When life gave her lemons, she made a lemonade stand
In 2000, a four-year-old
cancer patient named Alexandra “Alex” Scott came up with a
seemingly simple idea: she would hold a lemonade stand to raise money to
help “her doctors” find a cure for childhood cancer. Alex and
her older brother Patrick put the idea into action when they set up the
first Alex’s Lemonade Stand for pediatric cancer on their front lawn
in July 2000.
For the next four years, despite her deteriorating
health, Alex held an annual lemonade stand to raise money for childhood
cancer research. Following her inspirational example, thousands of lemonade
stands have been held across the country by children, schools, businesses
and organizations, all to benefit Alex’s
Lemonade Stand Foundation for pediatric cancer. As of this year, the
national campaign has raised more than $6 million for pediatric cancer
On Aug. 1, 2004, Alex died at the age of eight after
battling cancer for most of her life. Alex’s determination to raise
awareness and money was passed along to her family, including her parents
Jay and Liz Scott, and supporters, who are committed to continuing her
legacy through the foundation. Now in the spirit of all the charitable
lemonade stands still supporting this effort, Alex’s Lemonade and
Alex’s Pink Lemonade have been introduced to further promote the
foundation’s cause in the marketplace.
The ready-to-drink lemonades were launched in May by
USA Beverage Inc., Huntingdon Valley, Pa. The brewer of Pennsylvania Dutch
Birch Beer entered into an exclusive licensing agreement to create the
“USA Beverage worked closely for more than a
year with Jay and Liz Scott to develop the lemonade and label,” says
Dwayne Schwarz, vice president of USA Beverage. “We felt that it was
something extremely important to the brand that we wanted Alex to be as
much a part of it as possible. We worked along with the family so the color
of the packaging and taste were right.”
USA Beverage’s relationship with Liz and Jay
Scott and the foundation began at the suggestion of Michael Zuckerman of
Zuckerman Honickman Inc., King of Prussia, Pa., a company that continues to
support the foundation. The Scotts let Zuckerman know that they were
looking for a product to carry on their daughter’s legacy, and
obviously the natural step for them was an RTD lemonade.
For more than a year and a half, USA Beverage and
numerous suppliers donated their time and services to bring Alex’s
Lemonade to the marketplace. Zuckerman Honickman, a bottle supplier,
provides all the bottles for the product, and contacted Ball Corp. to
develop a proprietary bottle. USA Beverage and Ball, which donated the mold
for the proprietary bottle, plan to have the new bottle launched by the end
of the year.
The Alex’s Lemonade
label was created to communicate the foundation’s support of
childhood cancer research and Alex’s influence on the product.
“The actual image that you see on the label of
the little girl came from a children’s book from the foundation that
is being sold throughout the country in various bookstores,” Schwarz
The back of the label features the story of Alex Scott
and her crusade to raise money for childhood cancer. BC Design, Warwick,
R.I., designed the creative artwork for the label, and Hammer Packaging,
Rochester, N.Y., donated the plate charges for the development of the
label. For the formulation, Whittle & Mutch, Mt. Laurel, N.J.,
dedicated time to work with USA Beverage and the Scotts to develop the
Since launching in May, Alex’s Lemonade has sold
59,000 cases. The 20-ounce drinks retail from $1 to $1.29, with 23 percent
of the proceeds benefiting the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Currently, the product is distributed through the Honickman organization,
and can be found in supermarkets, convenience stores and independent
retailers from Philadelphia to the Carolinas. This month, the lemonades
will be kicking off in the New York marketplace. Some supermarket locations
have been progressively promoting the product as well, which is
contributing to sales, Schwarz says.
Because the foundation awards grants to hospitals
throughout the country, USA Beverage plans to distribute the product to
hospitals as well. The RTD lemonades also are available for lemonade stand
locations. “We’ve made arrangements to have products shipped to
Macy’s department stores,” Schwarz says. “They hold
lemonade stands in some of their locations. We sent product out to their
regional headquarters, and they sent it out to their stores to do the
This leads to the possible launch of gallon-sized jugs
to distribute to the lemonade stands and to club stores and mass
merchandisers in the near future, Schwarz says. For now, USA Beverage is
working on expanding distribution of the two lemonades, although there have
already been thoughts about expanding the line with more flavor options.
The company also is developing a marketing plan to carry the products through the winter months. “Obviously, lemonade is a
summertime drink, but in warmer markets, we want to develop a unique
marketing plan to keep the lemonade category open and growing all year
round,” Schwarz says.
Although the target audience for the lemonades is kids
ages four and up, USA Beverage is receiving feedback from consumers much
older, who read the back of the label and are moved by the story. Both the
Scotts and Schwarz know Alex’s struggle is a very sad story. But the
Scotts have told Schwarz, “The positive thing, at the end of the day,
is the difference that the foundation is making to other children
throughout the United States.” 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.