Page 1

September 23, 2010

CRuNCH TIME fOR ACAI How faith – and marketing – can save the miracle berry.

SHOTS GET BIGGER NACS GUIDE HfCS AND THE FDA KOMBuCHA’S NEW RULES


SEPTEMBER 2010 vol.

8 :: no. 6

Columns 4 FIRST DROP Flexibility is Key 6 PUBLISHERS TOAST Stop the Slots 28 GERRY’S INSIGHTS Peace, Love, and Building Categories 30 OUTSIDE VIEW A Future Path for Small Kombucha Makers 10

32 BLENDED CHANNELS Going Social

Departments 8 BEVSCAPE BUSINESS Gatorade set free for DSD 10 BEVSCAPE INNOVATION Canny Crafts 12 CHANNEL CHECK What’s working in juice – and what isn’t. 36

14 NEW PRODUCTS Just Chill. Or Go Fast. 18 COOLER CHECK-IN How Dad’s got his groove back, plus many more. 66 PROMO PARADE Coke gives out a lot of points

Features

42

36 LEGAL BRIEFING Two cases test the definition of “natural” for a key ingredient. 42 COVER STORY KEEPING THE FAITH Is it crunch time for açai? 50 SHOTS FIRED IN ALL DIRECTIONS The little bottle is now the preferred package.

Conference Beat 60 PREVIEW Natural Products Expo East 50

62 PREVIEW NACS Trade Show

Beverage Spectrum (Postal Number 024-552) is published monthly with combined issues in January/February, May/June, July/August and November/December by Beverage Spectrum Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BevNET.com, Inc. 44 Pleasant Street, Suite 110, Watertown, MA 02472. Periodicals postage paid at Boston, MA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to Beverage Spectrum Magazine, Subscriber Services, 44 Pleasant Street, Suite 110, Watertown, MA 02472


THE FIRST DROP

By Jeffrey Klineman

THE BIRTHDAY BRAND LEARNS TO RUN THIS MONTH, A BIG SHOUT-OUT GOES to Coke’s trade magazine publicity team, which managed at the last minute to remind me that five years ago the company launched Coke Zero. As the parent of a 5-year-old myself, I know how important it is to brag about them as they grow. And oh, how Zero has grown, having captured more than 1 percent of U.S. CSD market share and sold more than 100 million cases. Now, it’s true that my kid has sold a lot of lemonade to old ladies in the neighborhood, but even he doesn’t have that kind of pull-through. But, it did take a while to get the whole thing right. Fact is, when Coke Zero was just learning to walk, Coke’s marketing unit nearly offed the brand, sticking its hands into the vacuum that used to be G. Love’s career via a poorlyexecuted paean to the company’s seminal “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” ad. But somehow, in a demonstration of rare agility, Coke managed to rebuild the brand’s momentum behind a slightly subversive, under-the-radar series of viral commercials featuring brand managers and lawyers. It was the equivalent of taking a underperforming but well-bred colt and switching trainers, and the new approach let the brand learn to walk, gradually realize its speed, and finally, take off. Looking back at the course correction that defined the early days of Coke Zero led me to think about some other brands that have managed to stay flexible enough to pull the fat from the fire. Certainly, we’ve seen other solid course corrections with big company brands like SoBe Life Water and Dr Pepper via carefully redirected marketing and innovative flavor extensions, respectively. On the smaller company side, there have been some exciting examples recently, as well: O Water, for example, recently completed a deal that will allow its founder, Tom First, to market and guide the brand while offloading some of the company’s cash and infrastructure concerns to pow-

4.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

erhouse distributor Polar Beverages. Bossa Nova, a struggling superfruit juice company, has been able to locate a scalable business model now that it has come under the control of Sunny D, itself a pretty interesting turnaround story. Reed’s managed to turn flagging DSD performance into a grocery focus that continues to pay off. The similarity between those last three companies is that they were all led by doggedly innovative CEOs or founders: aside from First, both Alton Johnson and Chris Reed have refused to give up, even if it has meant moving the target a bit. For Coke, however, the target was always a blockbuster brand. Few companies have the resources to try to implement multiple media campaigns until something works. But when you’re dealing with an innovative entrepreneur, it’s a good idea not to count a brand out – or kick it off the shelves – if you recognize the driving force behind it. This month, we’re looking at the energetic force of acai, a berry – and a product category – that has also faced some major obstacles in its development. Like Coke Zero, the acai berry’s potential quickly got ahead of it’s depth – it lost traction like Coke Zero, the marketers behind acai products are relying on creativity to get them through the next set of growing pains. You’ll read about Johnson and his chief competitors, Sambazon and Zola, in our juice focus. Additionally, we’ve added a bit of flexibility to one of Beverage Spectrum’s long-standing features this month, taking Brands in Transition and expanding its scope to include a number of companies as part of our Cooler Check-in department. Under the stewardship of new Assistant Editor Miriam Lamey, we think you’ll find it to be a neat guide to companies who are on the cutting edge. Some will be finding their feet, some will be starting to run, and some will be starting over. As we’ve just learned, that last option might not be the worst one at all.


PUBLISHER’S TOAST

By Barry J. Nathanson www.bevspectrum.com

RETAILERS: QUIT PLAYING THE SLOTS

Barry j. Nathanson PUBLISHER bnathanson@bevnet.com

jeffrey Klineman EDITOR jklineman@bevnet.com

Miriam Lamey ASSISTANT EDITOR mlamey@bevnet.com

SALES john McKenna ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER jmckenna@bevnet.com

Adam Stern ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER astern@bevnet.com

jeff Hyde ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE jhyde@bevnet.com

ART & PROduCTION Matthew Kennedy ART DIRECTOR Amadeu Tolentino GRAPHIC DESIGNER Natalie Iknaian GRAPHIC DESIGNER BEVERAGE SPECTRuM PuBLISHING, INC. john f. (jack) Craven CHAIRMAN jfcraven@bevnet.com

john Craven PRESIDENT & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR jcraven@bevnet.com

ARTICLE REPRINTS fosteReprints (500 COPIES OR MORE) ph. 800-382-0808 x142

HEAdQuARTERS

years, I’ve written about many issues that comprise the dynamic of the beverage industry. I’ve covered price, packaging, promotion, placement, and route to market. I’ve extolled the virtues of trade shows and the importance of trade associations. I’ve covered innovation, or lack of it, time and time again. I’ve encouraged risk taking and fiscal responsibility, boldness and timidity. I’ve even attacked the essential business tool of today, the Blackberry. I’ve encouraged more family time, better employeremployee relations, and I’ve written about marketers I admire and strategies for retailers to implement. In essence, I’ve covered about all I can cover over these 19 years. But here’s the one issue I feel I haven’t really addressed in a very long time – and it’s become one of the most crucial ingredients of beverage marketing: slotting fees. An equitable relationship between the retailers, the marketers and distributors is crucial for a brand to succeed, and the ongoing struggle for power and dominance has been one of the most intriguing and constantly shifting aspects I’ve observed over the years. While each party has had the upper hand as dictated by times and economics, throughout it all, the trump card, heavily played, has been slotting. There are no guarantees in business or in life, but when the retailer ultimately 6.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

controls a brand’s success by selling them shelf space it means that too often it’s merit-be-damned, just pay to play. I’ve heard all the arguments about the risks and costs involved with taking on a brand. That is true, but that risk should be shared with the marketers and wholesalers. It is not fair to be exempted on the backs and wallets of your partners. Retailers, if you are presented with a viable brand, one with a well considered marketing strategy and support in the field, then make a decision whether to take it on based on that. If you don’t think it’s viable, then take a pass. These are tough times, and putting an extraordinary burden on them to buy your partnership is inherently wrong, as there is no incentive to make the brand work: if it doesn’t sell, you’ve already been paid, and you are free to await the next desperate brand’s dollars. Over the past year, I’ve heard more sad stories of brands, excellent ones, that have not gotten placement because they couldn’t or wouldn’t pay for space. It is the dominant theme in conversations I have with all three camps. It is time for the practice to end, or at least be turned down many notches to a more reasonable pay structure. We’re all in this together. Let a brand have its opportunity to make it or fail based on merit. Long term, we’re all better off.

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OVER THE COURSE OF THE


Most Valuable Player meets Most Valuable Product.

Three-time National League MVP Albert Pujols knows what the power of award-winning protein does for him. Imagine what it can do for your sales. Especially since OhYeah! was judged the 2009 Best Tasting Nutritional Shake in America by the American Masters of Taste, as well as earning the 2009 CSNews Best New Product award. To find out more, contact Wes Strickland, VP of Sales, at 888.231.2684 or hit ohyeahnutrition.com.


BI

BEVSCAPE BuSINESS • The latest news on the brands you sell.

Real Brand News: Coca-Cola is still on top. According to the Omnicom Group's subsidiary, Interbrand, the company is still the world’s top performing brand – coming out above companies like IBM (ranked second) McDonald’s (in sixth place) and Disney (ninth). This marks the 11th consecutive year that Coke has achieved the positioning in Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report. The study applauded Coke for its “ability to adapt to whatever changes the marketplace throws its way” – a strategy perhaps best illustrated by the fact that the company now has a brand value of $70.4 billion. Coca-Cola was further recognized by Interbrand for its presence at the recent FIFA world cup, where its brand ubiquity and attention to giving back. For instance, the profits from downloads of its “Coca-Cola Celebration Mix” of the song “Waving Flag” were donated to Coca-Cola’s Replenish Africa Initiative. Coca-Cola also received recognition for its use of social media, amassing 11 million Facebook fans and 96,385 Twitter followers as of August 2010. Yet Interbrand writes that “the brand is likely to face challenges as consumers grow more health conscious in the coming years” but cites Coca-Cola’s Healthy Active Living as a way to speak to consumer preferences. •

1.

2.

6.

9.

Gatorade Set free Major news came out of PepsiCo recently when the company decided to allow about 25 percent of its Gatorade distribution to go into its DSD system. Consumer products analyst Bill Pecoriello called the switch from warehouse to DSD one that “made sense” for both PepsiCo and its bottlers. It means that both PepsiCo’s own bottlers and its network of independent wholesalers will be able to sell the category-leading sports drink to “small format” retailers like convenience stores, dollar stores, and other up-and-down-the-street accounts. Bottlers have long wanted access to Gatorade, which has been distributed up until now through larger-format, warehouse networks along with other Pepsi-owned brands like Naked Juice and Tropicana. The move to DSD networks, expected to begin around January 1, comes with another trade-off: the removal of case-packed bottled water from the DSD system and into ware8.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

house. The trade is another one that distributors should like, according to Pecoriello. “Exchanging negative margin case pack water (a very ugly business in decline) and a more attractive on-premise delivery business in exchange for a high margin Gatorade business in which PEP appears ready to invest in heavily over the coming years is a good trade off,” he stated in a release. That investment became apparent earlier this year as PepsiCo began a major re-launch of the Gatorade brand, its second in an 18-month period. The company has been active in revamping its entire sports drink portfolio, as well, adding Muscle Milk and now O.N.E. coconut water to its distribution system. The move into the DSD system for Gatorade will provide a single sales force for all its brands in small channels and will allow PepsiCo to reap approximately $150 million in previously unanticipated savings, according to Pecoriello. •


BI

BEVSCAPE INNOVATION • Product development & marketing news

Beer Packaging Innovation: Go Old School Back in 2002 when Oskar Brewery chose to package its craft beers in aluminum cans, such a move was pretty unique for the craft beer category. “It’s really been fun completely blowing people’s minds by putting a diverse, complex beer in a can,” explained Oskar’s Marketing Director, Chad Melis. Eight years later, more craft breweries around the country are starting to can their own brews, and it can safely be said that a new trend is emerging among these independent breweries. According to the Brewers Association, market sales of canned craft beer have

carbon footprint by making the product cheaper and lighter to ship. To provide an example, he says “we’re able to package 100 cases per pallet of cans, with bottles, it’s only 60, so we’re saving space.” And more efficient shipping means less energy consumed. Additionally, aluminum cans are the most recycled item in the U.S. and new aluminum cans produced today are made of 67.8 percent recycled metal. Today, it’s not only Oskar taking the mighty can from its PRB-like status and giving it a swanky, hipster persona. The Beer Association revealed that as of Sep-

glass can’t go. For example, you can take cans to the beach, to the mountain, camping, hiking and sailing.” In a similar vein, Melis cites the portability of cans as a way for consumers to enjoy craft beers in a range of places, a factor which may help drive sales. However, he believes that the widespread decision to start canning craft beer highlights an increasing number of brewers showing their commitment to finding better ways deliver the best quality beer. Cans help keep oxygen from the brew and are better at protecting the beers from sunlight, he says. “For

grown nationwide by almost 29 percent each year from 2003 to 2008. In contrast, 6 pack bottle sales have only increased by 2.8 percent per year during the same time period. The decision to use aluminum cans is not only something potentially out-ofcharacter for premium craft beers and microbrews – many of which are sold in stately 650 ml bottles adorned with weird and wonderful labels - but Melis feels that its part of an environmental awakening. “People are starting to take notice of the environmental responsibility of the package,” Melis explains, and adds that aluminum helps brewers to reduce their

tember 2009, there were 52 breweries using cans nationwide. And that number continues to grow. For instance, Luke Livingston, founder and president of Baxter Brewery, will be rolling out his product across Maine in November of this year entirely in cans. He cites environmental, rather than aesthetic concern as the most significant reason behind choosing to can beer, adding that the outdoorsy, active lives of Maine residents also helped prompt the brewery’s decision. “New England is a huge outdoor enthusiast region - we spend a lot of time outdoors, and people can take cans where

us, the cans are great,” he explains, “and the [new trend] continues to provide validity for the package. It’s what we’ve been saying and doing for the past eight years.” And canning more complex beers is a better way to make them more accessible to wider markets – potentially bringing more obscure brands to the mainstream. “Every time someone puts a big beer in a can, it changes a few more people’s minds,” Melis explains, “For the industry, its good because [this shift] is showing that the craft beer industry is evolving and progressing and looking for ways to improve beer quality. I think the trend is good for everybody.”

