Press Clips: Beverage Execs Ask for Aluminum Tariff Exception

Can Industry Asks Trump for Tariff Exception

President Donald Trump’s pledge to reexamine the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 has prompted a response from nearly three dozen top beverage industry executives concerned that the White House’s national security objectives may lead to tariffs on aluminum.

In a letter to the president, executives including Coca-Cola North America President J. Alexander Douglas, PepsiCo North America CEO Albert Carey, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group CEO Larry Young, called for any new trade regulations to include a tariff exemption to specific types of aluminum used in food and beverage packaging. Among the products are aluminum cansheet bodystock, aluminum can lid stock, beverage container scrap, and low purity aluminum ingot.

“We appreciate your commitment to America’s security and to assuring a level playing field for American manufacturing,” the letter states. “However, we are concerned that the scope of this investigation will include aluminum that has no national security application, such as rolled can sheet and the primary aluminum which is processed into aluminum food, beverage cans and bottles, lids and closures.”

The letter claims import restrictions or tariffs on aluminum would “add hundreds of millions in costs” to food and beverage companies and will impact more than 82,000 manufacturing jobs.

Disclosures Show Anthony Scaramucci is Investor in Juice Press

Newly-appointed White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci recently filed his financial disclosure with the Office of Government Ethics, revealing among other assets that he is an investor in New York-based juice-maker Juice Press, Politico reported Wednesday.

According to the disclosure, most of Scaramucci’s net worth stems from his ownership stake in investment firm SkyBridge Capital. He also disclosed a minority stake in the New York Mets and income earned from his tenure as a contributor to Fox Business News.

Former Tesla Engineer Starts Hangover Beverage Company

Sisun Lee, 26, a former engineer with Tesla, has left the self-driving car manufacturer to found Morning Recovery, an anti-hangover drink.

Inspired by the repercussions of a night of hard drinking, Lee began researching herbal remedies for hangovers, reports. Utilizing the work of UCLA research Jing Laing, Lee happened on dihydromyricetin, a compound found in Oriental raisin trees and rattan tea, he worked to develop a remedy drink around the ingredient.

Morning Recovery is currently available for sale online through an IndieGoGo campaign.

Whole Foods Announce Date to Vote on Amazon Acquisition

Whole Foods will hold its annual shareholder meeting on Aug. 23 at its corporate headquarters in Austin, Texas, setting a date for the company to finally vote on the company’s proposed $13.7 billion sale to Amazon.

According to the Austin Business Journal, Amazon will pay $42 per share for Whole Foods and assume the company’s debt.

However, the acquisition has not been without controversy. Earlier this month, Whole Foods shareholder Robert Riegel filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, seeking to halt the deal. The suit claims shareholders were misled and not properly informed of the details. The acquisition has been already been approved by Whole Foods’ Board of Directors.

In the lead-up to the vote, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos was briefly named the richest man in the world Thursday after a surge in Amazon stock prices pushed his net worth over $90 billion to surpass Microsoft founder Bill Gates, CNN reported. However, by mid-afternoon, stock prices had come back down to return Bezos to the number two position.

Starbucks is Closing All Teavana Stores

Starbucks’ foray into loose-leaf teas is ending for now as the company announced Thursday it would close all 379 of its Teavana stores, claiming the chain had underperformed due to decreasing foot traffic in shopping malls, Fortune reported.

The store closings will not affect the Teavana-branded ready-to-drink iced tea line, which is a joint venture between Starbucks and Anheuser-Busch.

Starbucks purchased Teavana in 2012 for $620 million. The shuttering of the chain follows the closure of La Boulange cafes, which Starbucks announced would close in 2015. All 3,300 Teavana employees will have opportunities to apply for jobs at Starbucks stores.

NOSH Voices: Disruptive, Cultured Food at the Daily Table

Health Warrior CEO Shane Emmett offered his insights into how to create a healthier and friendlier grocery shopping experience Wednesday at BevNET’s food-focused sister publication Project NOSH.

In a “NOSH Voices” guest column, Emmett had nothing but praise for Massachusetts-based grocer The Daily Table, which offers only healthy food products at affordable prices for consumers of all income levels. The experience left him ecstatic for the potential of a healthier America prompted by health-conscious businesses.

“Consider this idea for a moment – they simply choose not to offer food that does not rise to the standards set by the people who know best,” Emmett writes. “At first, to me, having logged my first 10,000 hours in grocery stores, this seemed radical. And then it seemed obvious.”

Emmett’s whole take is available to read on Project NOSH.