MillerCoors to remove caffeine from malt beverages after industry crackdown
CHICAGO Major beer manufacturer MillerCoors is removing caffeine, taurine, guarana and ginseng from its popular Sparks-brand beer due to the recently raised concerns over the potential adverse health effects of caffeinated alcohol. The two-year-old brand will be sold until MillerCoors’ current inventory is depleted, and the company will cease production by Jan. 10, 2009, at which point Sparks will be reformulated.
“Attorneys general from around the country are gravely concerned about premixed alcoholic energy drinks,” said Maine attorney general Steve Rowe. “They’re popular with young people who wrongly believe that the caffeine will counteract the intoxicating effects of the alcohol.”
Critics also complained that MillerCoors, a joint venture between SABMiller PLC and Molson Coors Brewing Co., was marketing Sparks toward underage consumers, though MillerCoors president Tom Long denies these allegations.
MillerCoors is not the first company to react to the pressure from health awareness groups; Anheuser-Busch announced it was removing the same ingredients from its malt beverage brands like Tilt and Bud Extra in June.
Nestle, Jamba Juice suspend ready-to-drink beverage line
EMERYVILLE, Calif. Nestle and Jamba Juice’s ready-to-drink beverages squeezed their way into the beverage segment only six months ago, but it was announced last week that the line will now cease to be produced—at least temporarily. Though the product has been well received by consumers, production issues are forcing Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, and leading smoothie restaurant Jamba Juice to suspend production and shipments.
“We have faced challenges recently with manufacturing on a consistent basis, resulting in inventory and out-of-stock issues. This is particularly disappointing given the strong reception we have received from consumers and customers alike,” said Nestle USA Beverage Division president Rob Case. “We at Nestle are fully committed to re-assessing our Jamba ready-to-drink beverage proposition so that we can come back stronger and positioned for success in the future.”
According to Jamba, Inc.’s president and CEO, James White, said that customer sell-in and feedback proved better than expected, and the six SKUs ranked among the top in the category. “While this is an unfortunate event, this suspension will provide the opportunity to evaluate new manufacturing solutions which could enable the Jamba brand to secure an even stronger position in ready-to-drink beverages.”
Chairman of Schwan Food Co. set to retire
MARSHALL, Minn. Chairman of The Schwan Food Co., Afred Schwan, will retire at the end of the year after 45 years of service, reports said Monday.
Schwan has served as company chairman for 15 years, reports said. Schwan also served for five years as company president and CEO. He is 83 years old.
Schwan has stated that Dec. 31 will be his final day as chairman and Schwan Food Co. has said that his replacement will be named early next year.