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
• Mead, Cider and Sake
• 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 firstname.lastname@example.org :
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!
Unless you’ve been hibernating under your favorite rock, you’ll know the New York/New Jersey area—where our entire edit and art team resides—was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy. I count myself among the extremely lucky. While many in my immediate neighborhood experienced catastrophic flooding and lost power for nearly two weeks, my home suffered little more than a 36-hour blackout (I was stranded in Chicago, as all New York-area airports were closed, so I ended up missing the whole thing). I was struck by the image of relief volunteers all over town lending a helping hand to those who needed it most. But you want to know what was almost as striking? The pallet loads of bottled water being distributed to those without potable running water. My parents and grandmother, who live about an hour away from me near the Jersey Shore, informed me they were living on—not to mention bathing in—bottled water for a good 11 or 12 days after the media-dubbed “Superstorm.”
Why do I bring this up? Think about it. If the anti-bottled-water movement got its ultimate wish, the relief effort would be much more challenging, if not virtually impossible. The Red Cross and local volunteers may not have been able to do much for the power and heat situation, but they had the tools to tackle the water issue pretty quickly, with millions of bottles at the ready from the industry’s top producers. Now imagine a world without bottled water and the impact it would have on the victims of the storm. I’d rather not think about.
Look, I know what some people are thinking. Here’s a shameless PR statement from just another shill for the industry. But guess what. I’m a passionate environmentalist. The fact that we had such a storm is directly related to climate change, which many, for the sake of blind ideological purity, continue to deny. In my mind climate change, global warming, whatever you want to call it, is an undisputable fact. When you try to challenge science with spin, science will always win.
But my argument for bottled water has been one of convenience and, as Sandy has proved, sometimes of necessity. I have a Brita filter at home. I love my Brita filter. But when I’m not home I really don’t want to carry a thermos—the contents of which would be depleted pretty quickly, leaving me to find an acceptable water source with which to refill it. Anyone who’s ever used an airport water fountain or public restroom sink knows that’s not an easy thing to do. That’s when I’m buying bottled water. A lot of it.
I strongly believe that we need to reduce the amount of petroleum-based material in our bottles. I long for the day—hopefully just a few years down the road—when plant-based packaging becomes a mainstream, commercially viable option. But in the interim, bottled water companies have been among the first to innovate with lightweighting. More can be done, but it should tide us all over until bio-alternatives are the norm.
So when a storm, earthquake, mudslide, tornado or any natural or man-made disaster strikes, those advocating against bottled water must ask themselves this: What good is your Brita, now?
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!
BEST IN SHOW
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
CARBONATED SOFT DRINKS
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
READY-TO-DRINK TEA & COFFEE
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.
The bottled water ban movement has been raging for quite a while. But until now it was mostly about governments and college campuses banning the use of bottled water within the confines of their own property. That is, until now.
In late April, Concord, Mass. (yes, that Concord, Mass.—the same one where a little thing called the American Revolution started) voted to ban the sale of single-serve PET bottled water in town. Only, not just in government offices, but anywhere within the borders of Concord. Yes, that includes any store in Concord. Stores that violate the ban could be fined up to $50 for every offense.
Could the anti-bottled water advocates finally have gone too far? I’d predict, yes.
As of this writing, it’s not clear if the new law will be overturned before it goes into effect in January 2013. The law now goes to the state’s attorney general for review. One article I read said it very well may be upheld.
Concord now joins only one other town in the entire world in banning all sales of single-serve PET water within its confines: Bundanoon, Australia. That suddenly famous Australian town passed its ban in July of 2009.
Upon hearing of Concord’s decision, I immediately started wondering if the townsfolk of one of the most important historical locations in the U.S.A. ever read their history?
If they did, they’d be familiar first and foremost with the dismal history of Prohibition. But this decision by Concord actually reminds me more of the tax hikes on cigarettes in the nineties, an effort to raise funds while curbing smoking. I was an editor of a different trade publication back then and watched this story unfold as the taxes had some unexpected results. Nearby Indian reservations, not subject to the tax hikes, kept their cigarette prices low and consumers began buying instead from them. They’d load the trunks of their cars up with cartons, drive home and be all set.
What do the citizens of Concord expect to happen? Don’t they see that their new “Warrant Article 32, the Drinking Water in Single-Serving PET Bottles Bylaw,” will only serve one purpose: to harm their local retailers who will undoubtedly lose business to the neighboring towns with no ban?
The bottled water category has been doing excellent business as of late. Just take a look at the State of the Industry 2012 report in this very issue you are holding. It grew at its fastest rate (4.1 percent) since 2007 last year, in the midst of a deep recession. Consumers love the convenience of it. And the industry is trying very hard to be as environmentally responsible as possible, dramatically reducing the amount of plastic in every bottle.
Concord went too far in passing this law and I predict it will eventually realize it. Hopefully, the shot heard ’round the world against the bottled water industry in Concord will be loud enough for other municipalities around the country to hear and take notice of before they too make the same mistake.