10.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010


Innovation: disguise Version If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – just change the name. That’s what’s happening with our old friend high-fructose corn syrup. Earlier this month, the Corn Refi ners’ Association petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow manufacturers the option of using “corn sugar” as an alternative name for HFCS. “Consumers need to know what is in their foods and where their foods come from and we want to be clear with them,” said CRA president Audrae Erickson. “The term ‘corn sugar’ succinctly and accurately describes what this natural ingredient is and where it comes from - corn.” The name change would be an endaround in what is an ongoing battle between marketers and consumer protection groups and agencies over HFCS. According to the Corn Refiners, attacks on HFCS are part of a “continuing series of inexact scientifi c reports and inaccurate media accounts about high fructose corn syrup and matters of health and nutrition have also increased consumer uncertainty. Debates over chemical composition aside, it seems hard to argue when so many products are now sweetened with “organic cane juice.”

MC

MINTEL CORNER

Leading Claims on New Non-Alcoholic Beverages Tracked in the U.S. Claims

Mar. 2010

Apr. 2010

May 2010

Jun. 2010

Jul. 2010

Aug. 2010

Kosher

66

63

28

58

40

64

Environmentally Friendly Package

56

69

20

81

59

84

Organic

29

41

6

19

22

45

All Natural

40

27

10

31

22

65

No Additives/ Preservatives

52

32

13

25

56

45

Sugar (Low/No/Reduced)

27

34

12

25

27

39

Calorie (Low/No/Reduced)

32

27

6

29

22

31

Premium

18

13

15

8

26

26

Vitamin/Mineral Fortified

17

13

7

24

28

12

Low/No/Reduced Allergen

29

17

7

16

10

38

New Non-Alcoholic Beverages Tracked in the U.S. by Sub-Category Claims

Mar. 2010

Apr. 2010

May 2010

Beverage Concentrates

Jun. 2010

Jul. 2010

7

7

Beverage Mixes

21

9

Carbonated Soft Drinks

13

Coffee Energy Drinks

Aug. 2010

9

7

4

3

2

14

8

23

25

25

29

18

44

45

49

11

44

14

22

6

7

5

5

3

11

Fruit/Flavoured Still Drinks

14

10

0

5

6

27

Juice

31

25

6

11

22

31

Malt & Other Hot Beverages

3

1

0

3

3

10

SOURCE: Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD)

SEPTEMBER.2010.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.11


CC

CHANNEL CHECK • What’s hot – and what’s not – in stores now. SPOTLIGHT CATEGORY

REfRIGERATEd juICE ANd juICE dRINK 52 Weeks through 8/8/2010

Brand

Dollar Sales

All Other Fruit Juice

$48,884,110

-12.83%

Apple Juice

$50,920,320

9.04%

Blended Fruit Juice

$320,878,300

-9.44%

Cider

$62,680,080

-2.70%

$232,660

-8.03%

$8,189,356

-14.02%

Cocktail Mixes Cranberry Cocktail/Drink Cranberry Juice/Juice Blend

$308,849

37.09%

Fruit Drink

$707,308,700

5.15%

Fruit Nectar

$17,111,820

-11.82%

Grape Juice

$6,468,549

-17.83%

$21,187

-28.01%

Grapefruit Juice

$77,992,840

-4.42%

Juice and Drink Smoothies

$331,258,500

25.90%

$21,77,281

9.63%

Grapefruit Cocktail/Drink

The refrigerated juice and juice drink category managed to hold onto its share despite a soft economy. Call it weathering the storm at the both the high and value ends. While some natural healthy juices fell off a bit, fruit drinks and lemonades held firm, along with old standby apple juice. Improved marketing helped blends in veggie juices and smoothies surge. In fact, Naked, Bolthouse, and Odwalla all showed huge gains by blending protein and fresh fruit with powerful marketing and distribution organizations.

Change vs. year earlier

Juice/ Drink Concentrate/Syrup Lemon/Lime Juice Lemonade Orange Juice

$345,997

-2.85%

$341,979,300

29.28%

$2,727,236,000

-3.91%

Pineapple Juice

$13,260,910

-3.02%

Vegetable Juice/Cocktail

$39,743,480

22.90%

SOURCE: Symphony/IRI. Total food/drug/c-store/mass excluding Wal-Mart.

TOPLINE CATEGORY

VOLUME

52 Weeks through 8/8/2010

BEER $ 27,824,489,000

BOTTLED JUICES

-2.0%

-2.0%

$5,130,209,000

BOTTLED WATER

-1.4%

$7,647,295,000

ENERGY DRINKS $6,380,280,000

SPORTS DRINKS $3,636,796,000

TEA/COFFEE $2,909,685,000

9.4%

2.3%

8.5%

SOURCE: Symphony/IRI Total food/drug/c-store/mass excluding Wal-Mart.

12.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010


CC

SPORTS dRINKS Brand

HOT! Powerade ION4 Dollar Sales

Change vs. year earlier

Gatorade Perform

$940,352,300

Gatorade

$827,209,600

Powerade ION4

$568,818,900

G2

$236,0146,00

-32.96%

G2 Perform

$168,895,400

N/A

Powerade Zero

$146,487,700

56.43%

Gatorade Frost

$139,097,400

Gatorade Cool Blue Gatorade Fierce Bring It Gatorade Rain No Excuses

Dollar Sales

Change vs. year earlier

$967,142,400

-35.21%

Aquafina

$714,431,000

-6.81%

163.46%

Vitaminwater

$709,194,800

-18.23%

Dasani

$626,171,500

-12.46%

Poland Spring

$383,223,800

4.24%

Nestle Pure Life

$276,676,500

32.04%

-38.52%

Smartwater

$260,553,800

29.95%

$97,728,180

128.19%

Sobe Life Water

$257,910,200

60.18%

$95,799,660

16.44%

Deer Park

$237,183,700

-1.87%

$72,010,420

32.03%

10.26%

Arrowhead

$211,593,100

-14.41%

NOT! Gatorade frost

SOURCE: Symphony/IRI Total food/drug/c-store/mass excluding Wal-Mart. 52 Weeks through 8/8/10

NOT! Vitaminwater

HOT! AriZona Arnold Palmer

CAPPuCCINO/ICEd COffEE

HOT! Pomx

SOURCE: Symphony/IRI Total food/drug/c-store/mass excluding Wal-Mart. 52 Weeks through 8/8/10

Brand

Brand

HOT! Sobe Life Water

Private Label

RTd TEA

N/A

BOTTLEd WATER

Dollar Sales

Change vs. year earlier

Brand

Dollar Sales

Change vs. year earlier

Arizona

$630,895,200

7.47%

Frappuccino

$520,134,500

2.74%

Lipton

$316,203,000

-9.26%

Doubleshot

$55,078,220

-5.44%

Lipton Brisk

$224,966,100

51.72%

Doubleshot Light

$10,558,960

-22.25%

Snapple

$191,204,600

6.22%

Private label

$5,981,603

-0.1%

Lipton Pureleaf

$168,537,500

16.36%

Seattles Best

$2,700,078

N/A

Diet Snapple

$123,711,200

19.74%

Cinnabon Cappucino

$2,338,497

-34.64%

-1.58%

Caribou Coffee

$1,333,912

-86.90%

Nestea

$114,687,100

Gold Peak

$93,062,170

53.34%

Emmi

$1,176,894

7.75%

AriZona Arnold Palmer

$85,258,620

110.96%

Pomx

$1,038,896

299.34%

Diet Lipton

$62,857,620

-5.48%

$471,752

176.14%

SOURCE: Symphony/IRI Total food/drug/c-store/mass excluding Wal-Mart. 52 Weeks through 8/8/10

fRuIT dRINKS Brand

Hawaiian Punch

NOT! Lipton

HOT! V8 V fusion Light Dollar Sales

$180,709,800

Change vs. year earlier

Illy Issimo

SOURCE: Symphony/IRI Total food/drug/c-store/mass excluding Wal-Mart. 52 Weeks through 8/8/10

dOMESTIC BEER Brand

NOT! Caribou Coffee

HOT! Keystone Light Dollar Sales

Change vs. year earlier

1.78%

Bud Light

$5,227,680,000

-3.27%

$2,150,146,000

-8.23%

V8 Splash

$108,052,600

5.12%

Budweiser

Tampico

$98,097,700

-12.07%

Coors Light

$1,857,099,000

0.89%

Bug Juice

$93,156,540

-3.90%

Miller Lite

$1,681,155,000

-5.02%

Fuze Slenderize

$66,270,480

-7.13%

Natural Light

$1,127,218,000

4.18%

Snapple

$65,073,200

1.79%

Busch Light

$735,313,900

6.65%

Private Label

$64,174,900

-12.80%

Busch

$680,626,400

-0.43%

Fuze Refresh

$56,434,590

-3.97%

Miller High Life

$510,499,000

1.99%

Kool Aid Bursts

$52,344,350

-5.24%

Keystone Light

$488,316,500

13.79%

V8 V Fusion Light

$40,907,590

22.19%

Natural Ice

$344,830,400

2.41%

SOURCE: Symphony/IRI Total food/drug/c-store/mass excluding Wal-Mart. 52 Weeks through 8/8/10

NOT! Private label

SOURCE: Symphony/IRI Total food/drug/c-store/mass excluding Wal-Mart. 52 Weeks through 8/8/10

NOT! Budweiser

SEPTEMBER.2010.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.13


NP

NEW PROduCTS • The newest options for cooler and shelf.

ENERGY dRINKS

RELAxATION BEVERAGES

Roaring Lion has launched its new Roaring Lion Sugar Free alternative. With the same taste as the Roaring Lion energy drink, the new formula has zero calories. Available in a pale blue, 12 oz. can, Roaring Lion Sugar Free will appear nationwide in select retail and on-premise locations for the suggested retail price of$1.99 to $2.29. For more information, please call (866) 350-8320.

The Ambrosia Beverage Group has released Ambro Relax in 60 convenience stores and hotels around the Dallas/Ft Worth area. The strawberry mango-flavored beverage comes in 250 ml cans and provides 100 percent of the daily values of vitamins B6 and B12 as well as 2.5mg of melatonin. It can be purchased in 6-, 12-, or 24-packs online. The suggested retail price for Ambro relax is between $1.99 and $2.99 per can. For more information, please call (800) 314-1822.

Go Fast has added the new flavors Go Fast Berry Energy, and Go Fast Lemonade Lime Energy to its Hybrid Energy Line. The products are sold in 16 oz. cans at the suggested retail price of $2.49. The new flavors will be available across select Western states. For more information, please call (480) 980-5440.

ENERGY SHOTS BAZI International, Inc. has launched its BAZI energy shot. Containing the Phyto8 superfruit blend with jujube, blueberry, pomegranate, goji, mangosteen, raspberry, acai, and seabuckthorn, the energy shots come in 2 oz. serving sizes at the suggested retail price of $2.99. BAZI energy shots are available at retail stores nationwide and online. For more information, please visit www.drinkbazi.com.

NuTRITIONAL BEVERAGES Health is Wealth has introduced a new line of ready-to-drink Nutriccino and Vitamin Coffee iced coffee drinks. The beverages combine 100 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamins per bottle plus calcium and Vitamin E. Available in 280 ml bottles, Nutriccino comes in Vanilla Latte and Mocha flavors, and Vitamin Coffee comes in Vanilla Latte. The suggested retail price is between $2.50 and $2.99, and both beverages are currently available in New Jersey with expected expansion into Florida markets. For more information, please call (856) 728-1998.

MILK Earth Balance has launched a new line of organic and Non-GMO Project-verified refrigerated soymilk. It comes in original,vanilla, chocolate and unsweetened flavors and is vegan and gluten-free. The new soymilks come in 64 oz. cartons and are available at Whole Foods stores nationwide. Suggested retail price is $2.99. For more information, please call (201) 424-8493. 14.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

The Chill Group, Inc. has introduced Just Chill, a natural stress relief beverage. It includes 100mg of the amino acid, L-Theanine per 8.4 oz. can. Each serving has only 50 calories and 12 grams of sugar. Just Chill is available across Central and Southern California, and at select Whole Foods stores nationwide. The suggested retail price is $1.99. For more information, please call (805) 770-1990.

WINE Total Beverage Solutions has added a new wine label called Blonde Bombshell to the U.S. market. The light and fruit-focused California wine is 13 percent alcohol by volume and retails for the suggested price of $11. Blond Bombshell comes in a 750 ml bottle with a vintage-style label. The wine is available in 17 states nationwide, including New York, California, Maine and Tennessee. For more information, please call (843) 881-0761. Don Sebastiani & Sons has introduced a 3 L box size for its range of Pepperwood Grove wines. Dubbed the Big Green Box, the packaging is 100 percent recyclable and printed on paper sourced from sustainable forests. Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon wines are all available in the Big Green Box package nationally. The suggested retail price is $19.99. For more information, please call (707)933-1704. J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines has introduced its 2009 Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir. The wine is crafted from cool-climate Monterey County fruit, with an emphasis on grapes from the Arroyo Seco and the Santa Lucia Highlands appellations. It is 13.9 percent alcohol by volume. Starting in September, the wine will be nationally distributed in 750 ml bottles for the suggested retail price of $17. For more information, please call (408)288-5057.


