Summer Soda War
It’s official. Fortification has expanded past the realm of
energized sports drinks and waters to beverages that are traditionally considered
non-nutritive: soft drinks. It was my guess that beer would be the next carbonated
beverage to enter into the business of healthy, vitamin-packed drink manufacturing
after the low-carb beer trend took off. But with the recent announcement that
7 UP is planning its debut of 7 UP Plus, fortified with calcium, vitamin C and
juice, it appears that soft drinks have beat brews to the punch. Although it
won’t be possible to try the new 7 UP for some time because the announcement
precedes the actual launch of the product, the product is said to be sweetened
with Splenda and the juice flavor has not been revealed, which leads me to believe
that identifying the flavor preferences of its core brand consumers might still
be in progress.
With C2 and Pepsi Edge leading the charge of what many have
called a new mid-calorie category in the soft drink market, is this the beginning
of a whole new category? Or the better question: is the U.S. market ready for
these product lines? It could be a major boost for soft drink companies. But
it could also be the right product at the wrong time, because this isn’t the
first time mid-calorie colas have been introduced. The typical summer battle
for consumer attention in the soft drink category will ensue, and the attempts
to appeal to Americans’ demands for better-for-you carbonated beverages make
it an interesting test case to see if consumers really are ready for change.
On the heels of a slew of well-publicized nuptials,
Absolut Spirits Co., working with wedding experts and a number of wedding
resources, has created a 12-page guide to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender couples prepare for commitment ceremonies. Including advice
about everything from gift registration to rehearsal dinner planning, the
guide will appear as a tear-out insert in Out magazine this month. It also is available for download at
absolutcommitment.com and GLAAD.org.
RémyRed has partnered with J Records to support
the Stone Love Concert Tour that kicked off in Atlanta in May at the
Midtown Music Festival. The RémyRed and Angie Stone show features
“RémyRed,” a song that Stone wrote in homage to one of
her favorite drinks. Stone also created a RémyRed-inspired cocktail
named “The Girlfriend,” and has partnered with RémyRed
to launch the RémyRed & Angie Stone Girlfriend Getaway
sweepstakes. An advertorial announcing the launch of the sweepstakes will
appear in Vogue magazine.
Beginning this summer, SoBe Beverages and Jeep will
join forces to reach consumers through events across the country. As part
of SoBe’s Lizard Liberation under-the-cap promotion, eight Jeep
Wrangler Unlimited vehicles will be awarded to SoBe grand-prize winners.
Additionally, a one-of-a-kind SoBe Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, jointly developed
by the companies, will be on display at Jeep 101, a 12-stop driving
experience with both on- and off-road courses, Jeep Music Trax, a concert
tour, and Camp Jeep two-day events.
Brats on tour
Wine Brats kicked off its “Crossing
Paths”-themed Chefs w/out Hats Tour in Chicago this month at the
city's Sound-Bar nightclub. Highlighting local food, wine, fashion and
music at each city stop, the tour gives wine drinkers an opportunity to
socialize and learn about wine in a fun atmosphere.
Canandaigua donated a portion of every purchase of
Arbor Mist made last month to the National Arbor Day Foundation to help
plant seedlings throughout Arizona forests. As part of its commitment to
Arbor Day, Arbor Mist and Arbor Mist Wine Blenders packaging also featured
neck hangers with Blue Spruce tree seedlings attached, encouraging patrons
to plant trees in support of Arbor Day.
The Impulse Energy team proved its prowess at the
first NBA Hoop-It-Up street basketball tournament that took place in Miami
last month. Winning the championship title, the Impulse Energy team of
former NFL players will be supported with a marketing initiative that
includes a sales incentive program in which trade professionals can enter a
contest to play with the team. The Impulse Energy team will play in other
major cities throughout the summer as part of the Hoop-It-Up tournament.