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Mountain Dew launches new blue, raspberry-citrus flavor soft drink

BY Jenna Duncan

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.

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Red Bull adds hybrid delivery trucks to fleet

BY Jenna Duncan

WARRENVILLE, Ill. Red Bull has announced the addition of four hybrid delivery trucks to its U.S. fleet. Brand-new Navistar International DuraStar hybrid trucks were delivered this week to the Red Bull Southern Nevada Distribution Center, to be driven for deliveries in and around the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

Jim Williams, director of sales and distribution of new products at Navistar, the company that builds the hybrid delivery trucks said, “We’re proud that Red Bull recognizes the importance of green transportation for the environment. We need more companies like this to take a stance and add hybrid vehicles to their fleets.”

The hybrid diesel-electric trucks are capable of getting 30 percent to 40 percent better fuel efficiency. In addition, they release about 35 percent less nitrogen oxide and 33 percent less hydrocarbon emissions than regular diesel trucks.

Each truck will save Red Bull around $4,000 a year on fuel costs, the companies said.

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General Mills to sell Pop Secret to Diamond Foods

BY Jenna Duncan

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. General Mills today announced details of an agreement to sell its Pop Secret microwave popcorn business to Stockton, Calif.-based Diamond Foods for around $190 million. None of General Mills’ employees or plants will be affected by the sale because Pop Secret is manufactured at an outside facility, a company spokesperson said.

According to spokesperson Heidi Geller, the sale is part of a move by General Mills to reevaluate its priorities. Additionally, General Mills is also looking to sell its Nature Valley granola bar line and other grain-based snacks.

Diamond Foods, the creator of Diamond brand almonds and other snack nuts has said that it is very excited to add Pop Secret to its portfolio. The added brand will broaden Diamond’s presence in the snack aisle and the company expects to generate $85 million to $90 million per year from the sale of Pop Secret products.

General Mills is looking at a one-time $160 million profit gain, not including costs related to the costs.

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