sip on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 11, 2012 01:11 PM
A Tokyo pop-up has taken the Starbucks retail store concept to a futuristic, minimalist place that could shake up the java giant's global development team to rethink everything they hold dear about the brand.
Inspired by coffee-lovers' penchant for reading while sipping, Japanese design studio Nendo created a "Starbucks Espresso Journey" pop-up that looks, on the surface, like a monochromatic library — until you notice the rows of tumblers and the subtle take on Starbucks' wordless logo. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves comprised the curved interior walls as customers perused custom-made books in nine different hues, each about a different type of espresso drink - lattes, cappuccinos or café mochas.
The desaturated shop was installed in September in the Omotesando neighborhood and open for three weeks. Visitors were invited to choose a book, take it to the counter and trade it for an espresso drink. They could also keep the book cover to insert into one of Starbucks’ customizable tumblers. It's visually stunning and upends every expectation we bring to the Starbucks brand experience, to be sure, but still — a library?Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 8, 2012 06:25 PM
When Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly faced off Saturday in a mock debate, the topic of whether the government should decide what size soda consumers should drink was brought up and summarily dismissed, but there are plenty of other folks — like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who aren’t letting the issue go.
The just-passed law that Bloomberg pushed to help keep New Yorkers healthy by making it illegal to sell sodas larger than 16 oz. in many New York establishments will go into effect on March 12. And Bloomberg isn’t alone. A soda-tax measure was put on the ballot in Richmond, California, that would discourage consumers from drinking soda and collect money through a soda tax “for neighborhood gardens, recreation and other youth projects that would help fight childhood obesity,” BeyondChron.com reports.
Sick of being called a bad guy in the war against obesity, the American Beverage Association (and the soda giants it represents) today launched a "Calories Count" vending machine program that will start being distributed in the new year. The ABA's new initiative will help consumers identify lower-calorie sodas in vending machines by placing soda calorie counts right on the buttons of vending machines.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2012 02:17 PM
Now that PepsiCo has begun marketing in its flagship Pepsi brand in a much more significant way this year, investors, analysts and other pundits are giving PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi the benefit of the doubt as she continues to unfold her strategy for making the company a major player in better-for-you markets rather than just a traditional purveyor of snack foods and soda beverages. From Australia to India, from vending machines to sweeteners to ad agencies, PepsiCo is pushing to innovate.
Case in point: PepsiCo just announced a pilot rollout of its Pepsi Interactive Vending machine pilot program, allowing consumers in a handful of U.S. locations to not only buy a beverage, but also send virtual gifts, play games and even charge their mobile devices. In addition to buying a Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist Natural, Aquafina or Lipton Green Tea, users can also gift a 20-ounce bottled beverage to a friend by entering the recipient's name and email along with a personalized message. That person, in turn, can send a gift back to the gift-giver — or pay it forward by sending their own gift to another friend.
The next-generation social vending machine is "part of a broader global platform of equipment innovation we're developing to engage consumers," stated Mikel Durham, PepsiCo's Global Growth officer. "The pilot launch of our Interactive Vending equipment is an exciting step in transforming the point-of-purchase experience," added Margery Schelling, the company's Global Innovation officer.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 5, 2012 10:31 AM
Starbucks is facing increasing competition from all quarters, including Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's, so the giant of the coffee biz is hoping to increase its market share with innovative new products and brand extensions, with a major focus on mobile going forward.
On the brand extension front, the java giant just started selling its single-serve coffee and espresso maker Verismo online. The caffeinated masses are apparently into it. Cliff Burrows, president of the Americas for Starbucks, says that sales of the machine have “exceeded expectations.” Starbucks is now rolling the product out to 4,300 stores and should finish having them in place in the next few weeks.
