Beverage companies were
out in full force at the National Association of Convenience Stores Show,
held in Las Vegas last month, despite a last-minute change in location due
to Hurricane Katrina. NACS reports final attendance was 22,350, and with
372,800 net square feet of exhibition space, the show floor was the
second-largest ever. A total of 1,382 companies exhibited, including 358
A number of beverage-makers used the occasion to make
their product debuts, including The Coca-Cola
Co. The company announced an expanded
energy drink portfolio with Advance by Powerade, Tab Energy, and Full
Throttle Fury. Advance by Powerade is a hybrid energy/sports drink beverage
that combines B vitamins and electrolytes with taurine and caffeine. Tab
Energy brings one of the company’s most iconic diet brands into the
modern age with energy ingredients and a new flavor. Marketed specifically
to women, the product is packaged in pink slim cans. Full Throttle Fury,
available in regular and sugar-free versions, is a more traditional take on
energy drinks, with a citrus flavor. In addition, Coca-Cola debuted
Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla and Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla, as well
as Dasani Sensations, a flavored sparkling water sweetened with Splenda.
Ranking near the top of all the beverages on display
at the show were energy drinks. Kabbalah Energy
Drink, available in regular and sugar-free
varieties, builds on the Kabbalah craze made popular by Madonna, Demi Moore
and the like. The citrus-flavored drink contains taurine and B vitamins,
and is “infused with Kabalah Water.”
The makers of Kronik
Energy Drink say they formulated their
product to have a more pleasant flavor than most energy drinks, along with
a unique blue color. The low-carb version of the drink is said to contain a
“supplemental compound to provide a thermogenic response, coupled
with appetite suppression.”
Elite FX Inc., Delray
Beach, Fla., demonstrated the metabolism-boosting effects of its Celsius
soft drink at the show. The product claims to raise the body’s
calorie-burning power by 12 percent over a three-hour period, and attendees
had the opportunity to test the effects for themselves. Celsius contains
ingredients such as green tea with EGCG, ginger and caffeine, and is
available in Cola, Lemon-Lime and Ginger Ale flavors.
Ronin LLC introduced
its Ronin energy drink with the tagline “Positive Liquid
Synergy.” Available in regular and diet versions, the “synergy
drink” is packaged in 16-ounce cans, 3-gallon bag-in-box, and a
“Frozen Warrior” version. The company says Ronin has been ORAC
tested to have the antioxidant capacity of 1 serving of fruit or vegetable
For organic-minded consumers, BevSpec Inc., Austin, Texas, showed
off its Syzmo Energy, made with blue agave as sweetener and only 90 calories per can. The product also contains vitamins and Co-Q10,
and is packaged in 8.4-ounce single cans, four-packs and 12-can Fridge
National Beverage Corp.,
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., teamed with world champion mogul skier Jeremy Bloom
to pitch its Rip It and Rip It Sugar Free energy drinks. The Olympic
hopeful will be featured in consumer and retail marketing, and will wear
the Rip It logo on his ski helmet. The company also added powdered versions
of Rip It to be mixed with 16-ounce bottles of water. In regular and
sugar-free Citrus varieties, the tiny tubes can be merchandised in a
24-pack display carton and three-tube blister pack counter hanger.
PepsiCo’s South Beach Beverage Co. announced a new 16-ounce “Tall Boy”
package for its Amp energy drink after testing it on the West Coast. The
package will roll out nationally in March.
The Beast Energy Drink discussed
its sponsorship with Next Level Global’s National Rap Battle as a way
to gain exposure. The 12-week national Rap Battle tour will begin in
February in Manhattan and end with a recording contract for a lucky
Also in energy drinks, Hobarama
LLC introduced a frozen version of its Bawls
Guarana with SnoBawls. The frozen drink is alcohol-free and carbonated. Power Drinks, Miami, Fla.,
reported that its Extreme Energy Drink will soon be found in Wal-Mart
stores throughout the southeastern United States. And calling it a
“Margarita in a Can,” the Tornado Energy Drink from Tornado Drinks LLC has a
lime flavor as well as B vitamins, taurine, guarana and caffeine.
Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson joined the Firefighter team at NACS to
autograph EMS Hydro bottles. EMS Hydro contains vitamins, l-arginine,
l-carnitine and l-glutamine, and the special-edition bottles featured at
the show include a photo of Jackson in full firefighter gear. Twenty-five
percent of Firefighter Brand’s profits are donated to firefighter
A product deemed a “Cool New Product” by
NACS was Frappio, a coffee-based energy latte described as having a
“Turkish/Sumatran” flavor profile. The product contains
ashwangandha as an energy ingredient, and Frappio-maker Caffe Del Mar claims it reduces
stress, curbs hunger and the desire for fatty or sweet foods.
Shock Coffee gave
attendees another coffee/energy boost, with its Shock Latte, Shock Mocha,
Triple Latte and Triple Mocha. The coffee and milk blended drinks are
packaged in 8-ounce cans, and as the names imply, the Triple versions
contain three times the caffeine as the regular coffee drinks.
Starbucks and Pepsi expanded their coffee
partnership with three new products announced at the show. Starbucks
Doubleshot Light Espresso & Cream offers half the calories, two-thirds
less sugar and one-third less fat than the original product, and will hit
the market in February. Starbucks Iced Coffee, packaged in a 12-ounce can,
contains a touch of milk and sugar, and will roll out in April, as will
Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino, a non-coffee product that
takes the in-store success of the Frappuccino Crème line to the
Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co. touted its Double Vanilla Coffee Cooler in a new plastic
retort bottle. The product is 100-percent Arabica coffee blended with milk.
