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Neuro to launch six new flavors in 2014

BY Alaric DeArment

LOS ANGELES — Soft drink maker Neuro is launching new flavors in 2014, the company said.

Neuro, which calls its products "functional beverages," said it would launch six new flavors — two each for its Sonic, Bliss and Sleep drinks — that will include new labels for the bottles. The six new flavors were refined based on a series of consumer tests and include blood orange, raspberry, mango and other flavors. The new flavors will hit shelves in January.

"To continue to develop the brand at point of sale, we honed in on the top three functions consumers desire most, to offer more choice while experiencing the same proven benefits," Neuro president Paul Nadel said. "Our No. 1 goal is to always meet and exceed the changing needs of our customers while delivering a quality product."

 

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Anheuser-Busch intros cocktail-inspired beverages

BY Barbara White-Sax

ST. LOUIS — Anheuser-Busch is continuing to blur the line between beer and cocktails. The brewer’s latest addition to the popular Ritas family is Bud Light Lime Cran-Brrr-Rita, a limited-edition winter offering. Cran-Brrr-Rita hits store shelves in November, and will be available in 12-packs, 8-oz. cans and 25-oz. cans. Straw-Ber-Rita has been a huge hit this summer and is the largest share gainer in the beer industry this year, according to A-B.   

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New flavors, creations push beer toward high-end

BY Barbara White-Sax

Higher-end products are where the beer category is headed. “We’re seeing a lot of high-end segments continuing to steer the ship,” said Dan Wandel, SVP at IRI. “We’re seeing higher-priced products driving the category.”

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

The specialty segment, which includes such super-premium brands as Blue Moon, Shock Top and Land Shark, has been strong with volume sales ahead 13% and dollar sales up 15% for the 52 week period ended June 30.

“What’s really driving the super-premium segment is innovation,” Wandel said. “Last year was an incredible year for the innovation in the category with some massive launches. Bud Light Platinum has been one of the biggest introductions not just in the category but also in the industry, and Lime-A-Rita was another huge success. The question is whether or not innovation can continue to keep the pace.”

Progressive adult beverages, such as Smirnoff Ice and Mike’s Hard Lemonade, also have had significant increases with dollar sales, ahead 75% while volume sales increased 65%.

“Consumers are clearly showing a preference for bolder flavor profiles across all categories,” Wandel said.

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