Unilever may be considering full purchase of Bertolli
LONDON Unilever is looking at sales and licensing options for Bertolli Italian, a line of olive oils and balsamic vinegars, sources said Wednesday.
According to reports, Unilever is interested in holding on to the Bertolli brand because of successful sales of Bertolli sauces, spreads and snacks. However, the Anglo-Dutch mega-company would most likely parcel off the olive oil refining part of the Bertolli, but maintain the brand name’s license for its own use. Unilever is currently reviewing Bertolli’s business for possible sale of its holdings. However, sources say the company will not rule out keeping Bertolli, if no suitable offers are made.
“We are exploring some strategic partnership opportunities for Bertolli olive oil and vinegar,” one Unilever spokesperson said.
Unilever said last summer it planned to sell slow-growing businesses with more than $3 billion of annual turnover. This plan included selling Boursin French cheese, Lawry’s marinades and spices business, its North American laundry unit and other lesser-growing companies.
Bertolli’s annual sales have been reported at around $465 million. Sources said that Unilever could receive around $310 million from a sale of for its work on the group’s restructuring program. Unilever will announce results of its first-quarter fiscal 2008 today.
PowerAde pushes zero-calorie sports drink, challenges Gatorade
NEW YORK PowerAde, the sports drink produced by Coca-Cola, is boosting its sports beverage line by challenging competitor Gatorade with a lower-calorie product.
Earlier this month, Gatorade launched G2, a sports drink with fewer calories than original Gatorade. To challenge Gatorade, and in keeping in line with Coke’s other zero-calorie beverages—Coke Zero and Sprite Zero—PowerAde has launched PowerAde Zero with a print ad campaign starring tennis player Venus Williams next week. PowerAde Zero has no calories, versus G2’s 25 calories per bottle.
“PowerAde offers carbohydrates for those with intense workouts,” says Matt Kahn, vice president of marketing. “But there’s a whole group of calorie-conscious gym-goers. This is the first major brand to give hydration and electrolytes with zero calories.”
PowerAde said that the launch of PowerAde Zero is an attempt to stimulate growth in its segment. Its new Zero variety is available in strawberry, grape and mixed berry and is flavored with artificial sweeteners acesulfame potassium and sucralose.
G2 has only been on the market four months, but it has already claimed 8 percent of sports-drink sales. PowerAde hopes Zero will soak up a large portion of the segment.
Nestea announces new packaging, products
ATLANTA Nestea has given its line of iced tea products a new look and its green tea citrus and diet green tea citrus teas now have the power of 50 percent more antioxidants than before, the company said yesterday,
To stay competitive in the growing ready-to-drink tea segment, Nestea revamped its green tea citrus and diet green tea citrus teas to now contain 96 milligrams of flavonoid antioxidants per eight ounces.
Independent research, the company said, shows that the RTD tea category was up in sales by 24 percent last year, and green tea sales, specifically, provided two-thirds of that category’s growth.
Nestea said the growth in retail sales, plus increased consumer education about the health benefits of tea, were the reasons for its recent launch.
“With over 50 years of brand equity and consumer trust, our products blend the natural goodness of tea with natural fruit flavors to offer consumers a refreshing experience to immediately revitalize their day,” Coca-Cola North America’s senior vice president/general manager of coffee and tea, Penny McIntyre, said. “We have reinvigorated the brand with a new look and new green tea formulations—with superior taste and more antioxidants to appeal to consumers seeking a delicious green tea.”
The newly packaged Nestea flavors are available nationwide at convenience stores, drug stores, retailers and supermarkets.