Beverage Bites: news up to May 15, 2015

What do Pepsi, the International Space Station, and Usher have in common? This week’s beverage bites

Urthecast is developing a live video feed of planet earth - and will be working with Pepsi

This week Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company released its first quarter trading update, while Constellation Brands takes on a former US army captain as its chief marketing officer for wine and spirits. Meanwhile, Pepsi is ushering in its latest challenge… read on for more nuggets of news in our Beverage Bites feature. 

Soft drink calories down

Calories across the soft drinks sector have decreased by 7.3% in the last three years, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

The British Soft Drinks Association credits efforts by producers and retailers for the change. “Consumer calorie intake from our products is down significantly. This shows that voluntary steps by the industry are having an impact,” said Gavin Partington, BSDA director general.

Initiatives include reformulation of products, smaller pack sizes, and promotion of low and no calorie products. Soft drinks companies have increased advertising spend on low and no calorie products by almost 50% in the last year.

Nearly half of carbonates purchased in the UK are low or no calorie, the BSDA adds.

Juicy news for Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, the second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola brands, saw overall volume growth reach 7.2% in its first quarter, compared to a 4% decline in the same quarter last year.

Emerging markets volumes increased by 7.4% in the quarter (the three months ending April 3, 2015), the company announced today.  

It notes good performances from Nigeria and Romania in all categories, while juice showed ‘excellent performance’ across the segment.

In Russia, the company says juice – in particular Moya Semya - balanced declines in sparking amidst challenging macroeconomic conditions.

However, overall net sales revenue in the emerging markets segment declined 4.6% in the quarter. Improved FX-neutral net sales revenue per case (which was up by 4.1%) was more than offset by the impact of adverse currency movements, said CCHBC.

From the US Army to Constellation Brands

Jared Fix will take on the role of Chief Marketing Officer for wine and spirits at Constellation Brands in June, the company announced on Monday.

Fix hails from Beam Suntory, with roles including vice president and general manager for the mixables category; and vice president strategy and business development for North America.

Fix previously served as a captain in the US Army for five years, and as engagement manager for McKinsey & Company.

Pepsi Challenge takes to space

Pepsi will use footage filmed by UrtheCast, a video system located on the International Space Station, as it launches this year’s Pepsi Challenge.

Pepsi is producing a short film that will combine footage from UrtheCast (the Vancouver-based technology company is developing the world’s first Ultra HD video feed of Earth, which will be streamed from space), alongside other perspectives from Earth.

On Tuesday, eight-time Grammy award winning entertainer Usher invited fans to submit images which they feel will “inspire and amaze others to look at the world in a new way.” People can upload their images until June 2.

Usher will select his favorite image and the winner will meet him on set for the upcoming film shoot, while the image will be featured in the film.

See the related news section below for more of this week’s top stories.

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