NP Mouton Cadet has launched Cadet d’Oc - a new line of varietally-labeled wines. The first offerings are a 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in a 750 ml bottle for the suggested retail price of $9.99. Both wines will be available nationally via Constellation Wines U.S. For more information, please call (888) 659-7900. Arbor Mist has added the White Pear Pinot Grigio to its line of wines. The new flavor blends white pear with crisp Pinot Grigio and sports the brand’s updated logo. Available in bottles of 750 ml, at a suggested retail price of $3.99 and a 1.5 L bottle for $7.47, the wine has national distribution. For more information, please call (888)659-7900.

BEER SanTan Brewing Company of Chandler has launched can packaging for its Hopshock IPA at 5 percent alcohol by volume and Hefeweizen, at 7 percent ABV. Both beers will be available year-round in 6-packs of 12 oz. cans in select retail locations in Arizona via Crescent Crown Distributing. The suggested retail price for the Hefeweizen is $8.99 and $9.99 for the Hopshock IPA. For more information, call (480) 917-8700. Deschutes Brewery is releasing its winter seasonal beer, Jubelale, in early October. With 6.7 percent alcohol by volume, Jubeale comes in 6- and 12-packs of 12 oz. bottles. The labels also feature designs by Oregon artist, Natasha Bacca. The seasonal beer will be available in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Texas and Minnesota. Suggested retail price per 6-pack is $8.99. For more information, please call (541) 385-8606. Thomas Hooker Brewing Company has launched its seasonal Oktoberfest beer which is available as of Labor Day until Oct 31. The Bavarian-style beer is 5.8 percent alcohol by volume and it blends a range of malts including Canadian 2-Row and Munich Light with the Spalt, Hallertau and Staaz hops. The Oktoberfest is available in a 6-pack of bottles in select states on the East Coast. Its suggested retail price is $8.99. For more information, please call (860) 242-3111. •

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YUENGLING:

Pennsylvania’s Not-So-Micro Brew BY MIRIAM LAMEY

AT A TIME WHEN TOP BEER brands have been forced to pinch pennies or fall victim to foreign takeover, familyowned domestic brewer Yuengling has soared, despite distribution that’s largely limited to a core of mid-Atlantic and Southern states. Most recently, according to IRI numbers from July 2010, the brewery reported a 20 percent sales increase. Craft beer has enjoyed surging sales while megabrewers like InBev/AnheuserBusch have seen tough years and declining returns. But midsize brewer Yuengling’s hearty but still-American style lager is finding tap handles galore, and has consumers crossing state lines to bring back cases to their Yuengling-free hometowns. So what’s driving them to drive for the stuff? According to beer industry consultant Bump Williams, Yuengling’s well-known heritage and all-American roots have a great deal to do with its continued popularity. “Since September 11, people have really focused on the fact that America is not what it used to be. We want it to be as great as it was,” he says. “When you think about all the big beer companies, our largest breweries aren’t American-owned any more. Dick Yuengling has America’s oldest brewery.” However, patriotic feelings alone aren’t responsible for Yuengling’s continued success, particularly as many Americans are eagerly sipping pricier home-grown craft beers. Still, there’s hard evidence of Yuengling’s popularity: one needn’t look much further than the Yuengling’s expansion of its Mill Creek facility to realize that the brand is in growth mode. The outlet was at maximum capacity, according to company president Dick Yuengling, but still needed more product. Now, any additional beer made will be used to satisfy existing market deficiencies. “We’re running out of product from time to time,” he explains. “It happened last

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year too, simply because we didn’t put out enough beer in April, we got caught short and met demand in May and June, but were out of product in July.” He adds, “We like people to buy early [but we] don’t like to work too far ahead because of freshness.” Fortunately, with these renovations, the brewery hopes to create jobs and increase output by approximately 450 thousand barrels – which translates to 40 to 50 percent of additional capacity, Yuengling says. “Right now,” he explains, “we won’t open any new markets.” He adds, “we want to make sure we satisfy the existing market.” Marketing Manager Lou Romano concurs, adding their “primary focus is properly servicing the states where we currently sell our brands.” Expansion into new markets will have to wait, according to Romano. “Decisions to expand our footprint will not be made until the [current] projects are completed and we can determine exactly how much addition product we can yield,” he says. For now, according to Mr. Yuengling, the company is making its Light Lager a priority in its current distribution network, describing the beer as a “very successful” venture thus far. The brew recently underwent a facelift, including new packaging, and availability in a 12-pack of cans. “Any light beer does not have the same character as a regular beer,” he explains, “but the light is formulated well.” He adds that the Yuengling Light Lager is “really a spin off from the brand,” and points out that the company wants to “grow the business and see what the success of Light Lager is.” So far, it seems the Light Lager is being well-accepted. It has been experiencing a strong upward growth trend of approximately 18 to 20 percent this year so far, according to the president. “Light beers have been growing for a long time,” Williams says, and the

arrival of Yuengling’s low-calorie version bodes well for the overall national awareness of its core line. But if awareness is up nationally, Yuengling still isn’t headed for every store in the country anytime soon. Romano says that the brewer tends to “really approach expansion in a slow, deliberate way.” But that doesn’t mean Yuengling won’t be open to new things – and new markets. “We’re committed to the future,” he says. “We’ve been a very fortunate company in the last 25 years.”


Fresh Strategy at

METROMINT BY MIRIAM LAMEY

AT THIS POINT, IT’S HARD TO CALL flavored water a new concept, but highlydesigned, carefully-controlled Metromint continues to treat its underlying mint flavors as unique. While that’s helped it establish an identity of its own – and even gain impressive placements like Starbuck’s – Metromint has had trouble catching fire outside of California. Now retrenching in the East Coast, the brand still hopes its unconventional recipe and new strategy can help it finally break through. COO Matt Collins nevertheless recognizes that it’s going to take a hard push to leverage its West Coast achievements out on the chillier East Coast. Of course, there have been pushes in the past, but maybe in the wrong place. The San Francisco-based company’s initial West Coast success was largely driven by its presence in natural and health food stores, which may have caused it to overestimate how easy things would be nationally. “When we launched 6 years ago, out of necessity we launched in the natural channel where there are no slotting fees,” Collins explains. “We had great success early, grew the brand there and then took it to grocery.” With distributors like UNFI and Nature’s Best behind Metromint, the product sold and was able to move into more mainstream stores like Kroger, where today, Collins says the company has reaped “triple-digit sales” increases. When asked why they moved to such stores, Collins hints at the down economy and subsequent shift in consumer buying habits as reasons. People are “trying to save money,” he says, “and they still want good products.” In the East, however, rather than build their natural channel foundations first, the company chose to focus on entering

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grocery stores like Shaw’s and Hannafords. Metromint hit Whole Foods Markets, but Collins says “we hadn’t exhausted our opportunities in the natural channel.” As of this spring, the wheels were set in motion for this to change. The company relaunched its East Coast focus and chose to almost backtrack to copy their original West Coast plan of focusing in on natural and independent stores. “We’re firming up the East Coast foundation to build [the brand] up the way we did in the West,” Collins says. “We’re not totally ditching the mainstream,” he says, “we’re just trying to build and shore up the parts we skipped.” In order to spread the Metromint word – or flavor – Collins explains that the company will try to expand its distribution points and increase consumer trials. The product is something that does require explanation, he says, and sampling programs will help consumers better understand it. The company is even willing to revamp its vaunted polka-dot labeling if need be: “The big thing for us is to get people to try it,” he says. While the company’s main East Coast goal may be to solidify its presence in natural foods stores, it still intends to conquer the behemoth of the New York metropolitan area. Collins says that the waters are already in some 7-Eleven and Walgreens stores, but the company also “aims to strategically identify certain neighborhoods where we think it will be a good fit.” This might mean staying out of convenience stores for now, as Collins feels their generally male demographic aren’t Metromint’s target audience, but Metromint remains open to anything. He confidently states: “now is the right time for Metromint.”


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VIB

Takes on Grocery, Hopes to Hit the Gym BY MIRIAM LAMEY

TRAVIS HOLLMAN MIGHT ENCOURAGE potential consumers to chill out with his relaxation beverage ViB (Vacation in a Bottle), but Hollman himself isn’t resting in his hot pursuit of long-term success. “We’re trying to build a company over the next 10 years,” he says. “I would love to see us get some strong competitors who are [also] going after the long-term approach.” Hollman takes his long-term plan seriously enough to have built his product in two ways that make it stand out from the competition in the still-evolving relaxation drink category. For one, ViB is formulated to avoid many potential regulatory roadblocks – it steers clear of the controversial ingredient melatonin, which is present in category leader DRANK – and it also reaches out to a more mature consumer via grocery and drug channels. “We know that supermarkets have our ideal targets: women 18-34, consumers who seek a choice with caffeine free beverages and moms that stock that pantry with healthy, functional drinks for their kids,” Hollman says. To really push ViB as an easy-to-grab item for those on the go, he revealed to Beverage Spectrum that he is launching ViB in a new 4-pack format like other established CSDs and juices. “We’re really going after the grocery market, the drug store market,” he adds, citing some of ViB’s GRAS-certified, natural ingredients like L-theanine - - ingredients that some competitors like drank don’t use in their formulas. And Hollman is pretty serious about coming out on top via grocery channels. “Our deal is to go after the grocery market where all the ‘big guys’ are.” ViB – like many of its competitors, a product of Texas -- now has accounts with Reasor’s grocery stores across Oklahoma, and upwards of 70 national distributors on board. While Hollman has sought and received authorizations other mainstream 22.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

stores like Kroger, SaveMart, Lucky’s, Market Street, and Albertsons, the move to work with Reasor’s has its own significance: the chain is second-largest in the state, behind Walmart. Despite its Texas roots, ViB continues to aim for a national presence. In April, it announced its collaboration with GTG Beverages, a brand house in the Northeast that has access to both grocery and convenience stores. Hollman called it a “pivotal” move. “[GTG] have opened doors in the Northeast territory and they are well recognized throughout the industry for their assertive marketing support,” he says. Someone must be doing something right. While Hollman can’t reveal explicit figures, he does comment that the company is on pace to hit a 150-percent increase in sales over last year. Similarly, he cites figures from Aegis Professional Services that estimate ViB has between 23 and 25 percent market share in the relaxation beverage category – numbers Aegis put together when they did a category market review. For Hollman, ensuring ViB’s place on grocery store shelves isn’t enough; he also hopes to take on the gym channel. With the company’s recent purchase of Next Generation Water – a functional beverage company whose products are designed to resemble dumbbells -- the company is attempting to put its gym knowledge to good use. Hollman’s partner and ViB co-founder, Johnny De la Valdene, boasts knowledge of the gym channel that may pave the way for future crossover products, from relaxation to performance beverages. “We think that the relaxation [beverage] category is going to get hotter and we wanted to diversify a bit,” Hollman explains, concerning the recent acquisition. “[Next Generation Waters] have some waters that are complementary to what we’re trying to do. We think we can make

some headway.”If getting people to chill out after they work out is the next big thing, then ViB wants to have it covered. However, time will tell if such offerings leave consumers with enough stamina to make it to the grocery store, too.


DAD’S ROOT BEER’S West Coast Distributor Capitalizes on Nostalgia BY ALEXIS HAUK

IF YOU GO TO THE DAD’S ROOT Beer unofficial fan group on Facebook, you will find on its wall a treasure trove of hyperbolic phrases, complete with the required excess of smiley faces and expletives. Shout-outs range from “This s***’s fricken [sic] amazing!” to “I F**ing LOVE THIS STUFF!!!” But for the more buttoned-down types, there is also an official fan page on Facebook, equally devoted to the kitschy beverage and moderated by Vice President of Sales for the company Andrea Hedinger (whose dad happens to be Dad’s CEO Keith Hedinger). There, you’ll find somewhat more tangible information, presented by the 300 official fans. And for the answer to one user’s query, “Where can I find Dad’s Root Beer in California?” you couldn’t find a better resource than Bob Groux, CEO of Coast Beverage Group, the largest distributor of Dad’s Root Beer in California. Sales of Dad’s are set to escalate nicely in the coming year, according to Groux and other sources. Dad’s is something of a miracle story for the 21st century. Born in Chicago in 1937, the soda--whose essential ingredients of wintergreen, licorice, and vanilla have remained the same--took off at first, at one point claiming a position in the nation’s roster of most popular soft drinks, including a brief stint under the Coca-Cola Company’s mammoth distribution network. (Coca-Cola’s brand of root beer, Barq’s, joins A&W, owned by Cadbury and Schweppes, as Dad’s Root Beer’s greatest competitors.) By the time Dad’s celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2007, however, it had faded into obscurity and seemed on the brink of bankruptcy. As fate would have it, Keith Hedinger’s distribution center, based in Jasper, IN, had become the largest in the country, out of the eight branches still 24.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

kicking. So the Atlanta-based Monarch Beverage Company, which had owned Dad’s since the 1980s, asked if Hedinger would take over the whole operation. After a few visits down south, Hedinger to decided accept Monarch’s offer. “I was flattered at the opportunity,” Hedinger said. “I also thought it could possibly be the right place at the right time.” The first thing he did was to create a Web site for the company--its first--which is now an integral tool in shaping the brand’s nostalgic and sentimental appeal. In the three years since then, the renewed face of Dad’s Root Beer has expanded its distribution centers ten-fold, with 80 operating across the country, and bottling headquarters in Alabama, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Last year, the company sold approximately 2 million cases of root beer, and marketing efforts have expanded to social networks and iPhone applications. Then there was the built-in bonus of having a name like “Dad’s.” As one might expect for a company that has historically billed its beverages as a “family,” nicknaming its different sizes “Mom” (medium), “Pop” (large) and “Junior” (small)--Father’s Day is to Dad’s Root Beer what Valentine’s Day is for Hershey Kisses. Considering that Coast Beverage Group ran out of cases completely last Father’s Day, Groux said his company built in several big promotions as a lead-in to June’s buying season this year. But the focus remains on whether Dad’s Root Beer Company can once again become a nationally-recognized brand. “Unfortunately, it got in the hands of people who weren’t marketing it all across the country,” Andrea Hedinger said of Monarch’s misstep. California’s boom population and apparent zest for nostalgic brands does inspire Groux and others to consider it as

a possible contender for Dad’s Root Beer’s more prominent regions. What is certain is that Dad’s Root Beer is carried in 25 percent of the California’s supermarkets. Touting the niche that Dad’s has filled on the west coast, Groux said, “It’s got a great reputation as something other than the big two-liter 24-pack of Coke or Pepsi root beer that you can buy every day. It’s nostalgic. Like sitting on the porch and having a root beer float.” (The darker side of that thought process includes one baffling attempt at mass marketing the old-timey comfort of root beer floats: a short-lived root-beerflavored milk released by Dairylea and Dad’s Root Beer in 1988.) Groux joined up with Hedinger last spring even though, in 2008, Dad’s was just a year out of financial crisis. The reason? Because he thought the venture was worth the risk to his company, because he could tap into the once “very well-known brand.” Groux’s hunch paid off when the buyers he approached – among them CVS, Stater Brothers Markets, Gelson’s and Bristol Farms – remembered the brand favorably and agreed to stock it their shelves. Groux continues, “It’s what Norman Rockwell would be drinking if he was alive today.”


