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Coca-Cola, Nielsen team up to analyze soft drink trends worldwide

BY Jenna Duncan

PHOENIX The Nielsen Company yesterday announced it will join forces with Coca-Cola to provide integrated marketing services to the beverage maker in more than 70 markets around the globe.

Nielsen will provide Coca-Cola with services and information on trends and consumer spending patterns, as well as use of Nielsen Answers, a technology-based business intelligence program developed by the marketing research giant. The companies said that extending the partnership will help Coca-Cola chart its brands relative to competition, and synthesize consumer opinions and data.

“This is truly a win-win,” Mark Greatrex, senior vice president of Still Beverages [Coca-Cola] told the media. “At Coca-Cola, we benefit from increased productivity, improved market insights and cost savings as we continue to grow our business. With our Nielsen partners, we’ve forged an impactful and collaborative relationship that will only help us continue our success—across the globe.”

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Turkey Hill steps up iced tea brands

BY Jenna Duncan

CONESTOGA, Pa. Famous ice cream maker Turkey Hill Dairy is dedicating more of its operations towards the iced tea category, reports have said.

Turkey Hill iced tea is stretching its distribution from 14 states to 24 states. It is also tripling its ad spending to $3 million from $1 million last year in order to to launch four TV spots June 23.

Four 15-second spots will air with the tagline: “Turkey Hill. America’s No. 1 Refrigerated Iced Tea.” Outdoor supporting ads feature the phrase, “Cold-fashioned refreshment.”

Turkey Hill will debut new zero-calorie chai spiced tea and zero-calorie pomegranate acai white tea later this year.

“For an old company they’ve caught onto some of the new trends,” said partner at Cascadia Consulting, Ramsey, N.J., Bill Sipper. “Teas are hot and no one is doing Chai in cold iced tea right now.”

Turkey Hill started as a small dairy operation in Pennsylvania in 1947. Turkey Hill is now the fourth biggest premium ice cream brand in the United States. Turkey Hill sells about 46 million gallons per year, the company has said.

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Anheuser-Busch slated to reject InBev deal

BY Jenna Duncan

PHILADELPHIA Several major media outlets have reported that Anheuser-Busch Co. will reject the $46.3 billion takeover bid made by European beer giant InBev NV—maker of Stella Artois and Beck’s—because the offer undervalues the worth of A-B’s operations.

At this point in the negotiation process, InBev could raise its offer and return to the bidding table with a new bid, or go directly to A-B’s shareholders, sources said. According to analysts, that offer may have to be raised to close to $50 billion in order to entice shareholders who would see their stocks go up to $70 a share instead of $65. A-B stock rang in at $62.03 per share today during morning trading.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that in response to InBev’s offer, Anheuser-Busch will make the proactive move to plan out restructuring plan. Sources said the plan will include the sale of the company’s theme park operations, sale of Anheuser-Busch’s packaging unit and also cover many layoffs. Anheuser-Busch will also need to plan on trimming costs in order to save up a surplus of $500 million, other news sources added.

Earlier this month, Fortune magazine ranked St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch the No. 1 beverage company in its 2008 Most Admired U.S. and Global Companies list. Anheuser-Busch is the brewer of Budweiser beer.

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