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Wicked Weed Brewing joins Anheuser-Busch’s The High End unit

BY David Salazar

NEW YORK and ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Craft brewery Wicked Weed Brewing on Thursday announced that it would be joining Anheuser-Busch’s business unit focused on craft and import brands, The High End. Since the brewery opened in 2012, it has created more than 500 different beers, from Belgian ales to west-coast IPAs and sours.

“This is an exciting time for the entire brewing team,” co-founder Walt Dickinson said. “Our ability to create a wide range of really well-executed beers that are focused on creativity, quality and drinkability is what makes Wicked Weed great. We have chosen to partner with The High End to position ourselves to make Wicked Weed what we imagined it could be when we first sat at a craft beer bar and talked about opening a brewery. As a brewer, giving our team more resources to continue innovating our portfolio and the ability to reach more craft drinkers, allows us to keep putting the beer and the people first.”

Wicked Weed joins such other The High Ends brands as Stella Artois, Shock Top, Goose Island, Blue Point, Spiked Seltzer and Breckenridge Brewery, among others. The division was created to provide the brands it encompasses with autonomy and support for growth, the company said.

“We are excited to welcome … the entire Wicked Weed team into our High End family,” the High End president Felipe Szpigel said. “It's clear to me Wicked Weed is redefining what sophistication in beer can mean, with their amazing offerings being relevant in a wide variety of occasions. Their ability to brew the highest quality beers, in a variety of styles, along with their exciting barrel program, leads me to be optimistic about what our futures hold together.”

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PepsiCo launches Lemon Lemon sparkling lemonade

BY David Salazar

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo is prepping for summer with the launch of its sparkling lemonade Lemon Lemon. The beverage contains a mix of lemon juice, bubbles and a touch of sweetness, the company said. It comes in Original, blackberry and peach flavors in 12-oz. cans that contain 70 calories.

As part of the Lemon Lemon global launch, the company is creating a series of picnics in Toronto, Paris and New York, which will feature live music, food, refreshments and Lemon Lemon. In New York, the brand will host a floating picnic on the Hornblower Infinity yacht featuring a performance by singer/songwriter Calum Scott.

“Lemon Lemon is the perfect refreshment when you're looking to escape from the day-to-day grind,” PepsiCo marketing director Rosemarie Iannucci said. "We are excited to kick-off summer with a Lemon Lemon floating picnic, encouraging New Yorkers to relax, recharge and reconnect with those around you.”

Lemon Lemon is currently available in the United States, Canada and Western Europe. The U.S. launch is being supported by digital, mobile and radio campaigns, the company said.

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Nestlé’s Lean Cuisine Marketplace redesign tops first Nielsen Design Impact Awards

BY David Salazar
NEW YORK — Nielsen and The Dieline on Tuesday announced the winners of their first-ever Nielsen Design Impact Awards from the HOW Design Live Conference in Chicago. The awards recognize product redesigns from the past two years, as well as the impact the redesigns have on business. 
 
At the top of the list was Nestlé’s Lean Cuisine Marketplace brand, whose new design was aimed at positioning the brand as a wellness partner instead of as a diet brand, and the rebrand brought the company a sales increase of $58 million in the year following its introduction. 
 
"The new design was the no. 1 reason the Lean Cuisine brand was able to turn itself around—we went from declining sales to significant sales gains even before we turned on media support," Nestlé USA VP marketing Daniel Jhung said. "The bold new Marketplace packaging signified a major pivot away from our 'diet' heritage toward our new modern health and wellness partner positioning, motivating consumers to re-engage with our brand again. This complete turnaround demonstrates the power of investing in effective package design and designing it with consumers in mind."
 
These awards were the first time that package design awards leverage retail performance data as part of the process used to identify a winner, Nielsen said. The company surveyed thousands of consumers to assess how well the redesigns addressed its communication objective and to gauge purchase preference for the new package over the old ones. 
 
"Package design often doesn't get the attention or respect it deserves compared to other marketing tactics. One of the root causes for this oversight is that it's difficult to attribute sales impact to package design," Nielsen Design Solutions SVP product development Steve Lamoureux said. "Given Nielsen's vast data assets, we knew we were in a unique position to demonstrate the power of effective package design and celebrate the brands who are really embracing its potential."
 
Besides Lean Cusine Marketplace as the grand prize winner, the awards recognized:
 
  • Buchanan’s Scotch Whisky
  • Honest Tea
  • Perdue Short Cuts; and
  • California Olive Ranch Olive Oil
Nielsen has compiled a full report on the awards that includes interviews with winners, which can be read here

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