Busch IV Takes the Helm at A-B
August Busch IV has been named president and chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch Cos., effective Dec. 1. He succeeds Patrick Stokes, who has held those titles since 2002. Stokes replaces August Busch III as chairman of the board, however, Busch III will continue to serve on the board.
“Anheuser-Busch is ready for the next generation of leadership,” said Busch III. “August IV has successfully prepared himself by leading the U.S. beer company through a period of great change and challenge. He brings with him the new thinking of his generation, yet appreciation for the great traditions and values of this company.
“August IV follows a man of leadership and conviction in Pat Stokes,” he added. “We are grateful for Pat’s vision, stewardship and his countless contributions to this company over his 37-year career. We have worked side-by-side for many of those years, and I have the greatest respect and admiration for all Pat has given Anheuser-Busch. He leaves a tremendous legacy.”
Busch IV has led U.S. beer operations since July 2002. He is the fifth generation of Busch family members to lead the company.
In addition, the company said John Jacob plans to retire as executive vice president-global communications, but will remain on the board of directors. Joseph Sellinger and James Hoffmeister also will retire from the company at the end of November. Both serve on the company’s strategy committees. Succeeding Sellinger as chief executive officer and president of the packaging subsidiary will be Michael S. Harding, who is currently vice president of U.S. brewery operations. Douglas Muhleman, group vice president of brewing operations and technology for the company’s U.S. and international breweries, will become chairman of the packaging group. The company said the move more closely aligns the objectives of the packaging group with those of Anheuser-Busch Inc.
Robert Lachky, who has served as executive vice president of global industry development since August 2005, has been named to the Anheuser-Busch Cos. strategy committee, and Gary Welker, vice president of distribution systems and services, announced plans to retire. Timothy Armstrong, will become vice president of transportation and logistics, and Peter Kraemer will become vice president of operations.
Bacardi to acquire New Zealand company
Bacardi Ltd. plans to purchase New Zealand spirits company 42 Below Ltd. for about $91 million.
“Bacardi is acquiring young premium brands in 42 Below,” said Andreas Gembler, president and chief executive officer of Bacardi. “With substantial investment by our company, 42 Below brands show long-term potential in the global spirits industry with a particular focus on the growing Asia Pacific markets.”
42 Below is best known for its 42 Below Vodka, which is available in more than 25 countries. The acquisition also will include four flavored vodkas — Manuka Honey, Kiwifruit, Feijoa and Passionfruit — as well as South Gin, Stil Vodka, Seven Tiki White Rum, Tahiti Dark Rum and 42O spring water.
Pepsi picks up Izze, honors top bottlers
PepsiCo, Purchase, N.Y., has acquired sparkling juice-maker Izze Beverage Co., Boulder, Colo. Izze will remain in Boulder and will operate as a separate unit, according to the companies. They also plan to leave Izze’s distribution system unchanged.
“Izze connects with people’s interest in great-tasting, healthier beverages,” said Pepsi-Cola North America President and Chief Executive Officer Dawn Hudson. “Izze drinkers are young, healthy, active, and incredibly loyal. We'll give IZZE the freedom and autonomy to preserve its identity while we develop the brand and help it grow.”
Izze is sold in Starbucks stores in the United States and Canada, as well as nationally in SuperTarget and Cost Plus World Market stores, and in a number of local markets through club stores, supermarkets and natural foods stores.
Bottler of the year honored
In other Pepsi news, the company last month recognized Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Yuma, Ariz., with its Donald M. Kendall Bottler of the Year Award for the company’s 2005 results. Named for PepsiCo's former chairma­n and founder, the award is considered the highest honor bestowed upon PCNA's bottling partners, and took place during its national bottler meeting in San Diego.
Bottler of the year finalists are selected on key criteria, including customer service, community support, volume and sales growth, quality standards and performance against the company’s strategic imperatives.
Pepsi-Cola Yuma achieved double-digit bottle-and-can growth over the past year, and its three-year compound annual growth of 9 percent puts it at the top of the bottling system. At the community level, the company has a relationship with Hospice of Yuma, an organization providing care and services to patients in the final stages of terminal illness.
Other finalists for the award included Fitzgerald Bros. Beverages of Glens Falls, N.Y.; Buffalo Rock Co., Mobile, Ala.; and The Pepsi Bottling Group's North Florida/South Georgia Market Unit.
Paterno, Cuvaison retain partnership
Paterno Wines International, Lake Bluff, Ill., and Napa Valley winemaker Cuvaison Estate Wines have renewed a long-term marketing agreement that began in 1996. According to Paterno, Cuvaison unit sales are up 43 percent year to date, and while Chardonnay has led the growth, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir also are enjoying double-digit growth rates.
Founded in 1969, Cuvaison recently moved to 100 percent estate-grown wines across its portfolio with the development of Brandlin Vineyard on Napa Valley’s Mount Veeder, and in 2004 it opened a state-of-the art winery on its Carneros estate.
Juice’s tie to obesity debated
A recent article in Pediatrics challenges the assumption that a high consumption of juice and juice drinks contribute to the problem of childhood obesity. According to the report, Theresa Nicklas from the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and her colleagues studied the types and amounts of beverages consumed and weight status of 1,160 preschool aged children in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 1999-2002. The researchers found that while increased beverage consumption was associated with an increase in total calorie intake, it did not correlate with increased body mass index.
“Dietary factors associated with childhood obesity are poorly understood and identifying single foods/beverages as the sole contributor to the obesity problem is unfounded,” Nicklas told Reuters.