Wine gains momentum

When it comes to market share, beverage categories are always battling for the biggest piece of the pie. In the alcohol market, the wine subcategory is threatening the beer subcategory, according to a recent Gallup poll. The survey found that of Americans who drink alcohol, 36 percent say they drink beer most often and 35 percent say they drink wine most often. Compare this with 1992 when the preference for beer was 20 percentage points higher than wine, the poll notes. Young adult drinkers between the ages of 18 and 29 also have shifted toward wine and spirits, whereas older drinkers say they drink wine the most.  Nevertheless, beer still remains the drink of preference for the majority of today’s young adults, it reports.


From spirits to sweeteners 

Consumers have seen a number of new liquid concentrates hit the market, but now the customization trend is coming to the sweeteners segment. Last month, Beam Inc.’s Skinnygirl brand launched a line of zero-calorie liquid sweeteners in portable, squeezable 1.68-ounce bottles. Available in Monk Fruit Extract, Stevia Extract and Agave with Stevia Extract varieties, the sweeteners each contain between 80 and 160 servings. They can be used in hot or cold beverages and are ideal for coffee, tea or drink recipes, the company says.


A whiskey fluke

 What happens when a distiller accidentally blends a rare, high-proof rye whiskey with an aged bourbon? In the case of Campari America’s Wild Turkey Bourbon Distillery, the distiller was forgiven — and then the product was named Forgiven. Wild Turkey Forgiven is a 91-proof, small-batch bourbon and rye whiskey made from 78 percent six-year-old bourbon and 22 percent four-year-old rye whiskey. Like all Wild Turkey bourbons, Forgiven undergoes a natural aging process in American oak barrels with a deep No. 4 or “alligator” char that is used to age every Wild Turkey bourbon and rye whiskey. Available in limited quantities nationwide, Wild Turkey Forgiven has a suggested retail price of $49.99.


Relax, Wall Street!

Koma Unwind visited Wall Street last month to spread its Relaxation Revolution at one of the most stressful workplaces in the world, according to the company. On Aug. 15 and 16, Bebida Beverage Co. passed out 24,000 cans of Koma Unwind in New York’s financial district. The company also hosted other promotional events throughout the city Aug. 15-17 to help New Yorkers unwind after a long week of work.


Registering reactions

This summer, Diet Pepsi teamed up with actor Josh Duhamel to surprise Diet Pepsi fans in stores. The actor posed as a store clerk, scouring aisles, parking lots and register lines to give Diet Pepsi fans an unexpected break in their grocery store routines. The brand later released a video from a hidden camera in the store that recorded fans having fun with Duhamel. “I had a blast ‘checking out’ Diet Pepsi fans at the cash register — it was like hosting my own candid camera!” Duhamel joked in a statement.

“Seeing the surprised reactions in real-time was really fun, and I hope we gave a lot of shoppers a great story to tell their friends and family.”


Treats for teachers

Dairy Queen’s Orange Julius brand is supporting teachers this back-to-school season by awarding nearly $30,000 for teachers to buy classroom supplies. According to the 2013 National School Supply and Equipment Association Retail Market Awareness Study, public school teachers spent about $1.6 billion of their own money for educational products for the 2012-2013 school year.  In honor of Dairy Queen’s $1.49 Orange Julius smoothies promotion, teachers can submit 149-word essays about why their classrooms deserve new supplies this year. Ten winners will receive a $1,490 gift card and 100 winners will receive a $149 gift card to help them buy classroom supplies. Entries can be submitted on through Sept. 22 and will be judged on content, essay development/organization, relevance to theme, and creativity/originality, according to the company.


On top of the game

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick joined the SK Energy movement as its newest brand ambassador. The record-setting NFL player is representing SK Energy Shots in a national advertising campaign that includes TV commercials, billboards, radio spots and social media engagement. “I always aim to be No. 1, so it made sense to partner up with the No. 1 energy shot,” Kaepernick said in a statement. “I train hard even in the offseason, and I need an extra boost of good energy to get through my workouts. SK Energy shots help me log in those workouts on busy days so that I can stay on top of my game.”


How honest are you?

Honest Tea, an independent operating unit of The Coca-Cola Co., put America’s honesty to the test again in a 10-day social experiment to see how honest people are when they think no one is looking. The brand set up unmanned kiosks across the

country, offering Honest Tea beverages for $1 on the honor system. The experiment found that Americans overall are 92 percent honest, meaning that 92 percent of participants paid for their drinks. Alabama and Hawaii were the most honest states with 100 percent of participants paying for their beverages, while Washington, D.C., was the least honest area surveyed with 80 percent of participants paying for their beverages.  In addition, women were found to be more honest than men, redheads were found to be more honest than blondes and brunettes, and people with long hair were found to be more honest than people with short or medium-length hair.