikely to meet three of its banking covenants by 31 July.

Umami Pappi founder, Ethan Yong, says that from making chilli oil in his kitchen to being stocked in more than 700 stores has been a whirlwind of hard work, determination, and many learnings. He shares with Food & Drink Business his six top tips for SMEs trying to break into the supermarket channel.  

The Halliday Wine Companion has released the shortlist for its 2025 awards, with more than 60 new producers entering this year. The annual Halliday Wine Companion will be released after the awards on 7 August. 

Australian companies made a splash at the World Alcohol-Free Awards in London, with strong performances from Edenvale Wines and Lyre’s Spirits Company.

Water is the most important raw material for the beverage industry and also at risk from increasing environmental pressures. Krones provides an overview of key changes that can achieve big water saving results. 

Australian Vintage says it believes “sector consolidation is logical” and it is “ready to participate” after Accolade Wines walked away from three months of merger talks. AV has also launched a heavily discounted $19.9 million capital raise.

The CEO of Haigh’s Chocolates, Alister Haigh, has received the Alfred Stauder Award for Excellence for his outstanding contribution to the confectionery sector in Australia.

Freshippo, Alibaba Group’s digital intelligence-powered retail company, has launched its private label products in the US, with plans to follow suit in Australia, Singapore, and South Korea this year.

Farm Pride Food’s latest update to the ASX says additional testing at its Rocks site, in the Lethbridge area, returned positive tests for Avian Influenza (AI). The farm has around 240,000 birds, almost a quarter of Farm Pride’s total production capacity.

Following an outbreak of avian influenza at properties in the Meredith region of Victoria, Farm Pride Foods says there are ongoing health assessments underway in collaboration with the Victorian Department of Agriculture (Vic Ag).