Coca-Cola will introduce Coca-Cola Zero, a new zero-calorie cola, in the United States in June. Coca-Cola Zero will be sweetened with a blend of aspartame and acesulfame potassium (ace-k), and will be available in a broad range of package sizes. For curious consumers who can’t wait until June for their first taste, a special sample pack will be listed on eBay in early April, with all the proceeds going to charity. The sample pack will come with six unique bottles of Coca-Cola Zero and limited-edition Coca-Cola Zero-branded premiums. The charity auction marks the first time Coca-Cola has offered any new product on eBay prior to launching it nationally.
New Dole Lights are lower in calories and carbohydrates and contain half the sugar of regular juices. Available in five flavors: Orange, Apple, Grape, Berry Blend and Cranberry, Dole Lights contain no added sugar and are sweetened with sucralose. The products qualify for PepsiCo’s “Smart Spot” health label and retail for approximately $1.29 in 15.2-ounce plastic bottles.
Feel the sting
NVE Pharmaceuticals, which manufacturers the fat-burning supplement Stacker 2, now offers YJ Stinger Extreme Energy Drinks. The energy drinks contain supplements taurine and “B-Stack” to increase energy and concentration, and offer a blend of vitamins that helps consumers “feel the sting.” The lightly carbonated energy drinks come in four flavors: Pounding Punch, Sinful Citrus, Chronic Cola and Enraged Raspberry. Chronic Cola and Enraged Raspberry are also available in sugar-free formulas with zero carbs.
Campo Viego wines include a vintage-dated Crianza, two years minimum aging with at least one year in barrel, retailing for $9.99; Reserva, three years minimum aging with at least one year in barrel, retailing for $12.99; and Gran Reserva, five years minimum aging with at least two years in barrel, for $24.99. Each of these wines pair with a wide array of foods.
Bravo! Food’s Slammers Starburst Fruit & Cream Ultimate Milks and Milkshakes include a blend of milk and natural juice, and have first arrived in Orange Cream, Strawberry & Cream, Mixed Berry and Peach Starburst flavors. The products boast 70 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C and 20-25 percent of the RDA of nine essential vitamins. The 14-ounce shelf-stable bottles, which retail for $1.49, can be stored without refrigeration for up to six months.
Private label wines
Sam’s Club rolled out a line of private label wines in response to the growing consumer demand for high-quality wine at a great value. Elder Vine Shiraz, Australia 2002, is fragrant with the scent of ripe, black fruit, mint and dried herbs, and has the depth and structure to be served with roast meats, barbeque steak and strong cheeses. Bodega Jario Rioja Reserva Rioja, Spain 1998, offers a complex Rioja with flavors of strawberry compote and spicy cinnamon and sage notes. The wine can accent traditional grilled meats and smoked ham. The two red wines retail at Sam’s Club’s 370 locations for around $12 to $13 and join the company’s private label white wines, which launched in late 2004.
White Rock Beverage initiated a new line of organic flavors called White Rock Organics. Certified USDA Organic, the beverages are brewed using natural fruit extracts and organic cane sugar. Naturally caffeine-free, Organics is a lightly carbonated beverage that is available in three flavors: Passion Orange, Raspberry Crème and Red Peach. Each 12-ounce bottle has 120 calories and uses no artificial colors or preservatives. Organics are available in four-packs at natural food stores for a suggested retail price of $4.99.
White and Green
Ferolito Vultaggio & Sons, creators of Arizona Beverages, have developed Pomegranate Green Tea and Blueberry White Tea to add to the Arizona family. Pomegranate Green Tea brings consumers the natural antioxidant properties of pomegranate juice and green tea, plus added vitamins for a good-for-you beverage. Blueberry White Tea, the company’s first white tea, will give consumers the reputed benefits of white tea, which is said to be even more potent than green or black, along with antioxidants and vitamins. Both 20-ounce products will be available by summer for a suggested retail price of $1.09 to $1.29.
Vitamin Branding Corp., manufacturer of Everlast Nutrition products, released Explosión Tropical, a slightly carbonated, tropical fruit flavored energy drink. Explosión Tropical is the only energy drink in Everlast Nutrition’s new line targeted toward Lations. The 8.3-ounce product, which retails for $2.29, includes Latino taste profiles and Spanish language packaging.
Expanded wine and spirits
Albertson’s Inc. expanded its wine program and introduced a new line of ultra-premium spirits and Champagne. Sourced from sub-appellations within Napa Valley and Sonoma County regions, the inaugural limited-release Q Collection wines are available at select stores and retail between $17.99 and $26.99 per bottle. The Origin Collection series, ranging from $19.99 to $30.99 per bottle, features small-lot wines sourced from wine-growing regions or vineyards within a particular country. Unique “flavor profile badges” on the front of each bottle provide a quick look at what each wine represents.
The Origine line, a small-batch, ultra-premium line of spirits and Champagne, debuts with a French Vodka, VSOP and VS Cognac, Premier Cru Champagne, Speyside Single Malt Scotch and Kentucky Bourbon, retailing between $23.99 and $40.99 per bottle. Flourish, an organically grown line of wines from several countries, features a butterfly indigenous to each wine’s country of origin. The wines retail for $8.99 to $11.99 per bottle.
Reinforcing the portability of box wine, Voyage by Origin offers 3 liters of wine, ranging from $17.99 to $27.99 per box.