News Briefs

Dry Soda Co.
has opened a new company store and headquarters in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle. The location will offer tastings of its four “culinary” flavors: Kumquat, Lemongrass, Rhubarb and Lavender, and the company says the space will be used as an event venue, where local chefs can hold tasting and pairing evenings using Dry Sodas.
Ardea Beverage Co.’s Airforce Nutrisoda nutrient-enhanced sodas will be allowed by the United States Department of Agriculture to be sold in school foodservice areas during meal periods. The USDA has said the line’s Focus, Calm, Slender and Radiant varieties can be included in schools, and the company has submitted additional flavors for review.
Maui Wowi Hawaiian, Denver, Colo., has established a relationship with retailer H-E-B to open outlets inside H-E-B grocery stores in Texas and Mexico. Maui Wowi offers Hawaiian goods, including fresh fruit smoothies and coffee beverages. The company opened a location in Katy, Texas, in December, and plans to open seven additional Maui Wowi locations in the first quarter of this year.
Source Beverages has added distribution for its Burn Energy Drink in Northern California and the Caribbean. Energy Source Distributing will handle distribution of the Burn2 energy drink in five counties in Northern California, and the company has expanded territory for Dry Creek Beverages, Modesto, to include Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. The company also signed T&L Marketing to export the energy drink to the Caribbean.
Vitamin Shoppe will begin carrying Celsius calorie-burning soda in the New York City metro area and Southern California. “New York and California help set the trends for the country and the world when it comes to everything from fashion to health-conscious lifestyles,” said Steve Haley, president of Elite FX Inc., maker of Celsius. “Vitamin Shoppe is an ideal marketplace for a product like Celsius because it’s loaded with terrific ingredients like green tea with EGCG and ginger, and it and has no sugar, no carbs, no high fructose corn syrup and no chemical preservatives.”
Triple A Products, Boca Raton, Fla., announced its Vitazest Vitamin & Fruit Enriched Water will be distributed in Northern New Jersey by Marz Beverage Distribution Inc., Paterson, N.J. The company also recently formed a partnership with the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation that will include donating a portion of Vitazest sales for support and research. The brand will carry the Institute’s logo on its packaging.
McDonald’s restaurants in the United Kingdom will begin sourcing its coffee beans from farms certified by the New York-based Rainforest Alliance. Beginning this month, all 1,200 McDonald’s restaurants in the United Kingdom and Ireland will sell Kenco coffee, a Kraft Foods brand using Rainforest Alliance Certified beans. The move makes the fast food company the leading retailer of Rainforest Alliance certified coffee in the United Kingdom.
Market researcher Mintel and Information Resources Inc. have created GNPD IRIS, a product that combines information from the Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) with IRI’s retail scanner data to allow companies to monitor the sales successes and failures of new products. The companies say it will allow the identification of emerging trends and aid in product innovation, with the potential to reduce development costs by as much as 80 percent. “By looking at the sales of products with similar features and monitoring their performance over time, GNPD IRIS will help companies establish realistic benchmarks about the sales potential of their new product ideas before committing to the next stage of development,” they said in a statement.
Oak Beverages, Blauvelt, N.Y., will distribute Brazil’s Skol beer brand in its New York metropolitan territories. The company says it will support the brand through cultural events such as Skol Rio, Skol Spirit, Skol Stage and the Bloco Skol carnival.
The Pop Shoppe announced it is looking for a company to acquire its brands or form a joint venture. The company says it is positioned to meet the brand’s present needs, however, expanding bottling, distributing and sales to an international level can only be accomplished by working directly with a larger beverage company.
“The response for our products, has been incredible,” said company President Brian Alger in a statement. “We believe the best way to meet the growth needs of the company is by way of being acquired.” Alger acquired and relaunched the soft drink brand, which was popular during the ‘70s, two years ago.