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Wine sales in the United States from all production sources increased 2 percent from the previous year to a new record of 360.1 million 9-liter cases with an estimated retail value of $34.6 billion, according to Wine Industry Consultant Jon Fredrikson of Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates, Woodside, Calif. Of this total, almost two-thirds or 207.7 million cases of California wine account for a 58 percent share of U.S. wine sales with an estimated retail value of $22 billion, he says. Including exports, California wine shipments to all markets in the United States and abroad reached 250.2 million cases in 2012, he says.
Rising demand for Scotch whisky from both mature and emerging markets saw the value of exports grow for the eighth consecutive year, according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), Edinburgh, Scotland. Exports of the alcohol beverage hit a record £4.3 billion or approximately $6.5 billion in 2012, an increase of 87 percent in the last 10 years, the SWA reports. Scotch whisky currently leads the way for British food and drink in overseas markets, forming about 80 percent of Scottish food and drink exports and a quarter of U.K. food and drink exports, it says.
The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, plans to host events for fans of all ages in the company’s hometown during the 2013 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Final Four weekend, which also is taking place in Atlanta. Coke Zero, the official fan refreshment of the NCAA, and Powerade, the official sports drink of the NCAA, will be the dominant players in the company’s celebrations, it says.
Sonic Drive-In, Oklahoma City, launched a new line of freshly brewed green iced teas available in numerous flavors, including five sugar-free flavor mix-ins: peach, mango, raspberry, blackberry and mint.
Beginning April 1, the opening day of Major League Baseball, select stadiums will offer wine in single-serve plastic glasses for fans.
Los Angeles-based Fiji Water Co., part of the Roll Global LLC family of companies, will launch a custom, reusable straw for its bottled water in April.
St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, is adding some berry taste to its flavored malt beverage (FMB) lineup with the release of Bud Light Lime Straw-Ber-Rita. A follow up to the successful Lime-A-Rita, which launched last April and has sold more than 500,000 barrels, the Straw-Ber-Rita is an 8 percent alcohol by volume FMB that blends Bud Light Lime with the taste of a strawberry Margarita, the company says.
Cytosport, the Benicia, Calif.-based parent company of Muscle Milk and Muscle Milk Light, launched Muscle Milk Light Peach Mango in 14-ounce ready-to-drink bottles. Peach Mango is the first Muscle Milk Light beverage option to be naturally flavored and sweetened with stevia, monk fruit and cane sugar, the company says.
PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., will introduce a new bottle structure and label for its Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Next and Pepsi Max brands in April.
Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo and two of its independent bottlers, Raleigh, N.C.-based Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC (PBV) and the Honickman Group's Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of New York (PCNY), College Point, N.Y., announced their intent to transfer certain franchise ownerships in New York, North Carolina, Idaho and Vermont in order to drive local growth.
In celebration of International Pineapple Day on April 2, Bahama Breeze locations across the country invited the media and consumers to celebrate with cocktails that feature the tropical flavor of the pineapple. (Photos by Liz Parker and Jennifer Haderspeck)
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