The Flow: Sweet Leaf, Adina founders depart; SunnyD at Live

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P>ON TOP

  • Expo West? For Some CEOs, It Was ‘Exit, Stage West’ – For the founders of Sweet Leaf Tea and Adina Beverages, Expo West was the last stop. Link
  • BevNET Live: Enter the Beverage Repair Shop with Sunny Delight CEO Billy Cyr – Billy Cyr and his team at the Sunny Delight Beverages Company have developed a model for unlocking the value of under performing beverage brands. Link
  • Expo West 2010: New Products Galore – Manufacturers remained upbeat and positive in hopes that the economy in 2010 will rebound and were in good spirits with the number of qualified leads and foot traffic throughout the weekend. Link
  • 2010 Nightclub & Bar Show Recap – The 25th Anniversary Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center on March 9th and 10th Link
  • SupplyExpo 2010: Stevia 2.0 – Over 140 SupplyExpo exhibits were set up at the event, primarily to attract the hundreds of natural product manufacturers exhibiting in the adjacent halls. Link


ON THE SHELVES


  • Go Fast Sports & Beverage Company introduced two “hybrid” beverages: Go Fast Coconut Energy and Go Fast Energy Tea. Link
  • vitaminwater rolled out its newest flavor, connect, which was designed and chosen by vitaminwater Facebook fans. Link
  • Cherry juice marketer CherryPharm has changed its name to cheribundi. Link
  • McDonald’s and The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. are trying to convince franchisees that selling fountain drinks for $1 this summer, regardless of the size, will make the chain a beverage destination. Link
  • H2Om Water with Intention announced that it is now bottled in Regenerate, an FDA-approved, BPA and toxin free, 100 percent recycled PET1 bottle. Link
  • Adina for Life, Inc. unveiled two new flavors in its line of “Adina Holistics”-Jade Green Tea with Tulsi, and Coconut Guava with Lychee. Link
  • Zola added Zola LIGHT Açaí and Zola Açaí Daily Wellness Shot. Link


DISTRIBUTION


  • New Leaf Brands, Inc. announced that New Leaf is now being sold in Los Angeles, Calif. through an agreement with Classic Distributing and Beverage Group, Inc. Link
  • Vitality Distributing, the maker of ávitae caffeinated water, has entered into agreements with Speedway SuperAmerica and Kroger Stores. Link The company also announced distribution agreements with 20 distributors in the Midwest. Link


LAW, POLICY, AND ADVOCACY


  • A Kansas proposal to tax sugar in beverages may get reduced from 1 cent per teaspoon (about 10 cents per can) to 0.04 cents per teaspoon. Link
  • Influential New York state lawmakers said they’re unlikely to approve Gov. David Paterson’s proposed tax on sugary beverages. Link
  • Philadelphia’s City Council held a hearing on Mayor Michael Nutter’s proposed 2-cent per ounce tax on sugared beverages. Link
  • Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is considering a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages similar to the one proposed in Philadelphia. Link
  • Louisiana State Sen. Robert Adley (R-Benton) proposed a bill that would ban children under 16 from purchasing energy drinks in his state. Link
  • PepsiCo Inc. announced it is voluntarily adopting a new global policy to stop sales of full-sugar soft drinks to primary and secondary schools by 2012. Link
  • Flavored milk contributes less than 2 percent of the total added sugar to the average teen’s diet and less than 3.5 percent in children ages 6 to 12, reports the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association. Link


BRAND MARKETING & PROMOTION


  • Ex Drinks announced an in-store promotion with Albertsons that awards shoppers with free lift tickets to Big Bear Mountain Resorts. Every shopper that accumulate $35 in purchases of Ex Drinks products with an Albertsons Preferred Card through March 23, will receive one free lift ticket to Big Bear Mountain Resorts. The brand also announced the formation of a professional gravity mountain bike team with the signing of Mitch Ropelato and Christian Wright.
  • Joint Juice has sponsored ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes’ joints. Link
  • Maxim and 5-Hour Energy will pit canned energy drinks against the 5-Hour Energy shot in the Energy Drink Showdown. The faceoff lets readers draw their own conclusions as to why 3.2 million people choose 5-Hour Energy shots every week. Link
  • Dr Pepper extended its “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor” campaign to include recurring 30 Rock character, Dr. Spaceman. Link
  • Coke Zero announced the pairings in the Dept. of Fannovation “Brain Bracket,” a collection of 64 innovative fan ideas to improve the NCAA basketball experience. From March 14 until April 5, people can log on to cokezero.com/ncaa to the view the “Brain Bracket” matchups, learn more about each fan enhancement, and cast their votes for the concepts. Link Coke Zero is also offering Monsters and Critics readers a chance to win Coke Zero NCAA prize packs that include a Coke Zero fleece jacket, cap, and water bottle. Link
  • BeBevCo announced that it partnered with American Legion Racing to promote the “12 for 12” program for KOMA UNWIND. BeBevCo will send a 12-pack of KOMA UNWIND to active duty troops for every 12-pack sold via the web store.
  • Jolt Energy Drink is sponsoring AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” a show about a methamphetamine producer. Link


