BevNET Magazine
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How Much Is There In Less?

INSURRECTION IS MOUNTING in the beverage cooler. The once meek and mild low-calorie health beverages, until recently relegated to the odd-ball health-nut niche, have grown rebellious. Premium bottled teas, lightly sweetened sodas, and electrolyte-enhanced waters are staking a larger claim to shelf space as a healthful alternative to sugar laden drinks. Consumers are reaching for them more as they look for beverages with… less.

Pumped Up: Muscle Milk

The first Muscle Milk-branded product hit shelves in 2000 with a slogan that clearly identified it for its target audience: “Builds Muscle like a Mother.” But Cytosport, Muscle Milk’s parent company, dropped that slogan after recognizing the potential for what had been a gym-centric product to grow out of tubs of powder into a ready-to-drink protein beverage with appeal for workout fanatics and little old ladies alike.

Buzz Or Business

If the world of beverages turned on sales numbers alone, it’s likely that little attention would be paid to the relaxation drink category. But sometimes, it takes more than sales to truly build momentum. Particularly when launching a new category, it’s important to get people talking – particularly when the product can make a tacit promise that it will fulfill a much-needed function.

Yes, We Can

Usually, when you hear “Can it!” it’s not a good thing. But it looks like some ready-to-drink iced tea companies are taking the order to a literal extreme, and they consider it a positive development, as well.

Bottle Neck

It wasn’t so long ago that the public hailed bottled water as a miraculous, healthy beverage option. The Center for Science in the Public interest named bottled water as a healthy alternative for school vending machines in 2003, and McDonalds even added bottled water to an Adult Happy Meal in 2004. But those halcyon days are over, and the turf war is on.

New Beverage Guide

From Iced Teas to Energy Shots, take a look at the New Beverage Guide for a record of the beverage products introduced in 2008. From Activ Water to Zym Catapult, the Guide will show you who to contact to start stocking up. We’ve included nearly 200 new brands. With so much movement in so many new categories, isn’t it great to be able to track them all in one place?

Top Of The Tea

The tea segment has nearly doubled in the last three years as consumers found a new interest in lower calorie and healthier beverages, making tea a pop-culture touch-stone. Those shifting trends first benefitted cutting edge startups like Honest Tea and Sweet Leaf, and the big tea brands – Nestea, AriZona, Snapple and Lipton – have all seen fit to re-jigger themselves in the face of a changing market.

Recipe for Excess

The panoply of folk remedies speaks to the need, as do the number of powders, pills, and other prevention gimmicks currently available in non-liquid form. But somewhere between cracking raw eggs into a cup of vinegar, chugging pickle juice, and downing the hair of the dog that bit you, there’s got to be a happier, more palatable medium.

2010 Beverage Guide

From Iced Teas to Energy Shots, take a look at the New Beverage Guide for a record of the beverage products introduced in 2009. From dox to bot the Guide will show you who to contact to start stocking up. We’ve included nearly over 150 brands. With so much movement in so many new categories, isn’t it great to be able to track them all in one place?

Red Bull Back In The Herd, But Ready To Bust Out

It started as one product, in one flavor, in one package size, but to call Red Bull just an energy drink company today would be a disservice to the brand. Variations of its logo have appeared on everything from an international breakdancing competition to a record label. Now, after two decades of growing the brand into sports and entertainment realms, Red Bull has returned to its core: beverages.

Starbucks Shining Star

It’s midsummer at Starbucks Corporate Headquarters in Seattle, Wash., and despite the swaths of natural light flooding the inside and the warm August weather, a chilled Seattle vibe permeates the entire place. Café colors cover the walls – eggplant, terracotta, burnt orange, butter yellow, sage. The floors are laid with light, clean pine planking; the hallways are wide...

Making The Case For Distributor Brands

Stung by fleeting entrepreneurial beverage brands, several clever distributors have applied their industry know-how to creating distinctive brands that can’t suddenly get sucked into the Red or Blue systems. They represent an emerging trend: beverage brands built by those who have supported others for decades.

Advertising Plugged In

Not so long ago, only the geekiest among us spent more than a couple hours per week on the web. Now, the average American spends 68 hours per month on a computer, and the increased level of internet accessibility means that it is more important than ever for even the smallest beverage brands to stay in touch with consumers.

Reasons To Love The Beverage Business

This economy can make you feel like you’re sinking, but in times like these, while planning for the worst, it’s always advisable to hope for the best. So that’s what we’re doing here: providing a broad look at the reasons the beverage business remains an environment that is fun, creative, profitable and forward-looking. After all, looking forward is a good option when a look at the present is hard to handle.

Powder Power

Powdered beverage mixes aren’t new technology. Tang has been around long enough to have been used during NASA’s Gemini program in the 1960s, and, early on, Gatorade sold in canisters as often as it sold in bottles. But modern marketers have taken a new twist on powdered drinks. New powdered beverages come in single-shot sleeves, called “sticks,” that can go everywhere that bottled water can.

Energy Drinks: Five Big Questions

As the energy drink explosion rolls into its second decade, the game is changing and the stakes are higher. The products have moved from edgy curiosity to lifestyle necessity. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of people wondering what Red Bull or Monster taste like, or trying to determine the difference between Gatorade and Rockstar.

Little Competition

At one quarter the size of typical energy drinks and promising a better boost with fewer calories, energy shots are fast becoming one of the most profitable uses of space available to retailers. According to at least one beverage executive, by the end of the next year, energy shots could be a $500 million business.

Domestic Beer Bounces Back

In 2005, Americans turned to wine as their alcoholic beverage of choice, so beer companies turned to advertising. It worked. Craft brewers and import beers flourished under the "Here's to Beer" campaign spearheaded by Anheuser-Busch, but a shifting economy could send more money toward Bud, Miller and Coors.


If you want to have a hope of success these days, the trick, in essence, seems to be to approach the consumer with a distinct point of view and to commit to putting staff resources into the market to make sure your concept isn’t distorted on its way to the consumer. You’ve also got to be willing to continually tweak the concept until you’ve got it right.