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Purple Beverage Co. announces “Mix It Up” bartender contest

BY Jim Wright

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Purple Beverage Co. is inviting professional and amateur bartenders nationwide to submit their best Purple-based cocktails for a chance to win a free weekend for two on Miami’s fabulous South Beach.

Purple is a unique blend of seven antioxidant-rich juices, including the exotic acai berry, black cherry, pomegranate, black currant, purple plum, cranberry and blueberry. Because adding alcohol to antioxidant-rich berries increases their antioxidant power—a fact confirmed by researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture and by a study at Kasetsart University in Thailand—Purple is destined to become one of the hottest cocktail trends in nightclubs and lounges.

The Palm Restaurant on the City’s West Side has been mixing the Palm Purple Martini for customers since August of last year. Purple blends especially well to make a great-tasting berry-flavored martini, according to the company.

“The ‘Mix It Up’ contest will allow bartenders nationwide to have fun and become a part of a hot new trend by creating their own antioxidant-rich, Purple-based cocktails,” said Purple Beverage Co. chief executive officer Ted Farnsworth. “We have already heard about bars in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia coming up with their own signature cocktails featuring Purple and we are excited to see the unique creations that bartenders across the country will concoct.”

Bartenders are invited to submit their original cocktail recipes for an array of Purple-themed cocktails in various categories: “Purple Summer,” for tropical-themed thirst quenchers; “Purple Elegance,” for martini-style or high-end cocktails; and “Purple Breeze,” for non-alcoholic Purple concoctions.

The contest will run through May 31, 2008. The drinks will be reviewed by an independent panel of judges; the cocktail maker who receives the highest score will win a weekend for two at the famous Delano Hotel on Miami’s beautiful South Beach plus a weekend full of activities and entertainment, including dinner for two at renowned Nobu Restaurant and a night on the town at the well-known hotspot, Mansion.

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Palmer unveils early treats for 2008 holiday season

BY Diana Alickaj

WEST READING, Pa. R.M. Palmer Co., a leader in chocolate novelties, has unveiled a very early Christmas present to the public. For the 2008 holiday season, Palmer has produced 13 new items to sell.

Each item features colorful names alluding to all things Christmas, and also most notably has given in to the NASCAR craze with two new chocolate items. One is called NASCAR Blinkin’ Drinkin’ Cup, which includes peanut butter-filled foiled cars in a plastic cup. Each cup has the number of the most popular drivers’ cars, and each blinks with the color of the car when it was lifted. Another NASCAR chocolate is the NASCAR Stainless Travel Mug. This chocolate candy includes foiled cars filled with peanut butter that are packed into a stainless mug. The drivers that they feature are #20-Tony Stewart, #24-Jeff Gordon and #88- Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Other chocolates that consumers will be able to indulge in are: White Hollow “Flakey”, North Pole Pals, Double Crisp Praying Hands Card, Sno-fun mesh bag. Double Crisp Candy Bar, Double Crisp Widdy Waddles, Peppermint Patties, Mini-crisp Kringles, Holly & Berries, Holiday Wishes and the classic peppermint candy cane with a chocolate twist.

Consumers can find more information on these new creations at www.rmpalmer.com.

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Healthy cereals boost sales for General Mills

BY Diana Alickaj

WASHINGTON General Mills has gone through long obstacles to achieve its success in tapping into the healthy food market, and using incentives toward is employees in order to do so. Since then, General Mills made a reported $12.4 billion in sales due to its new standard for its products.

General Mills is now known for having cereal brands that are made from whole grains, are high in fiber and contain vitamins and minerals. According to published reports, they raised their profit for the year due to its increase in health standards for its products. Although, to achieve success, the company had to involve itself in a gradual change that increased health ingredients in many of their products.

The move to begin incorporating healthful ingredients as a factor in the production process is due to reports that consumers were more likely to purchase foods with the Food and Drug Administration’s seal of approval. In order to meet goals, which started off as having only 20 percent of its products that met nutritional standards, General Mills decided to link employee bonuses to meeting the health targets it requires.

According to published reports, many other companies are following along with the health trends, due mostly to pressure from regulator and consumer advocates. Such companies as Kellogg Co. and Kraft Foods removed trans fats from the majority of their products, and Campbell soup sold the Godiva chocolate business in order to focus more on their low-sodium soups and new versions of V-8 juice.

With a combination of the importance of health in the new age and incentives given to company members to reach health targets, General Mills has 34 percent of its products meeting the new health standards. According to published reports, not only has it reformulated 200 products, but it has also introduced 100 new ones.

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