Although BevNET didn’t make it to hear Senator McCain’s address on Monday morning, we did walk the exhibit floor on Tuesday, the fourth and final day of the 2008 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. Held May 17-20, at McCormick Place in Chicago, the NRA Show featured 2,000+ exhibiting companies and 70,000 attendees and visitors. Now in its 89th year, the show is the largest gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals in North America.
Over 30 beverage companies exhibited at the event. Most use the show to interact with foodservice distributors and major restaurant chains. Beverage companies ranged from giants like Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch to smaller start-ups seeking to bring their brand(s) on-premise.
BevNET got its first look at Dr. Pepper Snapple Group’s new exhibit. The company was established in 2008 following the spinoff of Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (CSAB) from Cadbury Schweppes plc.
Here’s a list of the new products and stories we ran across at the show:
• Venga functional infusions – new line-up of 6 functional beverages (Calorie Burn, Brainstorm, Health & Zen, Rehydrate, Daily Dose, and Energize)
• Harney & Sons – new line-up of organic juices (Cranberry, Apple, Orange Mango, Lemonade & Tea, and Big Berry & Tea)
• Honest Beverages – In addition to its booth on the lower level, Honest had its own section at the Coca-Cola bar
• Sweet Leaf Tea – Introduced two new green tea flavors in a 16 oz glass: Pomegranate Green Tea and Mango Green Tea
• evian – Presented three new products. 1) Evian Brumisateur Spring Water Facial Spray. 2) A new glass bottle designed by French couturier Christian Lacroix. 3) The Palace Bottle, a super-premium glass bottle designed for table-top restaurant service
• Good Vibes – a newly imported Australian still spring water
• CoGeDi – the largest selling group of bottled water brands in Italy is now available in the US through Atlantic International Products
View our photos from the show floor!