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Merchants of Drink
Frederic Clairmont & John Cavanagh
Third World Network
ISBN: 967-99908-5-0 190 pages 15.5x24.5cm Hardcover US$20.00

Five multinational giants now control most of the world's beverage trade, with sales topping US500 million a year. And the more they consolidate their grip through takeovers and mergers and through alliances with Third world politicians --the more gain is squeezed for a few shareholders and the less is left for Third World workers and smallholders. In addition, the beverages giants are increasingly turning their high pressure marketing machines onto the less developed countries. The result--a consumer lifestyle symbolished by Coca-cola, bottle-fed babies and brandname boozing is superimposed on societies where even basic nutrition and clean drinking water are lacking

"....The authors....probe into the market and explore the whole process....thought provoking book...."
Africa Events

"....The writing is both elegant and virulent; it is swift to read for the uninitiated and the academic specialist alike...."
Ankie Hoogvelt, Monthly Review

CONTENTS

1. Introduction
 

Methodology
Size and composition of world beverage markets
Transnational veverage conglomerates: Power and perspectives
The Top 200 corporations
Investment banks: the external stimuli
The casino society
A schematic overview

2. Production, Consumption and Trade Relations
 

Output configuration: coffee, tea, cocoa
Beverage consumption patterns
The trading network
Power relations

3. From Peasants to Plantations
 

Land ownership and distributional patterns
The plantation complex
Unilever: a case study
The smallholders' realm
The extent of state power

4. The Corporate Trading Complex: Parameters of Power
 

The leading players
Ownership patterns
Finance linkages
Trading techniques
Changing power configuration

5. Pricing Policies
 

The futures market
Tax straddles
Auctions
Oligopolistic pricing
In a few words

6. Transnational Beverage Conglomerates
 

The big 50
RJ Reynolds: case study
Major beverages: the corporate configuration
Tea
Cocoa
Alcoholic beverages
Bottled water
Fruit juice
Milk
Some concluding reflections

7. The Soft Drinks Duo: Coca-Cola and Pepsico
 

The protagonists
Battle for market shares
Market segmentation
New frontiers
Bottler networks
The fallout
The cisneros organization

8. The Marketing Onslaught
 

Advertising expenditure
The advertising complex
The new technology
Packaging
Substitutes: the revolution
Overseas strategies
Countervailing strategies

9. The Wholesaling/Retailing Complex
 

Wholesaling
Retailing

10. A Summing Up

LIST OF TABLES AND CHARTS

Tables
 

1.1 The world's top 200 private sector firms, 1985
2.1 World exports: cocoa and processed cocoa products, 1983
3.1 Tea production in nine principal exporting countries, early 1980s
3.2 Major members of the Tata Group
4.1 Corporate control of global commodity trade, 1983
4.2 Auction sales by Brooke Bond and Lipton, 1984
4.3 Japan's Sogo shoshas, 1975 and 1985
6.1 World's largest beverage conglomerates, 1985
7.1 Selected indicators, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo
8.1 International advertising growth
8.2 Advertising versus GNP, 1984
9.1 World's largest food and beverage retailers, 1984
9.2 Concentration in the Swiss retail trade
9.3 Japan: total vending machine sales, 1983
9.4 Market shares of beverage vending machines by major companies in Japan, 1983

Charts
 

1. World beverage consumption, major regions, 1982
2. Schematic illustration of the study
3. Cost breakdown of a coffee dollar
4. Unilever: group structure, 1985
5. Volume of future trading, 1960 through 1985
6. Rearranging the soft drinks market

 


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