Giant Eagle invests in own products; reopens former LeNature’s plant
PITTSBURGH Bottled water is being produced again at the former LeNature’s plant in Latrobe, Pa., thanks in part to Giant Eagle—and the new owners expect to add flavored water, iced teas and even soft drinks.
Currently the plant is producing Giant Eagle-labeled “Purified Water,” which is being shipped to area Giant Eagle stores. The plant plans to produce other bottled drinks for Giant Eagle, which comprises ready-made market of 158 corporate, 65 franchises and 138 convenience stores in the Pittsburgh region, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland and owns 1 percent of the operation, before branching out to outside customers.
The beverage plant had closed in November 2006, when LeNature’s was forced into bankruptcy. Giant Eagle bought the plant and its state-of-the-art bottling equipment for $22.3 million in September in a bankruptcy court auction, having outbid Cadbury Schweppes. Manufacturing its own products is a new direction for Giant Eagle, the region’s dominant grocer, moving from a competitive business to a more competitive field.
The 300,000-square-foot plant will make flavored waters by the end of the month, iced tea brewed from tea leaves in mid-February and carbonated soft drinks in March, according to Charley Price, company president. The company has not decided yet which flavors it will produce, Price said.
To bring the plant into full production, the company expects to spend about $4 million for clean-up, repairing and recommissioning the equipment, plus adding a line for soft drinks, Price said. He believes that, with the equipment on hand, running 24 hours per day, seven days a week, the plant could make nine million bottles of beverages per year.
St. Patrick’s Day meets its match: Anheuser-Busch’s Bare Knuckle Stout
ST. LOUIS Anheuser-Busch announced Wednesday the introduction of Bare Knuckle Stout, just in time to toast St. Patrick’s Day.
This American-made Irish-style dry stout is brewed with pale and caramel-roasted barley malts, resulting in a caramel and hop aroma, a robust taste and distinctive creamy head. Though perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, a special holiday spent toasting friends and family with a great beer, Bare Knuckle Stout is also enjoyable year-round and with casual and fine dining. The stout, which contains 4.2 percent alcohol by volume, pairs well with oysters on the half shell, the company said.
“Bare Knuckle Stout has generated a lot of excitement among beer drinkers who are on the lookout for what’s new and different on tap. Those who enjoy a great stout will appreciate the smooth Irish character and strong American spirit of Bare Knuckle Stout,” said George Reisch, brewmaster, Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Available nationwide, Bare Knuckle Stout is sold in 1/2 and 1/6 draught barrel kegs, as well as nitro-cans and bottles.
Product innovation infuses coffee flavor into new variety of Twix
HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. Twix Brand today announced the introduction of Twix Java with real espresso beans and coffee-flavored caramel—offering consumers a new type of “coffee break.”
The limited-edition candy bar, available in stores nationwide through February 2008, is a three-layered blend of coffee-flavored sweet caramel coated over a chocolate cookie and covered in milk chocolate. According to Food Processing Magazine, coffee flavors are showing renewed popularity in desserts, including pastries, yogurt and ice cream. With consumer demand for coffee and coffee-flavored products growing, many are looking for new ways to get their java fix and can find it in Twix Java, which contains a small amount of naturally occurring caffeine.
Now available in food, mass, club, convenience and drug stores nationwide, Twix Java come in 2-ounce single packs comprised of two Twix bars and retail for $.55.