Industry Issues

September 1, 2007
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A-B to Distribute Beauty Brand
Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis, will distribute and market Borba Skin Balance Waters in the United States and in countries abroad. The agreement includes Borba Clarifying, Age Defying, Firming and Replenishing varieties, as well as Aqua-Less Crystallines, a powder form of the drinkable skin care line, in the United States. Borba, based in Woodland Hills, Calif., maintains the right to sell its beverages and crystallines in select accounts and online. Anheuser-Busch wholesalers will begin distributing the beverages in select markets in November.
“Adding the Borba Skin Balance Waters and Aqua-Less Crystallines to our portfolio allows us to participate in the emerging nutraceutical beverage category,” said Dave Peacock, vice president of business operations at Anheuser-Busch, in a statement.
“The Borba line of beverages provides innovative and highly profitable products for our wholesalers and retail customers, while expanding our business into high-growth beverages beyond beer.”
Cott acquires Mexican business
Cott Corp.’s Mexican division has acquired the assets of the El Riego Co. in Tehuacan, Mexico, along with rights to its spring water source, for $2.1 million. Toronto-based Cott has been expanding its share of the retailer brand soft drinks industry in Mexico, as well as its ability to serve the up-and-down-the-street business, which represents the biggest share of the Mexican beverage market.
“This is a small but strategic acquisition for Cott,” said Wynn Willard, president of the company’s international business, in a statement. “In keeping with our international business strategy, the El Riego operation is a prudent investment that will greatly improve our ability to service our customers with an expanded portfolio of high-growth beverages.”
The El Riego operation includes two bottling lines that bottle both PET and glass.
Coors gets crafty
Coors Brewing Co. reportedly plans to launch a new subsidiary called AC Golden Brewing Co. that will focus on the fast-growing high-end beer category. According to an Associated Press report, the company plans to roll out products in a “slow, deliberate fashion, similar to its launch of Blue Moon Belgian Ale.”
The new company will be run by Glenn Knippenberg, and is described as a “brand incubation brewery,” focused on market-by-market rollout.
Blue Moon has been a standout success for Coors during the past several years, and while not technically a craft beer, the Belgian ale has enjoyed similar success as the craft beer industry. According to a Brewers Association report released last month, the craft beer industry grew 11 percent in volume sales and 14 percent in dollar sales during the first half of 2007. Craft beer holds more than 5 percent dollar share of total beer sales for the first time this year, the association says.
In other craft beer news, the National Beer Wholesalers Association announced it will salute the first-ever Craft Beer Distributor of the Year at the Brewers Association’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver early next month.
Coca-Cola sets new recycling goal
Coca-Cola announced plans to invest more than $60 million to build the world’s largest plastic-bottle-to-bottle recycling plant and support recycling in the United States. The company says the investments are part of a goal to recycle or reuse 100 percent of the company’s PET bottles in the United States.
The new recycling plant will be built in conjuntion with United Resource Recovery Corp., and will be located in Spartanburg, S.C. The plant will produce approximately 100 million pounds of food-grade recycled PET for reuse each year — the equivalent of producing nearly 2 billion 20-ounce bottles.
“The long-term sustainability of our business depends on our ability to ensure the sustainability of our packaging,” said Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America. “This new recycling facility represents a significant milestone as we work to advance recycling in the U.S. and ensure a strong end-market for our PET packaging.”
The new 30-acre plant will open in 2008 and will be fully operational in 2009. To help procure material for recycling, Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Enterprises formed Coca-Cola Recycling LLC (CCR) in November 2006. CCR has been charged with coming up with cost-efficient solutions for reclaiming used beverage containers and will establish centralized recycling centers throughout the United States. The company also plans to expand its partnership in RecycleBank, which operates in southern New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, and will be launching service in upstate New York, Vermont and Massachusetts in the fall of 2007. RecycleBank incentivises consumers to increase participation in curbside recycling programs. The group has driven recycling rates in Philadelphia from 15 percent to more than 50 percent, and household participation from 30 percent to 90 percent.
In addition to using recycled PET in new bottles, Coca-Cola’s recycling plans include a line of merchandise made out of recycled PET bottles. The products feature playful slogans such as “I’m wearing post-consumer waste,” and “My white t-shirt is green.”
PBG realigns business
The Pepsi Bottling Group, Somers, N.Y., has reorganized to improve operating efficiencies. In the United States and Canada, the company says it will streamline field operations to centralize decision-making and increase speed to market. The number of business units in the two countries will drop from eight to six. Approximately 150 management positions will be eliminated, and internationally, as many as 550 hourly positions will be reduced. The company expects to realize a pre-tax savings of $30 million.
The company says it also is looking at its full-service vending program, and may retire select equipment.
ABA, Drinktec team up with Worldwide Food Expo
The organizers of Drinktec 2009, World Fair for Beverage and Liquid Food Technology, will host a reception on Oct. 25 at the Worldwide Food Expo at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The event will be held at 3:00 p.m. at booth S7044, and will feature information in the event to be held Sept. 14-19, 2009 in Munich, Germany.
Drinktec and Worldwide Food Expo teamed up in 2006 to promote one another’s events. Drinktec organizers expect about 1,400 exhibitors from more than 60 countries at the 2009 event, which will focus on the latest innovations across the entire beverage production chain. The United States is one of the show’s most important markets, the group says.
Also at Worldwide Food Expo, the American Beverage Association and the International Dairy Foods Association plan to present education sessions on beverage trends and innovations. Sessions will include:
“New Functional and Fortified Beverages” on Oct. 24, which will explore the next generation of functional beverages and discuss the benefits of value-added ingredients such as vitamin D, omega-3 and calcium.
“Global Beverage Trends” on Oct. 25 will discuss innovative beverage products in development around the globe and their impact on the U.S. market.
“Trends in Beverage Consumption” on Oct. 26 will provide up-to-date beverage category data, as well as the trends and companies behind the data.
In addition, the ABA’s booth will feature an “InterBev Beverage Bar,” showcasing the latest in beverage offerings, as well as information on InterBev 2008. The association will hold its board of directors meeting in conjunction with the show.
Worldwide Food Expo also will present four general Super Sessions to highlight global demographic, economic and food trends; a series of in-depth plant operations workshops designed to help plant managers cut costs and improve efficiencies; and more than 20 sessions on topics ranging from organic labeling to sanitary design principles. Of interest to some beverage manufacturers, IDFA also will offer a pre-show workshop on Juice and Dairy HACCP.
Complete information on educational sessions and registration are available at worldwidefood.com.
PepsiCo, Wal-Mart boost recycling efforts
PepsiCo and Wal-Mart, through a joint effort program to promote recycling in Puerto Rico, established 16 recycling centers located at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores. Consumers can deposit aluminum cans and PET 1 plastic bottles during specified hours on weekends. Currently, Puerto Rico is considered one of the major waste producers per capita in the world. The 11-week project is organized under the slogan “Tomatelo en Serio, Recicla por Puerto Rico,” which translates to “Take it seriously, recycle for Puerto Rico.”
In addition, the program features a recycling contest for Puerto Rican schools. To help promote the program, PepsiCo and Wal-Mart also partnered with non-profit organization “Yo Limpio a Puerto Rico” and its spokesperson, reggaeton music artist Daddy Yankee. The recycling centers will be located across the island and will be managed by “Yo Limpio a Puerto Rico” personnel.

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