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CodeBlue functional beverage introduced to specialty health retailers

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — CodeBlue was unveiled last week at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore as the company behind CodeBlue transitioned the brand from the club circuit to the specialty health channel.

According to the company, the all-natural beverage has the electrolyte replenishment of a sports drink, as well as the antioxidants and vitamins found in enhanced water. CodeBlue is derived from fruit extracts, naturally sweetened and available in four flavored varieties — blueberry pomegranate, strawberry melon, peach mandarin and meyer lemon.

"Between working, everyday stress and fitness regimens, we found there was nothing on the shelves that encouraged proper hydration and recovery," CodeBlue cofounder Steven Frumin said. "In 2008, we created CodeBlue, working with a team of scientists and testing hundreds of different formulas. Listening to the needs and feedback of consumers and retailers in New York and New England, CodeBlue evolved into a cross-functional beverage complete with optimal nutrient levels while promoting great taste. It surpasses single function performance or hydration drinks and our own expectations."

The first generation of CodeBlue was developed in 2008 by friends who attended college in Boston. Priming for national distribution, the company recently hired Eric Schnell as managing partner.

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Mars gets ready for 2012 with new products

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO — Mars Chocolate North America is expanding its portfolio with new varieties and snack sizes for some of its brands.

The products, which were unveiled at the National Association of Convenience Stores Show in Chicago this week, will include:

  • 3 Musketeers coconut bar: Debuting in December for a suggested retail price of $1.09;

  • Dove chocolate singles bars (available in milk and dark chocolate): Relaunching in a wider size (10% increase in weight) in Jan. 2012 for a suggested retail price of $1.09;

  • M&M’s mint dark chocolate candies: Debuting in December for a suggested retail price of $1.09;

  • M&M’s snack mix, available in three varieties: Debuting in May 2012 in 8-oz. resealable pouches for a suggested retail price of $3.29;

  • Snickers 3X Chocolate 2 to Go bars: Debuting in December for a suggested retail price of $1.69;

  • Dove Bar mint swirl ice cream with dark chocolate: Debuting in March 2012 for a suggested retail price of $3.99;

  • Milky Way chocolate ice cream bars: Debuting in March 2012 for a suggested retail price of $1.79 (single bar), $4.29 (six-packs), $4.29 (80-calories miniature bars in a 12-pack).

New shareable sizes will be available for the following products:

  • M&M’s almond chocolate candies;

  • M&M’s pretzel chocolate candies; and

  • Snickers Peanut Butter Squared bars.

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Blue Diamond moves ahead with expansion plans

BY Allison Cerra

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Blue Diamond, known for its almond-based food products, announced that it is moving ahead with its expansion strategy by purchasing 88 acres of land in Turlock, Calif.

Blue Diamond said the Turlock location will help the company meet its increasing global market opportunities and crop supply. The capacity expansion plan includes ongoing operations at the Sacramento and Salida, Calif.-based plants with upgrades planned at both facilities.

"The unprecedented growth in our Blue Diamond consumer brand and ingredient business requires us to expand our capacity beyond our Sacramento and Salida operations," Blue Diamond president and CEO Mark Jansen said. "The California almond crop has doubled over the last decade. Global demand continues to climb: 2010 crop shipments exceeded previous shipments by 14% for a five-year annual growth rate of 13%. This plan will provide the capacity we need to grow as global markets expand and U.S. consumers demand more nutritional almond products."

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