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Black Momma Beverage Industry

Precept Wine acquires Truett-Hurst’s wholesale unit
Seattle-based Precept Wine announced the acquisition of Sonoma County, Calif.-based Truett-Hurst’s wholesale business unit and its assets.

376 Park Avenue expands portfolio
The portfolio expansion not only increases the number of brands the company will represent, it further solidifies the firm’s commitment to offering customers more breadth and depth of quality spirit selections, it says.

Yogi tea company builds new manufacturing facility
Designed to meet increased consumer demand for Yogi’s products as well as prepare for future expansion initiatives, the new Yogi facility is pursuing a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (or LEED) certification, a first for a tea production facility in the nation, the company says.

Icelandic Glacial expands retail presence

Los Angeles-based Icelandic Glacial announced that its sustainably sourced spring water has added thousands of doors in the convenience and grocery channels nationwide. This is in addition to its on-premise growth the company has seen in restaurants and hotels, it says.

US wine exports to China up for the year

U.S. wine exports to China were up 14 percent in value to $38.4 million for the first six months of 2018, January through June, compared with the same time period last year, despite the continued threat of increased China tariffs.

Heineken asks consumers to Celebrate What’s Inside

White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken USA is asking drinkers to see past the trimmings, open a cold Heineken and Celebrate What’s Inside, during the upcoming holiday season, it says. The new national program features TV spots, social media and a limited-edition Magnum (1.5-liter) bottle to share with friends and family, it adds.

BBCo adds Grain & Barrel to distilling program

The Bardstown Bourbon Co. (BBCo), Bardstown, Ky., announced that Grain & Barrel Spirits, the maker of pre-prohibition brand Chicken Cock Whiskey, has joined BBCo’s Collaborative Distilling Program. Grain & Barrel will work with BBCo to produce custom bourbon and whiskey for the Chicken Cock brand, which dates back to 1856. BBCo and Grain & Barrel concluded their first distillation of 616 barrels at the end of August.

Patrón Tequila releases smoky varietal

Patrón Tequila, a brand of Hamilton, Bermuda-based Bacardi Ltd., launched Gran Patrón Smoky, which uses agave that is roasted with mesquite for about seven days in small underground stone pits to craft the artisanal tequila. Gran Patrón Smoky honors traditional production methods dating back hundreds of years, it says. Like all Patrón Tequila, the process for Gran Patrón Smoky begins with the high-quality, 100 percent Weber Blue Agave.

Grant’s announces brand refresh

William Grant & Sons Ltd., North Lanarkshire, United Kingdom, announced a global brand refresh which includes new packaging and a renaming of its signature blend, a refined portfolio and a new direction for its communication’s campaign, the company says.

PepsiCo launches Nutrition Greenhouse program in North America

PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, N.Y., announced the launch of its Nutrition Greenhouse accelerator program in North America, an innovation initiative designed to discover and support emerging brands in the food and beverage sector. The North American program follows the launch of PepsiCo's Nutrition Greenhouse in Europe, now in its second year.

Katherine Lugar to assume top executive role with ABA

The American Beverage Association (ABA), Washington, D.C., announced that Katherine Lugar, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), will join ABA as its new president and CEO later this year. Lugar will succeed Susan K. Neely, who led the ABA for 13 years. Neely was named president and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) in May 2018.

Joy Organics releases CBD Energy Mix

Fort Collins, Colo.-based Joy Organics announced the release of its new zero-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) energy drink mix. The CBD Energy + Focus Energy Drink and Recovery Mix is designed to enhance anyone’s workout plan and provide improved workout recovery, the company says. The CBD Energy + Focus Drink contains 75 mg of caffeine, which helps improve focus and mental clarity, it adds.


Coca-Cola to acquire Costa for $5.1B

The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Costa Ltd., which was founded in London in 1971. The acquisition of Costa from parent company Whitbread PLC is valued at $5.1 billion and will give Coca-Cola a strong coffee platform across parts of Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, with the opportunity for additional expansion, the company says.

Readers name their favorite beverage of July

As Labor Day just marked the official end of summer, consumers still are continuing to try different beverages from their favorite companies. In the Reader’s Choice: New Product of the Month poll for July, the readers selected Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Port Ellen as their favorite product.


L.A. Libations invests in Cave Shake

Los Angeles-based Cave Shake, innovator of a ready-to-drink (RTD) ketogenic shake, announced its partnership with beverage accelerator L.A. Libations.

