- ZICO Beverages, LLC announced that key strategic partners – including The Coca-Cola Co. – have invested $15 million in the company for growth and expansion purposes. Coke bought a minority stake of less than 20%. Other investors include Jesse Itzler, principal of Suite 850 and co-founder of Marquis Jet, a number of celebrities, beverage entrepreneurs, and independent distributors. Link
- What’s up with Gatorade? Sports drink sales have taken the plunge this year. Convenience store sports drink sales dropped by almost 25 percent in the four weeks before and after Memorial Day. With the category so thoroughly dominated by one product, there can only be one conclusion: Brand Gatorade is hemorrhaging. Link
- Bottled-water makers have stepped up price wars to win back customers who have turned to tap water to save money and reduce environmental waste, the Wall Street Journal repots. Link
ON THE SHELVES
- Coca-Cola North America announced that Fanta Apple is now available in the U.S. as a fountain beverage. Link
- Phoenix-based Revolution announced the release of the newest flavor, 3D Pink Grapefruit. Link
- Whole Foods now carries Grapefruit and Madarin Key-lime flavors of Oogave, according to Oogave LLC chief marketing officer Scott Rago.
- Revolution 3D announced it has gained international distribution at U.K. retailer Harvey Nichols.
- Simplifast is now available in all eight Central Market stores in Texas. Link
- Boylan Bottling Co. has signed deal with Crescent Beverage Co., a division of NJ Coors/Corona distributor Peerless Beverage Co. to distribute its natural sodas in northern New Jersey.
LAW, POLICY, AND ADVOCACY
- As part of a broader tax plan, the state of Illinois raised taxes on sodas this week. Link
- Utah police are issuing DUIs to drivers who drink too many energy drinks. Link
- New York City’s health department produced new subway ads that show human fat being poured from beverage bottles. Link The American Beverage Association called the ads “so over the top that they are counterproductive.” Link
BRAND MARKETING & PROMOTION
- Bud Light and Coca-Cola have signed on as title sponsors of the upcoming American Idol-like music competition, Viva el Sueño! (Live the Dream!).
- The Coca-Cola Company presented its “Living the Values” Award (LVA) to Atlanta-based law firm King & Spalding L.L.P. Link
- MC2 Energy Drink announced that it has kicked off sweepstakes that will give entrants a chance to win one of over 100 prizes, including a trip to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway next February.
- For the 24th year, Evian Natural Spring Water brand will be the official bottled water of the US Open, which kicks off at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing, New York on August 31. Link
- Monarch Beverages announced a ‘free can’ sampling promotion for its CoMotion energy line at 7-Eleven stores, scheduled for one-day promos later this month and in October at locations throughout the Oklahoma City region.
- Red Bull hosted a soapbox race in Atlanta. Link
- Dr Pepper has joined forces with College Football Hall of Fame head coach Lou Holtz to give consumers and students the chance to win more than $1 Million in scholarships throughout the 2009 college football season. Starting Sept. 1, Dr Pepper will give away a daily $1,000 scholarship in the $1,000 a Day Tuition Giveaway as well as the chance for three lucky fans to win the $123,000 Scholarship Promotion & Contest. Link
- Winners of the “Meet Jacoby” owater contest will meet the Boston centerfielder at a breakfast celebration of the player’s Strawberry-Pomegranate owater flavor. Ellsbury will also personalize a “stolen” base for each winner at the event.
- HYDRIVE Energy LLC is the title sponsor of the 10th annual World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain, Nevada, the week of September 14th, 2009. Link
- Ola Loa Products announced it is the Electrolyte/Hydration drink provider for the 2009 Burning Man event in Black Rock City, Nevada. Link
- Power Trip announced it will be the official energy drink of the Buffalo Bills and will be the exclusive energy drink and energy shot at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Link
- One Natural Experience announced its official sponsorship of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week this September in New York City. O.N.E. Water will be sampled to all guests attending shows, backstage and inside the Tents throughout the week.
TRENDS AND STUDIES
- Mintel declared that the energy drink market continues to grow, with sales increasing over 240 percent from 2004 to 2009, and new product launches up over 110 percent during the same time frame. Link
- In what may be good news for the convenience store industry, more consumers are opting to save time instead of money, according to new research from marketing firms The Integer Group and M/A/R/C. Link
- Somewhat less than 40 percent of people in the world retain the ability to digest lactose after childhood, with some ethnic groups digesting the sugar better than others, according to recent research. Link
- New research presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona suggests drinking more than ten alcoholic drinks a week or four cups of strong coffee each day can increase the risk of developing an irregular heartbeat. Link
- Research conducted by Givaudan and the National Institute of Health have found variation of sweet taste perception across ethnic groups. Link
IN THE MEDIA
- ABC News Now presented the best diet sports drinks as selected by Men’s Fitness magazine – with nods to AriZona, Diet Snapple, vitaminwater10, Hint, G2 and Powerade Zero. Link
- “The Pour,” the New York Times blog on alcoholic beverages, published a piece on ginger beer cocktails – with nods to Fever Tree and Gosling’s. Link
- Coaches and trainers are telling their athletes to stay clear of energy drinks, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Link
- The new low-calorie beers from MillerCoors and Anheuser Busch-InBev are attracting consumers that wouldn’t normally drink beer – but may lead to consumers switching from light beers, according to the Chicago Tribune. Link
- Coca-Cola Enterprises will webcast a presentation to analysts and investors on Wednesday, September 9 at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John F. Brock will make the presentation at the Barclays Back-To-School Conference. The public can access the live webcast through the Company’s web site at www.cokecce.com.
- MOCON, Inc. has established in-house package testing laboratories in the United States, Germany and China which allow companies to “test drive” instrumentation before they purchase.
- PepsiCo announced that Tom Greco, a 23-year veteran PepsiCo executive, will assume the newly created role of executive vice president – Sales, North America Beverages. Greco’s former role will be incorporated into a new, expanded sales and marketing leadership role. Link
- Convenience-store giant The Pantry has hired Terrance Marks, a former executive vice president with Coca-Cola Enterprises, to succeed the retiring Peter Sodini as CEO. Link
- Power Trip Beverages announced it hired Randy Lockhart as Northeast Regional Manager. Lockhart has worked at Rochester Beer and Beverage since 1980, most recently as operations manager in charge of supply and logistics.
- You can now get your caffeine boost via beef jerky. Link