OOBA

Finds Benefit in Change BY MIRIAM LAMEY

WHO SAID THAT CHANGE HAS TO be a bad thing? Take the HiBix Corporation’s all-natural offering, Ooba, for instance. After a packaging and recipe revamp, CEO and President John-David Enright ‘s new focus seems to realize the beverage’s initial promise. “When I first launched the beverage in 2008, it was in a larger bottle and it had a higher sugar content. I was trying to be in line with the top sellers,” says Enright. He quickly learned that he had to go back to the drawing board. “Within six months of the launch, I looked at the [industry’s] trends [and found a focus on] portion control and lower sugar content…we had to be in tune with what the market demanded.” An additional side effect to the flailing economy was the fact that people became more concerned with pinching their pennies than purchasing the industry’s latest wonder-drink. “Everyone was price-sensitive,” Enright explains. And heading a young company lacking widespread distribution meant that the CEO had to respond to market conditions - - and fast. Within eight months, he says, Hibix turned Ooba from a 16 oz. behemoth that clocked in at 160 calories into a more svelte 12 oz. bottle with only 95 calories. Since Ooba’s facelift – and an exclusive New York distribution deal with largescale wholesaler Manhattan Beer, signed in late 2009 and early 2010 -- Enright has set his sights on trying to take on the mother of all beverage markets, the New York metropolitan area. In its infancy, Ooba went straight to Whole Foods Markets and was stocked in UNFI warehouses. While that gave him broad geographical distribution, it didn’t create pull-through. In order to get the beverage on the shelves and in the hands of the consumers, Enright explains that he

26.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

naturally moved towards working with direct store distributors, in particular Manhattan Beer – a move that will, hopefully, prove Ooba has staying power. Since the deal was signed, it seems that business has been good indeed. While Enright can’t cite actual sales statistics, he does estimate that over the past seven to eight months, the company has grown by about 25 percent. Over the next few months, Enright says that he will be putting a significant amount of money back into the market - somewhere in the region of $300,000 to $400,000 - to be spent on point of sale attractions. Not only is Enright narrowing his focus by working with Manhattan Beer, but he’s changed his tactics to take a more handson approach with his distributor. In fact, the former biotech executive is learning how a brand can be built on the street, in a manner not totally out of line with an early strategy employed by current industry shooting star, Vita Coco – roll communities where your chief ingredient might have cultural resonance into your targeted demographic group. Enright has realized Ooba might have some cross-cultural appeal, and has been shopping it to stores in the Hispanic and Asian communities in the New York Metropolitan area. “We’re doing well in Spanish Harlem,” he explains, adding that many in the Latino community “know the health benefits of hibiscus. They buy it in markets and boil the flowers… now, we’re crossing that cultural gap.” To make these observations and get Ooba out there, Enright has been traveling to different locations with Manhattan Beer employees and sales representatives, and, at times, personally introducing himself to retailers around New York. “[Today,] you’ve got to have that personal, honest, sincere, in-the-market approach,” he says, citing the example of meeting a 7-11 fran-

chise owner who, after speaking with Enright, was happy to put Ooba right on the shelves. “We can turn the entire [beverage] market around by rolling up our sleeves and hitting the ground in an old-fashioned way,” he says, adding, “I don’t know any other way to do it at this point.”


GERRY’S INSIGHTS

By Gerry Khermouch

THE GREAT CATEGORYRAISING ETHIC “WE’RE ALL WORKING TOGETHER to build the category.” It’s an expression I’ve heard from the principals of innovative beverage companies throughout my 15-plus years covering the category, and I’m sure it’s a thought the executives are pleased to express to sentimental types like me. After all, it has this altruistic “why can’t we all love each other” ring to it that positions the speaker as somewhat above the fray, looking beyond self-interest to something bigger, to introducing consumers to a new category that will immeasurably enrich their lives. Still, I’m 15 years in. Whenever I hear that expression, I have always have trouble figuring out where the altruism leaves off and the pragmatic truth begins. That’s because the utterance of the phrase accompanies the acknowledgement of rivals who are similarly trying to get a brand established in that nascent category. The theory is that an isolated pioneer trying to win consumer share of mind is facing a lonely battle, one made easier if there are several brands clustering together. I supposed it’s like a peloton in a bike race: each rider wants to win, but clustering together helps cut the wind, pace everybody and keep motorists at bay. Having that cluster of brands on shelves in turn can help confer a sense of greater legitimacy on the segment, and the sense that it’s more established than it really is, on the assumption that consumers will be more inclined to try something new if it looks as though it’s part of a real category. Still, feel-good rhetoric aside, the question is, how deep into a category’s development does this rule seem to hold? Certainly, the dynamic has been in place over the past few years in the coconut water segment. Though that’s a familiarenough product in ethnic markets, for the U.S. general market it pretty much emerged out of the blue. Fortuitously, two mainstream renditions – Vita Coco and Zico – emerged at precisely the same time 28.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

in the same market, New York, equally hydration-oriented but pursuing distinctive positionings (Vita Coco played Brazilian ethnic exuberance, Zico looked to be non-denominational and design-y). Both opted for aseptic boxes, each found a spot at a distributor adept at getting new concepts into the right influencer retailers. (In some markets that build-thecategory model extended to the distribution channel, too, with a local distributor carrying two or even, once ONE Natural Experience entered the market, all three of the coconut water brands for a brief period, with a view to single-handedly selling in an entire section to retail accounts.) The result? It wasn’t unusual to walk into a gourmet store or deli in trend-setting areas of New York and find a cold display featuring all brands in all sizes – a wall of coconut water that couldn’t help but convey that this is a real category offering diversity and choices, while again, the brand owners claimed to be focused on “building the category.” Of course, the results for this category have been extraordinary, as the players rippled out to new markets and each brand began to align itself with one of the three major soft drink companies. It’s hard to say how much that clustering effect had to do with it, but I’m inclined to think it was not inconsiderable. That’s why I found it disconcerting when – pretty early in the process, with all three brands still enjoying their heady initial burst of growth – I’d encounter street sales and field marketing staffers who’d brag to me about tearing down the other brands’ point-of-sale materials, cutting back their shelf space, whispering rumors about the quality of their sourcing. Though those activities may not have been dictated from the top, they seemed premature, and certainly undermined the “we’re building the category together” rhetoric of the companies’ leaders. Still, the peace held for quite a while.

Sadly, that barn-raising ethic no longer seems to be the case in another emerging segment, acai juices. At retail, acai also boasts three key players, Sambazon, Bossa Nova and Zola, each with a different approach to formulation and positioning, and with a different package structure and route to market. Though consumer awareness of the Brazilian superfruit seems to be high, the segment hasn’t met its growth expectations, and all three players seem to be stepping up their marketing. They’re united in that they all see some of the Internet and multilevel-marketing competitors as a common enemy that’s sometimes prone to making outlandish claims on behalf of the ingredient and otherwise misleading consumers. But lately they’ve begun to level their sights at one another. Sambazon, the pioneer of the segment, in particular seems determined to expose what it claims are its rivals’ overstatements of their antioxidant content. As with coconut water, these hijinks make for a style of red-blooded capitalism that adds pizzazz to the business and keeps all the players on their toes, as early-stage companies need to be. Again, though, I wonder if the attacks aren’t way premature, threatening to derail a segment that still needs clarity and consumer education before it can really get established at retail. After all, regardless of the truth of the companies’ respective claims, isn’t there a risk – particularly in light of the claims of their “common enemy” -- that many consumers will simply conclude the whole segment is a bunch of hooey and tune it out altogether, before it’s really gotten started? In other words, maybe the acai pioneers really do need to love each other, at least for a little bit longer, as the category develops. Longtime beverage-watcher Gerry Khermouch is executive editor of Beverage Business Insights, a twice-weekly e-newsletter covering the nonalcoholic beverage sector.


By Christopher Hallweaver

AN OUTSIDE VIEW

THE KOMBUCHA MARKET THROUGH THE EYES OF A SMALL PRODUCER RECENT GUIDANCE FROM THE Alcohol and Beverage Tax and Trade Bureau has merely restated the well known rules of what constitutes a nonalcoholic beverage: if it’s over .5 percent ABV, it’s an alcoholic beverage. What that really did, though, was officially put Kombucha producers on notice that there are consequences for selling Kombucha with ethanol levels above .5 percent ABV. It appears we are off to the races now to see who can get back on the shelves the quickest. Supposing that brewers are aiming to sell a truly non-alcoholic beverage, there are at least three methods that can be considered in producing kombucha at or below the magical threshold. 1. Pasteurization, as Kombucha Wonder Drink does. Pasteurization obviously kills everything that’s alive, removing some health benefits. However, it results in a non-sugary, STABLE drink that retains acidic properties. 2. Ethanol extraction. Forcing fermented kombucha through very small filters holds back everything except water and the ethanol. Put back only the water and you have reconstituted your kombucha without the ethanol. Estimates for systems with ample throughput for large scale implementation run from $25,000 to $50,000. That’s expensive, and it has yet to be tested. In theory, it should work great. But we’ll have to see whether the public accepts this extra non-natural processing step. 3. Good fermenting practices. Some of us have gotten below, or at least very close, to

30.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

the threshold by adjusting initial sugar levels, adjusting brewing times, good SCOBY management, eliminating secondary fermentation, filtering starter, and immediate chilling after fermentation. A final variation of this method involves diluting your final product with simple brewed tea to get down to the threshold. Good fermentation practices always make sense to implement, but there is still the problem of stability after bottling. Can there be any guarantee that the level will remain at or below the threshold? There is sometimes significant variation in results batch to batch. A compliant product out of your facility does not mean a compliant product once the consumer purchases and drinks it. The obvious question that comes to mind is whether brewers who have successfully reached a below-0.5% alcohol level can consistently achieve these results. In other words, are certain brewers simply kicking the can down the road until another option is forced upon us? But is it still kombucha? The public is fickle. It can’t be assumed that a alcohol-free, processed product will be accepted by this market. Kombucha has been brewed for a long time and in a traditional way and it is unclear what percentage of the public will accept an adulterated product. Regardless of whether there will be a outcry about the integrity of a non-alcoholic (and therefore compliant) kombucha, there remains an overwhelming opportunity for a low-sugar, refreshing, and healthy alternative to colas, sodas, and traditional iced teas. Perhaps a vocal minority will object, but many will look at the alternatives and not care because of

alcohol-free kombucha’s benefits compared to sodas or traditional iced teas. But how large and how powerful will this vocal minority be? Low-alcohol Kombucha A new opportunity for kombucha producers is to develop and sell a legal low-alcohol kombucha. Here we are talking about creating a brand new beverage category we’ll call “Healthy lowalcohol.” This would be authentic, unadulterated, full strength kombucha, typically sold on draught. The market would include restaurants, cafes, clubs, and bars. It would be offered as an alternative to a lunch time beer, for designated drivers, and a great way to begin a night on the town. Also bottled traditionally and sold in the beer and wine cooler it would appeal to the consumer who also supports local beer micro-brews. It would be kombucha as it’s always been. We are not talking about a party beverage. The suggestion is to keep alcohol levels around 2 percent. This low-alcohol kombucha category presents an opportunity for the local, small-scale brewer to continue in the marketplace without significant additional processing equipment investment. Small brewers have an easier time of introducing new and exciting local flavorings to their kombucha. Especially with kegged products, custom batches and flavors can be provided depending on the season and for particular customers. Can the small-scale kombucha brewer survive under this strategy alongside kombucha that is widely available as a non-alcoholic beverage? We may not know until the taste and public acceptance of these new products is discovered.


