Industry issue

Coke Unveils Foodservice ‘Evolution’
Coca-Cola’s North America foodservice unit recently unveiled its latest fountain technology, the “Bev-olution” dispenser. The fountain accomodates as many as six carbonated and six non-carbonated beverage varieties. Extending the typical fountain from eight drink options, “Bev-olution” also allows customers to create custom drinks with flavor shot options, such as vanilla or cherry. The machine is said to have as many as 50 drink possibilities and Coca-Cola hopes it will transform fast-food restaurants into beverage destinations. It is slated to hit restaurants in October.
IBWA announces education topics
The International Bottled Water Association, Alexandria, Va., previewed a few of the topics for the Continuing Education Sessions to be held at its convention and tabletop trade show Oct. 15-19 in Las Vegas. The IBWA-certified sessions provide the Continuing Education Units that are necessary for certified plant operator accreditation.
Introductory courses are offered in topics such as Bottled Water 101, Filtrations 101 and Bottle Washing 101. Bottled Water 101 is a comprehensive review of bottled water industry basics with new and value-added information for those new to the industry and a refresher for those already in the industry. Filtration 101 is based on the most current information on filtration, practical filter handling and system design. In Bottle Washing 101, participants will have the opportunity to view and interact with various wash nozzle types and locations. A wash effectiveness demonstration also will be held.
In addition, other sessions will cover more in-depth topics. In “State Licensing Requirements: What Does Your State Require?,” the focus is on state requirements for licensing, pre-distribution approval and source approval. Another session will discuss the USEPA’s recent ultra violet (UV) guidance and explain the extensive validation protocol to use UV to properly treat water and comply with disinfection by-product rules. Integration and planning of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Quality Control (QC) programs will be covered in additional sessions. Organizational options for procedures, forms and files that can facilitate the day-to-day product, package and process inspections will be discussed in addition to the evolution of HACCP and QC programs.
A-B partners with Northeast spirits producer
Vermont Spirits of Passumpsic, Vt., announced Anheuser-Busch Inc., St. Louis, will be the U.S. distributor of its super-premium vodkas. Vermont Gold, Vermont Gold Vintage and Vermont White vodkas currently are available in the Northeast United States. Through the agreement, select Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in New England began distributing the products last month. Wholesalers will initially focus on licensed states, and Vermont Spirits will continue to be responsible for marketing.
Unique to the Northeast, Vermont Gold and Vermont Gold Vintage are distilled from maple sap, and Vermont White is made from milk sugar and Vermont spring water. The agreement is part of Anheuser-Busch’s test of a limited portfolio of premium spirits in target markets in the Northeast.
Nestlé introduces lightweight bottle
Nestlé Waters North America, Greenwich, Conn., introduced an environmentally friendly bottle that weighs 15 percent less than those currently on the market. Eco-shape is a 12.5-gram bottle that took two years to develop and may save 65 million pounds of plastic resin each year, according to the company. Its label size has also been reduced to use less paper, and the color was removed from the cap to make it more recyclable. The half-liter Eco-Shape bottle uses 30 percent less plastic than bottles currently available on the market. Ozarka and Arrowhead brands debuted the bottle and it will be phased through Nestlé’s other brands throughout the year. In addition, Nestlé Waters is working to create an even lighter bottle.
Study shows effect of TV advertising
Information Resources Inc., Chicago, announced the results from its Long-Term Drivers Consortium Study. The study has researched the importance of TV advertising, in-store promotion, distribution and brand variety on the long-term health of brands and the overall CPG industry. IRI looked into juice brands, as well as products from nine other categories, and studied a five-year history. Despite the feared demise in the effectiveness of TV, thanks to TiVo and digital recording services, top-line results show TV and distribution remain critical to a brand’s long-term growth, with TV being the largest driver. In addition, TV advertising and price often have a direct relationship. The study found TV advertising can, but does not always, lower price elasticity, though distribution was more likely to be associated with lower elasticity. Discounting drives increased price elasticity over time. In addition, television advertising was not shown to relate to long-term growth. IRI announced it will begin a second study later this summer.
U.S. craft brews a hit in China
The Brewers Association, Boulder, Colo., announced American craft beers have found success in China. In February, the association sent the first mixed container of craft beers to China. Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, N.Y.; North Coast Brewing Co., Fort Bragg, Calif.; and Rogue Ales, Newport, Ore., were included in the initial shipment and now are available in eight on-premise establishments in Shanghai. In May, a new shipment with beers from Kona Brewing Co., Kailua Kona, Hawaii, and Gordon Biersch Brewing Co., Burbank, Calif., were sent to China.
The association also participated in the SIAL China trade show in May where it hosted a dinner for trade and media that paired food with beer.
Miller to take over Foster’s production in U.S.
Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, announced a 10-year agreement that will bring production of Foster’s Lager and Special Bitter to the United States. Australian-based Foster’s Group Ltd. plans to move production from Molson Coors Brewing Co.’s facility in Canada to Miller’s breweries in Ft. Worth, Texas, and Albany, Ga. Miller says domestic brewing will reduce freight time and expense. The company plans to use the savings on marketing and sales support for the Foster’s brands.
Coca-Cola Consolidated combines facilities
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, Charlotte, N.C., has combined its facilities in South Carolina. The company has merged its Florence, Conway and Marion, S.C., operations into one in Marion. The company said it upgraded the facility, which it is calling its “regional development center,” in anticipation of the distribution re-design.

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How beer brands are using social media to connect with consumers

Social media has become a buzzword for not just American consumers but also the business environment. Companies are turning to various social media channels to create brand awareness or possibly boost retail sales. Beer brands also are turning to social media to make their stories heard. Brand Chorus, a division of New York-based TippingGardner, conducted a Beer StoryScore Index for Beverage Industry. StoryScore is a quantitative measure of a brand’s storytelling through social management based on creativity, strategy and personality.

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