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Purple Beverage Co. appoints new CEO

BY Allison Cerra

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Purple Beverage Company, Inc. announced that it has appointed a new CEO to move the company forward.

Geoffrey Winters will take over the helm as the CEO and chairman of the board of directors of Purple Beverage Company, Inc.

Purple founder Ted Farnsworth, who will be stepping down as the Company’s CEO and Chairman, said, “After going through a very difficult time over the last several months, we are now re-energized. This is a positive move for the company, the brand, and the shareholders. We feel Geoff is the perfect fit to take Purple to the next level.”

Winters was managing director of Lehman Brothers Brokerage & Investment Banking in New York where he structured over $2 billion in private and public offerings. He also served as managing director for the New York firms of Paine Webber Equity & Investment Banking and Gruntal & Co. Equity & Investment Banking.

“I believe Purple was just one more victim of the current financial environment, but now the company will position itself for the future,” said Winters. “I think the brand has great value and I look forward to the challenge. We will be looking at various options for the company including joint ventures and acquisitions.”

Introduced in late 2007, Purple is a unique and tasty blend of seven antioxidant-rich fruits, including the exotic acai berry, black cherry, pomegranate, black currant, purple plum, cranberry and blueberry. The health benefits of these fruits are blended into an all-natural, no-sugar added beverage that is perfect as an on-the-go drink, as part of a healthy fruit smoothie or as a mixer for cocktails.

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Report: U.S. Organic sales grow by 17.1% in 2008

BY Allison Cerra

GREENFIELD, Mass. U.S. sales of organic products, both food and non-food, reached $24.6 billion by the end of 2008, growing an impressive 17.1% over 2007 sales despite tough economic times, according to the Organic Trade Association, which made available final results from its 2009 Organic Industry Survey.

While the overall economy has been losing ground, sales of organic products reflect very strong growth during 2008.

“Organic products represent value to consumers, who have shown continued resilience in seeking out these products,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director.

The survey, conducted by Lieberman Research Group on behalf of OTA, measured the growth of U.S. sales of organic foods and beverages as well as such non-food categories as organic fibers, personal care products and pet foods during 2008. Results show organic food sales grew in 2008 by 15.8% to reach $22.9 billion, while organic non-food sales grew by an astounding 39.4% to reach approximately $1.65 billion. As a result, organic food sales now account for approximately 3.5 percent of all food product sales in the United States.

“This marks another milestone for the organic food market,” said Bushway.

With tough economic times, consumers have used various strategies in continuing to buy organic products. Because most venues now offer organic products, consumers have the opportunity to shop around. Increased use of coupons, the proliferation of private label brands, and value-positioned products offered by major organic brands all have contributed to increased sales.

The final report of the Organic Trade Association’s 2009 Organic Industry Survey is now available: http://www.ota.com/bookstore/2.html.

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Hydrive Energy expands energy drink line with new product

BY Allison Cerra

RYE, N.Y. Hydrive Energy is extending their line of enhanced water energy drinks into a convenient and delicious new edible form – a full power energy soft chew.

Hydrive Energy Chews deliver all the benefits of Hydrive Energy Drinks – great taste, vitamins, electrolytes, antioxidants, and a full power energy boost – in a non-liquid form that can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime.

“Hydrive Energy Chews will appeal to people looking for the boost of an energy drink without having to drink,” said Brian O’Byrne, CEO of Hydrive Energy. “The idea of being able to conveniently get an energy boost at any time – on-the-go, biking, yoga or just sitting at your desk – was incredibly appealing to folks we talked to and is exactly what they want. They loved the idea that these chews taste great and provide nutrients in addition to energy.”

Hydrive Energy Chews come in foil pouches containing 4 individually wrapped chews. The chews are available in two flavors – Orange Burst and Berry Burst (coming in June). A pouch of chews contains 400% RDI of Vitamin C, 200% of Vitamin B3, B5, B6, and B12, 20% Calcium, plus 160-mg of caffeine (equal to about 2 cups of coffee). The chews have been specially formulated to provide a long-lasting, time-released boost of energy without the crash or jitters associated with other energy products.

Hydrive Energy Chews will be supported by local and national television advertising beginning May 4. Hydrive Energy Chews are available online at the Hydrive Web site, www.hydriveenergy.com as well as at select stores around the country.

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