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By Debbie Wildrick

BLENDED CHANNELS

OUT OF THE CLOSET, AND ONLINE EVEN AS A BABY BOOMER – AND as one who is infamously known to be behind on technology – I would nevertheless be living in a closet if I hadn’t come to understand the importance of social media in today’s environment. As I continue to think and write about collaborative innovation and how retailers and beverages can partner with each other to mutually grow their businesses, I can’t help thinking about all the benefits of social media. I recently read a story, for example, about a project in which Giant Eagle partnered with Gillette in a twitter campaign asking trivia questions about shaving. Tweeting questions every 30 minutes, the first five people who answered correctly were awarded a Fusion ProGlide Shaving Kit, but they were required to actually go to a Giant Eagle store to claim it. Now that’s collaborative: the brand and the retailer spread the word and bring people into the store, ultimately purchasing other products and increasing loyalty. Consumer packaged goods companies and retailers are building followings on Facebook and Twitter every day, but the kind of collaboration I’ve just described isn’t as common. “Word of mouth” has always been the most effective form of marketing. But as our world expanded into other forms of media – and megabrands started spending millions to get to their consumer via that media – we found we had ignored word of mouth. Not any longer. With the internet and we can spread word of mouth like wildfire all over the world. For a start-up beverage company, this form of advertising can be huge and build lasting brand impressions, while costing much less than other media buys. I know we have a great opportunity as beverage entrepreneurs and as retailers in this industry to exploit social media. Recently, I found Stephanie Garcia on the internet. She’s a blogger on social media and she shared four ways you can 32.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

connect with your consumer to promote your brand. I thought about these ways and how they might apply to our world, and looked for some examples: • Photo campaigns are great. They allow consumers to share their experiences, add fun to your Facebook pages, and can help build email lists which will later be used for other campaigns. Many of the new beverage brands out there today are using photos, however an actual contest can produce greater results. As a big company example, Gatorade is looking for the ultimate high school locker room ritual. They created a contest and a “Mobile Locker Room” to help celebrate the launch of its G Series through a unique photo contest where they connect with the consumer by actually traveling to handpicked schools nationwide between March and May. During these events, students were some of the first athletes to test the new G series products. The photo contest also determined the stop of the last school. So, it combined internet marketing with live sampling. • Blogs and social networking sites are, obviously, found in a variety of forms and they are everywhere. They are increasingly becoming a great way for people to connect. They can be as simple as talking to your consumer or as complex as creating and designing a contest based around consumer blogs. Whole Foods has done a great job with nearly all aspects of social networking. They have nearly 300,000 friends on Facebook – equivalent to over 1,000 per store. They touch their consumers with everything from recipe contests to pictures of their stores to featuring local producers. Whole Foods would be a perfect retailer to collaborate on an innovative on-line promotion. • Design can be really fun because you’re asking the consumer to be creative with the brand. I am reminded of a meeting where one of our key suppliers at 7-Eleven took it

upon themselves to do the research which showed us the power of Slurpee. It was amazing to me how many people in our ‘Slurpee Universe’ had created everything from videos to their own websites. • Video campaigns are also highly entertaining, but require your consumer have a skill set that all consumers don’t have. As with any campaign, it’s important to understand your consumer and their engagement to social networking. There’s a great little tool on the web to help you understand what your customers are ready for. It’s at www.forrester.com. EepyBird, for example, is a team of two crazy experimenters who took the basic idea of dropping Mentos into soda and turned it into a huge Internet phenomenon. It made them famous, leading to appearances on the David Letterman show and the Ellen DeGeneres show, and two brands, Coca Cola and Mentos, were the beneficiaries of millions of impressions. Others ways to simply connect and build email lists for your future promotions include VIP clubs or capturing personal interests. Makers Mark Bourbon has 500,000 VIP club members who have their name on a barrel and are invited to be the first one to taste it when it matures. Coca-Cola has a blog specifically dedicated to their role in history and people who have Coke collectibles they want to talk about. I’ve been studying social media for the past couple of years and am fascinated by the intensity of the connections it can create. Whether we’re building a new product to launch at retail or a retailer working at building loyalty and customer count, we should all be on this bandwagon. Debbie Wildrick, the SVP of Sales and Marketing for Equa Water Corporation, is a sales executive and channel strategy specialist in the CPG industry. The former Senior Director of Vault and Proprietary Beverages at 7-Eleven, Inc., she has extensive experience in retailer, supplier, and technology aspects of the consumer packaged goods business.


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CORN SYRUP,

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& THE MARKET BY JUSTIN PROCHNOW, ESQ.

36.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010


IGH FRUCTOSE CORN Syrup (HFCS) continues to spark great debate in the court of public opinion, but this past summer brought renewed interest in U.S. courtrooms. At stake? Whether HFCS is “natural” or not. Recent rulings by federal courts have left food and beverage companies, public interest groups, and consumers looking to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to resolve the issue. Several putative class action cases pending against beverage companies, and possibly the entire future of HFCS’s use as a beverage sweetener, lie in the balance. What has happened is that the U.S. District Courts on each coast now have cases involving products like Snapple and AriZona Iced Tea, both of which advertised HFCS-containing products as “natural” or “all natural.” The courts referred the issue to FDA to make a determination as to whether HFCS qualifies as a “natural” ingredient or not. The question now looms as to whether FDA will take up the gauntlet thrown down by the federal courts on the issue, one which the FDA has been reluctant to address in the past. Here’s some background: To date, there isn’t any federal statute or regulation enforced by FDA which defines “natural,” but as the number of consumers demanding healthy and natural products grows, labeling and advertising controversies stemming from the absence of any formal definition continues to increase as well. The most vocal public interest group to speak out against perceived misuse of the term has been the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Starting with a complaint filed with FDA in 2002 over ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s use of the term “all natural” in a product that CSPI believed contained artificial ingredients, it has been leading the charge against food and beverage companies. In 2006, CSPI started targeting beverage companies along similar lines: In May, 2006, CSPI threatened litigation against Cadbury

Schweppes for using “100% natural” in the marketing of 7UP products containing HFCS; in early 2007, it joined in a class action litigation in Florida against Kraft Foods over the marketing of Capri Sun. Both cases were ultimately abandoned by CSPI once the companies acquiesced to its demands and ceased making the claims. Now, two new cases have brought the FDA into the game. In the case of Stacy Holk v. Snapple Beverage Corp. et al, a New Jersey woman filed a proposed class action suit against Snapple Beverage Corp. for using the term “All Natural” in the advertising of Snapple products containing HFCS. According to the plaintiff, such advertising was false and deceptive. In June of 2008, a U.S. District Court Judge dismissed the claims in Holk, essentially finding that the plaintiff’s claims were preempted because the issue of whether an ingredient or product is “natural” is exclusively within the jurisdiction of FDA. At that time, several organizations had petitioned FDA and requested that the agency define the term “natural.” While FDA declined to respond to those petitions, Geraldine June, a supervisor on the Product Evaluation and Labeling Team in the Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplements at the agency, issued a letter to the Corn Refiners’ Association (CRA) on July 3, 2008, which, by all accounts, seemed to clarify FDA’s position on the issue. June’s letter indicated that FDA would not object to the use of the term “natural” on a product containing HFCS if the HFCS is processed using certain methods that don’t add synthetic agents to the HFCS. Thus, in July 2008, with a federal court declaring the matter to be exclusively a matter for FDA to decide and an FDA representative publishing a letter that stated HFCS could be considered “natural,” the issue appeared to be settled. It wasn’t, however. The next year, the attorneys for Stacy Holk appealed the ruling, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed the U.S. District

Snapple recently came under fire for using the term “All Natural” while Cadbury Shweppes went through similar litigation for the term “100% natural” on its cans of 7UP.

Court’s dismissal and remanded the case back to the U.S. District Court. According to the higher court, the FDA’s informal policy on the use of the term “natural” as suggested in the letter from June to the Corn Refiners’ Association was not sufficient to preempt state law claims. The Third Circuit found that FDA had expressly declined to define “natural”, citing, among other evidence, a statement made by FDA that “because of resource limitations and other agency priorities, FDA is not undertaking rulemaking to establish a definition for ‘natural’ at this time.” Now, let’s fast-forward to this past summer: A multitude of cases alleging claims similar to Holk were pending, against both Snapple and the makers of AriZona Iced Tea in U.S. District Courts in California, New York, Florida and New Jersey, among others. In Coyle v. Hornell Brewing Company, the plaintiff filed a proposed class action complaint against the makers of Arizona Iced Tea for using the

SEPTEMBER.2010.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.37


term “100% NATURAL,” a set of facts remarkably similar to those in Holk. The judge in the Coyle case, Magistrate Judge Ruth Goodman of the U.S. District Court of New Jersey, stayed the case for six months and referred it to the FDA to answer the big question: whether HFCS qualifies as a “natural” ingredient. Obviously, with so many other cases running into the same question – the Holk case, among others, has been put on hold while the FDA considers the matter – the agency’s answer will have a large impact. With several cases now in a holding pattern, interested parties wait to see whether the FDA will answer the call from the courts to decide the issue of HFCS and “natural.” Weighing on the agency is that it isn’t a question with a clear answer, and that’s been demonstrated by the fact that the FDA has been asked on numerous occasions to address the issue and has expressly declined to formulate an official definition of “natural.” Now that the issue has been pushed by federal courts, it will be interesting to see whether FDA will find greater impetus to resolve the issue. However, even if the FDA agrees to take on the challenge, don’t expect a swift resolu-

38.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

tion. Given the agency’s history, it seems far more reasonable to assume that if the FDA decides to accept the referrals any ultimate declaration from the agency will come well beyond the end of 2010. All of which brings us back to that other “courtroom,” that of public opinion. Perhaps the biggest question for many beverage companies is whether an ultimate decision by FDA or the courts regarding HFCS and “natural” will be moot: after all, while previous actions from FDA imply that a finding that the term “natural” can be legally used in the labeling and advertising of products containing HFCS is likely, such a determination may come too late to resurrect the tarnished and battered public image of HFCS. The sweetener has faced mountains of negative publicity of late, from sources ranging from public interest groups to First Lady Michelle Obama, each one declaring it as one of the principal culprits responsible for America’s climbing obesity rates. The Corn Refiners Association and other proponents of HFCS have ramped up media campaigns in an effort to fight

against this tidal wave of negative press and publicity, but the battle waged over HFCS has already sent many companies moving in different directions. Kraft and Cadbury, for example, stopped their use of “natural” claims for products containing HFCS after pressure was exerted from CSPI. The growing demand from consumers for more natural and healthy products has already led some beverage companies, such as Snapple and Hansen’s, to switch from HFCS to real cane sugar and other alternatives. With more and more companies following suit and a recent application from the CRA to use the term “corn sugar,” a future where the terms “natural” and “HFCS” may coexist on labels without legal controversy, might someday arrive, but if the FDA sits it out long enough, it might not really matter. After all, more often than not, the final statement usually comes not from the courts, but from the bottom line. Justin J. Prochnow, esq., is Of Counsel at the law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP. His legal practice focuses on regulatory, business and litigation issues for food, supplement, cosmetic, medical device and drug companies.


©2010 Abbott Laboratories LITHO IN USA

®


A TEST OF

Faith Acai makers are saying that the truth about their berry will set them free – from false hype. By Jeffrey Klineman

42.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010


Sambazon founders Ryan and Jeremy Black. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAMBAXON


Miraculous

foodstuffs can be tricky. That Virgin Mary who appeared in the grilled cheese, for example? To some folks, it’s a sign from the Almighty. To others, it’s just a waste of a good sandwich. It’s all in how you look at it. Still, a miracle – if you believe – is a life altering event, and it takes more than a few setbacks to cause you to question your faith. Such has been the case for acai juice, the product of the Brazilian “miracle berry” whose popularity took off like a rocket but has had a hard time blowing up to its full potential. In the decade since brothers Ryan and Jeremy Black and their good friend Ed Nichols started Sambazon and began bringing the berry back to America in frozen packets, the little rainforest fruits have been held to the highest of expectations, but also derided as the lowest of scams. They’ve seen a nearsingle ingredient juice fall into a confusing mix of products and claims. The signal event, it appears, got lost in the background noise. But they still believe. “There’s been a lot of overpromising and under-delivering,” says Jeremy Black. “And the products that have created a lot of the awareness have been the ones that haven’t delivered. That’s unfortunate, but we know that the products we’re making deliver on the promises they make.” From a public relations angle, the promise of acai has been a blessing and a curse: ever since Nick Perricone popped the PR cork on Oprah, labeling acai the vanguard of lifesaving “superfruits,” rumors of the berry’s powers caused its use to turn into something like a tent revival. Claims that drinking multi-level-marketed MonaVie juices could heal everything from back pain to asthma fed into a barrage of seedy internet-promoted “studies” about how acai extract could help consumers drop weight and look better. And in the monkey-see, monkey-do world of the beverage industry, a little bit of promise leads to a whole lot of bandwagons. As soon as actual acai juice companies like Sambazon, Zola, and Bossa Nova started to gain some traction, acai flavors, or small, completely ineffective squirts of

