President of Coke’s Venturing & Emerging Brands to Speak at BevNET Live Winter 09

Deryck van Rensburg is the man the Coca-Cola Co., Inc. has tapped to find the next billion-dollar brand. And he’s coming to BevNET Live to tell attendees all about it.

The president of CCNA’s Venturing & Emerging Brands unit, van Rensburg’s group has made significant investments in a portfolio of entrepreneurial brands that has put Coke in the position of acting like an entrepreneurial company itself. Under van Rensburg, rather than utilize its size to grow brands, Coke is leveraging external and internal skills and knowledge to grow them.

Since its founding in 2007, Venturing & Emerging Brands (VEB) has proven to be a nimble operation. It has backed fast-growing entrepreneurial brands like Honest Tea and Zico while attempting to develop its own products through unique partnerships outside the Coke system, including development deals with distributors in New York and California, and also with foreign beverage concerns like Illy.

During his speech at BevNET Live, scheduled for Dec. 8 in Santa Monica, van Rensburg will touch on VEB’s mix of investment and internal development, as well as its approach to growing, nurturing and distributing entrepreneurial brands.

About Deryck van Rensburg: Deryck J. van Rensburg is the President and General Manager of Coca-Cola North America’s Venturing and Emerging Brands unit. He has 25 years of international business experience working with both Coca-Cola and Unilever PLC. Before joining VEB in 2007, he was President of Coca-Cola’s Germany and Nordic Division.

About BevNET Live: BevNET Live is being held on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. During the full-day event, attendees will hear from and discuss the beverage industry with some of the most innovative marketers, suppliers, investors, distributors and retailers in the business. Run by, the leading online and print resource for non-alcoholic beverages, BevNET Live offers unmatched insight, case studies, and networking and community-building opportunities. A special Beverage School will also be held at the same location on Dec. 7 as a way for early-stage entrepreneurs to learn the beverage business from BevNET and its special team of instructors.