Fresh out of college in 1991, Mark Rampolla ventured to Latin America as a Peace Corps. volunteer in Costa Rica. He also spent time in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Brazil. During his travels, Rampolla was enlightened by many things within the Latin American culture, including a popular regional drink: coconut water.
Irene Firmat, founder and chief executive officer of Full Sail Brewing Co., Hood River, Ore., was inspired by the beer varieties she encountered during European travels and wanted to introduce more American consumers to the concept of high-quality beer.
Brands on the shelf are allotted only a short period of time to grab shoppers’ attention and convince them to purchase the product. Most purchase decisions are made in a split second, according to Tobii Technology, Danderyd, Sweden.
The economic downturn caused many consumers to cut back across categories, but coffee consumers have found new ways to enjoy their cup of joe. Approximately 79 percent of adults in the United States drank coffee in the last two years, according to Chicago-based Mintel Group Ltd.’s October Coffee report. However, 48 percent of coffee drinkers surveyed said they are drinking more coffee at home and less away from home in 2011 than they were a year ago — a trend that Mintel predicts will continue to drive retail coffee sales through 2012.
Crown Imports’ portfolio of eight brands captures approximately 42 percent of the volume of the import beer market in the United States, a figure that the Chicago-based company is intent on increasing. In fact, the joint venture between Mexico’s Grupo Modelo, S.A. de C.V. and Constellation Brands Inc., Victor, N.Y., has a goal of becoming the third major U.S. beer company occupying 20 percent per dollar market share.
As the energy drink market expanded years ago, sports nutrition and supplement company Xyience, Las Vegas, saw the emerging category as the next step for its products. That evolution led to the development of Xyience Xenergy drinks. “Xenergy is ‘zen energy;’ that’s what it means,” says Michael Levy, chief financial officer and chief operations officer with Xyience. “It has a concept of healthy energy for people with an active lifestyle.”
Operating in a business model where customer service is key, contract manufacturers have adapted their business models to best serve their customers. For some, that means helping customers deliver their products; for others it means helping beverage-makers refine their formulations. But for all contract manufacturers one value is paramount: to provide their clients with best-in-class service.
In 1999, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim allowing soymilk manufacturers to state that consuming 25 grams of soy protein in a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, says Virginia Lee, senior research analyst at Chicago-based Euromonitor International. This claim boosted the popularity of soymilk, and it continues to be the most popular dairy alternative beverage today, she says. However, the research firm estimates that sales of soymilk declined 5.8 percent from $981 million in 2009 to $924 million in 2010, and another 8.5 percent in 2010 reaching $846 million in 2011.