44.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

the juice began to enter beverages ranging from energy drinks (Budweiser 180) to enhanced waters (vitaminwater XXX) to schnapps and vodka. Meanwhile, acai extracts made their way into everything from pills and powders to salves and soaps. “Consumers look at it, and they say, what the heck is acai?” says Alton Johnson, the founder of Bossa Nova, which is now owned by the parent company of Sunny Delight. “They’ve heard of it, but they wonder, is it schnapps, toothpaste, MonaVie? Will it make me skinny? Even when it’s a juice, it’s the juice of a fruit that they’ve never seen in the produce department.” The confused message has made for a tough road. Of the three companies best known for introducing acai to the American public, only Sambazon has shown consistent growth in stores and been able to hold off conflict with its investors – and it is still only available in about 33 percent of possible grocery accounts. Meanwhile, early high-fliers Zola and Bossa Nova have hit deep ruts in the road, with Bossa Nova and Coke-owned Odwalla fumbling an early distribution partnership, and Zola’s slow sales leading to consistent rumblings that its chief financial backer, Emigrant Capital, was looking to cut its losses and unload the company. And as the companies have faced their own growth obstacles, they’ve also

watched their key ingredient’s profile drop as other exotic-cum-trendy products, particularly coconut water, began to grab the public’s attention. “Coconut water didn’t get as fragmented as acai,” says Chris Cuvelier, the CEO of Zola. “It was all about one message – hydration – while the acai message was much more fragmented.” But again, faith is a powerful thing, particularly if you can recruit the right kind of converts. And in recent months the three key companies – albeit in a way that is independent of each other, as the competition level remains high and all three are still quick to point out the superiority of their own product over the other two – have started to try for a revival of their own, preaching a message of purity and healing. Not spiritual, of course, although that’s one element, but physical: the straight-ahead message that the acai berry has uniquely potent antioxidants, and in the case of Sambazon, a high level of the omega family of fatty acids that are nutritionally beneficial. Bossa Nova, Zola and Sambazon have all turned on the marketing spigot, trying to deliver the message – call it evangelize if you need to continue the metaphor – to the public. Drink the stuff, eat it, discover the power of the purple berry. Sambazon and Bossa Nova have even reached out

Sambazon, Bozza Nova and Zola, three actual acai juices, have watched their key ingredient’s drop, but are now ready to start a revival of their own: a straight-ahead message that the acai berry has uniquely potent antioxidants.


into the CPG world to bring in marketing experts, and the first acai television advertisements are airing in select cities. From Sambazon, a high-concept multimedia marketing campaign focuses on social entrepreneurs whose own missions are likely to resonate with the environmentally conscious, healthy-living “tribe” of Sambazon acolytes who, if they have not adopted the Black brothers as their patron saints, certainly take the berry itself as their daily bread. With media airing in San Diego and a hard push in Sambazon’s other California strongholds, the company is sticking to the attractive idea that consumers are doing well for their bodies and for the planet by drinking the product. To really drive home its message that if the product is superior, the effects will be palpable, Sambazon is also opening a café in Southern California. “We want to give people a chance to see what the experience is all about,” says Jeremy Black. “We feel we need to

start making some noise about it. The truth needs to be told.” That means that the health message will be rolled out along with the environmental and social message. Sambazon formed a scientific advisory board last year, while many of the claims about ersatz acai products were taking on water. Now, it is close to releasing reports on a clinical trial that the company’s leaders hope will establish the berry’s credibility in the same way that Pom Wonderful used scientific studies. “I just know our product resonate with people who have discovered that the real thing works,” Black says. “That’s why we have a team of hundreds of athletes who come to us and say I love this stuff. We have some prestigious press coming and that’s from people who do their homework. We had it before, and I think we’re about to get a refresh of that stuff.” For Sambazon, the keys are expanded distribution in supermarkets and a stronger DSD presence overall. With only fractional

penetration in mainstream grocery, Jeremy Black says, “we still have to prove we can hold our shelf space.” Nevertheless, when Sambazon is in stores, it sells, Black says, adding, “we’re still growing, absolutely.” At Bossa Nova, a marketing budget and slick supply chain supplied by its new owners are what Johnson, now the VP of Natural Healthy Beverages for Beverage Holdings, believes will finally afford the company the scale to bring the product to the masses. “We always had grand plans but we never had the resources to execute a grand vision,” Johnson says. With a factory in New Jersey that has created a verticallystreamlined route to manufacturing Bossa Nova’s signature clarified acai juice, and Sunny D’s marketing budget behind it, “we’ve got the ability to create a better product story and create vehicles of communication to the product.” And that is coming out via a marketing campaign created by new brand manager

Adobe Springs Water Company Adobe Springs is the largest supplier of bulk mineral water to the bottling industry in the United States, with a TDS of 435 mg per liter. Adobe Springs’ healthful magnesium content of 110 mg per liter is more than the combined magnesium content of the top-20-sales bottled waters in the US. Adobe Springs tastes great, and has been marketed as “Noah’s Spring Water” since 1992. The Adobe Springs are conveniently located 19 miles off I-5 in Central California.

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SEPTEMBER.2010.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.45 adobesprings_spectrum_half.indd 1

3/8/10 8:37 AM


Jeremy Peters, a veteran of accounts like Axe and Dove beauty products and Brita water filters. Part of the campaign, however, lies in simply making acai available in more stores. And that’s where the Sunny D ownership comes in: while acai has always had exclusivity, in grocery, the Sunny D brand has ubiquity. In the months to come, Bossa Nova will flow into stores across the country. Marketing and sampling is headed for 13 specific demographic markets that comprise about half of the consumers of high-end juice drinks. “We’re already doing events across the country that fit the eco-chic targets, if you will,” Peters said. “We’re set up to go mainstream.” Meanwhile, at Zola, the smallest of the three companies, the presence of cash and positive momentum is enough of a sign that things are turning around in the acai market for CEO Cuvelier to start dreaming big. “For us, pushing into DSD and getting some air support has been key to us. It’s been exciting,” he said. “We’ve always been

46.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

a smaller company, and we have recent funding that has put us in a position where we can expand our distribution and try to get the product into people’s mouths.” With expanded distribution – the company recently entered Denver powerhouse New Age Beverage, for example – Zola hopes to maintain its momentum, but Cuvelier acknowledges that a bit more bad news about acai could sink the category. That’s why, while he points to the healthy properties of the berry, he’s trying to manage expectations a bit. “We’re pretty realistic,” he says. “We’re not saying this stuff cures cancer or fights aging. We’re saying, look, it’s better than drinking an orange juice, and here’s why. People understand when a true product has something behind it and when a product has some quality.” That might be true, but for acai, the bar seems to have been set higher than just “better than O.J.” They might not have asked for miracle berry status, but the three companies who are pushing hardest

to take acai to the masses have looked to some of the reversals the berry has faced as something of a test of faith. With the negative PR about the scams calming down, and some real marketing campaigns taking the place of baseless hyperbole, they believe that the air is clearing. After all, they do believe that they’ve got a miracle berry – they just need to make it clear, specifically, which miracle it will be – and it’s more likely to be one along the lines of, say, finding water in the desert than walking on water. If it’s something legitimate – and Sambazon, at least, believes it has the science to prove it – chances are that a lot more people will believe. “The bubble sort of burst a bit on some of the hype, but that’s not a bad thing,” says Ryan Black, Sambazon’s CEO. “Despite some of the weird stuff that’s gone on, everyone out there marketing acai knows inherently that it’s still just getting started. Not everyone gets it yet, but the people who do really get it, they make it part of their lives.” •


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BRAND NEWS: JUICE

BRANd NEWS Adina. Adina for Life has named singer Lisa

Bouchelle as its newest brand ambassador. She has joined the join the “Drink No Evil Team,” which shares the shares the common goal of raising awareness surrounding beverages containing artificial sweeteners or High-Fructose Corn Syrup. Adina for Life, Inc. has three product lines: Adina Holistics Herbal Elixirs, Baristas Brews All-Natural Coffee Drinks, and Organic Tribal Blends Coffee Drinks. Bolthouse Farms. Bolthouse Farms has launched its 100% Pomegranate Juice in grocery and health food stores nationwide. The juice is made from California-grown pomegranates and comes in a 52 oz. bottle. Additionally, Bolthouse Farms released its new Hawaiian Holiday Passion Orange Guava juice, which blends the flavors of passion fruit, Valencia oranges, and guava. The all-natural offering has no preservatives, added sugar or artificial flavor and is available in a 32 oz. bottle.

fruit and juices. The new juice blends several grapefruit varieties, including the Ruby Reds and Whites, and will be available year-round as of Oct 1. It will be available nationwide through UNFI and Whole Foods. Acai Roots. Acai Roots has launched its Pure Açaí Juice. The beverage has no artificial flavors and does not have any other fruit juices added to its formula. It also recently began retailing at Costco stores and is available online at www.acairoots.com in 6- or 12-packs. Zola. Zola Acai has expanded distribution

to include five new retailers, Safeway, Stop N Shop, Giant Foods, Vitamin Shoppe and GNC. This means that the company has new accounts in 350 Stop N Shop stores in the Northeast, 180 Giant Food stores in Baltimore and Washington DC, and 150 Safeway stores in the Denver area. Additionally, Zola’s new LIGHT Açaí Juice is being sold in 450 Vitamin Shoppe stores and 1,200 GNC stores nationwide.

ALO Drink. ALO Drink has added two new

flavors to its lineup and expanded its distribution network. The new flavors are ALO Enrich (pomegranate, cranberry, and aloe) and ALO Appeal (pomelo, pink grapefruit, lemon, and aloe). ALO Drink has also attained national placement in Vitamin Shoppe stores at nearly 500 stores in 37 states, and online presence, Cost Plus World Market in nearly 300 stores nationwide, at Ralph’s Supermarket, and Lucky/ Savemart Supermarket. Additionally, ALO Enrich won the sofi Silver Finalist Award from the NASFT for Best Cold Beverage this year. Bai Brands. Bai Brands has introduced Bai5

Congo Pear as the newest flavor in its family of low-calorie, antioxidant-rich beverages made with the fruit of the coffee bean. The flavor is the fourth to be added to the five -calorie Bai5 line, which is made with the organic sweetener Stevia. Other flavors are Costa Rica Clementine, Sumatra Dragonfruit and Panama Peach. The original line of Bai beverages -Tanzania Strawberry, Mango Kauai, Jamaica Blue Berry and Kenya Peach - was launched in August 2009.

Tropicana. Tropicana has launched its new Trop50 flavor, Farmstand Apple. With 50 percent less sugar and calories, Trop50 is sweetened with the zero-calorie all-natural steviabased sweetener known as PureVia. As of August onwards, the new Trop50 Farmstand Apple flavor is also available in 59-oz. containers. Additional Trop50 juice beverage flavors include Pomegranate Blueberry, Pineapple Mango and the original Orange offering. Sambazon. Sambazon has announced its

Warriors of Change competition as part of its Warrior Up campaign. The company is accepting nominations starting Sept. 1 for $25,000 in grants for the next Warriors of Change. It will select two individuals who demonstrate the ability to most effectively make a positive impact on social and/or environmental issues through an individual project, a non-profit organization, or a triple bottom line business. Sambazon’s Original Açaí Juice scored 24 on the Low Glycemic scale and is full of antioxidants. The line of seven different flavors is available at over 10,000 retailers nationwide.

Uncle Matt’s Organic. Uncle Matt’s Organic

has added 100 percent pure Florida organic grapefruit juice to its healthy line of organic

48.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

The Ginger People. The Ginger People has launched new packaging for its ginger enerGiz-


er tonic. The bottle features a bright red label to highlight its main benefit, energy. The new packaging is currently hitting stores. Additionally, The Ginger People was awarded the sofi Gold for Outstanding Product Line in the 38th NASFT sofi Awards Competition back in June. Cell-nique. Cell-nique added new fl avors to its line of organic Super Green Drinks, bringing its total to nine. The new flavors are lemon ginger, berry grape, root beer and dark chocolate. All beverages are high in antioxidants and include the super fruits Noni, Goji berry, and Acai. Amy & Brian. Amy & Brian has added mangosteen juice with pomegranate and passionfruit fl avors to its line of products. The new mangosteen products are carried by UNFI West and Nature’s Best on West Coast and will be a new item for UNFI East. Switch Beverages. Switch has brought on

25 major new distributors this year to date,

including the majority of the Sysco network in California and North Carolina, as well as the Budweiser network in Louisiana. The beverage is now available from coast-to-coast and comes in lemon-lime, black cherry, orange tangerine, watermelon strawberry, fruit punch, kiwi berry and grape flavors. Zimbi. Utah-based Zimbi has announced a

partnership with ThirstMonger.com. Zimbi Juice Drinks are available in four flavors: Acai Raspberry, Apple Yummberry, Pomegranate Punch, and Tropical Wolfberry, and are packaged in rocket-shaped flying bottle. Bossa Nova. Bossa Nova has revamped its

line of juices. It now has distribution points at the company’s own plant and warehouses. The juices are available in five, 10 oz. flavors: açai original, açai with blueberry, açai with mango, açai with passion fruit and açai with raspberry. Three flavors – açai original, açai blueberry and acerola mango – now come in the 32 oz. container.

SEPTEMBER.2010.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.49


SHOTS FIRED IN ALL

DIRECTIONS Demand for different functions means that new categories are opening for the tiny package. BY JEFFERY KLINEMAN

FIRST THINGʼS FIRST: like that giant tank on the Space Shuttle, the big fuel behind the liftoff of the shot category has been energy, and 5-Hour Energy in particular. Without that $690 million burst of caffeine, there isn’t much else left in the whole darn $800 million category. 50.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010


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But few other companies able to grab share in the energy portion of the shot category. Red Bull and Monster have made runs, and have been able to work their distribution channels to get their products into a position where name brand recognition might get them to the trial stage. But beyond those massive marketing operations, it has been hard for other companies jumping into the category to bust out and stake their own turf.

