ATLANTA – InterBev 2002 is now over and while the show was not as large as past shows, there were still a variety of companies that were relatively new to the industry. In addition, several people were missing from the show, including Pepsi (although Gatorade & Tropicana shared a booth), Cadbury, Snapple, and Dr. Pepper / 7up. In addition, there was the rumored last minute pull out by Red Bull. However, the show must go on and there were plenty of new products to taste and many new — and familiar — people to meet.
@@img4 We roamed the floor on the first day, catching up with a few BevNET regulars, including The Switch, Merdian Beverage, Rox Energy Drink, Cocio chocolate milk, Monarch Beverage, and the boys from Leading Brands.
In addition, Owens-Illinois packaging was displaying their new PET container with an aluminum can closure. This innovative package promises a new and unique way to package 12oz beverages. At twice the price of a standard can, the only potential issue is cost. No products have been signed for the new package, but we’re sure you’ll be seeing plenty of it in the near future.
As for new products, this show did not have the plethora of new products that it has had in the past, but there were still a few of note. In addition, several existing product lines are going through some new flavors and improvements.
Highlights of the show:
. Ralph McRae, Howard Wishner, and Matthew Kemp of Leading Brands were on hand to unveil the new Pez juice drink as well as some new tweaks to the packaging of Trek.
. Eros Drinks from Dallas was displaying their new herbal beverage, Aphrodite.
. Darius from Energy Brands, Inc. spoke to us about the success of the new tea flavors as well as a new 32oz package that is coming soon.
. Jamin Potamkin from Cocio Chocolate Milk spoke to us about how things are going for his company. In addition, they will be introducing its “Light” version in the US. This Danish company has been around since the 1950’s and knows how to make a good chocolate milk.
. The Carolina Beverage Company, makers of Cheerwine, are bringing back the custom-molded glass bottle packaging used for more than 30 years to bottle regular Cheerwine. The new 12-ounce bottles will be available in singles and four-pack cartons.
. Coke was showing their new Dasani enhanced flavors, which are poised to compete with Glaceau and Aquafina Essentials.
. The Switch is coming out with a new flavor as well as new packaging in early 2003.
. Victoria Beverage was showing its newly imported line of Mexican sodas. These products are going to give Jarittos a run for their money in the US market.
. Rox America is going to start importing the 2 liter version of the product.
. Seth from Honest Tea spoke to us about the continued success of the brand and also hinted at some new flavors that are coming soon.
. Vancol Industries was showing off their new Blue Ox XL energy drink that comes in a 16oz can.
. Bawls had a massive booth displaying the Bawls product placement in the new Playstation 2 game, “Run Like Hell”
. Of course, Interbev would not be complete without the usual array of keynote speeches. We passed on the Coke executives that were speaking and instead went to a talk given by Peter Van Stolk of Jones Soda. Pete was there to talk about marketing to children and shed some very interesting insight into the success that Jones has had marketing to “Generation Y”. In addition, Peter announced that he has recently obtained a patent for customizing merchandise via the internet. Jones is already using this technology to offer customized Jones Soda at their web site http://www.myjones.com.
Overall, the show was not as large as previous years — but was still worth the trip. Between the new products and the ability to meet many of the people that make our site possible, it was a great show.