Tag Archives: United States

Power Brands Reviews: Recycling in the Beverage Industry

24 Dec

A recent survey led by Research Data + Insights and reported in an Environmental Leader article has shed light on the role consumers expect companies to play in recycling.

Of over 1,000 American adults surveyed, an overwhelming 86% said they expect food and beverage brands to work continuously on improving the recyclability of their packages. Many also indicated that they consult the products they purchase for environmental information before consulting other resources. About 76% of adults said they determine a package’s recyclability by looking at the package itself; the second most popular way is to consult the company’s website (33%), followed by 26% who consult the consumer’s city website.

Also, 45% of the adults claimed that their loyalty to a food/beverage company is affected by that company’s involvement in environmental causes, strengthening the common belief that environmental effort can improve consumer loyalty.

According to Jason Pelz, VP of Environment at Tetra Pak North America and VP of Recycling Projects at the Carton Council of North America, the survey should certainly encourage food/beverage brands to use the “recycling logo” on cartons; it not only proclaims the cartons are recyclable, but also provides the Recycle Cartons website (recyclecartons.com) where consumers can learn what cartons are accepted in their local recycling programs.

The Carton Council of North America, according to Pelz, actively encourages brands to use their packaging to “spread the word,” as well as expand their advertising to social media outlets – which provide endless marketing opportunities – and other websites.

The recycling of aluminum beverage containers at the industry level has been on an upward trend in the U.S. for decades, with a strong rate of 67% reported just last year. This is according to data published by the Aluminum Association, the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

The 67% rate reported in 2012 is, according to the three groups, the highest overall recycling rate since the early 1990s, and the second-highest since 1972 when the survey began. The groups say this rate marks tremendous progress towards their goal of a 75% recycling rate by 2015.



Power Brands Review: Coffee Consumption Trends

27 Sep

The National Coffee Association has recently published its 2013 “National Coffee Drinking Trends” report, which found that single-cup growth and coffee consumption have both increased in the past year. The study also found that consumption habits were stronger among Hispanic Americans than in other groups.

The NCA has conducted the study annually since 1950. This year’s study used a sample of 2,840 nationally-representative adults who filled out an online survey.

Of the U.S. adults who were polled, an incredible 83% said that they drank coffee in the past day, a 5% increase from last year. Daily consumption has been steady at around 63%, while consumption at least once a week increased slightly to 75%.

Power Brands has also noted single-cup growth in the last two years. Of American adults polled, 12% now own a single-cup brewer, an increase from 10% in 2012 and 7% in 2011. Awareness of single-cup brewers also increased to 82%, from 71% in 2012.

The high-consumption trend among Hispanic Americans was first identified last year by the NCA when it improved its ethnic sampling to represent minority groups more accurately. Of all adult Hispanic Americans polled this year, 76% said they drank coffee yesterday, compared to 64% of Caucasian Americans and 47% of African Americans.

According to Power Brands, the 2013 statistics are more “on par” with statistics from earlier years, which may suggest that the declining rates indicate volatility rather than softening in these particular segments.

The new research also found that 31% of those polled drank a “gourmet” coffee beverage. Traditional coffee consumption was 49%, a 7% decrease from the 2012 rate of 56%.

Past-day consumption in the category of espresso-based beverages was 24% among Hispanic Americans, 12% for African Americans and 10% among Caucasian Americans. In the age group of 18-24, overall daily consumption of coffee is at 41%, a decrease from 50% last year, and for those 25-39, consumption is at 59%, a slight decrease from 63%. Daily consumption among those 60 or older is on the rise, according to Power Brands, particularly in gourmet varieties. Daily consumption in that cohort is at 24%, a 5% increase from last year.

“NCA research finds that American coffee consumption continues to trend upward as consumers respond to variety and convenience,” said NCA’s president and chief executive, Robert F. Nelson. “Building on existing market enthusiasm, changing U.S. demographics and single-cup brewing may be adding momentum to already-enthusiastic consumer engagement.”

Power Brands Reviews: Dairy May Help Protect Muscle Mass

16 Sep

A recent article on the daily Rx reports that dairy products may play a role in preserving muscle mass says Power Brands, a leading beverage industry expert. The article ‘Got Dairy?’ reports that eating and drinking more dairy products may help protect the elderly from losing muscle mass. When you lose muscle mass, adds Power Brands, you are more prone to fractures and other similar injuries.

