A Spark of Altruism
Firefighter Beverages LLC, Norwalk, Conn., is one of two new
companies started by some entrepreneurial firefighters and former food and beverage
company executives. While Firefighter Beverages and its sister company Firefighter
Brands are for-profit organizations, they plan to donate 25 percent of their
annual net profits to firefighter-related groups and causes with an eye toward
providing otherwise unfunded, but essential firefighter equipment. Notables
lending their expertise to the venture include: John Bello, founder of SoBe
Beverages; Graham West, a veteran of Ocean Spray; and Bruce Burke, formerly
of the National Football League’s advertising and design division.
The new food and beverage product line debuted in June to the
Florida Professional Firefighters convention in Alamonte Springs, Fla. Distribution
agreements are still in negotiation, but if all goes well, the sodas, chips
and chilis should be on Florida supermarket shelves this summer. The firefighter-themed
sodas are Courageous Cola, Firelight Diet Cola, Backdraft Root Beer and Incendiary
Alizé has the blues
New York-based importer Kobrand Corp. is adding Alizé Bleu to
its portfolio of liqueurs. Alizé Bleu is an opaque blue beverage made from a
blend of French vodka and Cognac. The blue-hued liqueur is 20 percent alcohol
by volume and is produced and bottled by L.&L. S.A., Cognac, France. Alizé is
available nationally in 200-ml., 375-ml., 750-ml. and 1-liter sizes. Pricing
ranges from $7.99 to $21.99.
Kobrand Corp., New York
Scotching the countryside
Allied Domecq announced it is launching a series of its Scotch
malt whisky brands in the United States. The Scotch Malts Portfolio will include
Laphroaig from Islay; Tormore 12-Year-Old from Speyside; Scapa from the Orkney
Isles and Glendronach from the Highlands.
Scotch Malts Portfolio
Alllied Domecq Spirits, North America, Westport, Conn.
Capitalizing on the success of its No Carb Green Teas, Arizona
Beverages is adding Arizona No Carb Decaf Green Tea to its lineup. The new addition
will be packaged in the company’s signature 20-ounce glass bottle, for single-serve
outlets and gallon containers for take-home consumption. Both of the packages
will feature pink cherry blossoms. The tea is sweetened with Splenda, is preservative-free,
and has 5 calories per 8-ounce serving.
Arizona No Carb Decaf Green Tea
Arizona Beverage Co., Cincinnati
LifeForce Labs LLC recently introduced Zoic Protein Nutrition
Drink — a low-carb, low-fat, snack-in-a-can. Zoic has 21 grams of protein and
2 net carbs per serving in both its French Vanilla and Belgian Chocolate flavors.
The product carries the heart-check symbol from the American Heart Association
for heart-healthy foods. The company claims that Zoic is the first product of
its kind to be certified by the American Heart Association for meeting food
criteria for saturated fat and cholesterol for people over the age of 2. Zoic
is distributed nationally and retails for $1.99 per 11-ounce can.
Zoic Protein Nutrition Drink
LifeForce Labs LLC, Altamonte Springs, Fla.
Ingredients: Water, milk protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, cocoa, natural
flavors, cellulose gel, cellulose gum, tricalcium phosphate, sucralose, ascorbic
acid, zinc oxide, acesulfame potassium, carrageenan, monosodium phosphate, sodium
citrate, vitamin E acetate, niacinamide, calcium D-pantothenate, thiamine hydrochloride,
pyridoxine hydrochloride, ferrous sulfate, riboflavin, manganese sulfate, vitamin
A palmitate, folic acid, copper sulfate, biotin, potassium iodide, phylliquinone,
chromium chloride, sodium molybdate, sodium selenite, vitamin D3 and cyanocobalamin.
Juice with zing
Celestial Seasonings is diving into the juice market with the
launch of Zingerade, a blend of tea, juice and lemonade. The ready-to-drink
product is available in three flavors: Wild Berry, Sweet Peach Delight and Tropical
Ruby Red. The juice/tea mixtures are low-calorie and provide 100 percent of
the recommended daily intake for vitamin C. Zingerade is in limited distribution
in the Northeast.
The Hain Celestial Group, Boulder, Colo.
Distribution: Northeast United States
Ingredients: Wild Berry: Filtered water, evaporated cane juice, apple, red raspberry
and blue-berry juice concentrates, natural flavors of raspberries, strawberries,
blackberries and lemons with other natural flavors, citric acid, ascorbic acid
(vitamin C), and herbal infusion (consists of orange peel, rosehips)
Match, set… cook
Forget white wine with fish and red with meats for a moment
and think beer instead. Samuel Adams Brewmaster’s Collection was put together
to complement a variety of foods. The collection consists of six brews: Samuel
Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Light, Samuel Adams Hefeweizen, Samuel Adams Boston
Ale, Samuel Adams Scotch Ale and Samuel Adams Cream Stout.
