BEVSCAPE

VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLARS

Jones Soda Co. unveiled a new novelty line that allows consumers to cast their presidential vote long before November. Campaign Cola features three varieties: Capital Hillary Cola for Sen. Hillary Clinton, Pure McCain Cola for Sen. John McCain or Yes We Can Cola for Sen. Barack Obama.

Each sells for $14.99 per six-pack or $23.99 per 12-pack and www.campaigncola.com will track purchases as votes, but all consumers that participate in the campaign will get the same thing inside the bottle: Jones’ Pure Cane Cola.

Is Jones saying that all politicians – on the inside – are the same?

WENDY THE ?VOICEOVER LADY

Wendy the Snapple Lady is now just Wendy. The long-time spokeswoman and the Dr Pepper Snapple Group parted ways recently over a contract disagreement, according to Newsday.

Wendy Kaufman told Newsday that she couldn’t accept the contract because it was one-sided, paying her based on appearances, with no guarantee that the company would schedule any.

Greg Artkop, spokesman for DPSG, called the contract “fair,” saying it offered payment for work performed instead of a guaranteed fee. He said it was her decision to leave the company and wished Kaufman “nothing but the best in whatever she does in the future.”

That future will continue to include pitching products, Newsday reported. Kaufman told the paper that she will do voice-overs for cellular phone maker Motorola.

ZOTA’S BACK

Zota Green Tea Soda. Is it green tea? Is it soda? Is it an excuse to rehash a Jerry Seinfeld shtick?

It’s all three, and its back. The organic soda brand entered the market by using green tea as the base for a carbonated treat, but the original company couldn’t endure its own growth. It boomed then folded before Tom Eggers resuscitated the brand last year.

Now he’s returned the product to shelves in a few hundred stores, and aims for national distribution in about a year – after a rebranding that will roll out around the end of the summer. The updated line will feature fair trade certified tea, six flavors – RazzBerry, Ginger Pale Ale, Mandarin Grapefruit, Island Pineapple, Bling Cherry and Pear Dragonfruit – and come packaged in mix-and-match-able four-packs. Each four-pack box features a character that wraps around all four sides. Put all four boxes together to form one continuous picture, or jumble-up the boxes to create your own character.

Eggers offered a preview of the new packages at April’s All Things Organic show in Chicago, where he said he also started chatting with Texas grocery chain HEB.

ADULTS ONLY

Expect the shape of beverage marketing to change in the next few years. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, along with the International Council of Beverage Associations, have declared that they will use new voluntary guidelines to restrict advertising to children.

Under the new plan, beverage companies agree to eliminate advertising and marketing of a wide range of beverages – including CSDs – in venues that are predominantly populated by children 12 or younger.

That rule cuts across all media outlets including TV, radio, internet phone messaging and movies – so there will be no Pepsi deal for Hannah Montana.

As part of the guidelines, ICBA says it will review other forms of marketing, including sponsorships, presence in schools, and point-of sale promotions by the end of 2009.BREWERS NEWS

Anheuser’s Dilemma

Anheuser-Busch received a merger offer from Belgium-based InBev that would make the combined company the largest beer firm in the world – producing more than 12 billion gallons annually.

InBev offered to buy the St. Louis-based brewery’s outstanding stock for $65 per share – just over $46 billion in total. As part of the proposal, InBev suggests making St. Louis the company’s North American headquarters and the global home of the flagship Budweiser brand. The Belgian company would also maintain all of Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. breweries.

“Together, we would draw on the collective expertise of both companies’ management and employees,” said Carlos Brito, chief executive officer of InBev. “We also recognize the great contribution of Anheuser-Busch ‘s wholesalers to the company’s success and would work closely with them, under the three-tier system.”

Pale Moon Rising

Coors Brewing Company plans to add Pale Moon as a pale little brother to their successful Blue Moon beer. The Blue Moon line now includes a full selection of seasonal beers, and Beer Business Daily reported that Coors anticipates selling 1 million barrels of Blue Moon in 2008.

Hot Chill

Miller Brewing Company won four “Hot Brand” awards from industry newsletter Impact. The newsletter recognized Miller Chill, Sunset Wheat, Peroni and Sparks Plus, giving Miller more awards than any other brewer.

Canned Tire

New Belgium Brewing Co. will offer its flagship beer – Fat Tire – in cans so the brew can be sold in places where glass bottles aren’t an option.

Magic Pyramid?

Magic Hat brewing company is moving to buy Pyramid Breweries Inc. Pyramid signed a letter of intent under which Magic can buy the company for cash amounting to about half Pyramid’s total stock value. The brewer posted a loss at the end of 2007 and announced plans to cut staff, but the acquisition would give Vt.-based Magic Hat a West Coast presence.

New Channel for Grolsch?

Anheuser-Busch plans to terminate its U.S. importing rights to Grolsch, which Miller will pick up. Anheuser-Busch has imported Grolsch since April 2006 under an agreement with brand owner Royal Grolsch NV. In February 2008, SABMiller plc, parent company of Miller Brewing, completed its acquisition of Royal Grolsch NV and the Grolsch brands. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

EXECUTIVE MOVES

› Bossa Nova has added Larry Wu and Joseph Sain to its executive team as chief operating officer and senior vice president of sales, respectively. The new team members will report to Alton Johnson, Bossa Nova founder and CEO. Wu was most recently VP, Consumer Strategist for Iconoculture. Sain joins the company from Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages.

› Royal Buying Group, Inc. has promoted Sharon Porter, formerly RBG’s Director of Business Development, to Director of Vendors & Business Development. Ms. Porter joined Royal Buying Group, Inc. in 2003.

› The American Beverage Association has elected five new members to its board of directors. The new members are Rodger L. Collins, president, bottling group sales, Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages; Hugh F. Johnston, president, Pepsi-Cola North America; Robert M. Levi, group vice president and president, beverages sector for Kraft Foods; Lawrence J. Lordi, president, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England; and Claude B. Nielsen, chairman and CEO, Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc.

› Stirrings has announced that Robert Swartz, former Vice President of Sales at Terlato Wines International, will join the company as its Chief Executive Officer.

› Janet DiGiovanna and Danny Rubenstein, who were directly involved in the creation of Naked Juice, Pom Wonderful, Odwalla and Tazo brands, have joined with SENCE-Worldwide to structure on- and off-premise accounts nationally and internationally.

› The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) has announced that Tom Lauria has joined the association as Vice President for Communications.

› The Sunny Delight Beverages Co. has named Rick Suchenski Vice President and team leader for Fruit2O flavored water.

› Boo Koo Holdings, Inc. has appointed Gil Cassagne, formerly Chief Executive Officer of Cadbury Schwepps Americas Beverages, Jack Belsito, formerly President of Snapple Distributors, Inc. and Joe Bayern, formerly Chief Strategy Officer of Cadbury Schwepps Americas Beverages, to its Board of Directors.

› SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company have announced the MillerCoors leadership team. Leo Kiely, current CEO of Molson Coors, will be the CEO of MillerCoors; Tom Long, current CEO of Miller Brewing Company, will serve as President and Chief Commercial Officer; Tim Wolf, current CFO of Molson Coors, will be the Chief Integration Officer; and Gavin Hattersley, current Senior Vice President of Finance at Miller, will be the Chief Financial Officer. In addition, the following appointments to the MillerCoors leadership team will become effective upon the closing of the transaction, which is expected to take place June 30, 2008: Tom Cardella, Eastern Division President; Ed McBrien, Western Division President; Andy England, Chief Marketing Officer; Dennis Puffer, Chief Operations Officer; Karen Ripley, Chief Legal Officer.