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Integrated Beverage Group adds new pop to bottled beverages with powdered vitamin-filled caps

BY Michael Johnsen

Atlanta Integrated Beverage Group on Tuesday introduced its latest innovation at the ECRM Vitamin, Diet & Sports Nutrition conference — the Zapp Cap Energy Release Cap, a cap containing a powdered dietary supplement that fits onto the top of any half-liter bottle of water. The cap delivery system gives consumers control over the freshness of their beverage, the company stated, and might be a little fun to boot. Consumers “activate” their energy drink by pushing on the top of the cap, which punches the powder into the beverage.

The initial launch includes two formulations, both with 35 mg of caffeine. The first is an energy supplement that also contains several vitamins, including vitamins C, E and B in a goji berry flavor. The second is energy and weight control formulation that in addition to the vitamins contains Super Citrimax and ChromMate, two ingredients that help curb appetite, in an acai berry flavor.

Both formulations are sugar free, contain no net carbs and only add four calories to the consumers bottled water of choice. Integrated Beverage has both a counter display and clip strip program to display the new product. Suggested retail price is $2.49.

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Kids select favorite Jelly Belly flavors for new Jelly Belly Kids Mix

BY Melissa Valliant

Fairfield, Calif. The Jelly Belly Candy Company is creating a new line of Jelly Beans called Jelly Belly Kids Mix with flavors chosen by kids, for kids. In order to select the flavors that would be included in this line, children, pre-teens and teens were interviewed.

Very Cherry, Green Apple and Watermelon flavors were most popular, though blueberry and raspberry were chosen more often than anticipated. Peanut Butter and Caramel Corn, on the other hand, were two of the least popular.The Jelly Belly Kids Mix will contain 20 different flavors and will become available in February in bulk cases, as well as in a 3.5-oz. bag packed in 12-count cases.

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Candy brands give consumers more ways to ‘trade up’

BY Barbara White-Sax

There’s no denying it—frugal is the new trend. Still, retailers continue to ask themselves just how much consumers are willing to give up to save a few dollars. And does it include premium chocolate?

Premium chocolate has been the star of the candy aisle for some time. Over the five-year period from 2003 to 2007, premium chocolate’s share of the total chocolate market has more than doubled, from 7% to 18%. Curtis Vreeland, senior analyst for Packaged Facts, predicted that share to reach 25% by 2012, despite sales values boosted by commodities price hikes and recessionary slippage in demand.

A recent report from Packaged Facts revealed that sales in the premium chocolate segment outpaced overall category sales in 2007, making it the engine that drives the chocolate category. Premium chocolate sales grew nearly 5% for the 52 weeks ended Oct. 5, 2008, according to Information Resources Inc.

Recently, more action has been coming from manufacturers of mass brands who have been introducing their own “trade-up” brands. These not-quite-premium brands allow consumers to trade up within a familiar brand with a product that offers something above the traditional product.

Mars recently introduced M&M Premiums, candies with shimmering finishes in exotic flavors that are merchandised in upright containers and retail for more than $3.

“This new product captures the fashion, vibrancy and indulgence of premiumization, yet it retains the sense of colorful fun and unpretentiousness that the M&M’s brand has always stood for,” said Ryan Bowling, a spokesman for Mars Snackfood US.

Bowling said Mars also has added a number of flavors and formats to its Dove brand, which is the top-selling premium chocolate brand in the United States. Dove Desserts, in bananas foster and tiramisu, were introduced in June. In the premium tablet collection, six new flavors were added, and packaging was changed to feature three individually wrapped pieces to “address consumers’ desires for portion control and sharability,” Bowling said.

On the heels of its Cacao Reserve and Starbucks brands, Hershey launched Bliss, individually wrapped, bite-sized candies in three flavors, positioned as an everyday indulgence. To target female chocolate lovers, the company launched the product at private parties through House Party, a marketing company known for using viral marketing techniques to create word-of-mouth buzz.

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