In actual fact, a current study found that older women who ate more dairy had greater physical performance and more muscle mass compared to woman who ate less dairy. The research was directed by Kun Zhu, PhD, in the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes in Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital in Nedlands, Western Australia. There were 1,456 women between the ages of 70 and 85 that were tested. The researchers study involved examining the results of dairy intake and any association with physical performance and body composition.

The study involved measuring daily consumption using a food frequency survey. According to the daily Rx article, participants reported how much dairy they consumed in the last 12 months plus portion sizes. Dairy includes milk, cheese and yogurt, adds Power Brands.

The participants were then placed in one of three categories: more than 2.2 servings per day, 1.5 to 2.2 servings per day and less than 1.5 servings per day. In addition; height, body weight, BMI (body mass index) and body composition (lean and fat mass) measurements were taken. Rendering the daily Rx article, lean mass was categorized as the weight of everything in the body except for the weight of the head, bones and fat.

The researchers determined physical performance by measuring mobility (movement) and hand grip strength. Participants also reported the number of falls they had within the past three months. A participants smoking status and physical activity were also analyzed in the research.

Overall Findings

The researchers found that women who had 1.5 or more servings of dairy per day had considerably greater skeletal muscle mass  and whole body lean mass than women who had less than 1.5 servings per day. The researchers also found that hand grip strength was greater in women who had 2.2 servings of dairy a day compared to women who had less than 2.2 servings of dairy per day.

The study also concluded that there was no association between dairy intake and the amount of time it took to complete a mobility test. As well, there was no significant association found between dairy intake and number of falls.

Other Professional Input


Deborah Gordon, MD, a preventive medicine and nutrition expert not associated with the research told dailyRX, “There are a number of fascinating connections that appear in the details of this study”. Her conclusions are as follows:

  • Women who consumed more dairy (712 grams or around 25 ounces) were quite different than the group of women who consumed the lowest amount of dairy (210 grams or about 7.4 ounces)
  • Dairy lovers as a group ate more calories, fat and protein – the protein difference being primarily in dairy protein.
  • Dairy lovers were less likely to drink regularly and engaged in significantly more physical activity than the dairy minimizers

Dr. Gordon explained that some degree of sarcopenia (muscle loss) is unavoidable with aging. However, Dr. Gordon added that the extent to which muscle loss can be minimized and possibly reversed is in correlation to how vigorous and energetic she is as she ages. Dr. Gordon concludes that the study suggests woman who have a healthy appetite and partake in regular physical activity are investing in their sturdiness as they aging.

Overall Conclusion on Study

Based on their findings, dairy may be connected to better physical performance and more lean mass in older women. For further reading you can find full details of the study online in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

For further reading of the daily Rx article, go to Got Dairy?, adds Power Brands.

Caffeine, Not Just for Beverages

29 Jul

The beverage consultants at Power Brands are reviewing a growing trend among energy-boosting foods. The opportunity to provide an energy boost to consumers is no longer confined to the beverage industry; food manufacturers have integrated caffeine into many different types of foods, including beef jerky, potato chips, and even marshmallows and gummy bears. Two specific examples cited by Power Brands Consulting are Wired Wyatt’s new caffeinated maple syrup and Cracker Jack’s “Power Bites,” the servings of which have about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.

Experts say the trend has been fueled by the efforts of food manufacturers to “cash in” on consumers’ frenetic lifestyles and create innovations that match the profitability of caffeinated energy drinks. Recently, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stepped in to analyze the situation, and has asked companies to “take a time-out” from their energy-food endeavors.

According to market research from Euromonitor International, energy-boosting foods brought in over $1.6 billion in American retail sales in 2012. This is a nearly 50% increase from five years ago.

Roger Sullivan, the founder of Wired Waffles, was asked about the trend: “This is something that’s going to continue to grow,” he said. “It’s definitely a market where I think a lot of large companies are figuring out how to jump in.”

Sullivan and his wife began developing Wired Waffles after they closed their coffee distribution business following the economic crisis of 2008. Although he supports implementing more detailed labels for caffeine content in food and beverages, he is confident that business will continue as usual while the FDA sorts out its plans and goals for supervising the trend. When asked if business would stop, he said, “That’s not going to happen. If we waited on the government to figure things out, we’d be out of business.”

