Industry issues

February 1, 2007
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Fuze Becomes Part of Coca-Cola
The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, plans to purchase Fuze Beverage LLC, Englewood, N.J. The acquisition includes all Fuze brands, including the Vitalize, Refresh, Slenderize and Tea lines; WaterPlus enhanced water products; and licensing rights for NOS Energy Drinks. The transaction is expected to be complete during the first quarter of the year, and Fuze will operate as a stand-alone entity.
The acquisition is part of Coca-Cola’s efforts to boost its presence in the non-carbonated segment. “We believe the Fuze brands will be a strong complement to our beverage portfolio and an excellent addition to the Coca-Cola system,” said Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, in a statement. “This is yet another example of how we are expanding our portfolio to meet the growing consumer demand for beverage variety and functionality through innovation, business partnerships and acquisitions.”
Twenty Coca-Cola bottlers already distribute Fuze beverages and the companies expect the acquisition to further expand the products’ availability.
In other Coca-Cola news… The company signed a long-term marketing agreement with Raving Brands, owner of Shane’s Rib Shack, Doc Green’s Salads & Grill, Boneheads Grilled Fish, Piri Piri Chicken, Monkey Joe’s, the Flying Biscuit Café and Moe’s Southwest Grill.
Coca-Cola Consolidated teams with Cadbury on Cinnabon
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated’s BYB Brands division inked an agreement with Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages for distribution of its Cinnabon Premium Coffee Lattes. CSAB will distribute Cinnabon through Cadbury Schweppes Bottling Group and Snapple Distribution Co., making the products available in 41 states. They have been available in the Southwest since May 2006.
Coca-Cola Consolidated is the second-largest Coca-Cola distributor in the United States, and the partnership with Coca-Cola competitor Cadbury is unusual in the soft drink industry. Cadbury often teams with Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola bottlers for distribution of its products, and many bottlers own regional brands. But this agreement, which has a bottler selling its brands nationally through a competitor, is a first.
“The $900 million ready-to-drink coffee market is already huge, and about to get much, much bigger,” said BYB Brands President Norm George in a statement. “In just limited distribution, Cinnabon Premium Coffee Lattes won over consumers and independent reviewers as the best-tasting RTD coffee drink, and now with coast-to-coast availability, Cinnabon Premium Coffee Lattes are about to become a household name. We are very pleased to be partners with CSAB due to their outstanding capabilities in the marketplace.”
Cinnabon Premium Coffee Lattes are available in four flavors: Mocha Latte, Cinnamon Vanilla Latte, Caramel Nut Latte and Espresso & Cream
Pepsi to switch it up with rotating graphics
Pepsi-Cola plans to keep consumers guessing with a new global brand restyling effort that will incorporate new package graphics that change every few weeks. The company says the new look will be part of a “360-degree marketing campaign” that will be reflected on TV, radio, in print, packaging and online.
The Pepsi globe logo and name lettering will remain the same on all packages but the background graphics will change every few weeks. The company says it has changed its look only 10 times during its 109-year history, but this year alone, it will change more than 35 times. The designs are intended to reflect the interests of the “millennial generation” — teens and young adults — such as sports, music, fashion and cars. The new bottles, cans and cups also will give consumers access to online content, games, contests and sweepstakes. For example, in the United States, the first can will link to a Web site inviting consumers to help design a Pepsi billboard that will run in New York City's Times Square in April. Later in the year, consumers will have a chance to design a paint scheme for NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon’s car.
“On the surface, this might look like a packaging update, but it’s much more than that,” said Cie Nicholson, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Pepsi-Cola North America, in a statement. “We’re changing the way we interact with consumers — and now we're doing it on their terms.”
To help Pepsi bottlers ensure the seamless transition of the multiple designs in the marketplace, only the primary packaging will change, while the outer, secondary packaging will remain the same
ISBT meets in San Antonio
The International Society of Beverage Technologists will hold its 54th annual meeting at BevTech’07, April 30-May 2 in San Antonio, Texas. The event will offer presentations of scientific and technical papers as well as educational seminars. American Beverage Association President Susan Neely will kick off the meeting with the keynote address, and the technical program will include a range of topics from new beverage ingredients to processing primers, regulatory issues and new packaging innovations. In addition to scientific seminars, this year’s programming also includes a professional training seminar on electronic communication, designed to help attendees manage their time more efficiently and improve their professional image.
The ISBT also will present two awards at the meeting. The Best Paper Award will recognize the superior quality of content and delivery of a paper in the general session of the previous year’s annual meeting. The Best Committee Award will be presented to the technical committee that contributed most to achieving the objectives of the society during the past year.
For a full list of ISBT seminars or to register for the event, visit www.bevtech.org

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