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Big Geyser Showcases Brand Portfolio at Sprawling Internal Expo; Vitaminwater, Nesquik, BLK Sketch Summer Plans NY's biggest NA-only distributor, Big Geyser, turned Marriott Hotel in Uniondale, Long Island, into personal brand playground this past Fri and Sat, drawing top brass from several supplier-exhibitors as it geared up troops for spring and summer selling season. By now, BG coo Jerry Reda pegs it as largest NA-bev trade show on East Coast, taking over hotel's ballroom and lobby with sometimes elaborate supplier exhibits meant to excite sales force of huge NA house with reach into Long Island and Westchester. Parking lot was showcase for Monster Energy BMX bikers. As reported, BG has been on new-brand roll past year, picking up Monster Energy, Sparkling Ice, V8 and most recently Monster's Hubert's Lemonade sibling brand. It retains brands that have segued to other systems in most parts of country, including Vitaminwater, Muscle Milk and Illy Caffe, and broad array of earlier-stage brands such as Hint, Purity Organic and Grown Up Soda. Suppliers bear costs of show, and often send their top execs, who this year included Sparkling Ice ceo Kevin Klock, Body Armor co-owner Mike Repole, Honest Tea ceo Seth Goldman and Hubert's chief Tom Hicks. BBI wasn't invited to supplier presentations on Sat, but gleaned some brand updates while wandering expo on Fri. Some highlights, with more to follow next issue:
Vitaminwater Ready to Cut Over to Cane Sugar Next Month Glaceau booth heralded redesign of Vitaminwater label, along with cutover to cane sugar as sweetener in May, as owner Coca-Cola tries to resuscitate fortunes of brand that's been on severe skid in recent months. Glaceau chief Shane Grant, relocating from Canada, has been delayed by illness from hitting ground running but is ready to push hard to recover premium status of brand, buttress presence in accounts like Whole Foods that have been skittish about sucralose as sweetener, and work newly launching Vitaminwater Energy and Vitaminwater Zero Drops (BBI, Oct 14) to inject some pizzazz into brand. Recall that in Geyser's hands, NY has remained one of last bastions of brand's premium status, tho even BG was pushed into unprecedented discounts last fall as KO brass at time tried to hit volume # to close out year.
Nesquik Teams with Girl Scouts for Limited-Time SKUs Nestle is lookin' to jazz up interest in its shelf-stable single-serve milks this Aug with pair of limited-time offers that tie to Girl Scouts via play on classic cookie flavors: Thin Mints and Caramel Coconut, both using lowfat milk that clocks in at 100 calories per 8-oz serving. (Items come in 14-oz PET bottles.) Tie-in builds on prior link via Nestle Crunch candy bars in renditions of 3 Girl Scout cookie flavors, which generated $11 mil in sales in initial year, 2012, and Coffee-Mate Girl Scouts line that's generated $8.5 mil in sales since 2013 debut. LTO milk sku's will be available thru holiday season, or until production run is depleted.
BLK Water Puts Feet on Street to Explain Brand Premise Now in its 3d year, black-colored BLK water is among latest additions to BG portfolio on account of aggressive commitment that overcame distributor's skepticism, both parties noted. Brand, which has plied NJ via Peerless beer house, has committed 10 people to market and set full slate of events. After successful tie-ins with Housewives of NJ TV franchise, it hopes to get further lift with role in Caroline Manzo-starring spinoff Manzo'd with Children. Brand previously moved in NY via Abraham Foods. Broadliners like UNFI, Kehe and Haddon House remain in mix for certain channels. BLK is pitched as prehistoric water with pH of 8.5 that's full of beneficial minerals like fulvic acid, which naturally turn water black, tho that takes fair amount of explanation to consumers. Core line is buttressed by stevia-sweetened flavors, all going out at $1.99-2.49.
Cutting Edge Info for the Savvy Beverage Executive
As an effective beverage executive, you need to explore all potential avenues for revenue growth and margin enhancement. Beverage Business Insights -BBI-gives you the info you need to keep up with the latest trends in the dynamic world of non-alcoholic beverages. It's produced by the same team that brings you Beer Marketer's Insights, and is written with the needs of beer wholesalers specifically in mind: straightforward, to the point, and with a street-savvy orientation. BBI helps you to separate the news from the noise.
BBI offers informed assessments of up-and-coming brands and categories. We were among the first to identify coconut water category as a winner, and we have carefully traced the rollout plans of brands like Activate, Body Armor, Neuro and Marley. We give you up-to-date info on the DSD plans of brands like these, and track developments at brands like Vita Coco and Muscle Milk as they prepare to transition out of the independent distribution system. We offer insights into how beer distributors around the country are developing sustainable non-alc beverage businesses, as well as the contract issues that have kept some brand owners outside the DSD system. BBI gives you frequent updates of scanner data in measured channels, so that you know where the growth is. BBI also has kept a close watch on intriguing moves by major beverage players & investors in this space, including Tata Global Beverages' investments in Vitaminwater and Activate as they seek 'experiential' brands with social & environmental goals. BBI goes behind the scenes at major launch platforms like Natural Products Expo West and the NACS convenience store expo, bringing you key emerging beverages. Your subscription cost is a fraction of what you'd pay to attend any of these meetings yourself, plus you get unique and valuable insights from BBI's editor and longtime beverage trendwatcher, Gerry Khermouch.
BBI focuses on what's innovative, what's new and what's moving off the shelves. You get valuable news and in-depth analysis. Since BBI is brought to you by Beer Marketer's INSIGHTS, the leading trade publisher for the beer business for over 40 years, you can count on our dedication to fairness, accuracy and timeliness.
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Here is some of the info BBI readers had access to recently:
- Red Bull Sets Sales Meeting, Preps Total Zero as Part of Trifecta
- Ex-Fiji, Pabst Chief Cochran Back in NAs, at Helm of AquaHydrate; Rethinking Premise; Has Given Himself 8-10 Weeks to Take Hydration Brand 'from Good to Great'
- Monster Outerforms Rivals on Volume, Price in Dec
- Calypso Surpassed 2 Mil Cases in 2011; Boosts Chicago DSD Presence; Plans New Flavor
- FANCY FOOD: Back in Juice Biz at Califia Farms, Steltenpohl Reflects on Odwalla, Adina Lessons; Warns Against Institutional Funding; Sees Opportunities in Local/Simple Nexus
- Body Armor Investor Repole: 'Had to Be Something Special' to Re-Enter Bevs; Seeing Repeat Biz Already; Believes All-in-One Concept Makes It iPhone of Bevs
- Adina Lays Off Sales Force while Continuing Search for New Partners
- FANCY FOOD: Republic of Tea Changes Packs to Celebrate 20 Years; Enters Sweet Tea Realm; Plans Probiotic, Red-Wine-Extract Additions to Be Well Line for Expo West
- PEOPLE: Kurtz Hits Ground Running at Bai; Body Armor Confirms 'Significant' Repole Investment
- SPECIAL REPORT: Vita Coco May Approach $200M Sales in 2012; National Rollout Should Be Complete; Will Reassert Tropical Positioning, Dial Up Paid-Media Budget
- RESEARCH: Clues Revealed on Why Coffee Cuts Risk of Diabetes
- Anheuser-Busch Adds to Branch Network with Ore Deal; Keeps Monster, Outside Craft Brands
- And much, much more!
If you make, market, distribute or follow non-alcoholic beverages, give yourself the competitive edge enjoyed by Beverage Business Insights subscribers today.