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Sprite, LeBron James team up for new flavor

BY Ryan Chavis

ATLANTA — Sprite, a beverage from Coca-Cola Co., has created a new flavor with the help of NBA star LeBron James. The limited-edition Sprite 6 Mix combines the traditional taste of Sprite with a splash of cherry and orange flavor. The beverage, as well as the packaging graphics and product name, were co-developed to reflect James’ style and taste preferences.

"LeBron James is the perfect partner to bring our fans new product innovation," said Kimberly Paige, associate VP Sprite brands, Coca-Cola North America. "We’ve enjoyed an amazing relationship with LeBron since he entered the NBA in 2003, and we’re proud to have him contribute to Sprite in a meaningful way that we know will excite Sprite lovers and his fans."    

Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James will appear nationwide beginning mid-March for a limited time, and will be available in 20-oz. bottles and 19.2-oz. cans in convenience, retail and value stores.

“Growing up drinking Sprite, I never imagined I would have my own flavor someday,” James said. “I had a great time working with the Sprite team to turn my favorite flavors into a pretty cool variation of one of my favorite brands. I’m proud of what we created and I’m excited for my fans to try it.”

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Former Walgreens SVP writes book on company’s outreach to workers with disabilities

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Former SVP Walgreens Randy Lewis on Wednesday announced the release of his book "No Greatness without Goodness," which outlines the progression Walgreens has made in giving people with disabilities the opportunity for employment. 

According to Lewis, 1-in-5 Americans has a disability, and nearly 70% of people with disabilities and 95% with severe cognitive disabilities, such as autism, will never hold down a job. 

Having experienced success with the Walgreens disability initiative and knowing it had the potential to make an impact on the broader workplace, Walgreens invited other companies to visit their facilities and see the program in action. Dozens of companies took them up on their invitation —Lowes, Best Buy and Proctor & Gamble, to name a few, have launched their own initiatives, Lewis noted.

Lewis led the logistics division for 16 years as the chain grew from 1,500 to 8,000 stores, he noted. Today, Walgreens’ distribution centers boasts 10% of its workforce consists of people with disabilities.

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Kline: Cosmetics and toiletries market sees growth in 2013

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — The cosmetics and toiletries market enjoyed growth in 2013, despite a challenging economy, and that growth is expected to continue into the future as the economy improves and manufacturers set their sights on innovation and products with multi-purpose functionality, according to a recent Kline & Co. blog.

According to Kline, U.S. sales exceeded $41 billion at the manufacturers’ level in 2013, up 2.4% compared with 2012. Fueling sales were strong performances in makeup and skin care. In addition, such mature product classes as oral care and hair care also contributed to the market’s overall growth, thanks to innovation and new product launches.

Kline also noted that private-label products increasingly are moving into the spotlight, proving to be a strong force among shoppers who are looking for lower-priced alternatives to expensive branded products.   

 

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