The Flow: DPSG stalled; fructose at UPenn

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent said Friday that his company would emerge from the global financial crisis stronger than it went in. He also said the company is well placed for long term growth, but may miss its targets for a quarter or two this year due to the economic volatility. Coca-Cola Bottling Co Consolidated said it will suspend matching contributions to its employee 401(K) plan starting April 1. Coca-Cola’s bid to purchase Huiyuan Juice, China’s largest juice producer, is still under review for compliance with anti-monopoly law. A result is expected in March. Most industrial experts predict the bid will pass the review. Clearly Canadian announced that it has suspended interest payments on its senior convertible notes in the amount of $9.36 million USD and its subordinated convertible notes in the amount of CDN $2.45 million. The Company has received an Event of Default notice from one of the senior convertible note holders and the Company intends to enter into negotiations with all of its note holders to restructure the debt. Coca-Cola Co is awarding discretionary executive bonuses for 2008 and abandoning a plan to use a formula based on individual and company performance. United Natural Foods, Inc. reported net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2009 of $847.6 million, an increase of $16.9 million, or 2.0%, from net sales of $830.7 million recorded in the second quarter of fiscal 2008. Excluding the impact in both periods of the UNFI Specialty division, which the company acquired in the second quarter of fiscal 2008, net sales increased by approximately $34.0 million, or 4.5%, to $792.2 million.

Law, Policy and Activism
A small group of protesters urged Niagara Falls councilors to “ban the bottle.” Construction of an 850,000- square-foot DPSG bottling plant in Southern California might be put on hold as the company deals with a lawsuit brought in December on behalf of a group called Grow Victorville Smart, which claims the company never completed “a full environmental impact report.”

Soma Beverage Company has promoted Art Flores to Vice President of Sales for the company’s beverage portfolio. Flores will oversee sales for the company, including managing the national accounts team, national convenience food service segment, and overseeing national brokerage and continued development of the distribution network. Prior to joining Soma Beverage Company in 2005, Flores was Western Division Manager for Wyder’s California and Flores spent 10 years at Coors Brewing Company.

A man in Croatia claims to be in perfect health after drinking only Coca-Cola for more than 40 years. US Airways plans to stop charging for soda, juice, water and coffee beginning March 1. San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera has his own hate group on Facebook. Herrera is taking the blame for MolsonCoors’ decision to remove the caffeine from Sparks. Coca-Cola will be allowed to place vending machines in some of Venice, Italy’s most historic areas in a $2.7 million deal which has angered locals. A study from the University of Pennsylvania suggests that fructose-sweetened beverages consumed with their meals increase triglycerides in the blood.

Innovative Beverage Group Holdings Inc. has signed a deal with MBC-United Wholesale to distribute its Drank beverage throughout Alabama. CRUNK!!! Energy Drink announces that AMPM / BP convenience and gas stores will begin carrying CRUNK!!! throughout the United States. CRUNK!!! will be available in 900 stores from Florida to California starting in late March of 2009. BAWLS Guarana announced a number of partnerships with retail chains and distributors across the Western US. Beverage Innovations announced the availability Venga functional infusions in 5 Dallas/Ft. Worth Market Street stores.

Evian Natural Spring Water hosted an educational space at this year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Using both traditional and non-traditional tactics, Evian educated consumers and industry influencers about the brand. For the fifth year in a row, Red Bull Air Race World Championship lands in Abu Dhabi for its opening round on April 17 and 18. Rebuilding Together Harrisburg and Harrisburg Pepsi Bottling Group will team up to repair a local community center. PBG employees will volunteer their time to prepare the center to open its doors to the homeless in March. Funding for the project has been made available through a grant from The Pepsi Bottling Group. The Arizona Republic printed an article about mellow-out drink, drank. H2Om Water with Intention won the 2009 Gold Medal for the Best tasting Water in the World at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting Awards. Gatorade will host a rematch of high school varsity players from the 1993 Easton Area Red Rovers and Phillipsburg Stateliners after more than 15 years to replay their 1993 deadlocked 7-7 showdown. For the 104th meeting of these two schools separated by the Delaware River, All-Pro quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning will serve as honorary coaches. Little Caesar Enterprises and Pepsi announced a national scratch-off game promotion “Buzz in to Win” in cooperation with Sony Computer Entertainment America.