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Unilever’s Scales appointed Coca-Cola VP

BY Allison Cerra

ATLANTA Coca-Cola, the largest beverage brand in the world, has appointed a former Unilever marketer to be the company’s vice president of brand marketing innovation, according to Marketing Week.

Coca-Cola announced Wednesday that Chad Scales will be assuming his position as the VP of brand marketing innovation, and will officially be on board next week. Scales, who was previously vice president of food division at Unilever North America, will report to Mark Mathieu, senior vice president of brand marketing.

Scales’ knowledge of the business will expand Coke’s new product development in non-core categories (noncarbonated drinks). Scales will be responsible for developing the company into areas such as teas, coffees as well as looking at new packaging.

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Unilever and PepsiCo to expand ready-to-drink tea joint venture

BY Tara Smith

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. Unilever and PepsiCo today announced their agreement to expand their international partnership regarding the marketing and distribution of the Lipton ready-to-drink tea products.

The agreement, which builds on the 1991 Pepsi Lipton Tea Partnership North American joint venture, adds 11 countries to the partnership’s existing ready-to-drink tea business: Germany, Italy, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Korea, Taiwan and South Africa. Leveraging the complementary strengths of Unilver’s Lipton brand tea know-how with Pepsi’s bottling and distribution network, the agreement will double the companies’ current joint venture and positions them growth opportunities in the rapidly expanding global market for ready-to-drink tea.

“This agreement gives us the opportunity to build on the tremendous success of the joint ventures to date. It provides an excellent opportunity to realize the long-term potential of the Lipton ready-to-drink brand, and Pepsi’s expertise in the drinks sector will help us drive innovations faster and more competitively,” stated Vindi Banga, Unilever’s president for Foods.

The companies, which will continue to own 50 percent of the joint venture, are awaiting approvals from relevant regulatory authorities, employee consultation and, for Portugal and South Africa, agreement with Unilever’s existing partners regarding the agreement. The transaction is expected to take effect in January 2008.

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Cadbury rejects second offer for drinks business

BY Adam Kraemer

LONDON Cadbury Schweppes rejected a second offer to buy its drinks division, according to CNNMoney.com.

The Web site cited a Financial Times story that claimed a group of private equity firms, including Blackstone Grou and Lion Capital, offered over $13 billion, which Cadbury turned down as it would have been involved in financing the sale.

This second rejection increases the likelihood that Cadbury will spin off its drinks business, which includes Snapple and Dr. Pepper.

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