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Michelob gives beer lovers a taste of spring, summer

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS Michelob is bringing back its sampler pack of four wheat beers, just in time for the warm weather.

The sampler pack, available nationwide this month, includes the all-new Michelob ginger wheat — a twist on the classic unfiltered Belgian wheat ale, brewed with wheat malt, citrus peels and spices, along with the return of year-round favorites shock top Belgian white and Michelob Dunkel Weisse, and the spring seasonal hop hound amber wheat.

Every sampler pack includes a flighting sheet with tasting notes and a summary of each beer’s ingredients to reveal how the brewmasters’ recipes impact the colors, aromas and flavors found among the different styles.  The flighting sheet’s glassware and food pairing recommendations provide serving tips to enhance tastings at home. Additionally, MichelobSamplerPack.com features an interactive brewmaster tasting video to guide visitors through each beer’s ingredients, color, body and brewing process.

The Michelob spring/summer sampler pack is available at grocery and convenience stores nationwide through September in 24-packs (six of each beer) and 12-packs (three of each beer).

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Dannon CEO: Yogurt sales to increase through 2014

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO According to a Reuters report published Monday, one of the largest yogurt producers expects yogurt purchases to more than double within four years.

Yogurt consumption in the U.S. market is at least six times lower as compared to Western Europe, noted Gustavo Valle, Dannon CEO, during the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit held in Chicago.

“For the future, we see double digit growth on a long-term basis,” he said. “In four years, we can double the consumption per capita.”

Valle added that yogurt sales, including its best-selling Activia brand, were continuing to grow around 15% through mid-February.

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Gum, mints a breath of fresh air for sales

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO The United States Mint may be dealing with a recession, but there’s one mint that hasn’t been hit by the economic slump.

Gum, mints and breath fresheners market has seen sales grow since 2007, according to recent research by Mintel. The category has increased more than 10% and is expected to grow through 2014. The growth is driven by functional and environmentally-friendly packaging (50% and 19%, respectively), in addition to unique flavors (43%).

Despite the emphasis on health, breath-freshening remained the most important function of gum and mints in the minds of Mintel’s survey respondents. Nearly four times as many respondents cited this compared with a healthy function (43% vs. 13%).

“Although this market is not entirely recession proof; gum, mints and breath fresheners are faring well due to their low price points and the feeling that consumers are getting a small treat,” said Bill Patterson, senior analyst at Mintel. “In addition, innovative packaging and unique flavors are aiding in the upward sales momentum.”

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