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Cargill moving forward with natural sweetener launch

BY Jenna Duncan

NEW YORK Cargill yesterday announced that it will begin its roll-out of Truvia, the zero-calorie, natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant. The company said that it will have Truvia on retailers’ shelves across the nation by this fall.

Truvia is a natural sweetening additive created from leaves of the stevia shrub, an herb that is native to Paraguay. Cargill and Coca-Cola have plans to use Truvia as a sweetener in foods and beverages from breakfast cereal, to soft drinks, yogurts and snack bars, company spokespersons said. Truvia is slated to bring heavy competition against other calorie-free sweeteners, such as Equal, Splenda and Sweet ‘N Low.

Truvia will be available at Manhattan chain D’Agostino first, and will then extend out to other nationwide grocers and big box retailers, Cargill’s Truvia vice president and business director, Steve Snyder, said.

Single-serving, green-and-white Truvia packets will be available in 40-count boxes with a suggested retail price of $3.99.

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Coca-Cola gives away free Coke Zero to celebrate NASCAR racers, fans

BY Jenna Duncan

Even though no member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family took the flag at the Coke Zero 400 Saturday, July 5, Coca-Cola has said that it will still give away 20 oz. bottles of Coke Zero for free.

The announcement was made by Kyle Petty, one of the founding members of the Coca-Cola Racing Family following the race.

According to the company, U.S. residents ages 13 years and older may visit www.cokezero.com through July 13 and follow the instructions to receive a coupon for a free 20-ounce bottle of Coke Zero. The coupons will be redeemable through Sept. 1.

Additionally, Coke Zero announced that it will donate $1 to the Victory Junction Gang Camp per each of the first 10,000 people who log on to request a free coupon.

Coke Zero currently holds a market share of 1.5 percent, making it the only sparkling beverage brand out of more than 300, launched since 2001, to surpass and maintain at least a 1 percent market share.

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PepsiCo cmo resigns

BY Jenna Duncan

PURCHASE, N.Y. Pepsi-Cola North America has announced that its senior vice president, chief marketing officer, Cie Nicholson, last week stepped down.

Nicholson, known for overseeing Sierra Mist and launching Mountain Dew Code Red in 2001, has been PepsiCo’s marketing chief since 2005. She is slated to stand out her term until the end of July, reports said.

According to media sources, Nicholson has said that she is looking forward to taking some time off. Meanwhile, no replacement has been named for her post.

Nicholson’s current responsibilities include overseeing the advertising, brand development, grassroots marketing, media, promotions and sports divisions at PepsiCo North America for carbonated and non-carbonated beverages.

Her previous post was as vice president non-carbonated beverages and vice president carbonated soft drink flavors. Prior to coming to PepsiCo, Nicholson worked on the relaunch of Winston cigarettes for R.J. Reynolds.

Sources said that PepsiCo North America’s media spending has been lessened in the last five years about 39 percent to $254.4 million. New York-based Omnicom Group currently handles PepsiCo’s advertising and public relations.

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