Broken Heart

Elizabeth Fuhrman  
Managing Editor

Heartache is a pain. Ha, ha… but seriously, after writing this month’s special report on health and wellness (page 20) and February being American Heart Month, I felt heart health needed some love. Beverages such as Tropicana Healthy Heart with Omega-3s and Mars’ Cocoa Via Rich Chocolate Indulgence target a growing heart healthy product niche. EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids in Tropicana Healthy Heart may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, according to studies, and Cocoa Via Rich Chocolate Indulgence is formulated to reduce bad cholesterol, Mars says.
Why are these beverages attractive to me?  I have high cholesterol like many members of my family and more than 105 million adults (as estimated in 2004 in adults older than 20 with more than 200mg./dL, by the American Heart Association).
But these beverages are still very different. Consider “Today Show” reporter Janice Lieberman’s three questions to ask regarding functional beverages — Should you be eating or drinking it in the first place? Are the claims meaningful? Do you really need this additive? Tropicana Healthy Heart makes sense for me because orange juice is typically a beverage I would consume, and a heart healthy formulation would contain additives beneficial to my body.
But the question I have to ask myself is if I need to be consuming a chocolate drink in the first place? After writing about chocolate in Candy Industry magazine for more than two years, I would say, “YES!” I need chocolate. Cocoa Via Rich Chocolate Indulgence is just what its name says, an “indulgence.” The key for consumers is to treat this beverage as a treat or snack in their diets that will replace some other calories consumed in a day.
Consumers trust companies like Tropicana and Mars to provide what the packaging claims it will. They just need to understand that these products aren’t miracle workers to solve their health problems, but are tasty, healthful choices to be included in moderation. Love may stink, but heart-healthy beverages don’t have to.
Quite a can
Pepsi offered a contest to win a one-of-a-kind Super Bowl-inspired can estimated to be worth $100,000. The can was made from sterling silver inlaid with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. The company sponsored a contest for consumers to win the commemorative Pepsi Super Bowl can and two tickets to the Super Bowl for life. The special can, inspired by Super Bowl rings, marks the launch of the company’s restyled packaging campaign.
Australian for ‘blonde’
Australian beer-maker Bluetongue Brewery enlisted the help of an heiress for the launch of its Bondi Blonde beer. Paris Hilton, the celebrity heir to the Hilton hotel chain, made several appearances in Sydney, Australia, over the New Year period to promote the new brew. Named after a famous beach in Sydney, the blonde ale promoted by the blonde star generated much media coverage.
A fresh take
Airforce Nutrisoda launched the Fresh Air Tour, which will tour college campuses spreading music and social activism. In addition to concerts by headlining band Catchpenny, the tour will promote a healthy planet by planting trees and offer samples of Nutrisoda’s beverages. The Fresh Air Tour kicks off this month at the University of Chicago and will continue through April.
Thirsty for experience?
Rock ’n roll icon Jimi Hendrix will soon be available in liquid form. With a planned launch in April, Beverage Concepts LLC, Los Angeles, and Authentic Hendrix announced Liquid Experience, which it says is the only official beverage line to carry the exclusive rights to the Jimi Hendrix name and image. Liquid Experience will be a complete line of specialty drinks packaged in screw-top aluminum bottles and initially available at Experience Music Project’s Jimi Hendrix exhibit in Seattle. The beverage will roll out later in the year through a traveling Jimi Hendrix museum called the Red House Tour.
Beer lovers choice
Beer lovers have spoken and their choice in Samuel Adams’ annual craft beer contest is Honey Porter. The porter faced off against Smoked Lager in Samuel Adams’ 2006 Beer Lover’s Choice contest. Honey Porter was chosen by more than 14,000 beer enthusiasts at nearly 800 tasting events across the country last year. The company describes the beer as a full-flavored, full-bodied English porter made with Scottish heather honey for a roasted malt character and smooth finish. Samuel Adams’ Honey Porter is now available in the Brewmaster’s Collection alongside four other offerings in six- and 12-packs.
Scottish keeper
John Meisler, vice president sales training and brand education for Beam Global Spirits & Wine, was inducted into a Scotch whisky society. The exclusive Keepers of the Quaich, which is the ancient Gaelic term for the drinking bowl associated with the beverage, is an invitation-only society promoting Scotch whisky and honoring contributions to the industry. Meisler was one of 48 new Keepers welcomed to the society at the historic Blair Castle in Highland Perthshire, Scotland. He has more than 25 years of experience and numerous education and brand ambassador appearances in media, trade and at universities.