SOUTH AFRICA – South African drinks firm Distell has launched the new chocolate-flavored Amarula liqueur, a blend of marula fruit and sustainably sourced African cocoa beans.

The rich and distinctive citrus and tropical flavor of the marula fruit is said to compliment the full-bodied, fragrant chocolate undertones of real cocoa beans, making it the most indulgent premium cream liqueur with a velvety taste.

Distell’s head of Europe and global travel retail, Luke Maga, said, “With Amarula Chocolate, we blend sustainably sourced African cocoa, marula fruit, cream, and a taste of Africa for new, younger consumers as well as lovers of the original Amarula taste.

“This indulgent new offering promotes Amarula’s African origins with its accent ingredients and creates significant buzz and a halo effect for the brand in travel retail.”

The expression is recommended served chilled over ice, in a cocktail, added to coffee, or in a milkshake with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sprinkles.

Bottled at 15.5% ABV, Amarula Chocolate is available in 700ml, 750ml, and one-liter formats.

The debut of the new variant follows Distell’s launch of Amarula African Gin and Amarula Vegan earlier in the year.

Distell is one of Africa’s leading innovation-driven alcohol drinks makers, constantly refreshing its customers with new offerings.

Its lead position enabled the owner of some of the world’s top-selling wine and cider brands, to attain a 20.8% rise in revenue in the year ended June 2022 to R34.1 billion (US$1.8 billion) on 17.6% higher volumes, significantly ahead of pre-COVID FY2019 levels.

Its noteworthy that, Distell is currently preparing to exit the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) with respect to the proposed takeover by Multinational brewing company Heineken.

Heineken announced its offer to buy the South African company for R38.5 billion (US$2.55 billion) in November 2021, with the proposed scheme of arrangement involving splitting Distell into two entities.

The first unit formed will be Newco, an unlisted public company, to house Distell’s big portfolio of best-selling local brandy and whisky, as well as its cider brands, other ready-to-drink beverages, and its big range of wine.

These portfolios will be combined with Namibia Breweries Limited which Heineken is also eyeing, and the Dutch brewer’s 75% shareholding in Heineken South Africa and certain other fully owned export operations in Africa.

Distell shareholders are being offered R165 (US$10.9) in cash per share for their stake in Newco – or they can opt for unlisted shares in Newco or a combination.

The second entity, Capevin, will house Distell’s imported drinks i.e., the Scotch whisky unit and Gordons gin business. The shares in this entity will be unbundled and Heineken is offering Distell shareholders R15 (US$0.99) per Capevin share.

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