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Michael McKee to join Purple Beverage Co.

BY Alaric DeArment

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. A former executive of Cadbury Schweppes, Unilever and Fuze Beverage will join Purple Beverage Co. as vice president of operations and logistics, Purple Beverage announced Wednesday.

Michael McKee will be in charge of contract manufacturing, production planning and purchasing, as well as other duties. He previously worked for Fuze as director of procurement and inventory planning and as business planner for Unilever. Before that, he worked with various brands at Cadbury Schweppes, including Snapple, Yoo-hoo, Mistic and Orangina.

Purple is a juice drink that combines antioxidant-rich fruits such as acai, pomegranates, blackcurrants, blueberries, cranberries, black cherries and purple plums. The drink contains no added sugar. It is available at drug stores, supermarkets and health-food stores, as well as restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

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Dr Pepper Snapple introduces Venom energy drink

BY Alaric DeArment

PLANO, Texas Stores with shelves already crowded with soft drinks will soon have to make room for another member of the energy-drink kingdom, this one from Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which announced the new drink Tuesday.

Venom, available in regular Black Mamba and low-carbohydrate and low-calorie Mojave Rattler, will be available in 16.9-ounce aluminum bottles for around $2.29. It will include ingredients common to energy drinks such as caffeine, guarana, taurine, l-carnitine and ginseng.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group markets beverages throughout North America. In addition to Dr Pepper and Snapple, its brands include 7Up, A&W, RC Cola, Yoo-Hoo, Canada Dry and Schweppes.

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M&Ms and NASCAR search for most colorful fan

BY Alaric DeArment

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. M&Ms Racing and NASCAR announced Monday that they would reintroduce “The Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR” contest, between June 8 and Oct. 11.

The contest allows NASCAR fans to upload their most eye-catching photos to NASCAR.com. Each week will have winners who receive NASCAR-themed prizes. Five finalists will win trips to the Ford 400 in Homestead, Fla., in November and $100 gift cards for The Home Depot. The final winner will receive a VIP trip for two to the Richard Petty Driving Experience and a Tissot wristwatch.

M&Ms, a brand of Mars North America, has been involved with NASCAR for 18 years. Headquartered in Mount Olive, N.J., Mars has annual sales of more than $7 billion.

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