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Coca-Cola expands marketing efforts for Seagram’s

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA — Coca-Cola is expanding the reach of its Seagram’s line of beverages across the United States.

The beverage giant said it would begin a several-phase marketing strategy for Seagram’s, beginning with new radio and out-of-home advertisements for Seagram’s ginger ale.

“While ginger ale and mixers are favorite beverage choices for many adults, they weren’t fully available offerings in the Coca-Cola portfolio of beverages,” said Caren Pasquale Seckler, VP sparkling flavor brands at Coca-Cola North America. “By making the Seagram’s brand more readily available, we can ensure when people reach for ginger ale or mixers for both every day enjoyment and for social celebrations, they choose Seagram’s.”

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Samuel Adams’ Imperial line now includes scotch-style ale

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON — Samuel Adams is sprucing up its Imperial lineup of beers with a new scotch-style ale.

New Samuel Adams Wee Heavy is inspired by the Scottish tradition of naming ales for their strength. The new ale weighs in at 10% alcohol by volume, twice that of the average beer. Samuel Adams suggests that the beer be enjoyed like a fine wine.

"As we did with the original three Imperial Series brews, Double Bock, Imperial White and Imperial Stout, we challenged ourselves to test the limits of a beer style and create a more intense version," said Samuel Adams founder and brewer Jim Koch. "Wee Heavy is not your traditional scotch ale; we used bigger, bolder ingredients to boost the style’s flavor."

Alongside the rest of the Imperial Series brews, Samuel Adams Wee Heavy now is available nationwide at a suggested retail price of $9.99 per four-pack.

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Kraft’s preliminary injunction against Starbucks denied by appeals court

BY Allison Cerra

NORTHFIELD, Ill. — A U.S. appellate court denied Kraft Foods’ request for a preliminary injunction against Starbucks, upholding a lower court’s ruling.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s denial of the injunction will allow Starbucks to end its strategic partnership with Kraft before an arbitration proceeding. The arbitration process currently is under way, Kraft said.

After the ruling, Marc Firestone, Kraft Foods EVP corporate and legal affairs and general counsel, stated, "while disappointed in the outcome, we respect the U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision," adding that the company expects "to prevail in the marketplace, given the strength of [our] $5 billion global coffee business. Kraft is committed to competing in all coffee segments, including premium and on-demand. Our future plans are as robust as our coffee products, and we look forward to sharing them at the appropriate time."

The preliminary injunction against Starbucks initially was filed in December in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and was denied in late January.

As previously reported, Kraft filed an arbitration proceeding against Starbucks last November after the coffee giant sought to end its 12-year strategic partnership with the company. At the time, Kraft claimed that it boosted Starbucks’ retail grocery coffee business since 1998, which has garnered approximately $500 million in annual revenues. Starbucks said "Kraft did not meet its responsibilities" under the agreement.

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