52.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

And that has led to a large-scale broadening in the kinds of products that are being poured into these little wonder bottles (as well as an increase in demand for shot suppliers like NVE). A look at the roundup of products included with this story finds that companies are experimenting with shots for relaxation and sleep aids, as sources of antioxidants boosts, for hangover remedies, protein supplementation, sexual health, beauty, and even for gut health. So if there isn’t traction in energy – and there are plenty of companies betting there’s room to run in that regard, as well – there is still a lot of variety of products out there trying to fill that profit-per-square-inch measure that propelled 5-Hour to that high-visibility spot next to the cash register. And just like with energy, other functional products are being put into the shot format for a variety of reasons: portability, convenience, easy margins, and hard routes to market through traditional sources of distribution. “My goal was to make it as accessible to as many people as possible in as many places as possible,” said Nick West, the founder of RelaxZen, a relaxation shot.” And I was seeing 5-Hour everywhere at the register. And when we saw the struggle of getting any product into a cooler, we

eliminated that idea quickly” West and his partner, Brent SonnekSchmelz, had considered several formats for delivering the relaxing and sleep inducing effect for RelaxZen, including tablets and larger drinks. But with nutritional supplements burgeoning and cooler space expensive – and a potential airport marketing bonanza for a product that can make it through security checkpoints – they looked to the shot. Still, there are drawbacks to the shot. For example, Victor Diaz, the founder of Cellutions and its burgeoning line of zero-caffeine antioxidants shots, has several other formulations that he’s put into large bottles and small tablets. But the taste and efficacy ratio is hard to nail – and that meant he’s held back on translating some products, like a hangover relief pill and a resveratrol (heart health) drink into the shot format. Still, Diaz says, he wishes he could get the flavors right to deliver that efficacious dose in a palatable way for his other functionalities. “We didn’t develop it – 5-Hour did, but it’s a fantastic, convenient way to get a boost of energy on the go,” he said. “It’s easy to ship, it doesn’t have to be refriger-


ated or chilled. We’re building internationally on that front as well.” And a shot, with its small footprint, is a good way to get a product in front of folks so that they might want to use it where they are – instead of when they think of it. Such is the case with another hangover product, the Cheerz Intellishot, which is being marketed in bars as well as convenience stores. “Most social drinkers don’t intentionally overindulge, much less plan for it, so it makes sense to have the shot available where drinkers are, rather than expect them to stop at a vitamin store,” said Cheerz CEO Patrick Cochrane. That convenience factor also allows the product to go anywhere with consumers, adds Kerry Kirk, the sales and marketing director for Agrolabs, which has put its high-nutrition wheatgrass, antioxidant, and other kind of supplements – usually available in large bottles for daily dosing – into small shot bottles.

Most social drinkers don’t intentionally overindulge, much less plan for it, so it makes sense to have the shot available where drinkers are, rather than expect them to stop at a vitamin store. -Patrick Cochrane, Cheerz CEO

SEPTEMBER.2010.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.53


“It’s perfect for travel,” Kirk said. “And you can fit products in your pocket, purse, desk drawer or locker.” Nevertheless, what 5-Hour giveth, it also take away – so while it might have launched a million new ideas about what could be put into a shot, that doesn’t necessarily mean that retailers and distributors haven’t been burned by some of the me-too energy shots that are out there. And shots are almost too easy to get to chains – so finding the right category buyer can be an issue as well: some companies go through the nutrition and supplement route, while others try beverage buyers. “The buyers and chains are still dealing with shots with a certain level of caution,” says Sonnek-Schmelz. “They are still figuring out the category for themselves.” Still, with demand continuing to increase for functional foods and beverages across all parts of the store, you can bet that it’s a calculus a lot of buyers are going to be making in the months to come. •

54.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

Companies are experimenting with shots for relaxation and sleep aids, as sources of antioxidants boosts, for hangover remedies, protein supplementation, sexual health, beauty, and even for gut health.


BRAND NEWS: SHOTS

BRANd NEWS Lifeway. Lifeway Foods has launched new BioKefir shots. The Kefir shots are 3.5 oz., have 60 calories each and are sold in 4-packs. Additionally, the drinks are available in five flavors with more than 20 billion units of live and active probiotic activity. The BioKefir for Immunity shot is available in pomegranate/ blueberry and Kiwi/Passion fruit flavors. BioKefir for Heart Health comes in blackberry and black cherry and BioKefir for Digestion is vanilla flavored. Spike. SPIKE Double Shot is available in 7-Eleven stores. The company recently reduced its case pricing by half. BigQuark LLC. BigQuark LLC has signed

a distribution agreement with Folsom Distributing for its shot, Beauty Sleep. The distributor covers 43 counties in Illinois and 54 counties in Missouri and will bring the 2 oz. sleep aid to these areas. BeautySleep is calorie-free and aims to slow the effects of aging and protect cellular and tissue health while helping provide a good night’s sleep. Cheerz. Cheerz has launched its supplement IntelliShot. The product is intended to help intercept hangovers and promote health against more serious long-term health risks for social drinkers. The IntelliShot comes in a 1.7 oz., lemon-lime flavor shot and can either be taken alone or mixed with a cocktail. It includes amino acids, super-antioxidants and immune system boosters. The shot also has N-acetyl cysteine to increase the oxidation cycle of alcohol, and Milk Thistle Extract. AriZona. AriZona FastShots were distributed to guests at New York City’s Fashion’s Night Out at the beginning of New York Fashion Week 2010. Additionally, the AriZona FastShots were given to attendees at Patricia Field’s FNO party at her flagship retails shop on Bowery. 5-Hour Energy. 5-Hour Energy 4 bottle mul-

tipacks are now available to the c-store chan-

nel. The packs come in Berry, Extra Strength, Orange and Pomegranate flavors. AGROLABS. The Superfruit Immune Booster by Agrolabs is now available at major club stores nationwide and online at www. agrolabs.com. The 3 oz. shot offers the dietary supplement EpiCor, which is a vitamin complex that contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein, fiber and antioxidants. The Superfruit Immune Booster also includes acai berry extract. This shot is the latest in a line of nutritional products from Agrolabs that includes the brands Superberry Upgrade, Daily Detox and Peaceful Sleep. Agrolabs products are distributed through the U.S. and Canada. 12 Gauge. 12 Gauge Energy Shot has introduced the first mixable energy shot to the American market. The brand’s first flavor, Kick Ass Cola, can be consumed straight out of the bottle or it can be loaded into a cola, beer or spirit. 12 Gauge is currently developing other flavors to be launched in the near future. Kick Ass Cola is currently being distributed throughout Florida, and parts of Michigan and Louisiana. XYIENCE. XYIENCE has added the XSHOT

Xtreme Energy Shot, a sugar- and calorie-free energy shot to its line of products. Available in a 3 oz. bottle, the shot comes in the CranRazz flavor. It has a blend of B3, B6, B12 and B5 vitamins and a proprietary energy blend of taurine, caffeine, ginseng and other ingredients. ON GO Energy. ON GO Energy has moved

into the international market. The product will be distributed in Europe, South America, and Latin America. On Go Energy shots come in Mandarin Orange, Berry Blast, and Lemon Lime flavors. Stacker. Stacker 2 has launched a new line of vitamin shots in five flavors and blends. Prolong Pleasure Tropical Passion contains

SEPTEMBER.2010.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.55


BRAND NEWS: SHOTS

horny goat weed and ginko for enhanced performance. Rest & Relaxation Blissful Blueberry has Valerian Root and Passion Flower compounds, Joint Fix Sweet Cherry includes Calcium and Vitamin D for joint health. Self Defense Intense Orange contains Vitamin C, Zinc and Green Tea. The final new flavor, Hangover Helper Detox Lemonade, is formulated with B Vitamins and milk thistle.

eral Nutrition Centers (GNC) and Circle K stores. The caffeine-free shots have natural flavors, organic cane juice, vitamins and antioxidants. Modjo Energy Shots are available in Tangy Island Punch and Grape Pomegranate flavors and include vitamins and antioxidants packaged together in the patent pending NRGx energy formula. Tomic. Tomic has expanded its distribution

Bazi. BAZI has launched its alternative en-

ergy shot that contains a Phyto8 blend of high-antioxidant superfruit (jujube, blueberry, pomegranate, goji, mangosteen, raspberry, acai, and seabuckthorn), 12 vitamins, and trace minerals. The shots come in 2 oz. bottles and have an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value of 2,212. Nitro2Go. Nitro2Go has increased distribution of its energy shots. The products are now available in Rite Aid stores across the U.S. Additionally, the company is focusing on TV advertising spots that are running on 17 channels including Discovery Channel, ESPN, Fox News, Lifetime and National Geographic. Nitro2Go’s 6 shot line up includes its Instant Energy, Firepower Extreme, Pure Energy and the Mega Shot, which is available in Wild Berry and Pomegrape flavors. DynaPep Energy. DynaPep Energy has up-

dated its energy shot line with a new logo, flavors and packaging. The new Berry, Cinnamon and Mint flavors are all sold in single and double pack micro shots. DynaPep’s new logo is bright yellow and white and is emblazoned in racing stripes. The product is available in over 40,000 locations throughout the US, including grocery stores, drug stores, convenience marts and military posts. Steaz. Steaz introduced its energy shots in

the Kroger “Nature’s Market” stores and regional Kroger banners. Additionally, in 2010 the company updated the energy shot’s packaging to make it consistent with the wider range of Steaz products.

network and has granted exclusive rights to Valley Cash and Carry for distribution in Central and Northern California. Tomic Energy Shots come in 2.5 oz bottles that are shaped like grenades. All Day Energy. All Day Energy has launched the iShot energy shot in the U.K. It contains no sugar or sodium and blends B Vitamins, Amino Acids, antioxidants and herbs and comes in a 2 oz. bottle. The iShot is available to purchase in over 2,000 stores around the U.K. In Sept, it was launched in 8,000 UK stores. Guayaki. Guayaki has launched the new-

est flavor of its organic energy shot line. The Lime flavor has all the properties of the company’s existing energy shots and includes yerba mate. Each 2 oz. bottle has only 35 calories and 1670 percent of Vitamin B-12 RDA and 100 percent of Vitamin C RDA. Like Guayaki’s other shots, the new flavor has no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Monster Energy. Monster Energy is set to introduce Worx Energy shots to its line as of October 2010. The regular Worx Energy shot comes in a 2 oz. bottle with a wide-mouth opening and is calorie- and sugar-free. The 2000mg energy blend contains Inositol and L-carnitine. Monster Energy’s Worx Energy Extra Strength will be available in the same sized bottle with a 2250mg energy blend containing the same ingredients. Both Worx energy shots will be widely available and backed by CCE’s unparalleled distribution system. DBI Distribution. DBI Distribution has

Modjo. Modjo Life Natural Energy Shots

have increased their retail presence to Gen-

56.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

launched its 2 oz. energy drink shot, Xtreme Energy Rush. The energy shot comes in man-


5-Hour Energy®

Extra Strength

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SEPTEMBER.2010.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.57


BRAND NEWS: SHOTS

go flavor and includes L-Taurine, Vitamins B6 and B12 and Niacin for energy and metabolism efficiency. The triple strength shot is sugar-free and low-carbohydrate. Xtreme Energy Rush has been added to the company’s Mini Thin energy products.

women and is one of the first products of its kind available to both genders. Minx XXX contains a proprietary blend of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbal stimulantsaphrodisiacs and is designed to enhance blood flow in the male and female genitalia. It comes in Passion Fruit flavor and in a 2 oz. bottle.

Viva Beverages. Viva Beverages has launched a pair of relaxation shots, Quick to Relax and Quick to Sleep. The shots will be initially distributed in limited areas including South Florida, San Diego and North and South Carolina with a national rollout to follow.

RelexZen. This September RelaxZen, Inc.,

the creator of RelaxZen shots, will be distributing their products in 3,200 Rite Aids, 200 Shop Rites and 900 Hess Express stores along the East Coast. With FLIGHT, RelaxZen has penetrated major airports across the country with Stellar Partners, the Grain Station and Airport Retail Management as key retailers.

Stimulicious Brands. Stimulicious Brands has launched Minx XXX, a sex enhancement shot. It offers functionality for both men and

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TRADESHOW PREVIEW

NATURAL PRODUCTS EXPO EAST · BOSTON, MA

BOSTON CONVENTION AND EXHIBITION CENTER: October 13-16, 2010 SHOW FLOOR HOURS: Thursday & Friday: 12 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Natural Products Expo East celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2010 and again comes to Boston from Oct. 13 - 16. It will be taking place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and this year welcomes UNFI as its official distributor in an effort to strengthen the relationships between buyers and sellers during the expo. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample natural products and merchandise from the 1,500 booths expected to hit the show floor. This year, exhibitors include Aquahydrate Inc., Organic Valley, Sambazon and Vibranz, Inc. Natural Products Expo East will feature actress Alicia Silverstone as this

year’s keynote speaker. Additionally, Gary Hirshberg, CEO and President of Stonyfield Farm, and Dara O’Rourke, founder of GoodGuide, will be giving talks as part of the event’s educational component. Attendees can opt to participate in the Retailer Workshop - 11 sessions focusing on three tracks: Perishables, Non-perishables, and Operations and the Product-to-Shelf workshop, where professionals can learn the fundamentals of launching a new brand. The expo also hosts several special events, including the Organic Harvest Festival and Spirit of Organic Awards, which will take place on October 13 at

7:30 p.m. at the Seaport World Trade Center. To celebrate Expo East’s 25th anniversary, an Oktoberfest-themed event will be held at the Westin Waterfront on Oct 14 at 6 p.m. when the show floor closes.

