The Flow: Go Fast Jet Pack, top brands

Nestle SA will invest $14 million in a beverage center in the Cleveland suburb of Solon that will research products to sell to restaurants, hotels and food-service companies. •• Yakult probiotic dairy beverage has been selling in great numbers at commissaries in the southwest region of the U.S. Since launching in late October, the company announced. •• Wis-Pak board members and local officials broke ground on a new 235,804-square-foot facility for the new Pepsi-South. The bottling facility is expected to be open in late 2009 and will distribute products throughout the South. The facility will add an initial 54 jobs to the Hattiesburg, Miss. area. •• Coca-Cola Enterprises plans to lay off more than 60 Flint production workers, one of a series of shifts in Michigan. A notification sent to the state indicates the company plans to eliminate the jobs at its Lapeer Road facility in January. The sales and distribution office there will remain and actually grow.

Beverage marketers aren’t doing enough to get consumers talking according to a study from Keller Fay Group, a word-of-mouth research and consulting firm. •• Radio news show Marketplace aired a piece about the advantages and challenges of starting a business during a down economy. •• The Marketplace radio program aired a story on Pepsi’s efforts to reduce the amount of water used to produce their beverages. •• New York University officials are reviewing a recent report on labor practices at Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia to determine whether the university should lift a campus ban on the sale of Coke products. •• Natasha Trenev , a probiotics researcher, author, manufacturer and probiotics industry insider, launched – a forum created to help consumers understand and to share their views on probiotic-fortified foods and dietary supplements. •• Creativity talked with five design experts about the success of the new Pepsi logo. Their responses were generally critical of the design change, with one respondent calling it “the Sarah Palin effect.” •• Former pro soccer player Alexi Lalas promised to chug a Red Bull if the Red Bulls soccer team beat Salt Lake. They did, and Lalas allowed a video of him training to chug a red bull to surface on a New York Times soccer blog.

DNA Beverage Corporation announced that its distribution subsidiary Grass Roots Beverage has expanded its local South Florida coverage to a full statewide operation. •• Lifeway Foods, Inc., announced new distribution of its ProBugs Organic Kefir in the northern California region through Costco. •• Hall of Fame Beverages, Inc. announced that it has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with GOYA Foods for the line of HydroPower Functional Waters. •• Golden Dragon Holdings, Inc. announced that it has entered into an exclusive sales and distribution agreement with Taijing Boatgem Organic Food Manufacturing Company. This agreement gives Golden Dragon the exclusivity to sell and distribute the Boatgem products line of (Springlife) in the United States and Beijing. •• Skinny Nutritional Corp. announced the company has entered into a distribution agreement with Giant Food Stores. •• Power Trip Beverages announced it has joined with Mountain View Marketing, Inc. to distribute PTB Vitamin Power Shot to retailers across the country. •• DNA Beverage Corporation announced that it has signed an export agreement with JMT Distributors, Inc., for the exporting of DNA Energy Drink to a majority of the Caribbean Islands beginning with Hispaniola (Haiti & The Dominican Republic), The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos. Several additional islands will follow in the first quarter 2009. The initial 5 container order of approximately 9,000 cases is expected to be shipped in early December 2008. •• Y Water announced Toys ‘R’ Us as the company’s first east coast distributor.

Daredevil Eric Scott helped bring notoriety to energy drink brand Go Fast when he flew the Go Fast Jet Pack 1,500 feet across Royal Gorge in Canon City, Colorado. •• Advertising Age highlighted its top 50 brands of the year, including G2, Honest Tea, SoBe Life Water, and vitaminwater. •• At Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. in Las Vegas. Robbie Maddison and Rhys Millen will perform feats of motorsports skill. Madison will jump his bike more than 120 feet high and land on the top of the 96-foot-high and 40-foot-deep replica Arc de Triomphe in front of Paris Las Vegas. Millen will attempt to become the first person to complete and land a back flip in an off-road truck. Red Bull: New Year. No Limits. will be televised live on ESPN/ESPN HD immediately following the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. •• Dr Pepper and Major League Gaming (MLG) announced an expanded sponsorship relationship. As part of the agreement, Dr Pepper will launch a nationwide promotion where every 20 ounce bottle sold is a winner, supported by an online content experience built around the #1 ranked team in MLG, Str8 Rippin. •• The New York Times spotlighted Red Bull‘s Volkswagen Toureg TDI Trophy Truck for the Baja 1000. •• A collaborative project between the WorldWide Fund for Nature Coca-Cola has restored almost 2,000 hectare of grasslands in Viet Nam’s Mekong Delta, boosting fresh water conservation efforts. •• The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded grants totaling $200,000 to four historically black colleges and universities to provide scholarships for students who are the first in their immediate family to attend a college or university. •• V8 is updating its “Could’ve Had A V8” advertising campaign. “Long Live Vegetables” features real people, over the age of 60, who all have two things in common – they’re extraordinarily active for their age, and they drink V8 100% vegetable juice nearly every day. •• The San Fernando Valley Business Journal reported that Hip Hop Beverage Corporation was awarded Small Business of the Year by the Regional Black Chamber of Commerce at their annual gala on Nov. 7. •• The Dad’s Root Beer Company, LLC introduced 12oz. Nostalgic Glass Package product line that will include; Dad’s Root Beer, Diet Dad’s Root Beer, Dad’s Cream Soda, Dad’s Red Cream Soda, Dad’s Orange Cream Soda, Dad’s Blue Cream Soda, and Bubble Up.