Chain Beverage Buzz

SodaWho Will Survive the War on Soda?
The Huffington Post recently profiled Mountain Dew’s diehard consumer base, who don’t appear to be going anywhere amidst widespread declines in U.S. soda consumption. Despite being the third most popular soft drink brand behind Coke and Pepsi, Mountain Dew (which is owned by PepsiCo) still relies heavily on its cult-like following, with 20 percent of its users accounting for 70 percent of its volume sold. MORE>>

Nightclub & Bar ShowNCB Celebrates 30 Years
The Nightclub & Bar Show (NCB) will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. The event will take place March 30-April 1 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. An estimated 39,000 industry professionals will be in attendance to visit some of the more than 70 moneymaking seminars, pro workshops, back-of-the-house tours, three specialty pavilions, and the more than 600 exhibitor booths. MORE>>

Spirit Trends Top 10 Spirit Launches for January 2015
Hybrid drinks and eccentric flavours featured highly this month, marked by the release of Magners with Irish Whiskey, and the whimsical flavours of Fluid Movement bottled cocktails – comprising of a Peanut Butter & Jam Old Fashioned to name just one. Crown Royal released its first ever single barrel expression, distilled in a coffey rye still, and Kilbeggan Distilling Company launched a limited edition bottling of its 21-year-old super premium whiskey. MORE>>

Restaurant Marketing Ideas for February

Restaurant Marketing Ideas for February
There’s a lot to love about marketing your restaurant in February.  Valentine’s Day and Superbowl Sunday are always two important days for restaurants, but February is also Cherry Month, Heart Month and Hot Breakfast Month.  And it doesn’t end there. For beverage marketing, pour up something special on Cafe Au Lait Day, Kahlua Day, Margarita Day and Open That Bottle Night. MORE>>

Technomic Blog

Happy Hour Consumers Are Food-Focused
Food, specifically the type of food available, has a stronger impact on where consumers visit for happy hour than alcohol drinks do. Asked specifically about food and beverage drivers, most consumers who go to bars, restaurants and other foodservice locations for happy hour (61%) say the type of food available is important in their decision of where to go, according to Technomic’s recent Dinner & Late Night Consumer Trend Report. MORE>>

Craft SodaCraft Soda is Served
David Blossman, president of Abita Brewing Co., has been talking about water. And, he has been for several minutes. And, as he continues to talk about the water his Louisiana company uses in its production process, it quickly becomes obvious that he enjoys—even revels in —discussing the subject. “Our water definitely is a point of difference,” he says. “It comes from the Southern Hills Aquifer which collects its water from the Smokey Mountains and Blue Ridges and works itself down here. MORE>>

Gluten Free BeerWhy and How to Menu Gluten-Free Beer
Gluten-free customers craving a cold beer on game day increasingly have more options. Next month, MillerCoors, one of the United States’ largest beer brands, will foray into the gluten-free market with the launch of a naturally gluten-free beer. Brewed from brown rice, Coors Peak Copper Lager will be available only in Portland, Oregon and Seattle. This follows on the heels of gluten-free launches from other heavyweight beer producers such as Boston Beer Company and Anheuser-Busch InBev, including hard cider and along with releases from craft producers. MORE>>

Shanken News Daily

Brewers Tap Into Growth With Flavored Beers
Like spirits marketers, brewers are pouring on the flavors these days. Most new malt products lately have featured a flavor emphasis, as beer marketers seek to broaden their consumer base and recruit drinkers from other beverage categories. Anheuser-Busch’s introduction of Bud Light Lime-A-Rita in 2012 was a pivotal move in the flavor direction. While initially intended as an “in-and-out” product, today the Rita franchise accounts for $1 billion in sales. MORE>>

NRATechnology, Lifestyle Food Choices Evolving Trends for 2015
Technology is a rapidly evolving trend for 2015. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast, roughly one-quarter of consumers say technology options are important features that factor into their decision to choose a restaurant. This is up from the nearly one-fifth the prior year that said the same, underscoring that technology quickly is becoming an expectation rather than a novelty when dining out. MORE>>


Bertucci's Bertucci's to Expand Rollout of Open Kitchen

Bertucci’s Corp. plans to extend its Bertucci’s Kitchen remodels, now in two units, to more restaurants next year, chief executive Bill Freeman said. The Bertucci’s Kitchen format opens the casual-dining concept’s kitchen to the dining room to provide theater-style cooking, and modifies the bar area. It debuted in June in Nashua, N.H., and in November in Braintree, Mass. MORE>>