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PepsiCo ‘rings’ in February at NYSE

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK PepsiCo visited the New York Stock Exchange Monday morning to ring the opening bell and highlight its financial initiative known as the Pepsi Refresh Project.

In an effort to support those who generate innovative, optimistic ideas, the Pepsi Refresh Project will award more than $20 million in 2010 to move communities forward. Individuals can apply for grants to benefit a variety of projects, and site visitors can vote for the best ideas for funding. The project is an evolution of the Refresh Everything initiative Pepsi launched in 2009, which showed the brand as an optimistic catalyst for idea creation, leading to an ever-refreshing world. Pepsi will fund projects that make a difference in six categories: health, arts and culture, food and shelter, the planet, neighborhoods, and education.

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Campbell reduces sodium in V8 products

BY Allison Cerra

CAMDEN, N.J. Campbell’s is making consuming vegetables healthier by reducing the sodium content in its V8 vegetable juices, the company announced Thursday.

The company will roll out original V8 100% vegetable juice with 420-mL of sodium per 8-oz. glass –– a 12% reduction. This marks the second sodium reduction rolled out by Campbell in the last three years.

In line with making its products healthier, the makers of V8 juice are also introducing V8 V-Lite, a light, smooth tasting vegetable juice blend. V8 V-Lite delivers one full serving of vegetables, has only 35 calories and meets heart-healthy sodium levels at 380-mL per 8-oz. glass. This juice blend is perfect for those who love the convenience of drinking their vegetables but want a lighter texture and smoother, crisper taste. V8 V-Lite juice blend is available in 64-oz. bottles at select supermarkets and mass merchandise stores nationwide and retails for the budget-friendly price of $2.99 a bottle.

“Our goal for V8 juices is to provide people with a variety of great-tasting, healthy beverages that help them to get their vegetable servings,” said Dale Clemiss, VP beverage marketing for V8 Beverages. “We are proud that now our entire line of V8 juices meets or in some cases even exceeds government standards for healthy foods, while still providing the taste that people know and love.”

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Dr Pepper raises a bottle to 125th anniversary

BY Allison Cerra

PLANO, Texas Dr Pepper celebrated its 125th anniversary by ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week.

To keep the merriment going, Dr Pepper will launch a wide range of activities to share the celebration of 125 years with the consumers who made its success possible. This includes an ad of Dr Pepper Cherry debuting during Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7, with a new spot featuring “Doctor Love” Gene Simmons, joined by Paul Stanley and their KISS band mates.

“Dr Pepper has an unrivaled taste and a maverick spirit,” said Tony Jacobs, VP marketing for Dr Pepper. “Starting out 125 years ago as a regional drink, Dr Pepper has expanded into a revered national brand by connecting with consumers because of its unique taste and the brand’s dedication to making emotional connections with its consumers.”

Boasting the No.4 position as bestselling soft drink brand, Dr Pepper grew U.S. volume an average 4% per year over the last 20 years. Such innovations as the introduction of 23 flavor varieties (both permanent and limited edition offerings) and the recent “Trust Me, I’m a Dr” campaign, which featured an array of celebrities, the brand assures its consumers it will be around for a long time.

“We want Dr Pepper-lovers everywhere to know that we are committed to providing the same great taste experience that they’ve come to expect from Dr Pepper for many years to come,” Jacobs added.

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