Nestle announced its plan to rotate a series of
limited-edition Nesquik MilkShake flavors in 2006, beginning in February
with Cookies ‘n Milk. And Bravo! Foods
International debuted Bravo Breakfast
Blenders in Vanilla Peach, Chocolate Raspberry, Double French Vanilla and
Double Chocolate flavors. Packaged in 10-ounce bottles, the products are
100-percent lactose-free milk and are fortified with 50 percent more
protein. Breakfast Blenders are aseptically filled for a six-month shelf
North American Beverage showed
off its new Mega Moose Strawberry Blast dairy-based energy shake. With a
strawberries and cream flavor, the product is 98 percent fat free and 98
percent cholesterol free.
The Campbell Soup Co. launched
V8 V Fusion, said to provide a full serving of fruit and a full serving of
vegetables in each 8-ounce serving. The product is 100-percent juice, has
no added sugar and provides vitamins A, C and E. V8 V Fusion will hit the
market in January in Strawberry Banana, Peach Mango and Tropical Orange
flavors, packaged in 12-ounce and 46-ounce sizes.
Ocean Spray rolled
out its newest innovation, Diet Ocean Spray juices in Orange Citrus Spray
and Cranberry Spray flavors. Sweetened with Splenda and Ace-K, the products
contain 5 calories per 8-ounce serving, and are packaged in 16-ounce
Country Pure Foods displayed
its Natural Country juice coolers for convenience stores and foodservice
environments. The open-top chiller keeps juice cold without ice or Freon,
and holds 16 8-ounce micro-packs in a minimal amount of counter space.
Sunny Delight Beverages
showcased its Sunny Delight Baja and Intense Sport drinks in shelf-stable
12-ounce packaging, as well as its 16-ounce shelf-stable packages set to
make their first shipment in February. The products will be available in
Orange Fused Mango, Orange, Orange Fused Strawberry, Orange Fused Peach and
Fruit Punch flavors.
Pepsi’s SoBe used
the occasion to unveil new bottle graphics, said to be a year in the
making. The company’s in-house design team collaborated with Mclean
Design in California and JDK in Vermont, as well as Attik and illustrator
Frasor Irving, both based in the United Kingdom. The new look maintains the
well-known 20-ounce bottle but creates an updated billboard effect.
Brain Twist gave attendees
a look at its new Defense Vitamin & Mineral Supplement, designed to
maintain a healthy immune system. The innovative can developed by Ball Corp. features the
FreshCan Wedge that holds dry functional ingredients such as zinc, pectin,
vitamin A, B2, C, E and calcium separate from the beverage until the can is
opened. This prevents the ingredients from being damaged by processing or
time on the shelf.
Winnsboro, La., featured its YES (Your Essential Source) beverage with 12
vitamins, 70 trace minerals, eight herbs, eight antioxidant sources, 22
amino acids and three essential fatty acids. The company says the liquid
format makes the nutrients in YES 75 percent bioavailable.
On the enhanced water front, NVE Pharmaceuticals, Andover, N.J.,
rollout out Stacker 2 Protein Water with 20 grams of whey protein and zero
sugar. The product is available in Grape, Pink Lemonade and Sour Apple
flavors. The company also rolled out Stacker 2
Dieter’s Water designed to speed the metabolism
and burn body fat. The product is available in
Pomegranate, Mango Guava, Strawberry Banana and Kiwi Lime flavors.
Wild Waters Inc., Hingham,
Mass., had kids in mind when it developed Wild Waters flavored waters. The
products are fortified with calcium, zinc, magnesium, fiber, potassium and
vitamins A and C, and are packaged in 10-ounce PET with a sport cap. They
are available in Flippin’ Fruit Punch, Twistin’ Tropical Punch,
Kickin’ Green Apple, Rippin’ Raz Lemonade, Groovin’ Grape
and Rockin’ Red Cherry varieties.
Vitaminwater Focus with lutein for healthy eyes. According to the company,
lutein protects eyesight by providing a natural defense against UVA rays
and protects against macular degeneration.
The innovators at Nestle
Waters North America have been hard at
work developing several new items such as the 700-ml. sport bottle with a
built-in grip and a flip-top cap with splash guard. The package will
replace the current 24-ounce sport bottle. Kid-safe 8-ounce bottles were
showcased for their new caps that twist open rather than twist off, and the
company debuted the Aquapod, a bubble-shaped bottle for kids six and older.
The interactive shape is designed to encourage kids to drink more water.
Replacing the 1-gallon PET bottle, Nestle Waters
introduced a 3-liter bottle with ergonomic grip for easy pouring. The
bottle has a resealable twist cap and is designed to be stackable on
pallets and displays.
The company also featured its Nestle Pure Life Splash
flavors in Strawberry Splash, Lemon Splash, Raspberry Splash and Orange
Splash. And it highlighted its Super C Calcium and Super C Energy powder
sticks meant to be mixed with bottled water. Super C Energy comes in Orange
and Lemon Lime flavors and contains Vitamins B and C. Super C Calcium is
available in Berry and Peach flavors and contains 25 percent of the daily value for calcium.
On the hot beverage side, the Coffee Beanery, Flushing, Mich., was
on hand to entice c-store operators to develop franchise agreements. The
Coffee Beanery offers a wide variety of flavors
as well as coffee merchandise, and the company says it has concepts that
are ideal for high-traffic, high-visibility locations. BI
Beverage Industry’s November issue highlights the 100-year advocacy of the American Beverage Association and what’s next for CEO Katherine Lugar and a new plastics initiative, Every Bottle Back. This issue includes a special report on craft beer, an Up Close With feature on PRESS hard cider and what is sparking innovation in natural colors. Read more about how protein is powering up beverages and how warehouses are using WMS and WCS systems to streamline operations. As usual, the latest trends in new products, packaging and ingredients are highlighted.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.