Andy Murray’s victory at Wimbledon probably won’t transform the economy (remember the Olympics) but, supported by hot weather, it’s looking like a great summer is on the cards for grocery at last - assuming you have a decent cold supply chain, and robust refrigeration, to support the spikes in sales. (And that’s the thing about the weather: if it only did what it was supposed to do, instead of acting as unpredictably as, say, the OFT, business would be a whole lot easier!)
If not a transformation, then, what’s the opportunity? And for whom? Murray let slip on Twitter that his favourite snack was a Milky Bar. While Nestlé looked on, The Sun seized the opportunity at once, delivering 500 (melting) white chocolate bars in a sports bag.
But with Murray failing to find fmcg sponsors (a situation that, with his clean-shaven look, ripped body, and Wimbledon-winning ways, will surely change) since losing Highland Spring’s endorsement in 2011, the immediate opportunity is surely for another former Murray sponsor, and Wimbledon’s second-longest supporter, Britvic. And continuing my theme from last week, a celebratory ad for Barley Water is as warranted as it is long overdue: the current Robinsons ad is for Double Concentrate and features two boys playing football!
” The real victor at Wimbledon was not a Scot but a Zimbabwean”
Adam Leyland, Editor
This week’s biggest victory for Britvic, however, was over Scottish drinks supplier AG Barr. Like an incorrect line call from the umpire, the OFT’s bizarre decision to refer the merger this February to the Competition Commission has unquestionably been a let-off for Britvic, and its new CEO Simon Litherland - who would otherwise have been out of a job. Now, with the logic of the deal watered down (while Britvic’s share price doubled), Britvic is free to pursue a ‘bright’ future.
Whether it includes Lucozade and Ribena is another matter. Much as Britvic needs an energy drink, what would the OFT have to say about the addition of Ribena - especially after GSK bizarrely objected to the Barr Britvic merger? Besides, it’s doubtful Britvic can achieve value in a bidding war with private equity. But, like Murray, you can’t rule it out now, can you?