The Flow: Stevia in Europe may nudge U.S.; Maine Root visits

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P>ON TOP

  • EU opinion could nudge stevia in the U.S. – An opinion published Wednesday by the European Food Safety Agency could have a ripple effect on U.S. food and beverage products, stevia production insiders report. Link
  • Video: Visit with Matt Seiler of Maine Root – Organic soda entrepreneur Matt Seiler stopped by the BevNET.com outdoor studio for a chat on the state of the beverage business. Link
  • BevNET Live: Embrace Simplicity with HINT Co-Founder Theo Goldin – HINT Co-Founder Theo Goldin will discuss how his business managed to simplify its way to success during a presentation at the upcoming BevNET Live event in New York. Link


ON THE SHELVES


  • Ocean Spray introduced its first Fruit & Veggie Juice available in 100% Juice and Light: Fruit & Veggie Tropical Citrus and Fruit & Veggie Cranberry Strawberry Banana. Link
  • AriZona Beverage Company introduced AZ Energy, made with natural juices from pears, apples, peaches and mangos, as well as orange blossom honey. Link


DISTRIBUTION


  • BeBevCo announced that it signed a placement contract with ThirstMonger.com. Link
  • Bionic Products, Inc. announced a marketing plan to distribute Bionic-Tonic and LadyPink through distributors focusing on specialty retail outlets such as salons, wellness centers, drug stores, gas stations, grocery convenience stores and other specialty outlets. Bionic will also have a presence at the Boards and Waves Expo in Cocoa Florida. Link
  • Waiwera Artesian Water and Young’s Market Company announced a distribution relationship for all cities in California, Arizona, and Hawaii. Link
  • Funktional Beverages announced a distribution agreement for Purple Stuff with Lohr in St. Louis Link
  • Game Juice Inc. announced that it has reached agreement with Malta Investment Enterprises to promote and introduce Game Juice to the Greater Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and Kern County areas. In Michigan, Game Juice is also now available in Hiller’s Markets. Link
  • Echo Beverages announced that Whole Foods Market will begin carrying Echo Water throughout the Los Angeles area beginning the second half of April. Link
  • RelaxZen, Inc. announced the launch of RelaxZen DAY and NIGHT formulas at all Duane Reade Drugstores throughout New York City. Link


LAW, POLICY, AND ADVOCACY


  • The Washington legislature approved a multimillion-dollar revenue package that increases taxes on bottled water, soda, candy and mass-produced beer. Link
  • The mayor of Everett, Wash. halted a plan by Tethys Enterprises to build a tea bottling plant there, reports The Daily Herald. Link
  • Per capita consumption of soda dropped more than 20 percent in the past 12 years in the United States, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The group calculated that per capita consumption of sugary drinks peaked in 1998, when soda companies produced 638 8 oz. servings of non-diet soft drinks per person. By 2009, that had dropped to 543 8 oz. servings. Link
  • More than half of New York City voters (58 percent) oppose a proposed statewide tax on soda and sugary beverages, according to a new poll. Upstate voters opposed the tax 66 to 31 percent, but nearly six in ten voters said they would support the tax if the revenues funded health care. Link
  • The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable completed the Beverage Industry Sector Guidance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting, Version 2.0. The Sector Guidance is the first greenhouse gas guidance document to incorporate both enterprise inventory and product carbon footprinting approaches for a single industry. Link


BRAND MARKETING & PROMOTION


  • Dr Pepper will return as an official sponsor of TEEN CHOICE 2010 on FOX. Link
  • Bond Laboratories, Inc. announced that it was invited to be an official sponsor of the Playboy Golf Tournament. Link
  • Rock artist Slash and Monster Energy are giving fans the opportunity to access exclusive content and register-to-win prizes by logging onto www.monsterenergy.com now through June 30th. Monster Energy has produced limited edition Slash/Monster Energy “4-Packs” labeled with unique codes that can be used to access free content. Link The company also partnered with Gibson Guitars for the promotion. Link
  • BING signed an agreement making it the exclusive energy drink provider of the Driller, the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball team. Link
  • Coca-Cola North America launched a new Facebook campaign to raise awareness of Earth Month and help support Ocean Conservancy. Through a new Facebook application, users can “oceanize” themselves. For every person who dives into this new app, Coca-Cola will donate $1, up to a total of $200,000, to support Ocean Conservancy’s marine debris program. Link
  • New Leaf Brands announced the launch of a new social media contest, “A Year of Free Tea.” The contest will offer any new New Leaf Twitter follower a chance to win one case of free New Leaf tea each month for 12 months. Only individuals who follow New Leaf @drinknewleaf will be entered to win.
  • PepsiCo Inc. extended its Refresh Project to Canada. Canadians can visit www.refresheverything.ca to learn more about the program and to download a Submission Toolkit.
  • The PGA TOUR announced an extension of its multi-year partnership with both The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. and Southern Company through 2016. Coca-Cola will continue as the presenting sponsor of THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola, the finale of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, and will also retain its status as Official Soft Drink of the PGA TOUR, the Champions Tour and the Nationwide Tour, with beverage-category exclusivity for its carbonated soft drinks, juices, waters, teas and sports drinks. Link


