SOURCE: The Bedford Report

The Bedford Report

September 09, 2011 08:16 ET

Changing European Drinking Habits Force Alcohol Producers to Diversify

The Bedford Report Provides Equity Research on Central European Distribution & Diageo PLC

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 9, 2011) - Although the World Health Organization reports that European alcohol consumption remains the region with the heaviest drinking in the World, recent studies suggest that drinking is on the downturn in Europe. The downturn in consumption has led to fierce competition between European alcohol distributors, who are now competing for fewer customers. The Bedford Report examines the outlook for companies in the Beverages - Wineries and Distillers industry and provides equity research on Central European Distribution Corporation (NASDAQ: CEDC) and Diageo PLC (NYSE: DEO). Access to the full company reports can be found at:

An in depth report courtesy of The Economist finds that in France and Italy the average adult drinks over a third less than he or she did 30 years ago, while Germans and Spaniards are also drinking less, and alcohol consumption has likewise fallen in most of eastern Europe in recent decades.

Those Europeans that are drinking are changing their habits. In Russia, President Dmitry Medvedev has said he believes that encouraging people to switch from Vodka to wine may assist the country's toughest anti-alcohol campaign since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union. "Countries where this sector is strong have no problems with alcohol abuse: problems with alcohol abuse stem from other drinks," he added.

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Central European Distribution Corp., the largest producer of vodka in the world, has made efforts to negotiate the big changes in Russia's alcohol regulation policy. William Carey, President and CEO says the company has successfully finished all of is re-licensing as a producer/wholesaler, but continue to see problems within its client base of wholesalers, who continue to struggle through this licensing process, which is affecting its route to market.

In other news, Global spirit giant Diageo recently invested $9.6 million for building a bioenergy plant that will recycle its Scotch Whisky distilling operations called draff and reuse it for generating energy.

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