Boosting energy 

For those looking for a quick boost of energy and want to avoid calories, pureLYFT, in the form of an all-natural, easy-to-use stir stick, delivers a single serving of 125 mg of clean caffeine when added to a beverage, the company says. Derived from green coffee bean extract and fortified with vitamins A and B complex, the stir stick has zero calories, is non-GMO and provides the same amount of caffeine as a 12-ounce cup of coffee. The packaging also gives consumers the option to either stir or pour pureLYFT into their beverages. In addition to its original, neutral-tasting flavor, pureLyft is available in three new flavors: Lemon-Lime, Mixed Berry and Orange.

Brewing up coffee 

McDonald’s Corp. is testing three new McCafé drinks in select Northern California restaurants as part of an ongoing push to boost beverage sales and grab a bigger share of the coffee market. The new drinks include hot and iced Caramel Macchiato, French Vanilla Cappuccino and Americano. They are available in the Sacramento, Stockton and Modesto areas, which include 170 McDonald’s locations, the company says. The restaurants also are adding new McCafé equipment to their kitchens to enhance beverage offerings. “Coffee remains a significant opportunity for us,” said Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald’s USA, in a statement. “There’s so much more we can do with this.” Coffee is a $30 billion opportunity and is growing annually, it says.

Spotlight on a crisis

Last month, Stella Artois and National Geographic released a new documentary, “Dream of Water,” on World Water Day. The film, which aired on the National Geographic channel, put a spotlight on the effects of the global water crisis by following three women in their communities in Haiti, Peru and Kenya, the company says. It was commissioned by Stella Artois as part of its Buy A Lady A Drink campaign, an ongoing partnership with to help provide clean water to people in the developing world, it says. The film was directed by 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner Crystal Moselle. Stella Artois plans to continue supporting female filmmakers through its multi-year partnership with Women in Film, it adds. 

Encouraging wellness

Steaz announced its 2017 “Mind. Body. Soul.” Tour, which will inform, educate, inspire and entertain through events, digital activations and partner-curated experiences developed to support the three pillars of complete wellness, it says. The event series kicks off in Los Angeles this month with the sponsorship of the Wanderlust 108 mindful triathlon, followed by events in other cities across the country. The theme will debut digitally as well, featuring surprise-and-delight activations; sweepstakes and giveaways co-curated with brand partners; and an arsenal of insights, inspiration, tips and industry expert advice to help consumers find new ways to hashtag #SteaztheDay every day, it adds. 

Creating experiences

In partnership with travel company Black Tomato, Diageo is launching a video series bringing together travel experiences with two Diageo brands: Bulleit and George Dickel. The video series explores the American whiskey brands via the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience and George Dickel Distillery at Cascade Hollow while exposing customers to southern whiskey country, the companies say. Filmed by Studio Black Tomato, the videos are set in the distilleries in Kentucky and Tennessee and aim to capture the personalities and highlight the heritage and passion that goes into creating whiskey, they add.

Bartenders rank brands 

Actûrus, a leader in global consumer and influencer research, announced the winners of the “Most Often Recommended Spirit Brand” awards for 2016. Now in its 11th year, the Actûrus MSS US Bartender Influencer Study asked more than 10,000 bartenders their opinion of brands and to rank major spirits brands in terms of the frequency in which they recommend them to consumers.  Fireball is not only the most-often recommended shot/shooter by U.S. bartenders, but it also is the most-often recommended brand within all spirits categories for the first time, the company says. In addition to Fireball, bartenders are most likely to recommend the following spirits: rum, Bacardi; vodka, Grey Goose; tequila, Patrón; cognac, Hennessy; flavored spirits, Absolut Vodka; gin, Tanqueray; North American whiskey, Jack Daniel’s; North American craft whiskey, Maker’s Mark; cordial, Grand Marnier; coffee cordial, Baileys; blended Scotch whisky, Johnnie Walker; and single-malt Scotch whisky, The Glenlivet.

Take it up a notch

Dos Equis is giving legal-drinking-age consumers everything they need to spice up their Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Its new comprehensive, 360-degree Cinco de Mayo program features national TV advertising, media partnerships and a national sweepstakes. Consumers are encouraged to celebrate with Dos Equis and enter for a chance to win prizes, which include an exclusive Cinco Fiesta Kit and a grand prize trip to Mexico. “With its singular Mexican heritage, and as the upscale Mexican import of choice, Dos Equis’ Cinco de Mayo program has all the elements to differentiate during the weeks leading up to Cinco de Mayo, a holiday typically cluttered with Mexican beer brand promotions,” said Andrew Katz, vice president of marketing for Dos Equis, in a statement. To drive awareness, a dedicated TV spot, part of its newly refreshed Most Interesting Man campaign, will be accompanied by social media. Additionally, Dos Equis is partnering with digital vendors Drizly and Touchtunes to amplify the promotional activity that runs through Cinco de Mayo.

Welcome to the team

Mountain Dew announced that professional skateboarder Curren Caples is joining the brand’s roster of athletes. Caples has been showcasing his surfer-style talent at skate competitions around the world and joins a growing list of Dew team skaters, which also includes Sean Malto, Theotis Beasley, Nick Tucker, Cris Colbourn and Jordan Maxham, among others, the company says. “Curren is an excellent addition to the Mountain Dew skate team as he brings a laidback Southern California riding style to both street and transition competitions,” said Ryan Collins, senior director of marketing for Mountain Dew, in a statement. “Our goal is to continue to push the limits of skateboarding through fun and creativity, and we are excited to have Curren on board to help us achieve this in 2017 and beyond.” The brand released a video online welcoming Curren to the team.