September 11-15, 2017

Blog Entries Tagged as coffee

The ‘good for you’ debate

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Category: General Blogs  |  Tags: coffee

Coffee’s path has been a rather torturous one when it comes to a question that has been stalking it for years—is it good for us to drink it?

The latest verdict, according to a massive new study in Circulation, a scientific journal published by the American Heart Association, is not only is coffee is good for you, it’s really good for you.

This study, whose results were released in November, followed 200,000 doctors and nurses for up to 30 years and found a six percent reduced risk of death overall from one cup a day, an eight percent reduced risk of death from one to three cups, a 15 percent reduced risk from three to five cups, and a 12 percent reduction in risk of death from more than five cups. And, what’s more, there was little difference whether it was caffeinated or decaffeinated, proving that it is the nutrients in coffee, not the caffeine, which is having this healthful effect.

This massive study confirms in a big way numerous other studies over the past several years that have hinted that coffee is not the unhealthy drink some once thought it was. 

Those who are old enough may recall the first warnings about coffee, way back in 1981. A Harvard study at the time tied the drink to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. Further investigation eventually showed a tie-in between smoking and the cancers. Nevertheless, the damage was done. A stigma always hung over coffee until the publication of more recent studies, beginning around 2008, started hinting that it was actually good for us.

At this point in time, I think it’s no exaggeration to conclude that coffee is now firmly in the healthy camp. Imagine that—a drink many of us love that is also good for us!  Who woulda thought?

I’m writing this column having just written the cover story for this issue of Beverage World about the juice category, which seems to be undergoing a similar trajectory to coffee when it comes to that question—is juice good for us to drink? The big issue about juice, especially what have traditionally been its most popular types, like orange, grapefruit and apple, revolves around their high sugar content. These juices can contain a lot of natural sugar, leading some in the medical community to advise against consuming too much of them. James Tonkin, president of the consultancy firm Healthy Brand Builders spoke with me at length while I was researching my cover story. He pointed out that some experts believe sugar is sugar, and it doesn’t matter what form it takes—be wary of consuming too much of it. Others see the nutritive value of juice, and the fact that its sugar is natural, outweighing any negative effects. “Is it a good thing?” Tonkin asks. “I think that’s really the discussion right now.”

So, with the debate about coffee now receding into the past, expect the debate about the healthfulness of juice to now take center stage.  

Let the Games Begin: BevStar 2013 Call for Entries

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Category: General Blogs  |  Tags: coffee

With the dawn of a new year comes a new chance for your brand to shine. Whether you're playing in the alcohol or non-alcohol space (or both even), you are cordially invited to submit your product to our third-annual BevStar Awards competition. It's our annual celebration of innovation across all of the major beverage categories. And the best part? It's absolutely free to enter, aside from whatever shipping costs you need to incur to get a sample of your product to our judging team.

Since this is about innovation, we ask that your product be new(ish). That means it should have been launched no earlier than Sept. 2011. If it hasn't been launched yet, that's fine. As long as you've got a product, a package and a plan to roll it out before summer 2013, it's eligible. (The product has to exist. Ideation is great, but execution is critical.)

Once again, we'll be awarding gold, silver and bronze awards in the following categories:

• Carbonated Soft Drinks

• Water/Enhanced Water

• Functional Beverages (including sports drinks, but not including energy drinks—those get their own category. We got a ton of energy entries last year.)

• Energy Drinks

• Beer

• Mead, Cider and Sake

• Wine

• Spirits

• Ready-to-Drink Tea & Coffee

We'll also present special achievement awards for marketing innovation, social media initiatives and environmental sustainability.

To enter, please e-mail the following to :

1. Product Name

2. Parent Company Name

3. Contact Info (address, phone & e-mail)

4. High-resolution product image

5. A brief description of the product and why you believe it should win a BevStar award.

6. The names of any packaging, label design, ingredient and branding companies or individuals that helped develop or market your product.

If your product passes the written test, we'll send you instructions on where to ship product samples for the practical test. We ask that you limit the samples to one bottle/can/carton/etc. per product entered.

Keep in mind, tasting is only one component of our selection process. Your product has to offer the whole package, which includes, well, the package and its overall market positioning.

The submission deadline is March 1. Winners will be notified by June 1 and we'll showcase winning products in the July 2013 issue of Beverage World.

If you've got any questions you can e-mail me directly.

We're looking forward to your entries!





Bringing Home the Beverage-Making Experience

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Category: General Blogs  |  Tags: coffee


Several months ago, during a visit to the home of one of my brothers here in New York City, he and his wife proudly introduced me to their newest gadget: a SodaStream.

