@@img1 ATLANTA — Cheerwine soft drink, which has quenched the thirst of consumers throughout the Southeast for 85 years with a unique cherry taste, rich burgundy color and bubbly effervescence, is bringing back the custom-molded glass bottle packaging used for more than 30 years to bottle regular Cheerwine.
The twelve-ounce glass bottle with the oval “Drink Cheerwine” label was unveiled at the InterBev exhibition and conference in Atlanta Oct. 20-22. The Georgia green bottle, which includes vertical fluting and the red-and-white oval label, was last used as the company’s returnable packaging in 8-, 10-, 16- and 32-ounce sizes from 1957 until 1989. The new bottle and cartons will be available in the spring of 2003.
“Our return to the oval design for our glass bottle is the first step in a long-term effort to make Cheerwine available in the specialty arena outside our traditional territory in the Southeast,” said Mark Ritchie, president of Carolina Beverage Corp., maker of Cheerwine and a fourth-generation, family-owned soft drink company headquartered in Salisbury, N.C.
“We see the glass bottle design as an opportunity to tap into premium soft drink category opportunities in larger markets, such as New York,” Ritchie said.
While no expansion plans have been announced in this premium soft drink category, Ritchie said his initial efforts would be focused on direct store delivery distributors in the Northeast.
“I envision the glass bottle packaging initially being available in delis, coffee houses and similar specialty stores in major Northeast markets,” Ritchie said.
The bottle will be available in singles and four-pack cartons. The carton design includes navy panels with the tagline “Quality Since 1917,” and it promotes that unlike other soft drinks that use high fructose corn syrup, the product available in the glass bottle uses real cane sugar. In addition to the oval “Drink Cheerwine” label, each bottle will include the slogans “It’s Good Taste” and “On All Occasions.”
In Cheerwine’s existing territory, the glass bottle design will replace a smooth bottle with a yellow, diamond-shaped label introduced in 1992 to commemorate Cheerwine’s 75th anniversary.
“By reverting to the custom-molded design popular for more than 30 years, we also have an opportunity to celebrate our roots as a homegrown product with support that is both deep and broad,” Ritchie said.
Carolina Beverage Corp. was founded in Salisbury, N.C., in 1917 and originated the Cheerwine and Diet Cheerwine soft drink brands. Carolina Beverage also markets its own Blue Mist purified water.
Cheerwine is available as a mainstream soft drink brand in a seven-state territory in the Southeast, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
For more information about Cheerwine, its history, products and recipes, as well as information on how to purchase Cheerwine products online, visit the website at www.cheerwine.com.
For more information, contact Tracy Hamm (704) 332-9071