The FDA is particularly concerned with possible health effects on children, as well as the overall cumulative intake of caffeine by American consumers. Michael Taylor, the top food safety official of the FDA, spoke out about the trend:

“It’s a trend that raises real concerns. We’re not here to say that these products are inherently unsafe,” he said. “We’re trying to understand, what are the right questions to be asking? … We have to figure out, what are the right ways to approach this?”

He added, “When you start putting [caffeine] in these different products and forms, do we really understand the effects? Isn’t it time to pause and exercise some restraint?”

According to Power Brands Consulting, other researchers are less concerned about the rise of caffeinated foods. Abraham Palmer, a researcher at the University of Chicago, views these foods simply as alternative delivery systems for caffeine.

“Caffeine is a well-understood drug; billions of people around the world use it,” he said. “It’s hard for me to understand why these newer formulations are causing such alarm. …I fear that this may be much ado about nothing.”

Roland Griffiths, a professor of behavioral biology at John Hopkins University, has also studied the effects of caffeine extensively, and has taken note of a possible cultural shift in how caffeine is consumed. He said that while “coffee used to be the primary delivery system,” there is now “a whole new generation of people coming up who are not exclusive coffee drinkers.” This may prompt the business surrounding caffeine to begin moving in a new direction, if and when the FDA decides that certain regulations are necessary.

Nestlé Adds Premium Brand in the Still Water Category

15 Jul

Although tap water is basically free, consumers go for bottled water even during today’s economy.  According to the International Bottled Water Association, U.S. sales increased 6.7 percent in 2012 to $11.8 billion. In fact, American consumers drank an average of 30.8 gallons of bottled water. This is 5.3 percent more compared to 2011.

At this moment Nestlé Waters North America is the top producer of bottle water and has around a third of the market. Currently they are in hopes of making a large national splash with their new product Resource.

The group marketing manager for Resource, Larry Cooper said that the brand is intended for the most discriminating water drinker. Prior to its national launch Resource was first introduced at Whole Foods in 2009, then in 2012 Southern California.

Cooper states that they looked at bottled water as being at a more valuable, premium and mainstream level.  Although the company had amazing coverage for the first two tiers they did not have a premium water to compete with brands like Fiji, Evian and Smartwater. Granting, Nestlé owns premium sparkling water brands like Perrier and San Pellegrino. On the other hand, Nestlé says that Resource is the first domestically sourced premium brand of still water, meaning that it is non-effervescent and noncarbonated.

 In the Lead

According to the  SymphonyIRI Group (53 weeks ending May 19), in the still water category Nestlé Pure Life has a small lead followed by Dasani (Coca-Cola brand) with a 9.7 percent share and then Aquafina (PepsiCo brand) with a 9.4 share. Some of the other Nestlé brands are Poland Spring with a 6.3 percent share, Deer Park with a 4.4 and Ozarka with a 3.4.

Coopers says that Resource is aimed mostly towards trendy women with higher incomes with the bull’s-eye being 35 years old. The new ads display the beverage in a thriving woodland setting. It focuses on the 100 percent natural electrolytes, superb taste and a sustainable 50 percent recycled plastic.

According to Kantar Media (sister to WPP), Nestlé spent $51.5 million in 2012 on domestic advertising for its bottled water brands. The headline ads read ““It’s more than hydration, its total electrolytenment,” and is soon to be published in magazines like Vanity Fair, Fitness, People and In Style. Online advertising is led by McCann while public relations for the campaign are run by Cone Communications.


Environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) generally discourage consumers from drinking bottled water.  This is mostly due to the resources need to process, bottle and ship the product. It also makes a great impact on the waste stream. However Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist from the NRDC praised Resource for using 50% recycled plastic. Hershkowitz further states that companies should emulate the same procedure by using recycled content in their bottles.

In the U.S., Coca-Cola brands use about 5 percent recycled content in plastic bottles and PepsiCo brands use around 10 percent.


David G. Schardt, the senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest says that Resource stopped short when it came to explicitly claiming that electrolytes benefit health. Schardt states that this is because they are trying to stay clear of F.D.A. interference and are leaving it up to the consumers to image the health benefits that may come from electrolytes.

