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.
The formation of Craft Brewers Alliance this summer from the merger of Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., Portland, Ore., and Redhook Ale Brewery, Woodinville, Wash., created a portfolio of non-competing craft beers that only could be possible with the creativity of craft brewers.
Coconut water may seem foreign to many U.S. consumers, but O.N.E. Natural Experience, Los Angeles, made O.N.E. Coconut Water, as well as Acai, Coffee Berry and Cashew Juices, beverages that are growing nationwide.
A profiteer of double-digit sales growth for the past several years, the convenience/still bottled water category recorded sales growth of 4.6 percent to $4.1 billion in food, drug and mass merchandise outlets (excluding Wal-Mart) for the year ending Aug. 10, according to Information Resources Inc. (IRI), Chicago. Bulk/still water and sparkling waters showed less favorable results. Bulk/still water’s sales sank nearly 5 percent to $712.8 million, and sparkling waters dipped more than 2 percent to $330.1 million.
Orange, lemon, grape, vanilla, berry, pomegranate, strawberry, citrus and raspberry are the leading flavors for new product introductions so far this year, according to Chicago-based Mintel International’s Global New Product Database. The fruit flavor mainstays at the top are not surprising because of one resounding chord that echoes through beverage flavors this year as with other beverage trends â€” health.