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PepsiCo’s Aquafina unveils Eco-Fina bottle

BY Allison Cerra

PURCHASE, N.Y. PepsiCo’s Aquafina is launching the Eco-Fina Bottle, the lightest half-liter bottle of any nationally distributed bottled water brand in the market.

At a weight of 10.9 g, the Eco-Fina Bottle is made with 50% less plastic, eliminating an estimated 75 million lbs. of plastic annually. Aquafina is also driving additional environmental benefits by producing the bottle at purification centers where filling occurs and by eliminating cardboard base pads from 24-packs, which will contribute to saving 20 million lbs. of corrugate by 2010.

The Eco-Fina Bottle will be available in 24-packs and begins shipping to retail outlets nationwide this April.

This isn’t the first time PepsiCo has developed and produced a new approach to distribution and packaging. In 2007, the company conserved nearly five billion liters of water across its global operations. Last year, PepsiCo took nearly six million kg of packaging per year out of its system globally and reduced greenhouse emissions by 18,000 metric tons annually, made possible by the introduction of a new half-liter bottle for Aquafina flavored waters.

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Research firm anticipates grim holiday sales this spring

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES Peter Cottontail may not have enough eggs in his basket as holiday expenditure is expected to decline 8%, according to an independent research firm.

Total sales from Easter clothing, candy, flowers, decorations, food and greeting cards are expected to fall from $14.8 billion in 2008 to $13.6 in 2009, IBISWorld reported Tuesday. The anticipated decline is indicative of the current financial climate.

Candy sales in particular are estimated to reach only $1.77 billion, down by 10.2% from Easter 2008. Interestingly, the forecast for candy sales could have been much worse had it not been for the holiday’s calendar date.

“Easter falls on April 12, compared to March 23 of last year, so candy producers and marketers have 20 additional days to merchandise their products and entice the public to spend,” said George Van Horn, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “This will cushion some of the inevitable blow on spending.”

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Pacifico Beer introduces new packaging, ad campaign

BY Allison Cerra

CHICAGO Pacifico Beer, an authentic beer imported from Mexico, is adding a new package with the introduction of the Pacifico 7-ounce bottle.

The new packages are launching in early April in primarily West Coast markets. Launch markets include California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Texas and Louisiana.

This line extension is in response to Pacifico’s performance over the past several years and the popularity of the 7 -ounce package for Crown Imports, Pacifico’s exclusive U.S. importer.

The new SKU is positioned to further Pacifico’s efforts to increase trial among consumers via new opportunities and occasions, the company said.

The Pacifico 7-ounce provides retailers with an opportunity to trade up domestic 24-pack consumers and current Pacifico 12-pack consumers, increase sales and garner additional shelf space for the Crown portfolio.

“The Pacifico 7-ounce is new to the market and we expect it to generate significant attention and sales opportunities for our wholesaler and retailer partners,” said Bruce Jacobson, EVP of national sales for Crown Imports. “The easy portability of the Pacifico 7-ounce bottle makes either the 6-pack or case an ideal choice for consumers who lead an active lifestyle to take the beach, the park or anywhere outside.”

The new Pacifico 7-ounce package rollout will be supported with an array of point-of-sale materials. Pacifico will also run a series of new advertisements focusing on the 7 -ounce in alternative weekly publications, including LA Weekly, OC Weekly and the San Diego Reader.

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