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Articles by Jennifer Zegler
Last month, market research firm Nielsen outlined its new platform of 12 criteria for new product success during an “Innovation Revelation” webinar. In addition to outlining the dozen steps, Vicki Gardner, senior vice president of product innovation North America for the New York-based company, noted that traditionally successful product launches often offer benefits previously unavailable in the marketplace.
Centered on an otherwise empty wall in the lobby of the Farmington Hills, Mich., headquarters of Living Essentials LLC is a homemade wooden plaque for “2010 Runner-Up Worst Ad in America.” The plaque commemorates the company’s award from The Consumerist website for 5-Hour Energy’s “2:30 Feeling” TV ad. At the bottom, the plaque concedes, “We couldn’t even win this one.”
It’s one of the largest independent bottlers in California, but Nor-Cal Beverage Co. Inc., Sacramento, Calif., is more than just a contract packager. In addition to its successful co-packing business, which operates production facilities in Sacramento and Anaheim, Nor-Cal also is an Anheuser-Busch distributor in Northern California and markets its own Go Girl line of energy drinks. The family-owned company was started by Roy G. Deary in 1937 as a franchise of Hires Bottling Co., explains Deary’s granddaughter and current president and chief executive officer of Nor-Cal Beverage, Shannon Deary-Bell. The franchise bottled and distributed Canada Dry, Dr Pepper and RC Cola brands in the Sacramento area.
The frequently asked question, “What should I have to drink?” was the inspiration for Diageo’s flavored malt beverage (FMB) strategy. This summer’s advertising for Diageo’s Smirnoff Premium Malt Mixed Drinks answers that question featuring a “Fridgetender,” a portable bartender character who appears in refrigerators and coolers at the right time. In addition to Smirnoff Premium Malt Mixed Drinks, Diageo’s FMB lineup also includes the recently launched Jeremiah Weed FMBs and Smirnoff On The Rocks, which is a multi-serve version of the Premium Malt Mixed Drinks.
Obesity continues to be a significant health issue in the United States and health-conscious consumers continue to look for functional products that promise weight management-related benefits. In their quest for wellness, consumers are learning more about the benefits of protein and fiber. In addition, some consumers are searching for what Ram Chaudhari, senior executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Schnectady, N.Y.-based Fortitech Inc. calls a “magic bullet” for weight loss and management solutions.
Cause and effect situations are prevalent on product lines in beverage manufacturing plants. Just as a jam upstream can cause proliferation of product downstream, palletizing equipment has been affected by industry trends toward higher line speeds and lighter packages, which has influenced new advancements.
To continually improve its capabilities as a contract packager, Nor-Cal Beverage Co. Inc., Sacramento, Calif., has made investments exceeding $100 million in its two facilities in California. The improvements have placed the third-generation family-owned company on track to produce 45 million cases of product in 2011 for companies such as The Coca-Cola Co., Hansen’s Natural and Ferolito, Vultaggio & Sons.
The Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) 2011 Annual Meeting & Food Expo took place June 11-14 in New Orleans. The event attracted food professionals from around the world as well as 900 exhibiting companies. At the keynote panel, journalist Michael Specter and panelists representing the food industry tackled the question about how to go about changing the image of food science in the marketplace. Specter, who is a staff writer for The New Yorker, stated that U.S. consumers tend to mistrust science, which includes a wide-ranging — although unsubstantiated — mistrust of genetically modified foods.