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MillerCoors opens craft-, import-beer-focused biz

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO MillerCoors has developed a company that focuses on craft and import beers.

Tenth and Blake Beer Company is an independent yet connected company that will own the strategic business drivers –– marketing, trade marketing and an independent sales organization dedicated to the craft and imports business. The company will in-source other capabilities from MillerCoors, including legal, communications, HR, marketing services and consumer insights.

“This is a unique and exciting period in the beer business,” said Tom Cardella, the company’s CEO and president. “With the added focus on our craft and import brands and the talent within our brewing network, Tenth and Blake Beer Company has the opportunity to make an impact and continue to help grow this segment. We’re made up of passionate brewers and merchants of the world’s finest specialty brews, and we look forward to celebrating the joy of beer with beer drinkers throughout the U.S.”

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PepsiCo Foundation donates $500K to flood relief efforts in Pakistan

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. The charitable arm of PepsiCo will donate $500,000 to disaster relief efforts in Pakistan, following recent flash and river flooding.

In support of the United Nations World Food Program, the PepsiCo Foundation’s disaster relief partner, $250,000 initially will be directed to the WFP’s emergency and special operations already in place in Pakistan. The funds will help provide humanitarian aid, including supplies and food assistance.

“PepsiCo is committed to helping the people of Pakistan persevere through this extraordinary ordeal,” said Saad Abdul-Latif, CEO of PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and Africa. “Our friends and partners at the World Food Program will ensure that our contribution will help immediately where it is needed most, while additional relief aid from the PepsiCo Foundation as well as donations from PepsiCo employees around the world will be put to the best possible use by our team on the ground in Pakistan.”

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Mintel: Energy drinks may see sales boost, but cannot attract new customers

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO Despite a surge of sales among energy drink products, the industry may have trouble attracting new consumers, according to research firm Mintel.

Mintel reported that while sales for energy drinks/shots have risen 136% from 2005 to 2009, 74% of surveyed consumers said they don’t consume energy beverages, and 69% of those nonusers are uninterested in trying them.

“Sales of energy drinks and shots have remained relatively strong for the last few years, but the same core group of customers continues to buy them,” said Garima Goel Lal, senior analyst at Mintel. “The category added only 1 million new energy drinks users aged 18 [years and older] during 2007 to 2009, compared with 9.3 million new users during 2005 to 2007. So manufacturers are eager to grow that number again.”

The Mintel senior analyst also added that ways for companies to attract a wider audience to this product category are to “[provide] consumers with more flavors, less sugar and reduced caffeine content.”

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