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Cadbury to spin off U.S. drinks unit

BY Tara Smith

NEW YORK Cadbury Schweppes announced plans today to spin off its U.S. drinks unit, listing the Americas Beverages division on the New York Stock Exchange, according to Bloomberg.

The decision was made after the search for a buyer was derailed by record subprime mortgage defaults in the United States. The unit accounted for 35 percent of Cadbury’s $15.1 billion in 2006 sales and controlled 15 percent of the U.S. soda market with such brands as Dr Pepper, Seven-Up and Snapple. Cadbury said it would cut 470 jobs at Americas Beverages.

The plan allows for Cadbury, the world’s largest candy maker, to focus on its forte—confectionary. Chief Executive Officer Todd Stitzer said on a conference call that confectionary sales rose 10 percent in Europe and U.S. sales increase 14 percent, boosted by sales of Stride gum.

According to a note from Bear Stearns Co., the spinoff is disappointing because investors expected the London-based company to make much as $15 billion from the sale before the subprime crisis.

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Smart Balance unveils $40M marketing campaign

BY Tara Smith

NEW YORK Smart Balance on Monday unveiled a $40 million marketing campaign, running through 2008, the will expand the breadth and depth of its product portfolio, in addition to its consumer base.

The campaign includes TV, print and online elements including a relaunched Web site. The company’s expanded portfolio will feature new butter speads containing Omega-3, varieties of milk and cream cheese. Smart Balance’s products contain no hydrogenation and no trans fatty acids.

“The [dairy] category has been in decline,” said Greg Venner, chief marketing officer at Smart Balance, which was acquired earlier this year by Boulder Specialty Brands, Boulder, Colo. “The new advertising and marketing focuses on Smart Balance’s most important health benefits and attributes, coupled with a lifestyle message of enjoying life.”

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Liv Tyler and family partner with Emergen-C to support breast cancer research

BY Tara Smith

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. Alacer Corp., the makers of Emergen-C, on Monday announced a partnership with actress Liv Tyler, her mother Bebe Buell and grandmother Dorothea Johnson to support the fight against breast cancer with the launch of Emergen-C Pink.

Featuring a pink lemonade flavor, the vitamin-enriched fizzy drink mix formulated with 1,000 mg of vitamin C, B vitamins and minerals is the first cause-related product launch from Alacer Corp., which will contribute 50 percent of all Emergen-C Pink profits to breast cancer research.

Tyler and her family are a part of Generation Pink, women committed to the health and wellness of all women. Over the years, the Gen Pink women have been dedicated to the fight against breast cancer through their work with Cartier, Vera Wang and other designers.

“My mother, grandmother and I feel so lucky to be a part of this special new Emergen-C Pink campaign to help inspire breast cancer awareness and to provide support to women of all generations,” Tyler said.

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