Gender profiling 

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have made it clear that millennials and generation Z have a unique openness to the world around them. This even applies when it comes to gender cues for products, according to The Intelligence Group’s 2013 Summer/Fall Cassandra Gender Report, which surveyed 900 U.S. consumers between the ages of 14 and 34. Younger generations reported a preference for gender-neutral and unisex products and experiences — they do not want society’s gender norms telling them what they should buy. In fact, nearly 40 percent of women prefer clothing or products that were designed specifically for men, and less than half of men and women prefer to buy products that are gender-specific, the report states.


Pregnant and full of energy 

Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t always easy when a woman is pregnant or nursing. So how does she maintain her energy levels during the day — especially when she’s trying to avoid caffeine? healthy mama set out to fill this void in the marketplace by launching an energy-boosting drink specifically for women who are pregnant or nursing. Boost-It-Up! is an all-natural protein energy drink that contains B vitamins, ginger, fiber and electrolytes to help battle fatigue and nausea, the brand says. It recently became available in Buybuy Baby stores nationwide with a suggested retail price of $3.49 for a 12-ounce bottle.


Taste of Chicago

 Just as specific smells can remind people of a place, Pernod Ricard USA has associated flavor with specific cities through its limited-edition, city-inspired Absolut Vodka portfolio. Its most recent introduction, Absolut Chicago, is infused with olive and rosemary flavors and can be used to make cocktails like martinis, Bloody Marys and lemonade simple serve, the company says. It is packaged in Absolut’s signature glass bottle featuring a design that was crowdsourced through a partnership with Chicago-based design community Threadless. More than 170 designs were submitted and more than 156,000 votes were cast for the bottle design. Ross Bruggink, 26, described his winning design as a “stylized cityscape incorporating architectural and iconic elements of Chicago.”


Appreciating ugly holiday sweaters

In celebration of the launch of its Winterhook Ale, which features a winter sweater-patterned label, Redhook Brewery is hosting an “Ugh or Fug” ugly sweater contest on Facebook through the end of the year. Beer lovers are encouraged to submit photos of themselves wearing their ugliest holiday sweaters. Fans will then vote on which sweater they think deserves the title, and the winning sweater owner will receive a $500 gift card. Redhook also will make arrangements with the winner to obtain the ugly sweater for display at the Redhook Brewery.


Charity is in style

To celebrate the holiday season, Skyy Vodka is partnering with designer Michael Aram
to launch the limited-edition Skyy Vodka Winter Star Cocktail Shaker. The cocktail shaker was inspired by Skyy Vodka’s cobalt blue bottle and includes a festive star design, making it suitable for holiday gifting, the company says. Proceeds from each shaker will benefit The Creative Coalition, a nonprofit, nonpartisan social and political advocacy organization founded by multiple actors, and its initiatives that support First Amendment rights, arts advocacy and public education.


Sharing warmth and cheer

This holiday season, Celestial Seasonings helped 25,000 fans spread cheer and the tastes of the brand’s holiday teas. Through the Celestial Seasonings Facebook page, fans could surprise a friend or loved one anywhere in the country with a special delivery of Celestial Seasonings holiday teas as part of the brand’s “From Me To You” promotion. From Nov. 4 through Nov. 18, the brand gave away 1,500 samples a day as well as coupons for holiday tea savings wherever Celestial Seasonings tea is sold at retail. Partner weblogs also helped to distribute samples. The Celestial Seasonings brand offers six handcrafted, all-natural holiday teas that capture the traditional flavors of the season, including gingerbread, sugar cookies, candy canes and more.


Jäger on tap

Jägermeister launched The Shotmeister, a single-bottle tap machine that brings the brand’s ice-cold pour technology featured in bars and restaurants into consumers’ homes.  The Shotmeister is smaller and lighter than the Jägermeister Tap Machine featured on-premise but features the same rapid-cooling technology that chills and dispenses Jägermeister at temperatures below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Designed to hold a 750-ml or 1-liter Jägermeister bottle, The Shotmeister is easy to operate and clean, with no assembly required, the company says.


Social media savvy

Harnessing the power of technology, Campbell Soup Co. subsidiary Bolthouse Farms launched the Juice Recognition campaign on Instagram. The new campaign uses digital technology to scan photos and visuals from public Instagram posts and recognize photo use in addition to keywords and hashtags. As part of the program’s Beta test, Bolthouse encouraged Instagrammers to “Snap it, Tag It and Get It” by posting imagery of Bolthouse Farms products, advertisements, website visuals, logos, etc., with the hashtags #carrotfarmers and #gotcoupon. Once the program verified the visuals, Instagram users automatically were sent a link to download a coupon, which could then be redeemed at participating retail locations.