Most Clicked ABA SmartBrief Stories

1. Pepsi logo appears as a crop circle near Super Bowl site

ABA SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

PepsiCo's marketing push ahead of its Super Bowl halftime show now includes a giant crop circle in a Glendale, Ariz., field near University of Phoenix Stadium. Pepsi has used an otherworldly theme in the buildup to its 30-second commercial and Katy Perry-led halftime show. "We just want to create an out-of-this-world experience," said Simon Lowden, chief marketing officer for North American beverages. Advertising Age (free access for SmartBrief readers) (01/28) New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (01/28)

2. Why "mega" beverage acquisitions may be a thing of the past

ABA SmartBrief | Jan 30, 2015

The Coca-Cola Co.'s $4.1 billion acquisition of Vitamin Water parent Glaceau in 2007 could be the last such "mega-mega" beverage deal the industry will see, writes Michael Burgmaier, managing director at Silverwood Partners. Burgmaier credits the rise of two-step deals, in which a large company makes an initial investment in a smaller brand before buying it further down the road. "The public face of this has been Coca Cola's Venturing & Emerging Brands (VEB) group ... and they used this recipe to acquire Honest Tea and Zico," he writes. (01/27)

3. PepsiCo launches limited distribution of Pepsi True

ABA SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

In an effort to compete with rival Coca-Cola in the naturally-sweetened beverage market, PepsiCo will be launching its Pepsi True brand of stevia-sweetened cola in Minneapolis, Washington and Denver this week, the company announced Monday. Coca-Cola's stevia-sweetened Life product is now distributed nationally, following a limited distribution in August. Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model), The (01/26)

4. Evolving c-store market presents opportunity for healthy beverage brands

ABA SmartBrief | Jan 29, 2015

Shoppers are looking to convenience stores as a place to buy healthy foods and beverages, according to a recent Technomic study that revealed 53% of consumers would be more likely to shop at c-stores if healthier choices were available. Sales of bottled water and sports drinks are on the rise in the category, and more than half of consumers said they are specifically seeking healthier drinks, Technomic said. FoodNavigator (01/28)

5. Qualitative research is key for developing consumer-friendly packaging

ABA SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

Answering the "why" behind what works for new packaging is becoming more and more important because of increasing competition and limited exposure, writes Jerry Thomas, president and chief executive of international marketing research firm Decision Analyst. Qualitative research from consumer sampling to store visits addresses these questions by seeking information in ways that remove bias. Packaging Digest (01/23)

6. Coca-Cola to open innovation center at Georgia Tech

ABA SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

Coca-Cola Enterprises is opening an Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech where the marketer and independent bottler will work on emerging technologies and develop apps to help retailers improve their business. About 20 software developers will work at the center, scheduled to open next month. American City Business Journals (01/28)

7. Green tea extract could boost athletic performance in men, study finds

ABA SmartBrief | Jan 28, 2015

Green tea extract could boost mens' athletic performance by improving metabolic efficiency and economy, according to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The encapsulated, decaffeinated green tea extract also contributed to reduced body fat, researchers found. NutraIngredients (01/27)

8. Coca-Cola hopes to brighten up the Web with its Super Bowl spot

ABA SmartBrief | Jan 27, 2015

Coca-Cola's Super Bowl ad will attempt to bring positive change and happiness to the Internet. Wieden+Kennedy created the spot, which will feature testimonials from teens and celebrities who have experienced negativity on the Web. "The brand is at its best when it expresses a point of view that reinforces its values and represents the cultural times and communities in which our brand lives," said Andy McMillin of Coca-Cola Trademark Brands. Advertising Age (free access for SmartBrief readers) (01/26)

9. Pepsi's head of music seeks authenticity in sponsorships

ABA SmartBrief | Jan 26, 2015

PepsiCo in the coming year hopes to grow its partnerships with emerging music artists while also expanding its big-name sponsorships, says Emma Quigley, who was hired last year in the new position of North American head of music. "Sports and music programs, like any brand partnership, need to feel truly authentic, delivering a message the brand stands for in a way that is truly engaging for the target consumer," Quigley says. Adweek (01/25)

10. Jones Soda rolls out 12th Man bottles for Super Bowl ad campaign

ABA SmartBrief | Jan 30, 2015

As part of an ad campaign supporting the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, Seattle-based Jones Soda will be offering blue-and-green bottles of "12th Man" soda, named after the notoriously loud Seahawks fans. Globe and Mail (Toronto) (tiered subscription model), The (01/30)

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