• Coca-Cola Enterprises‘ board of directors declared a regular quarterly dividend of 7 cents per common share. The quarterly dividend rate is equivalent to an annual dividend of 28 cents per common share. The dividend is payable June 25, 2009 to shareowners of record on June 12, 2009.
• The Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc. reported first quarter 2009 net income of $57 million. This includes a net after-tax gain of $36 million. This compares to net income of $28 million that the Company reported in the first quarter of 2008. This included a net after-tax charge of $1.4 million from restructuring and asset disposal charges. Link
• After its bid for China Huiyuan Juice Group Ltd. failed, Coca-Cola said it would consider buying back shares. Link And Reuters reports that Coca-Cola is talking partnership possibilities with the company. Link
• Coca-Cola Co. said that its first-quarter profit fell 10 percent on restructuring charges and write-downs but the results met analysts’ estimates. Link
• In response to Pepsi‘s proposed merger with its largest two bottlers, Coca-Cola said it still likes the local, separate approach to its bottling system. Link
• Pepsi Bottling Group Inc reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast. Link
• O.C. BEVERAGES, INC. appointed Copia Creative as its strategic creative and branding agency. Link
• Diageo PLC said it is investing $20.2 million into a plant in Illinois to keep up with increased demand for ready-to-serve cocktails. Link
• Ball Corp reported lower quarterly earnings but expects cost cuts to boost second half results and 2009 earnings to be higher than last year. Net income for the quarter was $69.5 million, down from $83.8 million last year. Link
• PepsiAmericas, Inc. said its Board of Directors has formed a committee consisting of independent directors which has begun to review the merger proposal from PepsiCo. Goldman, Sachs & Co., Briggs and Morgan, P.A. and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP have been retained as advisors.
Law, Policy and Advocacy
• New York state lawmakers are considering revising an expanded bottle bill before it takes effect to address concerns with the law’s requirement that all containers sold in New York carry a state-specific UPC bar code. Link
• Gay rights website Tips-Q is urging readers to write Rockstar Energy and demand a clarification of the company’s position on gay rights. Link
• Crunk!!! Energy Drink has announced that Sam’s Mart has authorized Crunk!!! Pomegranate, Citrus, and Grape-Acai to be carried in 105 stores in North Carolina and Georgia.
• Prime Star Group, Inc. announced a master distribution agreement with NTC, Ltd. The agreement allows Prime Star Group to market and distribute NTC, Ltd.’s new line of HEMP-C ICED TEA. Link
• Lifestyle Beverages, makers of TrimWater announced its availability in more than 100 Walgreens throughout New York. Link
• University of California at Davis researchers reported that fructose may damage people’s livers. Link
• YouGovPolimetrix’ Brand Index suggested that four beer brands – Coors’ Keystone, A-B/InBev’s Busch, and Miller Brewing Co.’s Milwaukee’s Best and Icehouse – should be retired. Link
• AM New York mentioned Star Power beverages in a story exploring how to improve the city’s economic woes. Link
• Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent told shareholders that he thinks the company can increase its market share during the economic slowdown. Link
• Students at a Santa Clarita, Calif. middle school fell ill after consuming Aquafina bottled water. They were treated and released from a local hospital, and the FBI has investigated the incident. Link Link
• Study: DSM‘s genVida reduces menopausal symptoms. Link
• Mexican boxer Julio César Chávez’s “Energia de Campeones” will hit shelves on Monday, April 27 in the greater Phoenix and Prescott Valley areas. Link
• Coca-Cola announced DASANI essence, an unsweetened and preservative- and calorie-free flavored water in three varieties: Lime essence, Strawberry Kiwi essence, and Black Cherry essence. Link
• Kraft announced Capri Sun Sunrise. Link
• Wirtz Beverage Illinois announced that it has appointed Nadine Heidrich as Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Heidrich replaces long-time CFO Mike Taormina upon his retirement. Heidrich joins Wirtz with more than two decades experience as a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Management Accountant. She worked as a financial accounting advisor for Wilson Heidrich Associates. Prior to that, she spent a number of years as corporate controller at top corporations like U.S. Cellular and Fortune Brands.
• PepsiCo will sponsor a free, live Jay Leno performance on May, 10 in Wilmington, Ohio. Link
• Emergen-C is sponsoring the MaliBLUE Art & Music Festival benefiting the Surfrider Foundation. Link
• Dasani is bringing feel-good refreshment to African American women through a Mother’s Day program. Chilli from the Grammy award-winning R&B group TLC is spokesperson for the campaign. Link
• Attitude Drinks Incorporated announced the presentation of a scientific study validating health claims behind just! ‘Metabolic Health,’ Attitude’s milk drink set to launch in Spring, 2009. Link
• Wolverine is the latest superhero to join the Body By Milk campaign. Link
• Jeff Gordon will drive at Talladega Superspeedway this week with retro Pepsi Throwback paint- scheme on his No. 24 DuPont/ Pepsi Throwback Challenger. The last time fans saw this paint scheme was when Darrell Waltrip drove the No. 11 Pepsi Challenger in the race for the 1983 Cup Championship.
• Pacifico Beer unveiled a marketing campaign that takes the beer’s Mexico Via Pacifico theme mobile. Pacifico launched a new iPhone application and a blog for Pacifico’s ultimate journeyman, with print and outdoor creative to follow later this spring. Link
• Pepsi co-sponsored a “Creature Comforts” celebration at the North Carolina Zoo. Link
• The Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and AMP Energy teamed up for a national promotion. Link