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Four Loko branches out from ready-to-drink with latest launch

BY David Salazar

CHICAGO — Phusion Projects’ Four Loko brand, fresh off the release of its latest ready-to-drink line, Four Loko Bartender Series, is looking to move beyond the flavored malt beverage category with its new launch. Four Loko Shots are the brands first foray into spirits, and the company expects them to provide a baseline for sustained growth.

“Four Loko's unabashed reputation always made the expansion into spirits attractive to us,” Phusion Projects VP sales for wine and spirits Gerry Macchia said. “A Four Loko hard liquor had to be created in a manner authentic to the brand. One example is the use of experience-based names to describe what it feels like to take the shot, as opposed to simply the flavor.”

The line is launching with three varieties — green apple-flavored Green Tornado, lemon drop-flavored Screw Ball and cinnamon apple flavored Dragon’s Breath — each of which is 35% alcohol by volume and come in 750-ml bottles.

“Four Loko needed to win more occasions,” Phusion president Jim Sloan said. “Our audience's appetite for adventurous options doesn't end at the pregame.”

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Snyders-Lance names interim CEO as Lee retires

BY David Salazar

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As the company announced its first-quarter financial results, Snyder’s-Lance on Monday announced that its CEO had retired. Carl Lee, Jr., leaves the company after 12 years with Snyder’s-Lance, and director Brian Driscoll — who was formerly president and CEO of Diamond Foods — will be serving as CEO in the interim as the company undertakes a national search for a permanent replacement.

“On behalf of the entire Snyder's-Lance organization, the board of directors would like to thank Carl for his many contributions to the Company, and welcome Brian into his new role,” chairman James Johnston said. “We see great potential in the strategic direction of the company, and are excited to have access to Brian's talent and experience to bring the company to the next level of performance. With increased focus on margin expansion and profitable growth, we are confident that Brian has the skills to address some of the recent performance challenges, as well as drive the company to a level of profitability more in line with the expectations of our shareholders.”

Driscoll has been in the food industry for more than 35 years, leading Diamond Foods until it was acquired by Snyder’s-Lance in 2016.

“I am honored and excited to be asked by the Board to fulfill this critical role for the Company at such an important time in its development,” Driscoll said. “I plan to immediately diagnose the underlying drivers of the Company's margin and revenue performance and put in place strategies to continue to deliver on the expectations of our shareholders.”

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Omission brewing intros Ultimate Light Golden Ale

BY David Salazar

PORTLAND, Ore. — Omission Brewing, whose beers are crafted to remove gluten, announced Friday the national availability of its latest variety. The Ultimate Light Golden Ale contains 99 calories and 5 carbs per 12-oz.

“Consumers have a lot of choices when it comes to craft beer, but there aren’t many options if you’re looking for something that’s low in calories and carbs but still high in flavor,” Omission Brewing brewmaster Joe Casey said. “We wanted to create a craft beer that gave active consumers a better-tasting option and one with the additional benefit of being crafted to remove gluten. Omission Ultimate Light is an incredibly versatile beer that delivers the complete craft beer experience without weighing you down.”

The beer contains 4.2% alcohol by volume, and the company said it would be available nationally in six-packs of 12-oz. bottles.

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