“Innovation is so important to us,” Burrows told the Houston Chronicle. “In 2009 we introduced ready-brew instant coffee. This summer we introduced Refreshers, energy drinks made from green coffee extract. We make them hand-crafted, sell them in cans and as instant beverages. Our innovation is ongoing.”Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on October 2, 2012 10:02 AM
Brands keep trying to find pathways into a beverage segment that keeps growing during tight financial times even though it's pricey: energy drinks and energy shots.
Celestial Seasonings is bringing one of the latest innovations to the category: energy shots that are "all-natural," as befitting the better-for-you pedigree of the tea brand that has been owned by natural-foods leader Hain for the last several years.
Enerji Green Tea Energy Shots expand on Celestial Seasonings' earlier launch in in the category, Kombucha Energy Shots, which are based on the appeal of cultured kombucha drinks to foodies.
"We felt we had an ideal brand for this category because of the long-term trust in our brand and the high-quality ingredients we could come in with," Blake Waltrip, CMO for Celestial Seasonings, told brandchannel.
Energji features green tea, B-vitamins and ginseng, common ingredients to "natural" energy drinks, and come in three flavors: Berry, Citrus and Pomegranate Xtreme. "We're extending into links that have logical ties back to the core of what the Celestial Seasonings brand is all about," Waltrip said.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 20, 2012 10:01 AM
Green Mountain Coffee is in a pot of trouble. And that's even before Starbucks introduces Verismo, its own single-serve brewing system for consumers that's rolling out in October (and already available on Verismo.com), to challenge the iconic K-Cup system by Green Mountain that features its Keurig pods.
The brand has been a darling of consumers for several years, on a continued growth tear as K-Cups led a revolution in how Americans consume much of their coffee by making the single-serve system de rigeur in homes and offices. The company fed strong double-digit sales growth by continuing to proliferate the types of pods, to include "iced" drinks and juices as well as coffees and teas.
Green Mountain also had been a darling of investors seeking to cash in on a boom that, for the six years after the Vermont-based company acquired Keurig, managed to thrive without attracting the competitive interest of Starbucks.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 19, 2012 06:34 PM
Coca-Cola’s "Open Happiness" global marketing campaign kicked off in January 2009, when Cee Lo Green and Janelle Monae appeared in a music video that exclusively debuted on FOX's American Idol.
A year later, the "Open Happiness" theme took a tangible, and unforgettable form — a vending machine that appeared in the common room of St. John’s University in New York. It was rigged to dispense flowers, pizza and a six-foot sub resulting in a viral swish of happiness, generating more than 1 million views in the first week and still attracting comments 2 million views later.
The campus Coke machine stunt migrated to London, and morphed into a Hug Machine at the National University of Singapore in a gestural marketing stunt where a squeeze yielded a soda. Since then the Coca-Cola Happiness machine has popped up in local activations around the world, in markets including India, Buenos Aires, Indonesia, Tokyo, Istanbul for a special Valentine's Day stunt, and back to Singapore, this time promoting recycling in June.Continue reading...
sip on this
Posted by Dale Buss on September 13, 2012 06:06 PM
To no one's surprise, the New York City Board of Health approved on Thursday a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, street cars and movie theaters. It was the first restriction of its kind and scale in the country.
It also surprised no one that Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the spiritual father and political force behind the ban, quickly hailed the enactment of his brainchild. "NYC's sugary drink policy is the single biggest step any gov't has taken to curb obesity," he stated. "It will help save lives." The Mayor's Office also released statements of support, along with the news that the new Barclays Center will comply.
The measure will take effect in six months unless the American soft-drink industry manages to get some judge to overturn it. Of course, there's always the possibility that popular sentiment could turn heavily against the ban and result in political pressure that would cause its reversal. But no one is betting on that.
"This is not the end," Eliot Hoff, a spokesman for New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, an industry-financed group opposed to the ban, commented in a statement to the New York Times. "We are exploring legal options, and all other avenues available to us." The coalition's chairwoman, Liz Berman, also released a video statement reiterating that stance.Continue reading...