'Officially' Speaking

August 1, 2004
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

‘Officially’ Speaking

I was interested to read recently that the state of Illinois is in the process of naming an “Official Beverage of Illinois”. It seems that earlier this year, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich teamed with Maryland-based Team Services LLC to market state property by selling licensing rights for goods and services.
According to reports, the Land of Lincoln is now soliciting information from the state’s bottlers and distributors to determine an official beverage. The company that receives the title would have exclusive rights to sell the beverage on all state-owned property, including state fairs, road-side stops and office buildings.
Such contracts are becoming popular with state and local governments, which are under tremendous pressure to find creative ways to raise funding. New York City, for example, teamed with Snapple to put its products in schools and city offices in exchange for program funding.
Pepsi MidAmerica, Marion, Ill., one of the companies considering a bid to be Illinois’ official beverage, has said it believes the move could be bad for small businesses. The company says the plan is detrimental to current business arrangements for special organizations and communities such as vending operators for the visually impaired, which distribute products at rest stops, and clubs and civic groups that currently sell items at state functions.
“In addition, Pepsi Mid-America believes the governor’s marketing plan is too intrusive because it takes away local decision-making on beverage selections and vendors as well as other products and services. The exclusivity of an ‘official’ beverage is impractical to bid since most beverage distributors in the state have limited distribution territories. For instance, full-line vending companies, soft drink distributors and franchise bottlers would have to limit participation to its area of service,” the company said in a statement.
There are clear logistical challenges to making such a contract work, and as a Chicago resident for several years, it also seems a little presumptuous to me to designate one beverage as the “official” choice for an entire state, especially one with  populations as diverse as those in Illinois.
Am Ireally concerned about the types of beverages available at state rest stops? No. I’m sure people who stop at them are just happy to have a cold drink. But smaller beverage companies have a hard enough time getting their products into sales and distribution outlets. Adding yet another exclusive sales venue seems like one more way to make it difficult for consumers to find variety and for those smaller, breakthrough products to find their way to market. BI

 Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Beverage Industry.  

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Dinner with Tequila Don Julio

Diageo is taking its Tequila Don Julio brand on the road this summer with a rolling Airstream Speakeasy mobile craft cocktail bar. The team stopped in Chicago on July 29 to share some specialty tequila cocktails paired with food from Chicago restaurants Honey Butter Fried Chicken and The Radler as well as dessert venues Black Dog Gelato and Baker Miller. (Photos by Jennifer Haderspeck)

9/17/14 2:00 pm EDT

The Path to New Product Success: Navigating the latest trends for new beverage development

By attending this webinar, you will learn about the top trends and how they fit into the CPG market, which channels are influencing new products and technology, how Packaging fits into your product development, and ways you can use innovation to increase sales.


Gert van Manen, president of iTi Tropicals Inc., shares his insights on the U.S. coconut water market. Citing research from Krueger Food Laboratories, he also supplies information highlighting the difference between products that declare their added sugars and those that do not.

Beverage Industry Magazine

BI October 2014 cover

2014 October

The October 2014 Beverage Industry includes a cover story on our 2014 Executive of the Year, Keurig Green Mountain's CEO Brian Kelley, as well as articles about bottled water consumption, whey nutrition, and more. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Bottled Water Trends

Which bottled-water trend will fare the best in 2015?
View Results Poll Archive


Cleaning-in-Place: Dairy, Food and Beverage Operations, 3rd Edition

This book addresses the principles of cleaning operations, water supply issues and the science of detergents and disinfectants.

More Products

Beverage Insider eNewsletter

Are you an Insider? Subscribe to Beverage Industry’s weekly e-newsletter to receive news headlines, new product information and magazine highlights.   


facebook40 twitter    youtubelinkedgoogle+ icon 40px


Beverage Industry Webinars are an easy, effective and convenient way to get educated and informed on the latest industry trends and topics. All Webinars are FREE unless indicated. For more information, check out our Events page!