The Flow: NOS racing; bottled energy

Financials
Fitch Ratings has assigned an ‘A+’ rating to The Coca-Cola Company’s proposed $1.5 billion senior unsecured notes offering, which could be upsized. Fitch expects Coca-Cola to use the proceeds to repay short-term debt and for general corporate purposes. • Coca-Cola‘s application to purchase Chinese juice maker China Huiyuan has been submitted to the Ministry of Commerce’s vice minister, overseer of antitrust and foreign investment review. This action could pave the way for Chinese antitrust approval. Link Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. dealt Chairman and CEO John Brock a 19 percent cut in total compensation in 2008, the same year the company posted a $4.4 billion loss . Link Coca-Cola board member Barry Diller bought nearly $20 million of Coca-Cola stock. Link Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated announced it earned $1.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to a net loss of $1.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. Link Coca-Cola plans to invest $2 billion in China over the next three years. Link About 68 employees at the Coca-Cola shared service center in Brandon, Fla. will lose their jobs by May 20. Link The Coca-Cola Co. Chairman Neville Isdell’s compensation package dipped 21 percent and CEO Muhtar Kent’s rose slightly in 2008, but both got $4.5 million bonuses. Link Nestle launched its largest ready-to-drink aseptic products factory in the world in Anderson, Indiana, with production dedicated to meet growing U.S. consumer demand for Nestle Nesquik Ready-to-Drink and Nestle Coffee-Mate Liquid products. Link

Law, Policy and Advocacy
The annual consumption of bottled water in the United States in 2007 required the equivalent of between 32 and 54 million barrels of oil — roughly one-third of a percent of total U.S. primary energy consumption, according to a new study by the Pacific Institute’s Peter H. Gleick and Heather Cooley. Link Bottled water companies in Florida, uneasy about the governor’s plan to levy a fee on taking water, have warmed to the idea of a sales tax on bottled water. Link

Miscellaneous
The Bottled Water Store.com is celebrating 10 years in business on the internet. Venice’s mayor has backtracked on a plan to let Coca-Cola install vending machines after the deal left critics in a fizz. Link The Coca-Cola Co. beat PepsiCo on Fortune magazine’s list of most admired companies. Coca-Cola ranked No. 12 on the overall list, while PepsiCo was No. 21.
The Cherry Marketing Institute would like you to know that cherries and
cherry juices may help you deal with the changeover to daylight savings
time. Link Kenworth Truck Co. said it’s gotten its largest hybrid truck order in history from Coca-Cola Enterprises for 185 diesel-electric and hybrid trucks. Link Burcon NutraScience
Corporation announced that it has entered into agreements with a number
of globally recognized food, beverage and nutritional product companies
for the evaluation of Burcon’s innovative soy protein isolate,
CLARISOY. Link Tradewinds Beverage Company debuted a new Amcor PowerFlex bottle. Link

Distribution
Crunk!!! Energy Drink has announced that Spike Beverage LLC will be distributing Crunk!!! Energy Drink in the state of Arizona. Crunk!!! Energy Drink has rapidly been expanding into distribution houses throughout the United States. In 2008, they’ve doubled their national distribution presence and are on the way to having complete national coverage within the next few years.” Power Trip Beverages announced it will be working with premier distributor Pure Beverage of Indianapolis to bring its vitamin powered energy drinks to the city and its 1600 accounts within a 100 mile radius. Link Skinny Nutritional Corp announced a new distribution agreement with Atlas Distributing, which complements existing distribution agreements in New England. Link ZICO Coconut Water has inked distribution agreements with New Age Beverage of Colorado, Arizona Beverage Co. in Florida and Austin Provisions in Austin, Texas. Link BAWLS Guarana announced new partnerships with distributors and retail chains that will fill key territory gaps in the company’s New York sales network. Link

People
The Dannon Company announced that effective April 1, Gustavo Valle will become President and CEO, replacing Juan Carlos Dalto. Valle is currently the CEO of Danone Brazil and will relocate to the White Plains area. After nearly five years of service as President and CEO of The Dannon Company and VP Dairy North America, Dalto has decided to pursue a career in international strategic consulting. Valle started his career within Danone in Argentina in 1996 as Vice President of Finance, where he evolved to become CEO of Danone Waters in Argentina in 2002. In 2004, he became CEO of Danone Brazil. In both businesses, Valle achieved significant success in top-line growth and profitability. Link

New SKUs
PurBlu Beverages, Inc. announced the launch of its newest product line, Potion Herbal Remedy. A concentrated all-natural health shot, Potion has six functional varieties – Energy, Focus, Burn, Calm, Immunity, and Detox. Link. Hansen Beverage Company introduced SELF Beauty Elixir. Link PurBlu Beverages, Inc., announced a new, biodegradble bottle for its GIVE water brand, and a new GIVE Energy product line. Link

Promotions/Appearances
Naturally Iowa, Inc.
announced that the water in its Green Bottle Spring Water recently won
the Gold Medal as “Best Bottled Water in the World” at the
International Water Tasting in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. Link. Pacific Business Journal profiled Hawaiian Springs bottled water. Link Coca-Cola Co.’s NOS Energy Drink will sponsor Kyle Busch’s car in 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. Link BET will be airing a “documentary webisodic series” called Red Bull Big Tune this April. Link WAT-AAH! announced the first official “WAT-AAH! Challenge.” Link Beverage Innovations, Inc. announced it has become an official sponsor of the BodyZen Elite Triathlete Squad. Link