The Flow: Soda tax out; Mott’s Wake-up

Financials
Jones Soda Co. announced results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2008. Revenue increased 4% to $6.1 million compared to $5.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 as a result of a reduction in promotion allowances and slotting fees, which are a reduction to revenue, partially offset by a decline in case sales. Link BAZZA High-Energy Tea has joined the BYB Brands family of beverages. Link

Law, Policy and Advocacy
Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection reminded beverage distributors Tuesday that to comply with a new state law they must file a report by Sunday that details the receipt and expenditure of funds resulting from deposits on bottles. Link Two Toronto councilors penned editorials for the Toronto Star for why the city should Link and shouldn’t Link ban bottled water. A proposed 18 percent sales tax on full-calorie beverages has been eliminated from New York Gov. Paterson’s 2009-10 Executive Budget Link and the American Beverage Association said New York leaders deserve credit for that move. Link Fla. Gov. Charlie Crist is considering a 6-cents per gallon tax on bottled water. Link A study out of Germany suggests that bottled water – even water bottled in glass – may contain an estrogen-mimicking hormone. Link. Several Illinois lawmakers said the state should scrap its exclusive soft drink deal with Pepsi and take bids again after an audit released detailed how the state was sloppy with securing the contract in 2007. Link

Miscellaneous
Venezuela’s Coca-Cola bottler says the company is willing to relocate a distribution center and parking lot if an agreement can be reached with the government. Link China Commerce Minister Chen Deming’s ministry is still reviewing Coca-Cola Co.’s purchase of Huiyuan Juice Group in line with the country’s anti-trust process. Link Diet Coke and Coke Zero have smaller carbon footprints than their full-calorie brethren. Link AdRants ripped a new Spanish-language Coca-Cola commercial for incorporating the brand in less-than graceful way. Link MediaVest Will Work with Coca Cola in Mexico. Link The New York Times printed a profile of the acai berry. Link David Bellm at Packaging Digest asked whether Pepsi‘s “Natural” soda could be bad branding move. Link Black tape now covers the buttons that dispense bottled water from vending machines at in Toronto’s City Hall, preventing would-be customers from seeing that the machines sell water. Link Boeing, Coca-Cola and General Mills say cleaner, safer and more energy-efficient manufacturing practices are a necessity during an economic downturn. Link The Cayce Department of Public Safety in South Carolina has charged a man in connection with the theft of a Coca-Cola delivery truck. Link

People
XELR8 Holdings, Inc. announced the appointment of Sanford Greenberg, founder of XELR8 Holdings, Inc. as chairman of the board, replacing John “Jeb” McCandless, who will serve as lead director for the company. Mr. Greenberg is the company’s founder and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since the company’s inception in October 2000 until March 2005. In March 2005, Mr. Greenberg resigned his position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer to devote full-time efforts in advancing sales and marketing programs through our independent distributors. Link • Jones Soda Co. announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Joth Ricci President and Chief Executive Officer, effective May 1, 2009. Ricci, who has served as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer since January 22, 2008, succeeds Stephen Jones, who is stepping down but will continue as a member of the Board of Directors. Link

Distribution
Innovative Beverage Group Holdings, Inc. has signed a deal with Mississippi Distributors, Inc. to expand distribution of drank to 14 counties in the Northwest region of Mississippi. Link Crunk!!! Energy Drink announces that all three flavor are now authorized in all Quick Stuff Convenience Store locations coast to coast. Crunk!!! Energy Drink has been picked up by many chains nationwide this year including Quick Stuff, a division of Jack in the Box Inc. Health and Wellness Partners, Inc. signed an agreement with Liquid Management Partners, LLC, the manufacturer of Liquid Ice energy drinks, for the exclusive distribution rights to their sugar free and regular Liquid Ice drinks in California. Link Skinny Nutritional Corp. announced a new distribution agreement, which covers Baltimore, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. Link Power Trip Beverages announced it has partnered with Tri-State Juice Company a distributor covering approximately 2,000 accounts across Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Link

New SKUs
All Sport, Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. introduce All Sport Naturally Zero, sweetened with rebiana, an all-natural sweetener from stevia. Link

Promotions/Appearances
Coca-Cola outlined how a revamp of its online marketing agenda paid dividends. Link The Northeast Organic Dairy Producers praised Horizon Organic for honoring its contract with the farmers when HP Hood and Organic Valley cut organic family farmers’ income. Link Corona Wide Open, a new festival and grassroots-based beach volleyball series created by Corona in partnership with Elevation Group and Olympic Gold Medalist Karch Kiraly, will roll across the country in 2009. Link AOL highlighted Vida Tea Ultra Premium Sparkling Green Tea in its Men’s Fitness Drink Yourself Slim section. Link Cochise College sophomore Hannah Vaughan has been named a 2009 Coca-Cola Silver Scholar, an honor that recognizes her as one of the top community college students in the nation. Link DSM Nutritional Products announced the introduction of its Vida line, a family of key ingredient brands. Link Mott’s is launching the Mott’s Wake-Up Call program to wake up Americans to the prevalence of hunger in the United States. Link