Birra Moretti announces What's More Italian program

Birra Moretti, a brand of White Plains N.Y.-based Heineken USA, announced that the brand’s What’s More Italian summer program includes a partnership with former "Check, Please!" Host Cat De Orio and Barilla Pasta Executive Chef Lorenzo Boni to encourage legal-drinking-age consumers to enjoy Birra Moretti and Italian cuisine with friends and family at home or at other social get-togethers this summer.

Gene Simmons releases craft sodas

Gene Simmons, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and co-founder of KISS, launched a premium soda line called Money Bag Sodas this month in cooperation with Niagara Falls, N.Y.-based Rock Steady Sodas Inc., a subsidiary of Johnnie Ryan Bottling Co.

La Colombe brings back fall flavors

Philadelphia-based La Colombe Coffee Roasters announced the early release of its seasonal batch of Pumpkin Spice Draft Latte. Made with cold-pressed espresso and fresh milk, then combined with real pumpkin puree and a blend of natural spices, La Colombe Pumpkin Spice Draft Latte is available online, in cafés, and in select retailers nationwide, the company says.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf celebrates back to school

Los Angeles-based The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf introduced limited-edition “Bright Future” Blend Coffee and Tea for the back to school season to benefit local teacher projects. Available in-store and online through Sept. 30, $1 for each sale of the coffee and tea blends will help fund projects at schools around company-owned retail locations in California and Arizona, and participating franchise stores.

Amp Energy Organic encourages the side hustle

Amp Energy Organic, a brand of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc., announced The Search for the Ultimate Side Hustlers Powered by Amp Energy Organic, a national search for the five most unique side hustlers.

Smirnoff partners with popular TV personalities

Smirnoff Vodka, a brand of Diageo North America, Norwalk, Conn., announced its new campaign entitled Welcome to the Fun%, which celebrates good times with a quality product everyone can afford, the company says.

Vintage Wine Estates forms partnership with Jon Sebastiani

Vintage Wine Estates, Santa Rosa, Calif., announced a new partnership with Jon Sebastiani and Sonoma Brands. Sonoma Brands is a food and beverage products incubator and private equity fund led by Sonoma-based Jon Sebastiani. 

PepsiCo, SodaStream enter agreement

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo and Tel Aviv, Israel-based SodaStream International Ltd., announced they have entered into an agreement under which PepsiCo will acquire all outstanding shares of SodaStream for $144 per share in cash, valued at $3.2 billion, the companies said. “PepsiCo and SodaStream are an inspired match,” said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), in a statement. 

WTRMLN WTR adds non-refrigerated line

WTRMLN WTR, Denver, launched WTRMLNSLCE, a non-refrigerated watermelon water that delivers electrolytes with 2 grams of natural sugar from watermelon and no artificial sweeteners, the company says.

Coca-Cola, BODYARMOR enter into agreement

The Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. and Whitestone, N.Y.-based BODYARMOR announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement through which The Coca-Cola Co. will acquire a minority ownership stake in BODYARMOR. Through the agreement, BODYARMOR will have the opportunity to gain access to the Coca-Cola bottling system, enabling the fast-growing brand to accelerate its growth to meet explosive consumer demand for its premium line of sports performance and hydration drinks.

Tampico Flavor Hunt launches in partnership with ‘Trolls’ TV series

Chicago-based Tampico Beverages introduced Tampico Flavor Hunt, an interactive game in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation Television’s Netflix original series “Trolls: The Beat Goes On!” 

S.Pellegrino releases aluminum can format

S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, a brand of Stamford, Conn.-based Nestlé Waters North America, introduced sleek cans to its product lineup.

Distillery offers contract services

Founded in 2013 by local entrepreneurs Pete and Vienna Barger, Southern Distilling Co., Statesville, N.C., offers a broad range of contract distilling services for domestic and foreign brand owners, distilleries and retailers including custom distilling, warehousing, and bottling/packaging services.

Kroger explores options for Turkey Hill business unit

The Kroger Co., Cincinnati, announced that the company is exploring strategic alternatives for its Turkey Hill business, including a potential sale.

Indra Nooyi to end tenure as PepsiCo CEO

After 12 years as chief executive officer (CEO) of PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, N.Y., Indra Nooyi announced that she will step down Oct. 3. Nooyi has been with the company for 24 years. She will remain chairman until early 2019. Following a unanimous election by the Board of Directors, Ramon Laguarta, president of PepsiCo, will assume the CEO position as well as election to the Board of Directors.


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