The European Commission has fined Groupe Danone 1.5
million euros and Heineken 1 million euros for colluding to control
the wholesale beer market in France. The case, which began in 1996, alleges
that the two companies devised, but did not put into action, a plan to
balance the volume of beer distributed through their integrated networks
and limit acquisition costs of wholesalers.
Foodservice company AFM Inc., Orlando, Fla., has established a wine and spirits division, headed
by Don Shaver and Tim Moreno. The company says the new division will be
able to develop complete beverage programs to fit the themes of bars,
restaurants, nightclubs or hotel accounts, train staff members and print
menus. It also is building an off-premise team that will consist of a
director of off-premise and key off-premise sales representatives in Tampa,
south Florida, Orlando and Jacksonville, Fla.
Vermont Pure Holdings has acquired bottled water
distributor Evans Quality Coffee Service of New England, based in Dedham,
Mass. The company has made five similar acquisitions this year, and Evans
will further its development in the Boston metropolitan market.
The Pepsi Bottling Group, Somers, N.Y., has formed a
seven-year partnership with the University of Texas at El Paso, including
exclusive vending, retail and pouring rights at Sun Bowl Stadium and all
university locations. The college is a major urban research university,
with a majority Mexican-American population and 19,000 students.
Anheuser-Busch has signed Budweiser as the
official international beer sponsor for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. As
part of the agreement, the company will have rights to use the Olympic
Games logo for promotional purposes in China and 29 other countries.
Anheuser-Busch says China is its most important international market, and
it plans to use the official marks on packaging, point-of-sale materials,
sales promotions and branded merchandise.
The Coca-Cola Co. has signed an exclusive
three-year agreement with AirTran Airways to serve its carbonated soft
drinks, Dasani water, Seagram’s non-alcoholic mixers and Minute Maid
juices on all flights. The agreement builds on an 11-year partnership
between the two companies and covers all the airline’s non-alcoholic
Opici Import Co., Glen
Rock, N.J., will import, distribute and market Cheviot
Bridge PTY’s Long Flat Wine Group
portfolio in the United States. The deal, which is the first Australian
addition to Opici’s line-up, also includes the Thirsty Lizard and
Kissing Bridge brands, and will add approximately 55,000 cases to the
Diageo and Moët Hennessy have named Century Wine & Spirits a
strategic distributor of the companies’ wine and spirits brands in
Delaware. Similar agreements were formed with North-west
Beverages of North Dakota, Famous Brands/Western Wholesale of South Dakota and Ben Arnold-Sunbelt in South
Carolina. To date, Diageo has selected strategic distribution partners in
38 states and the District of Columbia, representing 80 percent of its
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear oral arguments reviewing
Michigan and New York direct shipping decisions Dec. 7.
M2P Capital LLC and Norwest Equity Partners have
purchased Deep Rock Water Co., Denver. The new owners say they intend to provide the resources
needed to expand the Deep Rock bottled water business in new and existing
markets. Deep Rock has production facilities in Denver and Grand Junction,
Colo., and Omaha, Neb., with customer sales and service centers in Colorado
Springs, Fort Lupton and Avon, Colo. Its Minnesota division, Glenwood
Inglewood, has a facility in Minneapolis. The company’s products are
distributed in 12 states.
The Distilled Spirits Council, in cooperation with Historic Mount Vernon, has created a new
distilling museum at George Washington’s Distillery. The museum will
be part of the American Whiskey Trail, a national cultural heritage and
tourism initiative showcasing historic sites and museums in five states
related to whiskey and distilling.
Abbott Labs has announced plans to acquire nutritional supplement-maker EAS Inc. from North Castle Partners for $320
million. Originally considered a bodybuilder’s supplement, EAS has
gone more mainstream, manufacturing shakes, protein drinks and nutritional
bars. Brands include AdvantEdge, Myoplex and Body for Life. Abbott says the
acquisition will give it entry to the healthy-living consumer market. Other
companies that reportedly considered buying EAS, which has about $300
million in annual sales, include Nestlé,
PepsiCo, Kraft Foods and Kellogg.
Southern Wine & Spirits of America has acquired Premier Wine &
Spirits of New York, including Letchworth Wine & Spirits in
western New York. In a statement, Southern Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer Harvey Chaplin said Marc Taub, chairman and founder of Premier Wine
& Spirits, will continue with the organization “as a strategic
part of our new management team.”
America’s Second Harvest named The Coca-Cola Co. Donor of the Year at its recent annual conference.
Part of its Hunger Hope Awards, the National Retailer of the Year Award
went to Albertson’s for the second year in a row, and a distinguished
service award was given to the Food Bank for New York City.
The Coca-Cola Co. received its award for distribution more than
16 million pounds of food and beverages, including Minute Maid, Powerade, Dasani,
Fruitopia, Nestea and Hi-C to more than 128 member food banks around the country.
The company procured shipping when Second Harvest was faced with transportation
limitations, and was one of the first companies to use the association’s
DonorExpress online donation system.