Best Global Green Brands 2014

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Starbucks Expands Alcohol-Serving Locations

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2011 12:02 PM

Starbucks has the morning-coffee-run market pretty much locked up, but now it has plans for your afternoon and evenings as well. It has been testing how well beer and wine sales do at five locations in Seattle and one in Portland, Ore., for the last two years and it’s done so well that the company is planning to start offering alcohol at five to seven of its locations by the end of next year, according to the Chicago Sun-Times

In a bid to woo customers in other "dayparts" (read: off-peak hours when office workers are sufficiently caffeinated), its licensed alcohol-serving venues don't serve alcohol until after 2 p.m. each day and would also add such things as almonds and bread with olive oil dip to the food menu.

The first such location appeared in 2009 in Seattle as a concept location bearing a new brand name, 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea, the Seattle Times reports, and then reverted to the Starbucks name.

"It's something our customers have really been responding to," said spokesman Alan Hilowitz to the Times. "They want to sit and relax, and maybe one person wants to have coffee and the other wants beer or wine. People also can go out after work without having to go to a bar, and people who are underage can go and have a cup of coffee instead."Continue reading...

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"Halal Whisky" Brand ArKay Launches

Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 2, 2011 05:30 PM

Islamic law forbids the use of alcohol — and that means about a quarter of the world's population cannot enjoy the taste of whisky. At least not until now.

Enter ArKay — the world's first alcohol-free whisky-flavored beverage that has been halal-certified (halal signifies the substance in permissible under Islamic law).

The brand came about when a group of friends were drinking and sharing ideas, according to Zeshan Ahmed, VP of Sales for Arkay Beverages. "They felt there was a hole in the beverage market that needed to be filled with something like this," Ahmed told brandchannel. "They were looking for a flavor that would be well known and universal. The flavor of whisky came to mind. It took five years to develop the rich flavor and smell that is the trademark of ArKay."Continue reading...

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Founding Fathers Brew For A Cause

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 25, 2011 04:17 PM

A new brew is on the shelves in Minnesota and North Dakota and headed to the isles of another dozen or so states early next year. The beer brand is Founding Fathers, and like those guys, it's patriotic beyond the norm.

But will its pedigree cause conflict with another similarly-named beer?Continue reading...

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Absolut Celebrates 30 Years' History With The LGBT Community

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 10, 2011 05:55 PM

Absolut Vodka Cut, above, is just the latest in a series of the Swedish brand’s embrace of the LGBT community which dates back to 1981, before it was fashionable.

Starting with ads in The Advocate and After Dark, and extending to charitable and cause-related donations and outdoor advertising, Absolut is marking its three-decade relationship with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community with a yearlong anniversary campaign, “Absolut Outrageous” (“Out” appears in pink), featuring the tagline: “Celebrating 30 years of going out and coming out.”

Now that it’s popular, established marketers like Procter & Gamble, Unilever, General Motors, Macy’s, Campbell Soup, Orbitz, PepsiCo and American Airlines are all on the LGBT bandwagon. But Absolut was the “first big brand to commit to and pursue the market” by being “the first continuously present major brand in gay media,” said Michael Wilke, former executive director of the Commercial Closet Association, now senior U.S. consultant for Out Now Consulting.Continue reading...

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Dan Aykroyd Can Finally Drink His Own Vodka in his Home Province

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 24, 2011 01:05 PM

When Canadian-born actor/comedian Dan Aykroyd decided to start selling his own alcoholic beverages four years ago, starting with launching a wine brand, he likely never imagined that he wouldn’t be able to drink one of his own products in his own hometown.

Then along came Crystal Head vodka, which he started selling in the U.S. in 2009 for $50 a pop and packaged it in a skull-shaped bottle. Brilliant marketing, right? Well, yes, except that it meant that Aykroyd couldn’t sell the stuff in his own home province due to a ruling by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario that it was in violation of the board’s social-responsibility rules, according to thedrinksbusiness.com blog.

“The image of the human skull is the thing that’s really problematic for us,” LCBO spokesman Chris Layton said at the time of the ban, according to the website. “It’s an image that’s commonly associated with death, which is especially problematic at a time when there are concerns around binge drinking by younger adults.”Continue reading...

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Ciroc and Roll: Diddy Apologizes for Cooking Grey Goose

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 7, 2011 05:29 PM

Among hip-hopreneur Diddy’s many pressing responsibilities to furthering the brand of himself is as a “brand ambassador” of Ciroc vodka. So when he sees someone sipping on some other brand, he’s got to, you know, let them in on the secret that his vodka might be better than theirs.

Diddy recently did just this in an Atlanta nightclub when he noticed an attendee drinking Grey Goose vodka, an archrival. It didn’t help him that the whole thing, like everything else these days, was captured on video and soon uploaded to YouTube where anyone in the world (who doesn’t live in a totalitarian government state) can witness his suggestion. But even he now admits he came across a little too strongly.Continue reading...

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Bud Friends America: Anheuser-Busch Putting Cash into U.S.

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 7, 2011 11:31 AM

Anheuser-Busch may be owned by the Belgium company InBev, but that doesn’t mean it’s forgotten the country of its origin: the US of A.

In case you hadn’t noticed, things have been a little tight on the financial front for most folks recently so the brewer is doing something that could help all Americans in one way or another — investing “more than $1 billion in its breweries and other facilities nationwide that will support the growth of its brands and reinforce its commitment to local U.S. communities where it operates.”

"Our beer brands are the favorites of millions of U.S. adults, and supporting their growth requires an ongoing commitment to quality, innovation and technologically advanced operations," stated Luiz Edmond, president of Anheuser-Busch InBev North America, in a press release. "Our employees, local leaders and communities where we operate are a part of our success, and we are pleased to make business investments that are good for all of our stakeholders."

A lot of the dollars spent also help the company go greener at many of its breweries.Continue reading...

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Fortune Brands Ditches Name for a Shot of Beam

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 4, 2011 05:01 PM

They say to never mix business with pleasure but it’s been working for the folks at Jim Beam since 1795.

It’s been working so well, in fact, that Fortune Brands ditched its non-liquor-related businesses and changed its name to Beam Inc. on Tuesday, when it began trading under its new moniker on the New York Stock Exchange.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Beam president and CEO Matt Shattock celebrated the change Monday in the Bluegrass State, where the company will build “the company’s global research and development center,” according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Shattock also “unveiled a new logo for the company," whose execs will ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Friday to celebrate its new public identity.Continue reading...

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