InBev hires Anheuser-Busch chief executive officer as consultant
ST. LOUIS Anheuser-Busch and InBev have said that A-B chief executive officer, August Busch IV, will receive about $10.4 million and $120,000 a month after the completion of sale of A-B to InBev for his services as consultant. The arrangement will last through 2013, the companies said Friday in a statement filed at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Details of Busch’s contract are still being worked out, the companies said. And Busch, may also receive an added $13.3 million for other benefits.
Last month InBev purchased American beer giant A-B for $52 billion. Together, the companies will form Anheuser-Busch-InBev, maintaining a North American base in St. Louis. Additionally, InBev has promised to keep A-B’s 12 U.S. breweries in business.
Busch’s duties with the new company will include planning new products and business opportunities, meeting with retailers, wholesalers and advertisers, and reviewing marketing projects. Reports said that he will remain in St. Louis.
Mountain Dew launches new blue, raspberry-citrus flavor soft drink
PURCHASE, N.Y. PepsiCo has announced the official launch of Mountain Dew Voltage, a blue-colored, raspberry-citrus flavored soft drink that started to hit retail shelves in June, following an online campaign and consumer-guided selection process.
At Mountain Dew’s DewMocracy.com Web site, which was launched last October, the company invited consumers to vote for the most desirable of three limited-release Mountain Dew flavors. Bright blue Voltage, which also contains ginseng, beat SuperNova [strawberry-melon flavor and ginseng] and Revolution [wild berry fruit and ginseng]. The site has had more than 1.5 million unique visitors since the start of the campaign, sources said.
According to a report from Beverage Digest, Mountain Dew is currently the fourth out of ten major soft drinks selling in the United States, holding about 7.5 percent of the market. Mountain Dew’s volume sales were down about 2.1 percent for the first half of 2008. However, Diet Mountain Dew, which holds about 2.3 percent of the market, was the only soft drink to see volume sales increase [2.4 percent] during the same period, the report said.
Hershey hikes prices, says commodities costs to blame
LOS ANGELES Hershey Co. has said that it will raise prices of all of its goods in the United States by about 10 percent. The company cited the rising costs of basic ingredients such as cocoa, peanuts and sugar and the effect on its profit as the reason for the price hike.
“Consumers are likely to see higher every day and promotional retail prices as we implement the price increase and, as a result, we expect volume in the fourth quarter and next year to be lower than previously estimated,” the company said in a statement.
Reports have stated that grocery prices in the United States have risen roughly 6 percent this year. Hershey said that it expects to see the prices of many commodities double in the 2008 to 2009 time period, and is adjusting its prices accordingly. The costs of ingredients including cocoa, corn sweeteners, peanuts and sugar are up by 20 percent to 45 percent since the start of 2008, the company said.
The company said that its 2008 profits were expected to be on the low side of projections [$1.85 to $1.90 per share], and that cuts to sales and earnings for fiscal 2009, will drive the price of its shares down by 4 percent. Overall for 2008, the company said it expected net sales to have a growth of 3 percent or 4 percent.
Additionally, Hershey reduced it growth projection for 2009 form 3 percent to 5 percent down to 2 percent to 3 percent.