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Cheer-wined
10-08-2006, 11:27 PM
Took a leaf ride over the mountain into Tennessee yesterday. First stop was the Citgo in Mountain City, TN, usually a good place because they give lots of cold channel space to third and fourth tier bottlers, All-American and Tri-City Beverage.

All-American had price promotions on Big Red, Big Pineapple, Big Peach, diet Big Red, 20 oz. for $0.85. Big Red bottles had green caps w/ the “describe the taste” contest promo on the label. Lots of longnecks from DPWJ in their coolers, Big Red, Crush, Welch’s., RC, 7-up, A&W and Sundrop.

Tri-City Beverage’s cooler had longnecks of NuGrape, Nesbitt’s orange and lemonade, Dr. Enuf, and Cheerwine/diet Cheerwine, plus deli bottles of TC’s.

Next stop in Mountain City was the Food Country USA. There I saw signs of All-American’s buyout by DPSUBG – they’re distributing 8 oz. cans of A&W and 7-Up made by ABC. Nehi peach 6-packs were discounted @ $1.79, overall there was less Nehi and more Crush this time compared to earlier trips. Food Country USA is a local supermarket chain based in Abingdon VA - there are less than a dozen stores, most of them located near I-81 between Wytheville VA and Morristown TN. “Serving the Mountain Empire since 1914.”

Next stop was Bristol TN/VA. The state line divides the city and also PBG’s mid-atlantic (VA side) and southeastern (TN side) business units. On the VA side, a Pepsi set has Twisters but on the other side, East TN PBG has Sunkist orange, diet orange, grape and strawberry. I hit a couple of Food City stores, they are good for checking out the beer aisles. This time I found Leinenkugel’s and some of the lesser seen Shiner brands.

Had lunch at a Pal's (http://www.palsweb.com) , a local burger joint in the Tri-Cities notable for it’s drive through-only service and unusual buildings.

Headed north from Bristol and made my way back to WJ via Abingdon VA. The Citgo at I-81 exit 19 has lots of longnecks, All-American distributes six or seven kinds from DPWJ, including Sunkist orange instead of the Crush they carry in TN. This was the only place I saw All-American produced Big Red longnecks, mixed in with the Big Red produced by DPWJ.

Turned out to be a good day trip, especially since I found Leinie's.

Mr Zabe
10-09-2006, 12:06 AM
Great report on your soda pop quest. smile.gif
I enjoyed your detail. It cool hearing about other regions.

fusion
10-09-2006, 06:55 PM
I have a coworker who is originally from the Chicago area - he raves about Leinie's, but I have only been able to find the red, and that was in one store south of Baltimore.

What Food City did you find it in?

When I was in that area, I went over the line from Kingsport into Weber City VA. That's indie Pepsi Norton territory - they also carry Sunkist, Dr Pepper, and 7Up (at least they did a year ago). They self-produce, and still used 3x4s. I only went to one c-store, so I didn't get a better feel for what they carry otherwise.

Cheer-wined
10-10-2006, 09:51 PM
It was the Food City on 421 going out of town towards Mountain City. I noticed that the Leinie's had handwritten shelf tags I expect that this is a test to see how it sells. I also checked the stores in Damascus VA and Bristol VA but no Leinie's. That's great stuff, I bought some of their sunset wheat last month when I visited Chippewa Falls. The Food City had honey weiss.

Pepsi Norton is really an ususual bottler, they have so many non-Pepsi products that they could pass for a third tier. Their territory covers part of the coal country in VA/KY. They have territory in KY where they don't sell a single Pepsi product - just Sunkist, Squirt, DP, 7Up, Country Time. And still a family owned bottler too. They do business under different names, a.k.a. Lonesome Pine Beverage.