Embracing the arts

Sparkling Ice was the official sponsor of the High School Nation (HSN) Tour, which took place between March 28 and April 29. The HSN Tour is a music-and-arts festival that traveled to 25 high school campuses across the country and provided students with free entertainment, the company says. The brand encouraged students to get creative through six “Spin Art Stations,” where participants created spin art on LP records. As part of the two-part contest, students were invited to participate in #FlavorUp Dance-Off and the winners were entered to win a trip to a live concert. Additionally, students were encouraged to use the hashtag #FlavorUp on their social channels to show how they define their personal flavor. Those who participated were entered to win prizes that included Sparkling Ice beverages, product-filled backpacks, headphones, concert tickets and more. The company also gave a $500 donation to each school that participated.


Refreshing the community

For the third consecutive year, Coors Light and retired basketball player Kenny “The Jet” Smith teamed up to refurbish community basketball courts. Coors Light will donate up to $100,000 to make over community basketball courts in Chicago, New Orleans, and Oakland and Sacramento, Calif. Legal-drinking-age basketball fans can participate through June 30 by using the hashtags #FullCourtreFRESH and #Over21, and Coors Light will donate $1 for each tweet, up to $25,000 for each city.


Showing Support

Showing its continuing support for those who defend the United States, E. & J. Gallo Winery announced that promotions for its Liberty Creek products will help spread the word about Don Mann, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL member of Team SIX, and his climb of Mount Everest. This month, Mann will join a Mount Everest expedition party and attempt to scale the world’s highest mountain to raise awareness of the challenges United States veterans face each and every day.
“After serving 21 years in the Navy, I have a very clear understanding of the many hardships and sacrifices that our military personnel, our veterans and their families make and live with on a daily basis,” Mann said.


Getting classy

Along with the nationwide release of Mtn Dew Black Label, the brand is extending its Boldly Redefined campaign, which started with an experiential activation at the South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival in March. The campaign continues with the release of a new digital spot called “Gentlemen of the Jacket,” which showcases different gentlemen crossing over to the classier side of Dew with the help of putting on a unique jacket. This act invokes a transformation, so that whatever world they are in becomes a more refined version of itself, yet still genuine, recognizable and getting at the heart of all things Dew, the company says. The brand also will release a Mtn Dew Black Label GIF keyboard that will be available for use on mobile via the App Store or Play Store. To introduce Mtn Dew Black Label to fans, the brand also hit the road on a grassroots sampling tour.


Taking back girl time

According to 73 percent of women, girl time makes them feel happier and 65 percent report they feel less stressed, based on a recent survey commissioned by Palm Breeze. The brand enlisted celebrity designer, TV host and author Whitney Port to help encourage women to spend more time together. In partnership with Shazam, Palm Breeze will offer exclusive content utilizing the app’s visual-recognition technology. Consumers can unlock exclusive perks, tips from Port, recipes, fashion and beauty trends, and home-entertaining ideas when they Shazam a can of Palm Breeze this summer. The content hub, which is being promoted through in-store, digital advertising, media campaigns and influencer engagement, provides women with the tips and tools they need to take back girl time, the company says. “I’ve always admired brands that understand the importance of sisterhood, which is why I was excited to hear about Palm Breeze’s initiative to take back girl time,” Port said in a statement. “Girl time is the ideal retreat and Palm Breeze, which is tailor-made for women, serves as the perfect vehicle to bring women together to celebrate girl time and Vacay Every Day.”


Lemon-peeling perfection

With spring here, consumers are looking for fresh, fruity concoctions. Fabrizia Spirits, which produces all-natural citrus spirits, imported a custom-built lemon-peeling machine from Pompei, Italy, to meet consumer demand for its all-natural limoncello. The machine is helping the company increase its beverage production and maintain a superior level of quality, it says. Prior to acquiring  the machine, brothers and co-owners Phil and Nick Mastroianni, and the Fabrizia team, peeled lemons by hand for the company’s limoncello, which totaled 155,000  lemons in 2015 alone. The new  machine streamlines that process  and is capable of extracting the zest  of 2,400 lemons with minimal pith  every hour, a process that previously took an entire day, it adds. 


Magic of merchandising 

Quri, which offers In-Store Merchandising Intelligence, released the results from the in-store merchandising performance of beer, wine and spirits during the Easter shopping period. The data highlighted the overall display presence, display type and on-shelf availability of 23 alcohol brands across 1,000 stores in the grocery, mass merchandising and specialty beverage channels. The brands and categories tracked featured beer (Bud Light, Coors Light, Corona, Guinness, Miller Lite and Stella Artois); wine (Barefoot Cellars, Beringer, Chateau St. Jean, Clos Du Bois, Kenwood Vineyards, Korbel, Robert Mondavi and Smoking Loon); and spirits (Absolut Vodka, Bacardi, Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, New Amsterdam Gin, Skinnygirl, SKYY Vodka, Smirnoff and Wild Turkey). Quri data reports that beer led the pack in all three categories, which included display presence, at  47 percent, followed by spirits (20 percent) and wine (15 percent); display type, including beer pallets (52 percent), spirit floor stands (36 percent) and wine endcaps (36 percent); and for on-shelf availability, beer was at 75 percent, followed by spirits (63 percent) and wine (49 percent).


Reducing alcohol-related liver stress 

Concerned about the adverse health consequences of alcohol on the liver, New York City inventor Harsha Chigurupati spent nearly a decade of research and trial-and-error testing to find a way to modify the genetic and epigenetic impacts of alcohol. Backed by $20 million in research and U.S. patents, the new technology, NTX, has been shown in clinical studies to significantly reduce the oxidative stress on the liver caused by moderate/social alcohol consumption by an average of 93 percent, the company says. The NTX technology, which yields a protection to liver enzymes AST, ALT and GGT, has been synergistically infused into Bellion Vodka, a functional spirit, which now is available in Texas, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa and Rhode Island, with eight other states soon to follow, it adds.