The dispute over how to
distribute Powerade to Wal-Mart stores has reached a fever pitch as about
60 Coca-Cola bottlers have filed suit against The Coca-Cola Co. and
Coca-Cola Enterprises over their decision to test delivery of the sports
drink to Wal-Mart stores via the retailer’s warehouse system rather
than direct store delivery. The suit attempts to block the test, which the
bottlers say could infringe on their exclusive territories and potentially
could lead Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, to expand its
warehouse delivery requests to other products.
The Coca-Cola Co. and Coca-Cola Enterprises each filed
motions to dismiss the lawsuit. “The core issue here is an attempt by
one group of bottlers to block another group of bottlers from making a change to better serve customers and consumers,” said Don
Knauss, president of Coca-Cola North America, in a statement. “Our
Powerade contract clearly allows a bottler to choose warehouse delivery in
its own territory. This is a question of how our system creates growth by
serving our customers and consumers; it is not a legal issue.”
A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for March 29-30.
Coca-Cola names new international group
In other Coca-Cola news, the company announced
assignments for its newly formed Coca-Cola International organization.
Muhtar Kent recently was named president of the international group, and
Glenn Jordan, executive vice president and director of operations for the
Latin America group, has been named president of the East, South Asia and
Pacific Rim group. Patrick Siewert will take on a senior consulting role,
reporting to Kent, and will focus on significant strategic projects.
The China and Japan divisions will continue to be led
by Paul Etchells and Masahiko Uotani, respectively. The Eurasia and Middle
East Division will continue to be led by Ahmet Bozer and be expanded to
include the additional markets of Israel, Albania and the Palestinian
territory, as well as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Africa, European Union
and Latin America groups will be led by Alex Cummings, Dominique Reiniche
and José Octavio Reyes, respectively. BI
Anheuser-Busch adds Grolsch to lineup
Anheuser-Busch will import
Dutch Grolsch beer products in the United States beginning April 1, nine
months ahead of schedule. The new distribution agreement will include
Grolsch Lager, Grolsch Amber Ale, Grolsch Light Lager and Grolsch Blonde
United States Beverage, Stamford, Conn., and Grolsch
International ended their agreement early to make the change ahead of the
summer selling season.
Beverage and our distributor network have done a terrific job building
Grolsch during the past four years,” said Joseph Fisch, chief
executive officer at USB. “…United States Beverage created a
much more contemporary brand position with updated packaging while
enhancing the Grolsch distribution network that has been providing
“For United States Beverage this change allows
us to open our doors for additional imported and craft beers,” he
added. “Over the past four years we have focused exclusively on
Grolsch in the import sector. Moving forward, we will be able to apply our
efforts and competencies toward several premium brands.” BI
Mott’s picks up sports drink
Mott’s Inc. has
added the Accelerade and Endurox R4 brands from PacificHealth Laboratories
Inc. to its portfolio. The purchase includes trademarks, technology and
patents for the brands. PacificHealth Labs says it received a $4 million
upfront payment, plus royalty based on sales for a defined period. It also
retained exclusive license to use the intellectual property and trademarks
for the continued manufacture, distribution and marketing of Accelerade and
Endurox R4 brands in powder and gel forms. BI
Premier comes out on top
Premier Beverage Co.’s Orlando, Fla., division was named E&J
Gallo Winery’s “Distributor of the Year” among wine and
spirits distributors in 16 southeastern states. At off-premise retail
outlets, Premier-Orlando increased sales by as much as 119 percent over the previous year, with an average sales increase
of more than 55 percent for eight Gallo brands. For product sold to
on-premise hotels and restaurants, Premier-Orlando increased sales by as
much as 213 percent over the previous year and achieved an average sales
increase of more than 75 percent for seven Gallo brands. BI
Percent volume growth achieved by craft brewers in
2005, according to the Brewers Association. That makes it the
fastest-growing segment of the U.S. beverage alcohol industry for
the second year in a row.
Percent return on prepared foods, coffee and fountain
drinks for convenience store operators, according to an article in the Tampa Bay Tribune. That
compares to less than 10 percent margin on gas and tobacco products.
Percent of respondents who said they choose a
fountain beverage when given a choice at a restaurant, according to a survey conducted by Chicago-based Technomic Inc. Thirty-five percent of
respondents said they choose bottled beverages, and 20 percent had no
Dollars per week baby boomers spend on groceries and
food, according to Packaged Facts. That compares to $102 for 25- to
34-year-olds, and $75 for 65- to 74-year-olds.
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.