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Sunny Delight updates supply chain, data systems with new investment

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI — Sunny Delight is refocusing its North American business with the acquisition of a manufacturing plant owned by the J.M. Smucker Co., and is updating all five of its North American manufacturing facilities and data systems.

The $70 million upgrade, which will diversify Sunny Delight’s business in North America, will improve its "corporate profitability, manufacturing efficiency and environmental footprint," said Ellen Iobst, the company’s SVP manufacturing and technology.

Terms of this transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed.

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Dr Pepper Snapple Group tackles citrus-soda category with Sun Drop

BY Melissa Valliant

PLANO, Texas — A citrus soda made by Dr Pepper Snapple Group is making a major splash in the Southern states in which it’s currently sold. And with plans for nationwide distribution early next year, it has the potential to rival the success of Mountain Dew. 

Sun Drop is made with orange juice and more caffeine than Mountain Dew. Southern fans have used it in everything from glazes for holiday turkeys to alcoholic mixed drinks. 

Although it’s been sold since 1928, the drink didn’t receive its recent boost in popularity until MTV took an interest in it in June 2009. Since then, the beverage manufacturer and the Viacom network have developed a revenue-sharing agreement, and Sun Drop got a publicity makeover; MTV’s new Scratch marketing arm redesigned the drink’s advertising, image and can, which will hit shelves in January. In an effort to reach the 15- to 17-year-old demographic, Sun Drop also will appear in such MTV programming as “The Real World.”

DPS’ sudden focus on Sun Drop stems from the company’s interest in directing consumer interest to flavored sodas, a noncola segment of the soft drink industry in which the company specializes. Cola success has wavered slightly in the past decade; according to Beverage Digest, cola sales comprised 60.5% of the U.S. soda market in 1999, and 55.4% of the market in 2009. In contrast, DPS brands within the market have grown.

"Let’s face it," said Jim Trebilcock, chief marketing officer at Dr Pepper Snapple Group, "carbonated soft drinks is a pretty stagnant, slightly declining category. But we’re growing volumes and gaining share. It’s because we try to create differentiation."

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Harris Interactive: M&M first in brand equity among youth

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Harris Interactive on Thursday released the 2010 results of the first annual "Youth EquiTrend" study, which asked 8-to-24-year-olds to rate brands on several key elements of brand equity, including familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.

"Today’s youth are not just tomorrow’s consumers; they are already consumers in their own right with their own money to spend,” stated Regina Corso, SVP youth and education researcher at Harris. “What companies need to remember is that if brand loyalty is built in these early years, that brand loyalty will remain for years to come. At this stage, the brands that resonate the most with youth are mostly ones that involve food — 6-of-the-top-10 are candy, snacks or restaurants."

M&Ms ranked first in brand equity, according to the study, while Google ranked second and is the only online organization among the top 10 brands overall. “As kids age, their tastes, and therefore their favorite brands, change with them,” Corso noted. “Tweens are all about Disney and Nick, as well as gaming, where teens add more technology to the mix. For young adults, the snack foods are still there, but technology takes an even stronger presence in their top 10.” 

Following are the complete “top 10” rankings:

Based on Equity Brands rated by all respondents
1 M&Ms 
2 Google 
3 Reese’s peanut butter cups
4 Oreo
5 iPod 
6 Target 
7 Subway 
8 Hershey’s milk chocolate
9 Doritos 
10 Pixar 

Based on Equity Brands rated by 8 to 12 year olds:
1 Nintendo Wii 
2 Doritos 
3 Oreo
4 M&Ms 
5 Disney Channel 
6 Nickelodeon 
7 Nintendo DS 
8 McDonald’s 
9 Toys"R"Us
10 Cartoon Network 

Based on Equity Brands rated by 13 to 17 year olds:
1 Reese’s peanut butter cups
2 iPod 
3 Google 
4 M&Ms 
5 Oreo
6 Subway 
7 Hershey’s milk chocolate
8 Target 
9 Sprite 
10 Microsoft 

Based on Equity Brands rated by 18 to 24 year olds:
1 Google 
2 Facebook 
3 iPod 
4 Gatorade 
5 Target 
6 Subway 
7 Apple 
8 iTunes 
9 Reese’s peanut butter cups
10 Oreo

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