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Dr Pepper adds another flavor to its stable of diet soft drinks

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas Cadbury Schweppes is set to premiere a new beverage for one of its biggest brands.

The beverage maker will be rolling out Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper, the third flavor extension in the brand’s history.

The new beverage combines the taste of Diet Dr Pepper with a sweet cherry dipped in luscious chocolate. The drink contains no calories or carbohydrates.

Dr. Pepper’s first brand extension, Cherry Vanilla, launched in 2004, was the company’s most successful product introduction in more than a decade and was followed by the wildly popular Dr Pepper Berries and Cream, the company said.

Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper will be available for a limited time only.

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Coca-Cola debuts new “Coke Side of Life” advertising for the holidays

BY Tara Smith

ATLANTA Coca-Cola is kicking off the holiday festivities this year with new advertising highlighting family and friends throughout the world.

A new television ad, called “At The Table,” will make its global debut, airing during select family programming such as ESPN and ABC’s college football broadcasts during Thanksgiving weekend, and on ABC’s Nov. 30 broadcast of “The Polar Express.” The ad is the latest addition to the critically acclaimed “Coke Side of Life” campaign created by Wieden and Kennedy.

The ad builds on other recent efforts by Coca-Cola to highlight the importance of family meal time. Another new 30-second spot, titled “Around The Table,” currently is running in several local U.S. Markets and will begin airing nationally in January.

“Coca-Cola has always brought people together. Each of these ‘Coke Side of Life’ ads is about friends and families connecting and sharing,” said Katie Bayne, chief marketing officer of Coca-Cola North America. “There is now considerable research that shows the tangible benefits of sharing meals together. We understand and believe in the value of coming together—during the holidays and every day.”

The popular “Arctic Beach Party” ad will return for the 2007 holiday season, as well. Over the years, the Coca-Cola polar bears have come to represent the fun and togetherness that friends and family share, especially during the holiday season. In addition to the Coca-Cola polar bears reappearance for the holidays, the famous Coca-Cola Sundblom Santa will begin appearing in out-of-home advertising in cities around the U.S. this week.

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It’s Miller Time for Grolsch

BY Tara Smith

LONDON London-based beer giant SABMiller on Monday announced its offer of $1.2 billion for Dutch brewer Grolsch, which is still sold in bottles with a ceramic stopper.

SABMiller, whose brands include Miller Lite in the United States, is betting beer drinkers will be willing to pay more for the Dutch beer, brewed in Enschede, Netherlands. The company is following in the consolidation trend of other big beer groups, including Amsterdam-based Heineken, which added diversity in its portfolio by acquiring local or niche brands and applying its marketing and distribution clout to serve the brew to a wider audience. “Grolsch fills an important gap in our portfolio, which lacks northern European brands,” SABMiller Marketing Director Nick Fell told analysts during a conference call.

Although Grolsch has wide global name recognition, 75 percent of its sales are still in the Netherlands, meaning there is a lot of potential for the brand in the international market. Grolsch shares with Heineken a certain Dutch flavor not found, for instance, in American beers. SABMiller will try to market Grolsch in places like Colombia where upwardly mobile beer drinkers want a beverage that conveys status but doesn’t challenge their taste buds too much. “We see significant potential across Africa and Latin America, where the premium market is still in its infancy,” SABMiller’s chief financial officer, Malcolm Wyman, told analysts.

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