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Advertising Age ranks Emerald commercial in year’s Top 10 best ads

BY Tara Smith

STOCKTON, Calif. Diamond Foods, a company specializing in culinary nuts and snack products, on Thursday announced that Advertising Age’s Bob Garfield selected its “Natural Energy” commercial as one of the year’s 10 best spots. The commercial for the company’s Emerald product line premiered during the 2007 Super Bowl and features the late Robert Goulet pulling pranks on people with low energy levels during the midday slump, until he is scared away by an alert man bestowed with natural energy from eating Emerald nuts.

“We are excited to have our commercial recognized in Advertising Age as one of the year’s top spots since it effectively blended humor with our message about the healthy energy benefits of nuts,” said Andrew Burke, senior vice president of Marketing, Diamond Foods.

Emerald snacks are the fastest growing snack nut brand in U.S. food stores, according to IRI Food InfoScan data for the 52-week period ended Dec. 2, 2007.

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Survey shows craft beer is the drink of choice this New Year’s Eve

BY Tara Smith

BOSTON Ring in the New Year with a full-flavored craft beer. A recent survey conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media found that men prefer craft beer as their drink of choice when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.

The Samuel Adams Co. suggested making a good house warming gift of its Winter Classics collection or of Samuel Adams Utopias—the world’s strongest beer, with an alcohol content of 27 percent. The beer is meant to be sipped from a snifter glass like a fine port, cognac or sherry. “Beer has been bringing people together for festive occasions long before champagne was even invented,” says Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams. “2007 was a great year for appreciating craft beer, so I’m not surprised that more people will be raising their steins to ring in 2008.”

Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said they’d prefer to be given craft beer as a host/hostess gift. The findings are the result of 315 telephone interviews of U.S. men ages 21-34, conducted from Dec. 13 to Dec. 15, 2007.

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Coke reportedly may buy Honest Tea stake

BY Tara Smith

ATLANTA Coka-cola is close to buying a stake in the boutique tea company Honest Beverages, a Bethesda, Md.-based maker of organic teas and juices under the brand Honest Teas, Beverage Digest reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Coke and Honest Beverages representatives could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

If the Honest move proves true, it could help Coke build up its noncarbonated offerings to better compete with rival Pepsi. Last year, Coke bought Fuze and Glaceau, the maker of Vitaminwater, to strengthen its portfolio in the growing energy drink and water categories.

Honest Tea, founded in 1998, had sales of $23 million in 2007 and has 52 employees. The brand’s teas and juices are sold at Kroger, Target and Whole Foods. The privately held company had total volume of just under 2 million 192-ounce cases in 2006, according to Beverage Digest.

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