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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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Quaker introduces Real Medleys bars

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — PepsiCo’s Quaker division has introduced a new version of its Quaker Real Medleys product, the company said.

Quaker announced the launch of Real Medleys Bars, featuring flavor combinations similar to the ones found in Real Medleys cups. Like the cups, the bars feature such fruits and nuts as cherries, apples, cranberries, peaches, pistachios, walnuts and almonds.

The bars are available in boxes of five bars. The company calls Real Medleys its most innovative product in 40 years.

 

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Folgers launches online community

BY Alaric DeArment

ORRVILLE, Ohio — Folgers is launching a new online community for fans to read and share good news through social networking feeds.

The coffee brand, owned by J.M. Smucker Co., announced the launch of the community, dubbed The Best Part. Users of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can like and follow the community to receive positive, fun and optimistic content. Another component of the launch is the "Wakin’ Up" alarm app, which includes upbeat tunes, positive news and inspiring comments.

"The Best Part community is an opportunity for those who share the Folgers optimistic outlook to join together and brighten days everywhere," J.M. Smucker VP corporate communications Maribeth Burns said. "We hope to see this community grow and have a positive impact on people’s lives."

 

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