Vermont Pure Holdings acquired
the assets of two home and office distributors through its Crystal Rock
subsidiary. White Ribbon Spring Water, Laconia, N.H., and Mayer Brothers,
Rochester, N.Y., add about 1,700 customers to Vermont Pure’s existing
business. The company reported the combined acquisitions could add nearly
$1 million in annual sales.
Napa Valley vintners won
round one in a battle to preserve the geographic uniqueness of their wines.
The California Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision that blocked
enforcement of a recent California law designed to prevent winemakers using
the word Napa on their wines unless their grapes originate from the area.
Apparently, a loophole existed that allowed wines to use the Napa Valley
moniker without actually using Napa Valley grapes.
Contraband whisky, to the tune of $1.4 million, was
confiscated by Kuwaiti police, according to the local news agency. The
illegal libation was seized from a truck crossing the border from Iraq into
Kuwait through a gate used exclusively by U.S.–led coalition forces.
The Syrian driver was arrested.
Jacob’s Creek, the
leading Australian wine brand in the United States, expanded its
distribution into more than 300 Wal-Mart stores in 22 states in the United
States. Chardonnay, Shiraz, Shiraz Cabernet and Merlot will be offered
through the discount retailer.
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. will
invest $9 million in a new sales, warehouse and distribution facility to be
built in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Ground-breaking for the new
76,000-square-foot facility is planned for this month, with completion
expected by the spring of 2005.
Bacardi Ltd. completed its
purchase of Grey Goose Vodka from Sidney Frank
Importing Co. With the purchase, Bacardi
becomes an instant player in the vodka category.
giving its Williamsburg, Va., brewery a $200- million makeover. The
redesign of the facility will update technology within the plant for a more
consistent and reliable brewing process. Among the changes, the
plant’s five bottling lines will be replaced with three new ones. One
is already up and running, packaging an average of 1,000 bottles per
Sears Roebuck is
hopping on the superstore bandwagon — even if a bit belatedly. The
department store scion launched its own Sears Grand megastore concept in
Las Vegas, Salt Lake City and suburban Chicago, hoping to invigorate its
sales and perk up its image. By the end of next year, Sears expects to open
as many as 15 such locations. The all-in-one Sears Grand stores range in
size from 160,000 to 201,000 square feet, and are situated in smaller malls
(think Wal-Mart). All of Sears’ traditional offerings are
supplemented by groceries and shopping carts.
Labatt Breweries recently
announced that it would close one of its British Columbia breweries in
April 2005. The facility in New Westminster, a suburb of Vancouver,
currently has 180 employees, who will be eligible to receive transitional
funding Labatt has set aside in preparation for next year’s closure.
The second of the two breweries the company runs in British Columbia will
Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, is
being sued by former partner Procter &
Gamble Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, for allegedly
infringing on preservative patents on its fruit drinks. According to the
suit, P&G claims Coke’s Minute Maid fruit beverages infringe on
patents controlling the growth of microorganisms. A pending patent dispute
filed in 2002 by P&G alleges Coca-Cola infringed on P&G’s
technology to add calcium to orange juice.
Beverage Industry’s October issue features a cover story on our 2019 Executive of the Year, Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Co. This issue also features a category focus on bottled water and the innovations that abound in flavored, functional and sparkling waters. The issue also includes an ingredient spotlight on the beloved chocolate ingredient as well as voice-picking solutions aimed at streamlining beverage warehouses. As usual, we rounded up the latest trends in products, packaging and ingredients.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.