Schardt also stated that electrolytes are generally added to sports drinks for extreme exertion and the exception of distilled water, all water has some natural electrolytes. Schardt expanded and stated that extra electrolytes are only needed for endurance athletes that sweat profusely not for joggers who work out for 30 minutes.

Aside from recycled material and electrolytes, Cooper says that Resource’s goal is to surpass ordinary beverage status. In truth, we want Resource to be a lifestyle brand. Cooper adds that she is proud to carry around Resource as her bottled water accessory.

Featuring Resource

July 18 – Project Runway, a reality show on Lifetime will feature Resource throughout the 12th season. For instance, one episode will integrate the water as the theme of a design challenge. Fashion designers will be in a countryside location and be challenged with the reflecting elements that need to be incorporated into their design.

Bobbie Thomas – Endorsements with the style editor on the Today Show on NBC

Aida Mollenkamp – Endorsements with the host of Food Crafters on the Cooking Channel

Brett Hoebel – Endorsements with the fitness trainer who starred on the Biggest Loser on NBC

Dress for Success – Fund raising events with for Dress for Success who provides confidence training and professional attire for women having a hard time in the workforce.

Health and Wellness Trend Creates Opportunity in Today’s Market

8 Jul

A recent report by Acosta Sales and Marketing shows great opportunities in the health and wellness market.  There is an improved consumer outlook that is changing lookers into buyers.  Even as U.S obesity rates continue to rise, states the repost, more and more consumers are seeking healthy eating and regular exercise.

This is good news for all health and wellness companies, says Power Brands Consulting.  The trend should definitely increase sales even in today’s economy. In fact, states Power Brands, public awareness for all things healthy has created a high demand among consumers. Some of the buzzwords include “green”, “natural”, “sustainable” and Eco friendly. The buzzwords embrace both food and beverage products.

In addition, Acosta reports that 50% of shoppers indicated that they read nutritional labels either “always” or “most of the time”. However, 86% admitted that they indulge in unhealthy foods. Acosta further notes that since consumers tend to use the Internet for resources when it comes to health, CPG companies and retailers can help consumers solve their health and wellness questions.

Power Brands Consulting adds that consumers have steadily become more health conscious in the last two decades. In truth, many consumers are resorting to preventive measures. Some of the newest trends are practical foods and beverages such as health products on-the-go. Products that support sustainability are another big market, states Power Brands.

Acosta further adds that shoppers rarely look at food ratings such as Nutrition IQ and Guiding Stars. In actual fact, only 8% of consumers are aware of these programs. Interestingly, 31% of U.S. Hispanics indicated that they would find this information extremely useful and 35% said very useful.



Calories Count Program Enjoying Success in Washington D.C.

21 Jun

The Calories Count Vending Program, which made its debut in Chicago and San Antonio late last year, is nearing its first full month in Washington D.C.

The program aims to increase the availability of low-calorie beverages sold in vending machines, and also to help steer customers towards beverages with fewer calories. The program also endorses an all-around effort to provide smaller portions and clearer calorie labels to customers. Many large beverage companies including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Dr. Pepper have announced their commitment to help the program achieve its goals and gradually expand to other large cities around the country.

After enjoying considerable success in Chicago and San Antonio, Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray was eager to bring the program to the nation’s capital.

“I’m glad that the District will be in the vanguard of municipal governments working with our nation’s beverage companies to ensure that our workers and visitors to our municipal facilities have the information they need to make the best choices for their lifestyles,” he said. “This program is a great example of a public/private partnership that empowers consumers.”

Mayor Gray’s concern for the environment and public health are no secret; Washington D.C. has been working on a number of initiatives in both fields. One such program is the “Sustainable D.C. Initiative,” the goal of which is to make Washington D.C. the healthiest, greenest and most livable city in America. “The District already has a number of programs in place to encourage improved health among our residents,” he said, “…but the Calories Count Vending Program gives us another tool to ensure that our residents can reach their health goals,” Mayor Gray noted. “This benefits not only them and their families, but also our entire city by reducing health-care costs in the long run.”

Susan K. Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association, was not only enthusiastic about Washington D.C.’s involvement, but also viewed it as strategic: “America’s leading beverage companies are committed to being part of meaningful solutions to the public health challenge of obesity, and working with Mayor Gray to bring the Calories Count Vending Program to city employees is an important part of addressing that challenge.”