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Coca-Cola, Nielsen team up to analyze soft drink trends worldwide

BY Jenna Duncan

PHOENIX The Nielsen Company yesterday announced it will join forces with Coca-Cola to provide integrated marketing services to the beverage maker in more than 70 markets around the globe.

Nielsen will provide Coca-Cola with services and information on trends and consumer spending patterns, as well as use of Nielsen Answers, a technology-based business intelligence program developed by the marketing research giant. The companies said that extending the partnership will help Coca-Cola chart its brands relative to competition, and synthesize consumer opinions and data.

“This is truly a win-win,” Mark Greatrex, senior vice president of Still Beverages [Coca-Cola] told the media. “At Coca-Cola, we benefit from increased productivity, improved market insights and cost savings as we continue to grow our business. With our Nielsen partners, we’ve forged an impactful and collaborative relationship that will only help us continue our success—across the globe.”

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Boo Koo works with Coca-Cola to launch beverage

BY Jenna Duncan

ADDISON, Texas Boo Koo Holdings beverage company today announced it will collaborate with Coca-Cola Bottling Co. to release its new beverage, BooKoo Burner+. Coke Consolidated plans to distribute BooKoo Burner+ to more than 2,000 convenience stores in and around Mobile, Ala., Nashville, Tenn., and Panama City, Fla.

BooKoo Burner+ is an energy drink with added protein as well as B vitamins, caffeine, ginseng and taurine for energy. Its protein source is 20 grams of whey protein per serving. The beverage also boasts zero sugar and provides two carbohydrates.

“The launch of BooKoo Burner [plus] through one of the largest bottlers represents a significant opportunity to rapidly penetrate the energy beverage market,” Steve Solomon, chairman of Boo Koo, said. “BooKoo Burner [plus] is a revolutionary development for the energy drink category. In the past, some people drank an energy drink as well as a not so good tasting protein drink. BooKoo has mastered the formula to provide both energy and protein in a great tasting beverage.”

BooKoo Burner+ will be available in three flavors: “dangerine” [raspberry with a blend of tangerine], “main lime,” and “pummelgranite” [pomegranate blended with blackberry]. All flavors will come in 16-ounce cans.

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New York announces cigarette tax hike

BY Jenna Duncan

ALBANY, N.Y. A statewide hike in cigarette taxes effective today drove the price of cigarettes in New York up $1.25 spike per pack. Officials said that the influx will bring an additional $265 million to the state in tax revenue per year.

Officials predicted that total cigarette taxes should generate about $1.3 billion for the state in fiscal 2008-2009.

New York health commissioner Richard Daines said, “This is a public health victory. We know one of the really effective tools to get people off of their nicotine addiction is to the raise the price.”

The total state tax per pack is set at $2.75, up from $1.50. Previously, the statewide average price per pack was $5.82, but that average l is slated to go up to $8. In most retail stores in New York City, smokers should expect to pay about $10 per pack.

Daines said officials estimated that approximately 140,000 New Yorkers will stop smoking due to the tax increase.

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