BEVNET SHOW COVERAGE SPONSORED BY:

EXHIBITORS AND BOOTH NUMBER (as of Sept. 20, 2010) Adagio Teas

3693

Ayala’s Herbal Water

3644

Smart Juices LLC

3412

Albert’s Organics

3093

High Country Kombucha

3642

SPI West Port, Inc.

1075

AquaHydrate, Inc.

1631

Honest Tea

3127

Stonyfield

2299

Aquasana

2705

Inko’s White Tea

3512

Summit Spring Water

1213

B.R.A.T. Diet LLC

3870

ITO EN, LTD.

1527

SunOpta Inc.

3293

Cell-Nique

3665

LAMMSBRAU

3845

Sunsweet Naturals

1276

Cheribundi

1111

Liberty Richter

3104

Switch Beverage Company

1709

DD Beverage Co.-Good4U Drinks

1423

Maine Root Beverages

1315

The Source!

1621

Dox Cardio Water

1802

Naked Juice

2099

Tizane Beverages

3889

Dream Foods International

1277

NBI Juiceworks

1240

Tulip International Inc.

1105

DreamPak

3005

Numi Organic Tea

3485

U Natural Hydration

1842

Dry Soda Inc

1118

O.N.E. One Natural Experience

2327

Vibranz, Inc.

1410

Elevate Natural Fiber Water

1421

Ohgave!

1526

VIP Energy

1804

Elite Naturel/Organic Juice USA

3482

OKF International

1408

Vita Coco - All Market

1275

Emmi (USA) Inc

3695

Olade

3666

Viva Beverages LLC

1248

Flavrz Beverage Corp.

1066

Organic Valley

2699

Wyman’s

1318

Genesis Today, Inc.

3045

Protica Nutritional Research

3227

Yakult USA

1329

Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost

1528

Quaker-Tropicana (QTG Sales)

2293

Zico LLC

1323

GIVE Water

1045

Rob’s Really Good

1400

Zola Brazilian Superfruits

3803

GoodBelly by NextFoods

2514

Sambazon

3661

Hansen Beverage Company

3529

Simply Orange

2106

Please note these listings are courtesy of Expo East; final updates are available at www.expoeast.com 60.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010


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TRADESHOW PREVIEW

NACS TRADE SHOW · ATLANTA, GA

GEORGIA WORLD CONGRESS CENTER: October 5-8, 2010 SHOW FLOOR HOURS: Wednesday and Thursday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) trade show will be taking place in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center from Oct 5 – 8. This year, NACS will welcome around 1,200 exhibitors, which marks a 20 percent increase from last year’s number. Companies ranging from Coca-Cola to Frontier Beverage Co. and Viva Beverages LLC will be exhibiting, and attendees can learn about new offerings in the food, beverage and merchandise categories in the Cool New Products Preview Room as well as on the trade show floor. “If you are in the beverage industry you really need to be at the NACS Show,” said Jeff Lenard, vice president of communications for NACS. “Consumers are much more likely to try a new product in convenience stores than other channels [and] are much more willing to try a new single serve at a convenience store than by the six-pack, case or pallet,” he added. NACS will not only offer ample space to present new

product to potential buyers, but a wealth of networking and educational opportunities. Under a series of themed “Tracks,” attendees will have the opportunity to participate in relevant workshops with other professionals. For example, the Supplier Track workshop includes the panels, “Supplier B-Aware: Confronting Common Threats” on Oct. 5 and “Just the Facts: Effective Use of Data Sources” and “A Supplier’s Guide to Survival in the C-Store Industry” on Oct. 6. Lenard encourages participants to consider attending such an event. “It is important to learn the full scope of the industry by seeing other products on the expo floor and learn about retailers’ top challenges and ideas in the workshops,” he says. NACS will be closed this year by former President George W. Bush, who will also be the fourth U.S president to give a speech at an Association event. Last year, former President Bill Clinton gave a speech to mark the end of the event.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS TUESDAY 10.5.10

7:30 AM – 5:30 PM Registration 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM Cool New Products Preview Room (Retailers Only) 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM NACS Center 12:00 PM – 5:30 PM NACSPAC Lounge 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM International Lounge 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM Workshops 3:15 PM – 5:00 PM NACS Board of Directors/Retail Member Meeting 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM New Member Welcome Reception (Ticketed Event)

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Welcome Reception (Ticketed Event) WEDNESDAY 10.6.10 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM Cool New Products Preview Room (Retailers Only) 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM Registration 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM International Lounge 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Workshops 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM NACSPAC Lounge 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM NACS Center 9:15 AM – 10:15 AM Workshops 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM Opening General Session

62.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

12:00 PM – 5:30 PM Exposition (Halls B&C) 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM Cool New Products Preview Room 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM NACSPAC Auction & Party (By Invitation) THURSDAY 10.7.10 7:30 AM – 5:30 PM Registration 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM Cool New Products Preview Room 7:30 AM – 6:30 PM International Lounge 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Workshops 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM NACS Center

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM NACSPAC Lounge 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM General Session: A Tale of Two Retailers 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM General Session: Ideas 2 Go 12:00 PM – 5:30 PM Exposition (Halls B&C) FRIDAY 10.8.10 7:30 AM – 1:30 PM Registration 7:30 AM – 1:00 PM Cool New Products BEVNET SHOW COVERAGE SPONSORED BY:

Preview Room 7:30 AM – 1:30 PM International Lounge 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Closing General Session Featuring President George W. Bush 8:00 AM – 1:30 PM NACS Center 8:00 AM – 1:30 PM NACSPAC Lounge 9:00 AM – 1:30 PM Exposition (Halls B&C)


NACS TRADE SHOW · ATLANTA, GA

TRADESHOW PREVIEW

EXHIBITORS AND BOOTH NUMBER (as of September 23, 2010) 5-hour Energy

3365

Fighting Cock Energy

6167

Nitro 2 Go Inc.

7064

666 Ventures LLC

6760

FIJI Water

4653

Nor-Cal Beverage Co., Inc.

3126

ABB Performance

6143

Flav Inc.

5867

North American Breweries

5649

Abbott Nutrition

3927

Florida’s Natural Growers

7049

North Shore Bottling Co.

6563

Activate Drinks

6624

Frontier Beverage Co., Inc.

5855

OhYeah!

6709

Adina For Life, Inc.

7108

Fusion Premium Beverage

7214

OKF International

6254

AFP Advanced Food

8367

Good Karma Beverage, Inc.

4274

P Bev, LLC dba Killer Buzz

6011

Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

4637

Goya Foods Inc.

7133

Peace Tea - Worx Energy

5767

Arizona Beverages

5941

Green Mountain Beverage

5536

PepsiCo, Inc.

2535

Aspen Beverage Group

7513

Green Planet, Inc.

6012

Phusion Projects LLC

5725

ATC Group

7757

GT Beverage

6263

POM Wonderful, LLC

2969

Bazi

5620

Harcos Laboratories

7001

Pri-Pak, Inc.

5953

Berner Food & Beverage

6542

Hershey Milk and Milkshakes

6767

Quaker, Topicana, Gatorade (QTG) 2535

Big Red, Inc. - All Sport, Inc.

4653

In Zone Brands, Inc.

6033

Red Bull North America, Inc.

2825

Bing Energy Drink

5969

Interex Corp.

6038

RelaxZen, Inc.

6662

Bug Juice Brands, Inc.

4961

Jana North America, Inc.

6416

Revive Energy

6221

BYB Brands, Inc.

5961

Jarritos/Novamex

6761

SG Beverage Solutions Inc.

8657

Cadbury North America

4464

Jeremiah Weed

5555

Shogun Energy

5521

Campbell Soup Company

4431

Jones Soda Company

6555

Siberia Waters

6901

Cellutions LLC

6918

Ken’s Beverage, Inc.

9017

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

5716

Celsius, Inc.

2969

King Juice Co.

6743

Sundance Beverage Company

5623

Chill Drinks

6616

Kraft Foods

3139

Sundia Corporation

8857

Cintron Beverage Group

5910

Labrada Nutrition

7023

Sunny Delight Beverages Co.

6755

Cliffstar Corporation

7052

Lakeview Farms, Inc.

7916

Sweet Leaf Tea Company

4667

Coca-Cola

3753

Latco Beverages

6615

TeaZzers

8539

Cott Beverages, Inc.

6561

Lean Relaxation Beverage

5817

The Chill Group, Inc.

5717

Crave Milk

5227

Lifeway Kefir

6622

TNT Marketing

2969

CRUNK Energy

6518

Lotus Energy Drink

6608

United Brands Company, Inc.

5661

CVC Specialties

3446

Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA

7412

VegasFuel Energy Drink

6510

Cytosport

7109

MB Innovations

7125

Vita Coco

7060

DBI Distribution

6957

MET-Rx

3734

ViVa Beverages LLC

5917

DMD Pharmaceuticals

3027

MillerCoors

3152

VPX Sports/Redline

5633

Dr. Chao Natural Foods, Inc.

8868

Million Beverage

6509

VPX Sports/Redline

5733

Dream Water

6525

Monarch Custom Beverages

5332

VPX Sports/Redline

5849

DS Waters

2828

Monster Beverage Company

5041

WhiteWave Foods / Dean Foods

3835

Dynapep Energy Micro-Shot

7002

N.V.E. Pharmaceuticals

3044

Winona Foods, Inc.

6306

E & J Gallo Wine Co.

3335

NBI Juiceworks

6661

WIT Beverage Company

6107

Earth Beverages

6766

NERD Beverage Corp.

6725

Xing Beverage, LLC

7010

Empire Labs Inc.

6251

Nestle USA

3172

Xyience

3162

Everlast Sports Nutrition

2836

Nestle Waters North America

4667

Zimbi

6048

Ex Drinks, LLC

6567

New Leaf Brands

6560

EYL Beverages Inc.

2947

Niagara Bottling, LLC

5329

64.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

Please note these listings are courtesy of NACS; final updates are available at www.NACSOnline.com


DECEMBER 6 & 7, 2010 with Beverage School

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PROMO PARADE Jack Daniel’s Campaign

PROMOTIONS, EVENTS, AND SPECIALS FOR THE INDUSTRY

Dr Pepper’s Tuition Giveaway Dr Pepper has partnered with ESPN college football analyst and Hall of Fame head coach Lou Holtz to give away total of $1 million in college tuition throughout the football season as part of its annual Dr Pepper Million Dollar Tuition Giveaway. Fans aged 18 – 24 can submit videos to drpepper.com explaining why they believe they deserve free tuition. The deadline is Nov. 1 2010. Successful participants will get the chance to compete for $123,000 halftime throws during a select conference championship game. Individuals aged 18 and up can submit their videos by Dec. 31 2010 to try and win $2,500 in tuition.

To celebrate what would have been Mr. Jack Daniels’ 160th birthday in September, Jack Daniel Distillery has launched the “Back Jack” campaign. The aim is to make Mr. Daniels’ birthday an official holiday. Across the country, Jack Daniel’s is asking consumers ages 21 and up to sign the petition calling on Congress to establish a national holiday in honor of the day. Supporters can sign up at JDBDay.com, via Facebook and text message, at bars and other locations, and, in select cities, at the Jack Daniel’s campaign bus. At the end of the September, petitions will be delivered to Washington, D.C. and the rest will be up to our political leaders. Additionally, in honor of his 160th birthday celebration, a special commemorative bottle will arrive in stores in September. The bottle will be available primarily in the 750 ml size (MSRP $29.99) and will feature a neck tag with a unique reference number enabling purchasers to register their bottle on JackDaniels.com.

XYIENCE’s Harley Giveaway XYIENCE has launched a new giveaway for Circle K shoppers in select states. It is hosting a text message contest in which participants will have the chance to win new Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Low. The sweepstakes runs from September 1 through October 31 at participat-

My Coke Rewards Shares Points My Coke Rewards launched its Million Point Giveaway promotion in August and September as a gesture of thanks towards its 15 million members. It launched a limited-time only awards catalogue featuring items such as a portable DVD player, a flat screen TV, a mountain bike, a Coca-Cola can-shaped fridge and an oversized Coca-Cola shade umbrella. Consumers who enter codes from the fridge pack of one of the eleven participating CocaCola beverages – including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fresca, and Mello Yello - will have the chance to instantly win the additional bonus points. One winner will also be awarded a 1,000 points shopping spree each day and one grand prize winner will be selected to receive 10,000 points each week. The giveaway is open to legal residents of the 50 United States (and the District of Columbia) who are 13 years and older at the time of enrollment.

66.BEVERAGESPECTRUM.SEPTEMBER.2010

ing stores in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. Individuals aged 18 and over are invited to enter. During the contest, participating Circle K stores will run a two-cans-for-$3 special on Xenergy Premium.


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For more information on how to help your business Finish First®, contact our National Beverage Account Manager Jason Burke at 800-234-1607 • jason.burke@bsnonline.net In Select Rite Aid Locations

2104 ©2010 BSN® - Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc. Twitter logo is a registered trademark of Twitter, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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CytoSport’s manufacturing facility is GMP Certified for Sport by NSF International. NSF International has a partnership with the National Football League (NFL) and the NFL Players Association and maintains the only accredited American National Standard to certify dietary supplements, NSF/ ANSI Standard 173. The Certified for Sport™ Program is designed to minimize the risk that a dietary supplement or sports nutrition product contains banned substances. ©2010 CytoSport, Inc. Benicia, CA 94510 USA

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Beverage Spectrum September 2010  

The September 2010 issue of Beverage Spectrum Magazine.