With Ferolito in the Rear View, AriZona CEO Vultaggio Looks Ahead
The Wall Street Journal landed an interview with Arizona Beverages CEO Don Vultaggio, his first since securing complete control of his company following a seven-year long legal dispute with company co-founder and friend turned foe John Ferolito. With Ferolito now in the rear view, Vultaggio’s looking to make up for lost time, doubling the size of AriZona’s New Jersey manufacturing facility, introducing a new premium tea line called Good Brew and returning to his beer selling roots with Crazy Cowboy, an upcoming lager slated for launch this fall.
“Now we’ve got all this time to do great things,” Vultaggio told the Journal. Vultaggio, who estimated he’d spent 70 percent of his time in recent years focusing on the ownership dispute, a period he described as “a decade of waste and foolishness.”
Starbucks CEO Recommends Stock Market Sensitivity Training
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wants his employees to be mindful of the recent stock market madness when serving customers their morning coffee. In a memo obtained by The Washington Post, Schultz urged Starbucks 190,000 employees to “be very sensitive to the pressures our customers may be feeling, and do everything we can to individually and collectively exceed their expectations.” Schultz’s latest recommendation follows his widely ridiculed “Race Together” campaign earlier this year, in which he urged employees and customers to discuss America’s racial tensions when exchanging money for coffee.
Sweet Leaf Tea Co-Founder Strikes Gold Again, Now With Vodka
Sweet Leaf Tea co-founder Clayton Christopher has cashed out again, this time selling off Austin-based Deep Eddy Vodka to Kentucky spirits conglomerate Heaven Hill Brands. Texas tech publication Silicon Hills News reported on the sale last week, which comes just five years after Christopher and his partner Chad Auler launched the Deep Eddy. While financial terms of the sale were not disclosed, The Wall Street Journal pegged the brand’s worth at “somewhere between $165 million and more than $300 million” in May. Nestle Waters N.A. acquired Christopher’s Sweet Leaf brand in 2011.
AJC Looks Back on Discontinued Bevs
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has taken a trip down memory lane, looking back at the best of the worst beverage spin-off brands. Featured within are long forgotten 80s babies like Pepsi A.M. and Life Savers Soda as well as more contemporary missteps like Redux Beverage’s “Cocaine” energy drink and caffeine-free Four Loko.
FTC Shuts Down Vemma Nutrition
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has cracked down on Vemma, shutting down the Arizona-based supplement and energy drink brand amid allegations of operating an illegal pyramid scheme preying on college students. Cincinnati.com reported on the news Wednesday, which follows a two years investigation from consumer advocacy organization truthinadvertising.org that unearthed Vemma’s alleged crooked dealings.
“This action against Vemma sends a clear and definitive message to the entire MLM community – stop making favorable income claims when the vast majority of your distributors are making next to nothing or worse, suffering financial loss,” said Bonnie Patten, TINA.org’s executive director.