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Arizona partners with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal for new soda line

BY Jason Owen

CHICAGO — Arizona Beverages has teamed up with former NBA All-Star and champion Shaquille O’Neal to launch an all-natural cream soda line. Soda Shaq has hit the market in Arizona’s single-serve 23.5oz. can from Rexam.

Soda Shaq contains real vanilla from Madagascar, is sweetened with pure cane sugar and has just 90 calories per serving. Like all Arizona products, it is made with no artificial colors or preservatives and is available in Original Vanilla Cream, Orange Cream, Blueberry Cream and Strawberry Cream flavors.

"We are excited to expand our offerings to include a great carbonated beverage innovation based on a soda shop classic," said Don Vultaggio, chairman of Arizona Beverages. "With nearly a third less calories than the competition, Soda Shaq’s great-tasting and all-natural cream sodas are perfect for consumers looking for variety. And through our continued partnership with Rexam, we are bringing them to market in another great version of our iconic big cans."

The new can designs include the tagline "A Big Can for the Big Man" and prominently feature O’Neal’s likeness.

Rich Grimley, president and CEO, Rexam BCNA, says, "As the industry leader in 24oz. ‘big’ can production, we continue to grow our relationship with Arizona Beverages, supporting this brand extension with an ideal packaging choice that delivers superior recycling and environmental benefits as well as filling and distribution economics."

Soda Shaq is currently available at retailers nationwide at a suggested retail price of $.99 per can. For more information on this or any other Arizona product, please visit www.drinkarizona.com.


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Walgreens selected by CMS to be an enteral nutrition provider in most competitive-bidding areas

BY Michael Johnsen

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Beginning July 1, Walgreens will serve as a Medicare Contract Supplier by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries requiring enteral nutrition (i.e., tube feeding) in 97 of 100 competitive-bidding areas nationwide, the pharmacy operator recently announced. 

“We’re pleased to have been chosen to continue to serve Medicare beneficiaries in competitive bidding areas coast to coast,” stated Paul Mastrapa, president of Walgreens Infusion and Respiratory Services. “Walgreens is well-positioned to continue making a meaningful difference in patient lives by delivering high-quality, personalized patient care. Walgreens has high rates of patient satisfaction and safety.”

The competitive bidding program launched the first nine metropolitan areas in 2011 and is expanding to 91 more areas beginning July 1. Requirements for the bidding program were established by the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 and modified based on the subsequent Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. The contracts will be up for re-bid every three years. Those awarded the bids must comply with Medicare enrollment rules, be licensed and accredited and meet financial standards, Walgreens noted.


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FIT’s beauty industry think tank presents research, digital imperatives for industry

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — The Fashion Institute of Technology’s beauty industry think tank unveiled "disruptive" visions for the future of consumer product marketing as it relates to digital analytics, digital marketing and digital commerce during a Beiersdorf North America-sponsored presentation Wednesday at FIT in New York City.

(Andrew Videira of Beiersdorf digital marketing team at FIT Capstone)

The presentation, titled “Beauty in a Digital World,” was presented by candidates for the Master of Professional Studies degree in the college’s Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management program. The graduating class annually presents research and forward-thinking predictions and proposals to the industry.

Joe Rospars, chief digital strategist for president Barack Obama’s election and reelection campaign, and founder and CEO of Blue State Digital, gave a keynote address.

This year’s research was conducted in conjunction with Google and with contributions from global digital technology and business experts, with the support of event sponsor, Beiersdorf North America.

"Beiersdorf was honored to serve as this year’s title sponsor of the FIT Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management graduate program," stated Bill Graham, president of Beiersdorf North America.  "Not only did we celebrate the graduation of two of our company’s brightest managers, we supported a one-of-a-kind program that promotes innovation and unprecedented collaboration within our highly competitive industry. Digital marketing is at the core of our brand campaigns. We look forward to implementing some of the great thinking and research findings to continue growing our brands."

Predictions from the Research:

  • Leveraging artificial intelligence, facial recognition, and predictive analytics technology will revolutionize the in-store experience by completely personalizing it;
  • Motion-activated technology will allow consumers to virtually browse aisles of products located anywhere in the world and make purchases directly from interactive screens in their homes;
  • "Beauty on Demand" will utilize image-, sound- and video-capture technologies to allow consumers to shop for anything, anywhere – with just one click. The street becomes the new shopping mall;
  • Micro-targeting, enabled by data and technology, will allow brands to create highly personalized communications. The result, micro-engagement, will increase individual consumer lifetime value for brands;
  • ROL is the new ROI. Return on learnings (ROL) will replace return on investments (ROI) as a new real-time metric to track and drive brand value;
  • Sensors will be molded into product packaging to track actual consumer usage behavior.

A synopsis of the three key areas:

Digital Analytics: 
With a focus on six key areas of impact for big data, this study shows how digital analytics will help grow the beauty industry’s data-centricity and customer personalization. The white paper develops ways that big data can identify new customer needs, validate concepts, increase nnovation, optimize inventory distribution, track consumption and diversion, and build stronger customer relationships. These categories are applied to a new product launch model called Beauty 2020.

Digital Marketing: 
The power of micro-targeting and micro-engagement in a micro-marketing world is captured in a new media framework called m^3, which highlights marketing’s evolution from sending the same message to all consumers to individualized, personalized outreach conducted in real time on multiple platforms. The study lays out what it takes to succeed in today’s micro-marketing, zero-friction environment, sharing the advances required in media, metrics, and management to win with m^3 marketing.

Digital Commerce
: Using a high tech, high touch new business model that conveys the fluid cycle of commerce, this study explores what it takes to succeed in digital commerce. Its analysis of convenience, curation, and customization provides insights into how consumers will be able to make purchases from anywhere and how brands can sell everywhere. The immediacy of "Beauty on Demand" creates infinite points of sale and instant gratification for customers.


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