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Red Bull introduces larger can

BY Jenna Duncan

SANTA MONICA, Calif. Red Bull will add a 16.9 oz. can to its regular product line, the company said yesterday. The addition of the larger can comes after initial market research into the popularity of a Limited Edition “Champions of Red Bull” can size.

The 16.9 oz. Red Bulls will be available at convenience, drug, grocery and mass retail store across the U.S. The suggested retail price will range between $2.99 and $3.49 per can, the same price as the test-marketed 16.9-ounce Champions of Red Bull cans.

Sugar-Free Red Bull also will hit the market in the 16.9 oz. can size soon.

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Coca-Cola gears up for Olympics

BY Jenna Duncan

ATLANTA Coca-Cola is launching a new “Connect with the world over a Coke” campaign, with ads starring six American, to be launched May 19 and run during the Olympics in August. The campaign consists of ad spots, limited-edition Coke cans and a new Web site, MyCoke.com.

During the Olympic Games this summer, Coke will run ads featuring basketball player LeBron James; U.S. gold medalist for swimming, Natalie Coughlin; triathlon runner Andy Potts, and others, to form a “six-pack” of athletic stars.

Coke said it will alternate the can designs every 2-3 weeks, something competitor, Pepsi, often has done in the past. Additionally, fridge packs of Coke, bottle labels and individual cans will feature the Coke logo in different languages, such as Ethiopian, Mandarin and Russian.

Hendrick Steckhan, president and general manager of sparkling beverages of Coca-Cola North America, said, “By combining Coca-Cola cans in different languages with six amazing athletes, we’ve created a program that celebrates global communities coming together and the unifying spirit of the Olympic Games and Coca-Cola.”

Targeting teenagers, MyCoke.com will become an “online Olympic destination” where guests can download digital assets, design virtual Coke bottles and enter a sweepstakes to spend times snowboarding with Gretchen Bleiler, Olympic gold medalist.

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Belgian Bulcke accepts challenge of heading Nestle

BY Jenna Duncan

VEVEY, Switzerland Paul Bulcke, former executive vice president and director for Zone Americas: United States of America, Canada, Latin America, Caribbean for Nestle has been named the successor to departing chief executive and chairman, Peter Brabeck.

Bulcke told the media that he was ready for the challenge of heading up the world’s largest food maker.

“I like action,” Bulcke told London’s Telegraph. “What you have to do, you do. If it looks simple that is good, because if it is not, then it doesn’t work.”

Bulcke’s strategy of simplicity relies on the company’s four key strengths and driving growth in four further areas; namely, Nestle’s product portfolio (29 brands), research and development, global presence and workforce. Nestle is also making strides in emerging markets, nutrition, premium products and the out-of-home market.

Bulcke said, “The vision of Nestle is to be the leading nutrition, health and wellness company in the world. When you have a good vision you don’t change it dramatically each year.”

Facing the rising costs of commodities, Nestle’s approach has been to cut costs, reformulate products and pass on price increases early. Bulcke said that he believes prices will normalize in the near future, and that there is no “economical reason why the price of a product doubles in two months.”

One of Brabeck’s last moves before leaving his spot as chief executive officer was to sell Nestle’s majority ownership in eye-care business Alcon to Novartis for almost $39 billion.

For the first quarter ending in 2008, Nestle reported growth of 9.8 percent as a group, and 9.8 percent in food and beverage along. Nestle currently employs about 280,000 worldwide.

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