Whether it’s a simple dinner or a six-course sampler, the blend
of spices and flavors throughout the collection enhances an array of foods and
can hold up to bold tastes. The 12-pack Brewmaster’s Collection is available
nationwide and retails from $11.99 to $13.99.
Samuel Adams Brewmaster’s Collection
The Boston Beer Co., Boston
Black cherry Bacardi
Anheuser-Busch introduced another flavor to its Bacardi Silver
flavored malt beverage line – Black Cherry. The new quaff features the sweet
and tangy flavor of black cherries along with a hint of vanilla. This version
of the flavored malt beverage is low-carb and low-cal with 2.6 grams of carbohydrates
and 96 calories per 12 -ounce serving, compared with 250 calories and 33 carbs
in the traditional version. Bacardi Silver Black Cherry is available nationally
and priced on par with other Bacardi Silver products.
Bacardi Silver Black Cherry
Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, Mo.
This summer Merchant du Vin is introducing a new
beer to its portfolio — Floris Appel Witbier, a Belgian wheat ale
made with apples. Belgian wheat beer is a regional specialty that is
enjoying something of a renaissance. Wheat gives the beer a hazy, golden
color. It is light-bodied with little bitterness.
Floris Appel Witbier is brewed from 60 percent barley,
38 percent unmalted wheat and 2 percent oatmeal. Belgian hops, crushed
coriander seeds and orange peel are added during the brewing process and
contribute to the brew’s subtle bouquet and complex spiciness. During
maturation, fresh apple juice is added. Floris Appel is available on draft
only in select regions of the United States.
Need something to wash down those peanut butter and
banana sandwiches? California-based Signature
Wines launched the Graceland Cellars line
of Elvis Presley brand wines in New Jersey. Jailhouse Red Merlot, The King
Cabernet Sauvignon and Blue Suede Chardonnay are available at select New
Jersey wine retailers.
The 2002 Blue Suede Chardonnay features citrus, pear and floral
aromas. Its flavor is a light, toasty oak with a hints of butter and vanilla.
The medium-bodied 2001 Jailhouse Merlot has aromas of berries and fresh herbs
and the flavors of oak and vanilla. The King Cabernet has a subtle oak flavor
with a hint of spice. The suggested retail price of all three varieties is $11.99.
Graceland Cellars Elvis Presley Wines
Signature Wines, Hayward Calif.
Distribution: New Jersey
Pep o’ mint
Soma Beverage Co. launched Metromint Peppermint Water June 1
into select markets. Metromint is unsweetened peppermint flavored water. The
water is intended to be a stress relieving, refreshing thirst quencher.
Soma Beverage Co., San Francisco, Calif.
Distribution: Gourmet and natural food stores in San Francisco, New York and
UV Vodka’s latest innovation is UV Citruv, a citrus-infused
vodka that matches natural lemon and lime essence with the clear spirit. According
to the company, citrus is the largest sub-category of flavored vodka in the
United States. The vodka used in UV Citruv is activated carbon filtered and
distilled four times from Midwestern grain. The product is priced at around
$10 per 750-ml. bottle.
Phillips Distilling Co., Minneapolis, Minn.
Distribution: National and selected international markets
Apple & Eve has a
new line of low-carb, low-calorie juices called Light & Fruitful. The
juices are meant to appeal to diet- and carb-conscious consumers. Each
flavor of Light & Fruitful has at least two-thirds fewer calories and 9
grams of carbohydrates or less. The products are made with pure fruit
juices and sweetened with Splenda.
According to the company, all of the Light & Fruitful flavors
contain as high a level of real fruit juice as possible, in order to provide
the health benefits and juicy flavor of fruit. Flavors available in 64-ounce
PET bottles are Cranberry, Cranberry Raspberry and Cranberry Grape. Flavors
available in 16-ounce single-serve bottles are Ruby Red Grapefruit, Orange Mango
and Cranberry Raspberry. The 64-ounce bottles retail for $3.29 and the 16-ounce
bottles for $1.19.
Light & Fruitful
Apple & Eve, Port Washington, N.Y
Distribution: East Coast
The Patron Spirits Co. is
introducing its first new product in 10 years – Gran Patron Platinum
Tequila. The triple-distilled tequila is made with hand-selected blue agave
plants. The plants are pruned prior to baking to eliminate bitterness and
ensure the highest sugar content possible for distillation. The aged
tequila is bottled in crystal and packaged in handmade maple wood boxes.
Each bottle and box is hand-signed and numbered. The ultra-premium tequila
costs $189 per 750-ml. bottle.
This month’s tasters are a young urban couple with a one-year-old
child. These two blend their own smoothies at home, adding the occasional bit
of soy, but mostly sticking to fruit and yogurt. They were intrigued by the
idea of a portable, healthy option and pleasantly surprised by the mostly true-to-the-fruit
flavors of Silk Live!
