Nestea launched Red Tea Pomegranate & Passion Fruit as an addition to its line of ready-to-drink iced teas. The tea is derived from the South African rooibos plant and contains no artificial colors, has all-natural fruit flavors and is high in antioxidants, the company says. Red Tea Pomegranate & Passion Fruit is packaged in 20-ounce PET straight-wall bottles and 12-packs of 16.9-ounce PET bottles. The beverage joins the company’s Green Tea Citrus, Diet Green Tea Citrus, Iced Tea with Lemon and Diet Iced Tea with Lemon flavors. The addition will be available nationwide in February.
Beverage Innovations Inc. released Venga Functional Infusions, non-carbonated beverages made from fruit juices, teas, vitamins and nutrient-enhanced water. Venga is made from natural ingredients and is preservative free. The product is available in Brainstorm, which includes ginkgo biloba, ginseng root, and vitamins A, D, B6, B9 and B12; Calorie Burn, which contains L-carnitine, CitriMax and caffeine, to increase metabolism and burn fat; Health & Zen, where aloe vera was added as well as vitamins A, E, C, B3, B6, B9 and B12. Additional flavors include Rehydrate, which adds orange, passion fruit and mango with aloe vera for “body regeneration;” Daily Dose blends vitamins A, B3, B6, B9, B12, B5 and E with pink guava juice, passion fruit juice, low-fat skim milk, pear juice and rooibos tea; and Energize, an array of yerba mate, guarana, caffeine, niacin and panax ginseng. The 18-ounce bottles retail for $2.99 to $3.49.
Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc. introduced a limited-edition “The Distillers Series” bourbon. The series celebrates seven generations within the Jim Beam family and commemorates the contributions to the bourbon industry, the company says. The bourbon was aged for seven years and is 90 proof. Shelf-talkers, posters and case displays promote the Distillers Series in off-premise retail. The 750-ml. commemorative bottle retails for $20.99 and is available through the end of this month.
100-calorie protein shakes
CytoSport added Muscle Milk Light 100-Calorie Shakes to its protein-enhanced beverage line. Muscle Milk Light 100-Calorie Shakes are sugar-free and lower in fat than the original Muscle Milk Light formula, the company says. The shakes contain 15 grams of protein and are available in Chocolate, Chocolate Mint, Mocha Latte, Strawberries ‘n Crème and Vanilla Crème flavors. Packaged in 8.25-ounce containers, a four-pack retails for $7.99.
Piedmont Distillers and NASCAR legend Junior Johnson joined forces and introduced Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon, Carolina Moonshine. Johnson says the moonshine comes from a family recipe and also is triple distilled in a copper column still. Junior Johnson’s Midnight Moon, Carolina Moonshine is 80 proof and can be mixed with lemonade, tonic, cranberry juice and lemon-lime soda, among other things, the company says. The product retails for $19.99 per 750-ml. bottle.
New Zealand wines
New Zealand wineries Stoneleigh and Brancott celebrated the 2008 harvest with the release of new vintages. The 2008 Sauvignon Blanc vintages include Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc 2008; Brancott Sauvignon Blanc 2008; Brancott Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008; Brancott Letter Series “B” Sauvignon Blanc 2008; and the Brancott Terroir Series: Brancott Conders Forest Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Brancott Festival Block Sauvignon Blanc 2008 and Brancott Rail Bridge Sauvignon Blanc 2008. The wines range in price from $13 to $32.
Ooba Beverages debuted three lightly carbonated, sweetened beverages under the Ooba name. Ooba is made from the hibiscus flower and is available in Ooba with an Attitude (pure hibiscus), Ooba Lime (hibiscus extract with Key lime) and Ooba Orange (hibiscus extract with orange) flavors. Ooba’s package is triangular with leaf shapes blown into the plastic near the top. The product contains 90 calories per serving and is formulated with only natural colors and flavors. Each 16-ounce bottle retails for $2.49.
Bigelow Tea introduced two limited-time flavors for Valentine’s Day: Sweetheart Cinnamon and White Chocolate Kiss. White Chocolate Kiss blends chocolate with black tea, and Sweetheart Cinnamon mixes cinnamon with sweet apple. The company’s Web site, bigelowtea.com, also offers gift items for the teas, including tea baskets, tea chest and tea accessories. Each tea box contains 20 tea bags and retails for $2.99 to $3.29.
Tea in carafes
The Coca-Cola Co. added a new size for its Gold Peak Chilled Tea. The product will be packaged in a 59-ounce carafe bottle and will ship to retailers this month. The 59-ounce carafe bottle will be available in Sweetened and Lemon flavors. Gold Peak Chilled Tea complements Gold Peak’s portfolio of single-serve 16.9-ounce bottles, available in Sweetened, Unsweetened, Diet, Lemon and Green flavors. The new size retails for $2.49.
New Belgium Brewing Co. released its 2 Below Winter Ale for the winter season. 2 Below Winter Ale is dry-hopped, which creates a rosy, floral note with a hint of pepper spice, the company says. The ale is packaged in 12-ounce bottles and a six-pack retails for $7.99.
The Boston Beer Co. re-released Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, a limited-edition chocolate beer. The product is brewed using Felchlin’s Grand Cru Sauvage, a rare dark chocolate made from uncultivated Bolivian cacao beans from Baures, Bolivia. The cocoa contains notes of honey, vanilla and dried fruits, the company says. Packaged in an amber 750-ml. bottle, Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock retails for $14.99.
Funktional Beverages Inc. launched Purple Stuff Pro-Relaxation & Calming Elixir, a soft drink designed to create a stress-free state of mind, the company says. Purple Stuff uses rose hips, valerian root extract and L-theanine as calming ingredients, and it is sweetened with crystalline fructose. The product contains 50 calories per serving and is available in Classic Grape, Berry Calming, Sippin Citrus and Lean Apple flavors. The 16-ounce cans retail for $2.29 to $2.79.
Blood orange energy
Maurice Kanbar, founder of Skyy Vodka, and Chris Huddleston introduced Rubyy Blood Orange Energy Drink, a carbonated beverage that combines blood oranges, tangerines and Valencia oranges with caffeine, taurine and guarana extract. Packaged in 12-ounce bottles, the beverage contains 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance of B vitamins, 130 calories and 80 mg. of caffeine, which is about the same as a cup of coffee. Rubyy is sold in Los Angeles and Miami, as well as in the “Munchie Boxes” at W hotels nationwide. Each bottle is priced at $3.49.
Snow Beverages introduced a line of naturally flavored vitamin sodas under its Snow brand name. The drinks contain no caffeine or preservatives and are sweetened with cane sugar. The vitamin sodas are packaged in 12-ounce cans, and are available in Cranberry Pomraz, Pure Cola and Lemon Lime flavors. Each 8-ounce serving contains 75 to 80 calories and retails for $1.39 per can.
Jett Spirits LLC launched Jett, a premium vodka infused with caffeine, guarana and ginseng. A 1.5-ounce shot of Jett is equal to the caffeine in half a cup of coffee. Jett does not contain sugar or carbohydrates. It is 80 proof and is produced and bottled in France. The vodka is derived from French grain and is distilled five times and filtered three times for smoothness, the company says. Jett is distributed through Southern Wine & Spirits and retails for $29.99 per 750-ml. bottle.
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Beverage Industry’s December issue highlights five beverages brands that are “shooting for the moon” in terms of innovation. Also in this issue, we spotlight the premiumization of the private-label beverage market, the latest trends impacting the use of tea ingredients in beverages, the growth of beverage sales in the eCommerce platform, and much more!