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Purple Beverage Co., Big Geyser sign distribution agreement

BY DSN STAFF

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. The Purple Beverage Co. announced it has signed an agreement with Big Geyser for the distribution of its Purple beverage throughout New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester County and Long Island’s Suffolk and Nassau counties.

Big Geyser is one of the largest independent, non-alcoholic beverage distributors in New York state and is the largest distributor in New York City, delivering its top-name beverage brands to convenience, drug and grocery stores, mass merchandisers, gas stations, restaurants and food services outlets throughout this region.

Purple, a fusion of seven antioxidant-rich juices featuring the exotic acai berry as well as black cherry, pomegranate, black currant, purple plum, cranberry and blueberry, will join Big Geyser’s beverage lineup, which already includes Glaceau’s Vitaminwater and Smart Water, Muscle Milk, Perrier, Mistic Beverages, Crystal Light, Poland Springs and Tazo Tea, among others.

“Teaming up with Big Geyser to bring Purple to consumers throughout the New York region is a huge milestone for Purple,” said Ted Farnsworth, Purple’s founder and chief executive officer. “Big Geyser is known in the beverage industry as the ‘one to watch’. It distributes only the finest beverages and has brought many hot new brands to market. The addition of Purple to its lineup not only increases our exposure but also constitutes a great endorsement of the quality of our beverage, and we anticipate a significant boost, both in name recognition and demand for Purple, throughout the entire metropolitan area.”

Purple has developed a loyal following of health and taste-conscious fans from coast to coast since it launched in 2007. The all-natural, no-sugar-added beverage can be found in health food stores, restaurants, delis, drug stores, supermarkets and convenience stores in select locations, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Hawaii. In February, it became available in select GNC locations. 

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A favorite U.S. chocolate bar gets more expensive

BY Diana Alickaj

NEW YORK What has always been one of America’s favorite chocolates has now gotten more expensive. The Hershey Co. has recently announced a price increase in wholesale prices for its domestic confectionery line.

According to Hershey, the increase in price was due to the need to control and level the increase in input costs, which include raw materials, fuel utilities and transportation. The increase in its retail products would be a helpful solution in offsetting the company’s price increases. Hershey estimated that there was a 13 percent increase on the company’s standard bar, king-size bar, 6-pack and vending lines. Hershey has also estimated that there will be approximately a 3 percent increase over Hershey’s entire domestic product line.

The price increase is said to take effect immediately, but for existing customers, Hershey has decided that during the four-week period that ends on Feb. 24, 2008, customers may order and take delivery of about eight weeks at the current prices.

As a message to its investors, the company made sure to mention that it already had established its 2008 full-year net sales and earnings per share outlook on Jan. 24, 2008. Any details or explanations regarding GAAP and non-GAAP items can be found at www.Hersheys.com.

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4-H inspires new ice cream from Blue Bell

BY DSN STAFF

BRENHAM, Texas Blue Bell Creameries is introducing Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream in honor of the Texas 4-H organization’s 100th birthday and, to sweeten the deal, is donating a portion of the sales to promote 4-H educational programs.

The cake batter ice Cream features pieces of yellow cake, a chocolate-icing swirl and four-leaf clover sprinkles.

“We just finished celebrating our 100th birthday so we understand just how special this is,” said Paul Kruse, Blue Bell chief executive officer and president. “Centennial Cupcake has all the ingredients for a celebration, cake and ice cream.”

4-H is a national organization that prides itself on teaching young people across America leadership, citizenship and life skills. There are more than 7 million members from eight to 18 years of age involved in 4-H.

Centennial Cupcake Ice Cream will be sold in Texas and across the company’s 17-state distribution area beginning this month.

Blue Bell has created a unique carton for this new flavor that features four children in 4-H T-shirts and the organization’s widely recognized four-leaf emblem. “I think the smiling faces capture the spirit of this organization just perfectly,” Kruse said. 

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