The Flow: Obesity tax, Pepsi’s block

Innovative Beverage Group Holdings, Inc., makers of drank, announced revenues of $781,593 for Q3 2008, a 296% increase in sales compared to $197,364 for period Q3 of 2007. The company also reported that it has been profitable for the last two quarters with year-to-date sales of $1,482,872. Sales for Q3 2008 were up 57% from the previous Q2 2008 period, which were reported at $496,714. The current uptrend in sales is expected to continue in Q4 as well. •• Hat Trick Beverages, Inc. announced the termination of its agreement for a “Cold Beverages Division” and association with Mr. Lawrence Twombly, of Encinitas, California. The company said it has undergone a change of direction and decided not to move forward in the marketing of cold beverages. •• Honest Tea saw sales growth plummet in November due to the recession, but expects a rebound in December, according to CEO Seth Goldman. •• Beverage Business Insights reports that Fiji Water will lay off as much as 40 percent of its staff amid an atmosphere of shaky economics and bottled-water backlash. •• Pepsi Bottling Group completed its acquisition of Colorado Springs-based Lane Affiliated Cos. and announced it plans to close a production line near Colorado Springs in February, eliminating 14 jobs. •• Bioenergy Life Science announced that it has retained Xsto Solutions, LLC, to market Bioenergy D-Ribose in the Eastern U.S. D-Ribose is a naturally-occurring monosaccharide the body uses to stimulate the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate.

In a new research report, the Ethical Corporation Institute analyses strategies of big firms who are leading the way in water management, including Coca-Cola. •• Colorado schools will expell all sodas from school vending machines, starting in the 2009-10 school year. •• A new report from As You Sow, a group that calls itself a corporate responsibility watchdog, claims that only one third of beverage containers get recycled. •• Union representatives reached a tentative agreement with Coca-Cola Enterprises to provide a severance package and other benefits to those who will lose their jobs when the company’s Binghampton plant closes early next month. •• New York Gov. David Patterson wants to levy an “obesity tax” on sugar-charged, non-diet soft drinks. The 15% tax, among revenue measures the governor is to announce tomorrow, would raise about $404 million a year. Milk, juice, diet soda and bottled water would be exempt.

Harold Baron, CEO of New York distributor Big Geyser, is retiring, according to Beverage Business Insights. Lewis Hershkowitz, who had already been handing many CEO duties, will ascend to the top role. Vice President of Sales Jarry Reda will take over as Chief Operations Officer, and Richard Richer will take over as Chief Financial Officer. •• Jones Soda Co. announced that Mills Brown has been appointed to the Board of Directors. Brown is a founding principal of MainSpring Capital Group, a real estate development & investment company as well as its affiliated brokerage, Ross Brown Partners. •• Kraft Foods Inc. said Monday it named Michael A. Clarke as president of its Kraft Europe division starting in January. The 44-year-old comes to Kraft from Coca-Cola Co., where he had most recently been president of its Northwest Europe and Nordics business unit.

Next Generation Waters is being distributed by Southern Wine and Spirits – starting in Convenience Stores throughout Southern Florida. •• DLR Associates Inc, Potencia USA LLC and its Potencia Energy Drink Brand has added another distributor with TMM enterprises an Adel, Georgia company. •• Hall of Fame Beverages and Kmart reached an introductory agreement to carry the Company’s Atomic Dogg energy drink line to select stores in Kmart’s Southwest region. •• Icelandic Glacial signed a three year deal with European business jet operator, NetJets Europe. •• Hansen Natural Corporation announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with Comercializadora Eloro, S.A., a subsidiary of Grupo Jumex, for distribution of Monster Energy drinks throughout Mexico starting January 2009, excluding the Baja region and Sonora, where the current distribution arrangements will remain in place.

Kim Jeffery, president and CEO of Nestle Waters North America, claims bottled water is poised for a rebirth and the company will embark on an advertising program, according to Advertising Age. •• Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfield told USA Today that her company’s powdered beverage brands have seen a boost during the current period of shaky consumer confidence. •• Cases Journal reported that an 82-year old man went to a doctor with an ulcer. The doctor instructed the man to consume half a liter to a liter of Coca-Cola per day for three weeks. The ulcer shrank. •• PepsiCo has arranged to block other marketers of non-alcoholic beverages from advertising in the first half of the Super Bowl, as well as the halftime show. Coca-Cola is considering locking up a similar deal in the third quarter.

Diet Coke is embracing its inner fashionista with a web endeavor entitled “Style Series.” The series of web-based videos will feature interviews with trendsetters such as Rihanna, designer Cynthia Rowley, and artist Robin Thicke. •• Coca-Cola is sponsoring an instant-win game at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s in partnership with the rock band Rev Theory. •• The Gatorade Company, in partnership with ESPN RISE Magazine, announced senior quarterback Garrett Gilbert of Lake Travis High School (Austin, Texas) as its 2008-09 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year. •• Bebida Beverage Company announced that Piranha Spring Water launched the company’s ‘Take a Bite Out of Thirst’ promotional giveaway. Cash and prizes totaling $5,000 will be awarded in the promotional giveaway. Individuals entering the contest are required to submit their entry along with a photo of entrant holding a bottle of Piranha Spring Water per the terms and conditions of the contest. Prizes include: $2,500 cash BMX Freestyle Bike UGP apparel Apple iPod portable media player. •• profiled the caffinated, vitamin fortified water brand Viso. •• Yakult U.S.A. Inc.’s new TV advertising campaign “Change begins small.” was selected as a gold winner in the 2008 MarCom Awards competition by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The campaign plays up the probiotic dairy drink’s distinctive bottle shape and small size, which are its defining features. Yakult’s current website also received an honorable mention in the competition.