Despite challenging economic forecasts for 2009, more than half of respondents to Beverage Industry’s annual Product Development Survey expect their research and development budgets to remain in line with last year’s spending, and more than one-third believe they will see an increase.
Last year proved to be one of the most difficult years bottlers have faced in awhile. Instead of focusing on rising raw material costs, fuel prices and consumers’ declining disposable income, Beverage Industry’s 2009 Bottler of the Year, Pepsi Bottling Ventures (PBV), Raleigh, N.C., looks at what it can control in a difficult year, says Keith Reimer, PBV’s president and chief executive officer.
Since Pepsi Bottling Ventures (PBV), Raleigh, N.C., formed 10 years ago, bottling has become more complex, to say the least. The production model of the ’90s was heavily based on carbonated soft drinks. In 10 years, PBV has not only seen its SKUs double, but has added more complexity from new non-CSD products.
As 2008 comes to a close, the economy continues to make an impact on consumer shopping habits. Many consumers have established new shopping patterns, whether they include cutting back on products purchased, reducing the number of shopping locations or purchasing lower priced or private label products. One would think the current economy would be beneficial for club store and mass merchandise sales, since both originally were set up to offer value to consumers. This is not exactly the case.
Beverage Industry’s picks for the best packages of 2008 took products to new places â€” wine into aluminum, pomegranate into coffee, and an old standby into an iconic shape, for example. In some cases, the packages were entirely new concepts, others gave new life to existing brands, and some managed to combine good looks with good environmental practices.
2008 has been something of a watershed year for the bottled water industry. The category that rode a wave of double-digit growth for more than a decade has found itself in the middle of a financial crisis that has consumers cutting back on spending, and in a battle against environmentalists in a bottle vs. tap debate. Beverage Industry recently talked to Nestle Waters North America President and Chief Executive Officer Kim Jeffery about where the industry is headed and how his company is answering the environmental challenge.
The May 2015 issue of Beverage Industry includes a cover story about custom messaging for baby boomers, as well as articles about NVE Pharmaceuticals, sports and protein drinks and more. Check it out today!