IN THE MEDIA


  • Turner, NBC, Conde Nast, Time Inc. and others have all rejected the PepsiCo Inc./Aheuser Busch-InBev bid to jointly buy time and space at sharply discounted rates, AdWeek reports. Link
  • The American Beverage Association joined First Lady Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity efforts following a March meeting in Washington on during which Obama told members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, including PepsiCo and Kraft, “to move faster and to go farther” to make their products healthier, BusinessWeek reported. Link
  • Aviad Meitar appeared on New England Cable News to promote his new book, An Unimaginable Journey about his efforts to build PepsiCo‘s business in post-communist Romania. Link
  • PepsiCo has been marketing SoBe without a traditional creative agency, according to AdvertisingAge. Link


FINANCIALS


  • Both PepsiCo Inc. and The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. are poised for solid performance in 2010, according to Consumer Edge Research. Coca-Cola’s volume will grow 4 percent in the first quarter, and then jump by as much as 6 percent in the second and third quarters of this year, the group reported. Link Meanwhile, PepsiCo’s Organic sales volume will decline 3 percent, but the company will be able to raise revenue per case. Link
  • Sweet Leaf Tea Co. has received $14 million of a planned $19 million cash infusion. Link
  • PepsiCo, Inc. announced that its annual shareholders’ meeting will be webcast live from Plano, Texas, on Wednesday, May 5, at 9 a.m. CDT. The live webcast will be accessible through PepsiCo’s website at http://www.pepsico.com/Investors.html and will be archived for replay at the same site for a period of 14 days.
  • Big beverage companies have hastened diversification of their product lines away from soda in an effort to dampen the impact a tax might have on their profitability, reports Daily Finance. Link
  • Mach One Corporation and White Hat Brands, LLC announced the two companies have completed an agreement whereby Mach One has acquired White Hat, maker of Dog On It Fortified Juice Beverages. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Link


SUPPLY SIDE


  • Because of continued SKU proliferation, Coca-Cola Enterprises is increasingly building mixed-SKU pallets that have products in the right quantities necessary to fulfill a particular store’s order, reports Logistics Viewpoints. Link
  • Emsar, Seaquist Closures and Seaquist Perfect Dispensing have announced realignment under the common brand name “Aptar Food + Beverage.” Link


INTERNATIONAL


  • A small business group in the UK blasted The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. for a vitaminwater ad that encouraged consumers to call in sick to work when they are perfectly healthy. Link


TOOTING THEIR HORN


  • The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southern California will celebrate the grand opening of its Coachella Sales Center on April 21. The Coachella Sales Center will be Coca-Cola Enterprises’ first LEED certified facility in North America. Link


PEOPLE


  • The Coca-Cola Co., Inc. has named Beatriz Perez as the new CMO for North America to replace Katie Bayne, who has been elevated to president and general manager of sparkling beverages for Coca-Cola North America. Perez most recently served as senior vice president of integrated marketing for Coca-Cola North America. Link


ETC.


  • Reed’s, Inc. announced that Qantas Airways has begun serving Reed’s Original Ginger Ice Cream on all of its domestic and international flights. Link
  • A pair of developers plan to turn a former Coca-Cola syrup plant in South St. Louis into an apartment complex. Link
  • Spanish police stopped alleged drug smugglers that tried to hide nearly a ton of cocaine in a Red Bull-branded truck. Link
  • In yet another example of Red Bull‘s stunts to promote the brand, a member of its skydiving recently transfered from one plane to another. Mid-flight. Link