and Pepsi-Cola’s Gatorade went head to
head last month in a lawsuit over brand advertising. At issue was a
Powerade Option ad that featured a “drag race” between
horse-drawn carts, one of which was carrying 10 bales of hay and the other
50. The message was that 10-calorie Option allowed the 10-bale horse to win
the race over the 50-calorie competitor.
The lawsuit argued the ad sent the message that
Powerade was more effective as a sports drink, as well as containing fewer
calories. The matter was resolved in a matter of days, with Coca-Cola
agreeing to modify the ad. BI
Constellation adds winemaker
Constellation Brands will
acquire Canada’s Vincor International for $1.1 billion. Constellation
had dropped out of the bidding for Vincor in December, but brokered a deal
that included $1.09 billion in cash, plus the assumption of about $220
million in debt. The transaction is expected to close in June.
Based near Toronto, Vincor
is the fourth-largest wine producer in North America, with operations in
Canada, California, Washington state, New Zealand, Australia and South
Africa. Brands include Inniskillin, Jackson-Triggs, Toasted Hea and Kumala.
Constellation is expected to allow the company to be managed as a separate
FDA responds to benzene questions
The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration responded last month to concerns about the potential for
benzene to form in some soft drinks. The FDA indicated that around 1990 it
was informed that benzene, a carcinogen, could form at the
parts-per-billion level in some beverages that contain benzoate
preservatives and ascorbic acid. Elevated temperatures and light could
stimulate the formation, it said, while sugar and EDTA salts inhibit
Last November, the FDA again looked at laboratory
results reporting low levels of benzene in soft drinks, and began collecting and analyzing a sample of beverages.
It concluded “from this limited survey, the vast majority of
beverages sampled (including those containing both benzoate preservative
and ascorbic acid) contain either no detectable benzene or levels
below the 5 ppb limit for drinking water, and do not suggest a safety concern.”
The FDA says it will continue to sample beverages to
gain more representative data, and will release results at a future date.
It also is in contact with manufacturers and industry trade groups, and has
followed up with the companies whose samples it tested for benzene. BI
A-B dispels acquisition rumor
Monster Energy Drink maker Hansen Natural Corp. are said to be partnering
on the development of a new product, and possible distribution agreement,
but A-B recently tried to quiet rumors that it is looking to buy Corona,
“We’ve obviously been looking at this
energy drink category to become a more meaningful player, but not through
acquisition,” August Busch IV told the St.
Citigroup analyst Bonnie Herzog commented on the
potential partnership in a recent report, saying it, “demonstrates
that A-B is willing to add higher margin products that will help
distributors’ profits. Last year, many distributors indicated that
without new age beverages, they may have been unprofitable due to the heavy
discounting by brewers last year.” BI
Coca-Cola, P&G settle suit
Procter & Gamble Co. and The Coca-Cola Co. have settled two patent
infringement lawsuits, one of which involved a P&G patent relating to
the calcium fortification of orange juice, and the second to a preservative
system used in a number of non-carbonated Coca-Cola products. Terms of the
settlement were not disclosed, but it allows Coca-Cola to continue selling
its calcium-fortified juices and to use P&G’s patented
preservative technology in certain non-carbonated Coca-Cola products.
“We are very pleased with the terms of the
agreement and that we could resolve this amicably,” said Jeff
Weedman, vice president of P&G’s external business development
organization. “P&G is proud that our technology is helping to
meet the needs of consumers by being used in some of Coke’s
IBWA seeks the year’s best
The International Bottled
Water Association (IBWA) has opened the nomination process for the 2006
IBWA Aqua, Route Salesperson of the Year, and Plant Manager of the Year
Awards. The winner of each award will be announced during an awards
presentation ceremony at the 2006 IBWA Convention and Trade Show, to be
held in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino from Oct. 3-6,
The 2006 Aqua Award will recognize outstanding
contributions by IBWA bottler and supplier companies in advertising,
marketing and public relations. Award categories include television
advertisements, radio advertisements, Web sites, point-of-purchase
advertisements, public relations campaigns and vehicle advertisements. The
Route Salesperson of the Year Award recognizes the non-management route
salesperson who has excelled at customer service in the delivery of bottled
water. Plant Manager of the Year is for those plant managers who achieve
the business goals and objectives of his/her company.
Award entries will be accepted through July 5, 2006,
and all awards will have small, medium and large company divisions. For
more information or to make a nomination, visit IBWA’s Convention and
Trade Show Web site at bottledwater.org. BI
Penn Brewery celebrates 20th anniversary
Penn Brewery, Pittsburgh,
is marking its 20th birthday with a brewery expansion that will allow it to
increase production 100 percent. The brewery recently added six new beer
tanks, each able to hold 2,500 gallons of beer, plans to install a new
bottling line, and upgrade most of the support systems. With the expansion,
the company hopes to increase sales to 30,000 barrels by 2010. BI
Trillions of dollars in annual income earned by baby
boomers, according to North Castle Partners’ Perspectives: Insights on Healthy Living and Aging. Boomers represent 50 percent of all discretionary
Percent of the specialty coffee market, such as
Frappuccios and flavored iced coffees, held by teenagers, according to
the NPD Group and reported by the Atlanta
Journal Constitution. Teens account for only
1.3 percent of plain coffee consumption. NPD attributes the interest
in coffee drinks to the popularity of coffee shops as hangouts.
Percent of food retailers who expressed an interest in
developing a gourmet/specialty niche format in their stores, according
to the Food Marketing Institute. Natural and organic concepts followed,
with 50 percent interest, and ethnic store concepts round out the top
three, with 25 percent.
Percent of U.S. men considered
overweight, up from 67 percent in 2000, according to
CNN.com. Thirty-one percent of U.S. men are obese, up from 27.5
percent. The number of overweight and obese women remained steady at 62
and 33 percent, respectively. Experts say this may indicate a turning point
in the obesity epidemic, as women are often responsible for household
Millions of gallons in California wine sales in 2005,
according to a Gomberg-Fredrikson Report.
The stated store goal of Starbucks, but a recent Reuters report speculates
the company could soon raise that goal, with the potential for that
many stores in its international markets alone. The United States, it says,
has room for as many as 22,000 locations.
I want to hear from you. Tell me how we can improve.
The January premiere issue of 2020 kicks off with the Bottler of the Year profile on Refreshment Services Inc. (RSI) Key West. Readers also can clue-in on the latest developments and insight in reusable packaging, tracking technology in distribution, and new, convenient ways antioxidants are shining as ingredients. Readers also can check out new product releases, the latest in packaging, and innovations in the supermarkets space. The year in beverage has much in store, so read up now!
Check back throughout the month for additional content.