Smooth as silk
White Wave Inc. expanded its Silk soymilk
franchise with the launch of Silk Live!, a soymilk smoothie spiked with six
live and active cultures that aid healthy digestion. To fill out the
nutritional roster, Silk Live! also has 19 essential nutrients including
calcium, magnesium, folic acid, potassium and vitamins A, B, C, D and E,
and 280 mg. of omega-3 fatty acids per 10-ounce serving. To help the
absorption of calcium and magnesium, fructan NutraFlora, a natural dietary
fiber, was added.
Silk Live! is currently available in four fruit and berry flavors
— Strawberry, Peach, Mango and Raspberry. Beginning this month, Silk Live! is
available in natural food stores. It will be available in grocery stores next
year. The suggested retail price is $1.69 per bottle.
This month’s contenders:
Teri, elementary school teacher
Here’s the skinny…
“Nice shape, easy to transport… I could take it to work and not spill it.”
“I like the shape of the bottle and the nutritional highlights are eye-catching.”
“Nice texture, not too thick. Fruit flavors are vibrant. Mango has
a more chalky taste than Strawberry. The aftertaste is fruity, not chalky.”
“Strawberry is not too sweet, no chalky taste. I don’t like when these products
are overly sweet. The mango is a little chalky, artificial tasting. Raspberry
is slightly gritty, but has a good raspberry flavor.” – Quin
Would you buy it?
“Yes, however the high sugar content would limit how often.” – Quin
“Yes, it would serve as a quick meal – very nutritious – lots of fiber and vitamins.
High sugar content deters me from considering it a daily part of my diet.” –
“I like the way the nutritional highlights are summarized down the
side of the bottle. It gives you a quick rundown without having to search for
the information.” – Teri
“I like the idea of being able to get more soy in my diet in an easy, tasty
way.” – Quin
White Wave Inc., Boulder, Co.
Distribution: Natural foods stores
Ingredients: Strawberry Smoothie Ingredients: Filtered water, whole organic
soybeans,organic evaporated juice, strawberries, dextrose, strawberry juice
concentrate, pectin, sodium citrate, natural flavors, fructan, purple carrot
juice, beet juice and red cabbage juice (for color), sea salt, yogurt cultures
(L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus, L. acidophilus, B. bifidum, L casei, L. rhamnosus),
tricalcium phosphate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E),
calcium pantothenate, niacin, zinc gluconate, vitamin A palmitate, pyridocine
hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12, biotin, vitamin
IN Brief . . .
Coffee and tea
Revolution Tea, Tempe,
Ariz., launched all natural White-T at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New
York. White-T has no carbs, calories, sugars or sweeteners and is naturally
rich in antioxidants…
The Republic of Tea,
Novato, Calif., has added Honeydew White Tea to its line of bottled iced
teas available exclusively in restaurants. Honeydew White Tea reportedly
offers a cool, subtle melon finish that complements spicy dishes,
vegetarian cuisine and pasta…
Two leaves and a Bud Inc.
will distribute Dilmah Teas in the United States. Dilmah’s specialty
is single origin Ceylon Tea, which comes from a single growing area.
Varieties include Ceylon Breakfast, Ceylon Organic Lemon, Ceylon Earl Grey,
Ceylon Green, Half Caf/Half Decaf — a mid-level caffeinated tea
— and a range of decaf teas…
According to reports, Cadbury Schweppes is
keeping a close watch on the new introductions of low-carb sodas by its
competitors. If low-carb is a hit with consumers, the company may be ready
to launch its own version…
U.K. soft drink-maker Princes is re-launching Virgin Cola in July in honor of its 10th
birthday. The product was reformulated after extensive research. The
purpose of the relaunch is to strengthen the brand’s market position
among competing colas… Hoping the second time is a charm, a U.S.
redux is also in the offing for Virgin Cola. Those with a long memory will
recall that Virgin Cola was launched in the U.S. six years ago amid much
rhetoric that it would become a serious rival to category leaders Coke and
Pepsi. This time around, Virgin’s entry is much more low key —
the soft drink is in limited distribution in Southern California. Virgin
Cola is being positioned as a premium-priced product available in four
flavors, including Blonde (vanilla) and Jade (lime). The national rollout
is supposed to be sometime next year…
Coca-Cola is reported to
be planning to launch a new brand of water in Germany called Ipsei.
Announcement of the launch follows the failure of the company’s
Dasani water brand in the United Kingdom, although the two events are said
to be unrelated…
Fuze Beverage LLC has
added Strawberry Melon to its Slenderize line and Strawberry Guava to its
Colorado Spirits announced the launch of Colorado
Premium Vodka. The new vodka is made from pure Colorado mountain spring
water and Midwestern grains. For now, it’s only available locally.
Over the next year, it will rollout nationally…
Singapore’s Tiger beer is breaking into the
market in Thailand. Thai Asia Pacific Brewery is brewing and marketing
Tiger beer in major cities in Thailand. TAPB hopes Tiger will capture 20
percent of the combined premium and standard beer segments in three years,
according to the Bangkok Post…