TRENDS AND STUDIES


  • Some weak trends in the North American beverage sector have started to reverse, Reuters reports. Link


DEALS


  • Distributors National Wine & Spirits, based in Indianapolis, Ind. and Dallas-based Republic National Distributing plan to merge as 50-50 partners, reports the Indianapolis Star. Link


IN THE MEDIA


  • Food manufacturers are responding to negative high-fructose corn syrup sentiment by switching back to sugar in some products – particularly sodas – the Baltimore Sun reports. Link
  • The Cleveland Clinic’s Steven Nissen took a misguided shot at the American Heart Association for allowing a partnership with The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. to soften its outlook on sugary sodas, but the two groups weren’t partnering on the campaign he thought they were, the Wall Street Journal reported. Link
  • “With the decentralization of information, having a Britney Spears commercial isn’t important anymore,” said Andrew Katz, senior marketing manager for Pepsi-Cola. “In 2010, it’s about activating brand behavior.” (via MarketingDaily) Link
  • FOX News host Bill O’Reilly hosted a segment with John Stossel that called bottled water “a scam.” Link


FINANCIALS


  • MBSB Holdings, LLC announced that it will retain the rights to its SlumpBuster energy drink brand after it previously offered the brand for sale.
  • Frutarom presented its 2009 full year and fourth quarter results. The company achieved an increase of 9.9 percent in its sales in the fourth quarter of 2009, to US$ 108.5 million. Link
  • Cott Corporation announced that it will present at the Barclays 2010 High Yield Bond and Syndicated Loan Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. on Thursday, March 25. Link


SUPPLY SIDE


  • AgroLabs, Inc. announced their product expansion into the “shot format” category. Link
  • WILD Flavors, Inc. has added to its Colors from Nature line. Link
  • The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. is closing distribution centers in Tualatin and The Dalles, Ore. as well as Woodland, Wash., reports KATU 2. Distribution is being transferred to a new center at the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Oregon’s Wilsonville headquarters south of Portland. Link


INTERNATIONAL


  • The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. plans to buy Russian juice producer OAO Nidan Juices to step up its challenge PepsiCo Inc. in the country, Bloomberg reports. Link
  • The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. FEMSA and the World Environment Center announced the launch of a partnership to expand the sustainable development commitments of Coca-Cola and FEMSA’s Costa Rican suppliers by reducing energy and water consumption, minimizing waste and raw material usage and lowering operating costs. Link
  • The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. said it would invest $301.4 million over the next five years to set up a bottling plant in Malaysia. Link
  • In the UK, vitaminwater marketers peered down at people in a public square and typed personalized messages onto a scrolling marquee. Link


TOOTING THEIR HORN


  • Zola Açaí was selected as the winning product line in the “Açaí Beverage” category for foodservice and retail at the American Masters of Taste Award.
  • ITO EN, Ltd. announced it adopted a policy against conducting or funding laboratory tests on animals.
  • Tropicana announced a pilot fertilizer program that could reduce its lifecycle carbon footprint and impact the broader agricultural landscape for orange growers and producers of other agricultural products. Link


PEOPLE


  • The FRS Company announced that it is expanding its sales organization. The company named Todd Gibson as the its General Manager of Field Sales and broadened Richard Libonate‘s role to General Manager of National Accounts & International Sales. Gibson boasts experience with Hansen’s, SoBe, and FUZE. He most recently served as Coca-Cola North America’s central region vice president, still portfolio.


ETC.


  • U.K. water and juice brand Drench is hocking its product through a commercial featuring a guy with a Rubik’s Cube-ish puzzle for a head. Link
  • 5150 Juice announced that it is re-launching its liquid caffeine filled syringe – this time with a warning label – after receiving angry letters and e-mails from concerned citizens. Link
  • A pet store in North Carolina has launched an enhanced water for dogs. Link
  • Bud Light‘s “drinkability” campaign — the result of consultant input — contributed to the brand posting its first ever loss, AdAge reports. Link
  • Pop star Lady Gaga showed up in the Sydney airport with Diet Coke cans in her hair. Link
  • The “TEA Party” movement has had a negative impact on tea industry, according to World Tea Expo president George Jage. Link
  • New Hampshire state legislators voted to keep apple cider as the state’s official beverage over milk. Link