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china

The Week in China: Apple's Relationship Status, Taobao Cows, Smog Detectors and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on December 13, 2013 02:43 PM

China is the second largest economy in the world and every significant brand's future is impacted by its growth (or collapse)—but who's got the time?! Here's the week's reads that will make you look like a keen China observer in case you find yourself immersed in a cultural conversation.

This week: Apple and China Mobile sitting in a tree… Xiaomi expands… Mustangs appear… retail boom… WeChat, WhatsApp and now Yixin… smog, smog and more smog makes for new business… Carlsberg buys breweries… Marie France leaves… Swiss watch woes… Taobao livestock… and more.Continue reading...

cola wars

Low-Calorie Coke Coming in 2014, But Will America Drink It?

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 10, 2013 12:11 PM

Coca-Cola rolled out a new soda this past summer in Argentina called Coca-Cola Life and the word on the street is that it is coming to America in 2014.

With about half the calories of regular Coke and sweetened with sugar and stevia in partnership with Cargill, Life “would be the first time the natural sweetener would be used in (Coke’s) flagship brand in the US,” according to DNAIndia.com. As of now, Coke uses stevia in America “in some non-carbonated drinks and in its Fanta brand.”

As Ad Age points out, both Coke and Pepsi have significant investment in the sugar-substitute market. Coke has been experimenting with stevia while Pepsi’s scientists “in collaboration with San Diego-based biotech firm Senomyx, is in the late stages of developing a ‘taste modifier’ that would essentially fool taste buds into thinking they are getting more sugar than delivered.” That modifier goes by the very catchy name of S617. Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: BlackBerry, Kellogg, American Airlines and more

Posted by Dale Buss on November 4, 2013 09:02 AM

In the News

BlackBerry sale to Fairfax falls apart as $1 billion in funding is secured, CEO Thorsten Heins steps down and shares plunge.

Kellogg plans to trim 7% of workforce by 2017 as part of global restructuring.

American Airlines and US Airways merger cleared in US, but only with broad divestitures.

AB InBev sees strong growth for Budweiser in Russia.

Alcatel-Lucent seeks to raise $2 billion for turnaround plan.

Apple's gold iPhone 5s continues flying off shelves, while Apple CEO Tim Cook backs LGBT anti-discrimination bill.

Billabong sells Canadian retail chain West 49.

Chevron pumps up spending to boost production.

Dr Pepper finds formula to Facebook success.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Jack Daniel’s Bottle Battle, Johnnie Walker Wears Gold, Molson's Weather Intuition and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 25, 2013 07:17 PM

Jack Daniel’s Launches Bottle Battle with Little Whiskey Brand

When liquor buyers go looking for a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, they know what they’re looking for: a squared-off chunk of glass with the black label and the trusty No. 7. The famed distiller, though, is a bit concerned that shoppers are going to be confused by a new whiskey on the shelf: Popcorn Sutton's Tennessee White Whiskey.

Sutton’s originally marketed its whiskey in Mason jars in honor of the moonshiner who created it, but the brand switched its packaging recently to a bottle that is “square shaped with angled shoulders and beveled corners, with white-on-black labeling color schemes,” the Associated Press reports. The lawyers at Jack Daniel’s have taken notice and filed suit, claiming they've cornered the market on square whiskey.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Dogfish Head’s Moon Brew, Bud’s Packaging Fail, Wine Biz Gets Corona Boost and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 4, 2013 06:45 PM

Dogfish Head Gets Spaced Out

Delaware brewery Dogfish Head is always up for experiments. Its latest is a small-batch Oktoberfest ale, Celest-jewel-ale, that features an ingredient probably never used before in the brewing process: moon dust. 

According to Fox News, Dogfish made a deal with ILC Dover, which produces spacesuits for NASA, in order to have access to “lunar meteorites” that it ground up and put into the brew like a big teabag.

Much more experimental than that, though, is the brewery’s plan to open a 16-room, beer-themed hotel. It’ll open next year about 11 miles from the brewery, Eater.com reports. Each room will have its own micro-fridges and beer glasses as well as a bottle opener on the wall.

In the spirit of inventiveness, Dogfish has also created a little gadget known as the Randall Jr. that allows consumers to infuse their own beers with interesting ingredients and flavorings. At Dogfish, the brewers want everyone to catch the creativity bug.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Target, Angie's List, Burger King and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2013 09:33 AM

In the News

Target launches own pre-paid mobile brand. 

Angie's List cuts prices and pursues new members.

Burger King "changes name" in social media posts.

Audi plans to boost booming European subcompact market with Q1, report says.

BMW puts South Africa expansion plans on hold after labor strikes.

BP wins partial reprieve from oil-spill payments.

Budweiser fails to maintain buzz with its iconic packaging, report says.

Chrysler cuts Viper output amid slow sales.

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are assailed by Oxfam over "land grabbing" in supply chains.

Filippo Berio launches largest-ever ad campaign.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Heineken Aims for Second Screens, Walmart Wants to Be the King of Beers and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 20, 2013 06:13 PM

Heineken Aims for Second Screens

According to Heineken, 70 percent of fans watching the UEFA Champions League soccer matches are doing so at home with a tablet, and 77 percent of tablet owners have their devices nearby during games, so why not take advantage of that? 

Heineken is looking to spur more tablet usage during European matches by offering up big-name soccer stars to chat with during games. Dutch legend Ruud Gullit will be the first to take part in the #sharethesofa campaign with more headliners to follow.

According to Mashable, those who tweet #sharethesofa will also be elligible for prizes, including earning the company of two soccer stars who will join them on their own couch to watch a match.Continue reading...

cocktail hour

All the News You Can Drink: Dom's New Balloon-Inspired Bottle, Hello Kitty Beer and more

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 13, 2013 05:46 PM

Jeff Koons Teams with Dom Perignon on New Bottle

It’ll cost you millions to get an original piece of art by Jeff Koons, but a Koons-designed bottle of Dom Perignon will only set you back $20,000. The company turned to the artist two years ago to create a new bottle design, along with gift boxes and a bottle holder. Koons eventually turned out a design inspired by his famous Balloon Venus sculpture, according to the New York Observer.

“Its color is deep, with light amber and copper tints,” the brand said in a statement, according to HauteLiving.com. “The wine’s bouquet erupts theatrically from its silken fleshy body, just as the sculpture’s reflective surface envelop the viewing in a dynamic invitation to tasting.” 

The bottle was unveiled this week in New York City, attracting A-listers who just happened to be in town for Fashion Week, including Martha Stewart, Carmelo Anthony, Eve, Maya Lin, Ted Allen and Donna Karan, among many others, Wine Spectator reports.Continue reading...

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