Press Clips: Welch’s Feeling Vine; More Provocative Ads from NYC Health; Craft Tea Gets Trendy

Start with a little (grape-flavored) holiday cheer, mix in a few warnings about sugary drinks, and finish with a sprinkling of rare tea, and you’ve got the Thanksgiving edition of Press Clips!

Welch’s, the iconic grape juice brand, has launched a new cause-marketing campaign that encourages consumers to “Pass the Glass.” According to a recent article in The New York Times, Welch’s is asking users of Vine, the popular mobile video app, to create and share short clips of someone taking a sip of juice from their right hand and then use their left hand to pass it out of the frame. The company then wants users to post the video to Twitter and include the hashtag  #sharewhatsgood. The completed videos are shown side-by-side on Welch’s website and a beverage appears to be passed from one person to the next.

The initiative will benefit Family-to-Family, a hunger and poverty relief charity, in which poor families receive a week’s worth of nonperishable food and other things like winter gloves and paper goods from family that is well-off.

“There are 505 families from about a dozen states who are matched with sponsor families, and if 505 Vine users post videos before Dec. 23, Welch’s will send a bottle of sparkling juice to each family and Vine participant,” The Times reported. “Irrespective of how many videos are uploaded, Welch’s also will donate a bottle of its grape juice for each sponsored family.”

The Times noted that Welch’s will accept videos in which consumers pass juice in any Welch’s juice bottle or glass of their choosing, but will remove ones that include alcoholic drinks. And if was up to New York City’s Health Department, heavily sweetened drinks might be out of the picture as well. FoodNavigator-USA reported that the city agency has introduced a new series of ads that warn about potential health risks associated with excessive consumption of sugary drinks, including one titled, “Your Kids Could Be Drinking Themselves Sick.”

The new ads are part of the agency’s “Pouring on the Pounds” campaign and will include TV commercials that will run over the next three weeks and print marketing in subway cars though January.  The ads encourage city residents to drink water, seltzer and fat-free milk in place of sugary beverages.

New York City’s Health Department also advises consumers to replace high-sugar drinks with unsweetened tea, and considering swelling demand for so-called “craft tea,” that option is becoming much more readily available. Wine-style flights of tea, house-made kombucha and tea shots are all part of this growing movement dedicated to artisanal style teas, according to Minneapolis’ StarTribune.

The newspaper reported that greater numbers of consumers and retailers are beginning to view tea in the same way as high-end coffee and craft beer and pointed to Starbucks’ recent $620 million acquisition of specialty tea chain Teavana as one sign of a potentially major shift in the way Americans view tea.