I’m sure most of you reading this are probably familiar with SodaStream, the home soda making device. It has been around for many years—mainly in Europe—and recently made some big inroads into the U.S. market. The company generated a lot of attention when it went public on the Nasdaq in 2010. Betweeen 2007 and 2011, according to a recent article in Forbes, its U.S. sales jumped from $4.4 million to $85 million. 

The device comes in something like seven versions, with the price ranging from $80 and $200.

When I first heard about Soda Stream, my initial reaction could best be described as interested on a personal level, and at the same time, putting on my Beverage World editor hat, a bit wary. What would this mean for the beverage companies I write about all the time? If consumers are able to bottle their own soft drinks at home, well, then, where does that leave the bottlers? Yes, SodaStream only has about 0.7 percent of the CSD market, according to the Forbes article. But there are plenty of examples in history of simple inventions that upended entire industries.

So, what happened during a more recent visit to my brother’s home in October was a bit surprising to me. There, in the corner of their kitchen counter continued to sit the SodaStream. Only this time, when the subject came up in conversation, gone was the unbridled enthusiasm they had regaled my ears with months before. Instead, clearly expressing shopper’s remorse, they both explained to me they had fallen out of love with their soda-making device. My curiosity piqued, I asked my sister-in-law, what happened?

“It just doesn’t make enough,” she told me.

Understanding what she was getting at, I asked: “You mean it’s too much of a hassle for what it does?” That was precisely it, she said.

There’s a reason, I guess, why there’s an entire industry devoted to bottling soft drinks in large factories. And that’s because for most consumers they prefer their soda to remain a pleasurable experience, not work. What my brother and his wife were telling me is that once the novelty of making their own soda at home wore off, the experience—from replacing the CO2 cartridge, to buying the syrup refills, to making the soda itself and then chugging it down quickly before having to do it all over again—became just another at-home chore. And we have enough of those.

This is not to say that there isn’t a lasting place for some machines that bring home the beverage experience. Heck, Mr. Coffee is proof enough of that. And Starbucks just recently introduced the Verismo, a machine that aims to bring the Starbucks store experience to the home by allowing consumers to brew their own lattes and espressos. 

But time may prove that some drinks are well enough left up to the experts.  

BevStar Awards 2012: We Finally Have Our Winners!

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Category: General Blogs  |  Tags: coffee

After a lengthy judging process involving a record number of entries this year and a self-imposed media blackout until the official winners' issue started arriving this week, we are very pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Beverage World BevStar Awards. For those just joining us, the BevStars recognize new product innovation across all of the major beverage categories.

We received a particularly robust shower of entries in the Energy & Functional category—so many that we decided to split it into two separate categories this year. It really reflects the level of innovation in those segments. If you recall from our 2012 State of the Industry report, energy drink volume returned to double-digit growth last year, with an increase of more than 17 percent in 2011, according to Beverage Marketing Corporation.

Without further ado, here's the list of this year's winners. For details on all of these brands, read the July 2012 issue of Beverage World. Congratulations to all!

Ruthless Rye IPA, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Gold: Ruthless Rye IPA, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Silver: Deviant Dale's IPA, Oskar Blues Brewing Co.
Bronze: Bronx Pale Ale, The Bronx Brewery

Gold: MyCause Water, Panacea Beverage Co.
Silver: Elevate Enhanced Fiber Water, 912 Corp.
Bronze: Karma Wellness Water, Karma Kulture LLC

Gold: Spindrift, Spindrift Soda co.
Silver: Dr Pepper Ten, Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Bronze: HotLips Cranberry Soda, HotLips Soda Co.

Gold: Monster Rehab, Monster Beverage Co.
Silver: Slap Frozen Energy, Brain-Twist
Bronze: Berry Rain, RevHoney

Gold: Neuro Sun, Neuro Beverage
Silver: Ralph & Charlie's Aloe, Ralph & Charlie's Beverage Co.
Bronze: Modjo Hydrate Elite, Cellutions

Gold: Honest (Not Too) Sweet Tea, Honest Tea
Silver: RealBeanz, RealBeanz LLC
Bronze: Tao of Tea, The Tao of Tea

Gold: Purgatory Vodka, Alaska Distillery
Silver: Apple Pie Moonshine, Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery
Bronze: BuzzBallz, BuzzBallz LLC

Gold: FlasqWines, JT Wines
Silver: Blanc de Bleu, Premium Vintage Cellars
Bronze: Xavier Flouret La Pilar Malbec, Cognac One LLC

For those brands that entered but didn't take a gold, silver or bronze in any of the categories, don't fret. Competition was particularly stiff this year and the decisions were all very difficult for all of us on the judging panel. And there's always next year. We'll be announcing a call for entries some time in December.