News Briefs

Ito En North America Inc., New York, has begun distributing its Teas Tea brand of ready-to-drink green teas in Super Target stores nationwide. The rollout includes 16.9-ounce bottles of Green White and Pure Green flavors at a suggested retail price of $1.59. The company says it will distribute direct to channel and has implemented an electronic data interchange system that will enhance ordering efficiency.
Source Beverages Inc. has partnered with Kerr Distributing Co., Athens, Ohio, to distribute Source Burn energy drink in Southeast Ohio. The company hit the streets in Kerr’s territory for what it calls a “Burn Blitz” sampling effort at college campuses and local events.
Trinity Springs Inc., Boise, Idaho, will offer its products in Hong Kong. The company has partnered with Serendipity House Distributors to distribute Trinity Natural Mineral Supplement, Trinity Geothermal Bottled Water and Trinity Kids. This is the company’s second international market, including its entry into Canada this summer.
Pernod Ricard will retain the Montana New Zealand wine operations that were offered to Diageo as part of an agreement in relation to Pernod Ricard’s purchase of Allied Domecq. The wines are sold mainly in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and Pernod Ricard is now the third-largest branded wine operator with annual sales of 23 million cases.
Universal Food & Beverage Co., St. Charles, Ill., has opened a production plant in Independence, Va. Local and county officials and management personnel from Universal’s corporate headquarters attended last month’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.  The area in south Virginia is strategically located near two interstates and the North Carolina state line. The modified 8,000-square-foot facility adds more than 8 million cases to the company’s bottled water operation. In addition, a hot-fill line allows for products such as isotonic beverages, teas, juices and vitamin-enhanced drinks.
Information Resources Inc. will host its third annual Reinventing CPG and Retail Summit 2006 at the San Francisco Marriott Hotel Feb. 27-March 1, 2006. The global conference is expected to attract leaders in the retail and consumer packaged goods industries.
Moet Hennessy USA recently sponsored the 5th Annual Medgar Evers Annual Legacy Awards Gala at the New York Marriott in Brooklyn, N.Y. John Esposito, president and chief executive officer at Moet Hennessy USA, and Antonio Magliocco, president of Peerless Importers, were co-chairs of the event. More than 600 guests were on hand to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Medgar Evers College/CUNY.
Christopher Bean Coffee Co., Daytona Beach, Fla., announced it has reached an agreement with Kroger to distribute coffee in more than 1,800 Kroger-owned stores. “The Kroger expansion takes us from being a regional company to now being one of America’s fastest-growing national coffee companies,” says Mark Geallis, Christopher Bean director of marketing. “This incredible growth is allowing us to take our promotions to a new level including a billboard campaign in over 25 major markets, sponsorship of the syndicated ‘Daily Buzz’ morning TV show in 137 markets and expansion of our regional Blood Donor Reward Program to include partnership with over a dozen Blood Centers across the country.”
Boening Brothers Inc., North Lindenhurst, N.Y.,  and Oak Beverages, Blauvelt, N.Y., have been awarded distribution rights for River Horse Brewing Co., beers throughout the New York metropolitan area. River Horse is a family-owned and operated brewery producing craft ales and lagers, including Hop Hazard, Special Ale, Summer Blonde, Belgian Frostbite and Tripel Horse.
Premier Beverage Co., Miramar, Fla., part of the Charmer Sunbelt Group, announced a corporate marketing initiative that will focus on integrating sales, marketing and public relations to more effectively promote its products. The company has appointed Ruben Basantes marketing director and Joe Gerbino as director of public relations. Basantes will be responsible for integrating marketing principles throughout the organization, bringing greater focus to the long-term development of brands. Gerbino will be responsible for raising the profile of the company and its brands.
Sidney Frank Importing Co. Inc., New Rochelle, N.Y.,  has tapped All-Pro football player and Emmy Award-winning correspondent and broadcaster, Ahmad Rashad, as a consultant and pitchman for the company. “Sidney Frank is one of the greatest entrepreneurial innovators and one of the foremost business executives in the world,” Rashad said in a statement. “It is a pleasure and a privilege to be joining his team.” He will help promote the Sidney Frank brands at high-profile events throughout the country and around the globe.
Herzog Wine Cellars, Oxnard, Calif., has opened Tierra Sur, a new winery restaurant in Ventura County. The company says the restaurant was designed to reflect a spacious, contemporary Southern California feel. Executive Chef Todd Aarons is a California native with experience at Zuni Café in San Francisco, Savoy in New York and Restaurante Da Delfina in Tuscany, and each wine on the list has been given a brief description by Herzog Wine Cellars winemaker Joe Hurliman.