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Keurig, Dr Pepper Snapple Group merge to create new company

BY Gisselle Gaitan

In a surprising move, Keurig Green Mountain has announced entering into a definitive agreement to merge with Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple. Together the brands will launch a new company, Keurig Dr Pepper, or KDP.

The combined company will house Dr Pepper, 7UP, Snapple, A&W, Mott’s, Sunkist, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Keurig’s single-serve coffee systems, and more than 75 owned partner brands in Keurig’s system, among others.

“This transaction will deliver significant and immediate value to our shareholders, along with the opportunity to participate in the long-term upside potential of our combined company and attract new brands and beverage categories to our platform in a fast-changing industry landscape. We are excited to combine with Keurig to build on the rich heritage and expertise of both companies and provide the highest-quality hot and cold beverages to satisfy every consumer throughout the day,” Larry Young, president and chief executive officer of Dr Pepper Snapple Group said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dr Pepper Snapple Group shareholders will receive $103.75 per share in a special cash dividend and retain 13% of the combined company.

“Our view of the industry through the lens of consumer needs, versus traditional manufacturer-defined segments, unlocks the opportunity to combine hot and cold beverages and create a platform to increase exposure to high-growth formats. The combination of Dr Pepper Snapple and Keurig will create a new scale beverage company which addresses today’s consumer needs, with a powerful platform of consumer brands and an unparalleled distribution capability to reach virtually every consumer, everywhere. We are fortunate to have talented leadership teams within both companies, and I look forward to working together with the Dr Pepper Snapple team to make this combination a success for all of our stakeholders,” Bob Gamgort, chief executive officer of Keurig, said.

Bob Gamgort, current chief executive officer of Keurig, will serve as chief executive officer of the combined company and Ozan Dokmecioglu, current chief financial officer of Keurig, will serve as its chief financial officer. Dr Pepper Snapple president and CEO Larry Young intends to transition to a role on KDP’s Board of Directors to help the new management team realize the full potential of the company.

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Drive DeVilbiss to distribute Uccello Kettle

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Drive Debliss Healthcare, a manufacturer of medical products, announced plans to become the exclusive distributor of the Uccello Kettle in the United States and Canada. The product is a weighted base that arcs on a rotating axis and holds a non-weight bearing, ergonomic handle for the easy and safe pouring of hot beverages.

“The Uccello Kettle is equipped with easy pouring technology,” Jeanne Borgia, product manager of personal care and bath safety, said. “This gives individuals with limited dexterity and strength the ability to pour hot water safely and steadily.”

The kettle holds 1.5 liters and features a large, hinged lid with a wide spout for filling, cleaning and steadying the proper pour amount. It also can be removed from the base to allow users the option to pour the liquid by hand.

Other features in the product include a power light to indicate when the kettle is boiling, auto shut off to prevent overheating, an easy-to-read water level indicator, stainless steel heating elements, a non-slip base removable, and an anti-scale filter for easy cleaning.

Further product information can be found on the company’s website.

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Nestlé revamps sparkling water offerings

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Taking a cue from premium brands of sparkling water, Nestlé Waters has decided to update its portfolio by updating its line of products. In February, consumers will notice new flavors alongside new bottle designs and packaging.

Six brands under the Stamford, Conn.-based company will see changes: Poland Spring, Deer Park, Zephyrhills, Ozarka, Ice Mountain and Arrowhead. Aside from changing packaging design, each will add additional flavors and debut 12-oz. sized cans. The new options will feature lively lemon, lemon lime, zesty lime, orange, triple berry, summer strawberry, raspberry lime, black cherry, pomegranate lemonade and simply bubbles.

“Following rapid growth over the past few years, the sparkling water category is now mature enough for us to make a significant investment in developing this extensive line of mainstream sparkling offerings from our regional spring water brands, each of which is the top-selling still spring water brand in its market,” Antonio Sciuto, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Nestlé Waters North America, said.

According to Euromonitor, the sparkling water category grew 70% from 2011 to 2016, and it’s expected to reach $3.1 billion by 2022. Another huge change within the brand is the use of real spring water as a primary ingredient, the company said.

“As consumers increasingly choose healthy beverages over sugary soft drinks and juices, they are looking for exciting new options. Now is the time to give millions of Americans the sparkling product they have been missing — combining the regional spring water brands they love with delicious natural flavors and added bubbles in both bottles and cans,” Sciuto said.

Retailers such as supermarkets, club stores, conveniences stores and chain drug stores will see a change in:

  • Proprietary bottle design – a sleek, elegant PET bottle design that resembles vintage glass, is more comfortable to hold and highlights the movement of sparkling bubbles;
  • Eye-catching label – more prominent branding and fruit imagery, as well as a new colored cap to accentuate visual brand cues and distinguish from competitors;
  • Bold new case pack visuals – vibrant and colorful fruit graphics designed to capture attention on shelf and highlight flavor varieties;
  • Cans with colorful fruit graphics – offering 12 oz. cans, preferred by some customers, in all markets; and
  • Rainbow packs – popular flavor combinations in 24-pack bottles and cans to encourage flavor trial.

“Consumers are choosing sparkling water at an unprecedented rate,” Sciuto said. “We already have great equity in our Regional Spring Water brands, and we hope that, as our existing customers enter the sparkling category, they will choose our brands first. With our ten great flavor options, they now have a whole new way to enjoy the spring water they love.”

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