Pepsi Bottling Ventures welcomes new CEO

Raleigh, N.C.-based Pepsi Bottling Ventures LLC (PBV), a joint venture of Suntory Group and PepsiCo, named Derek Hill as president and CEO. The announcement followed the retirement of Paul Finney, who served as president and CEO from 2012-2021.

“Paul has strategically positioned PBV into the industry-leading bottling company that it is today. He is highly admired and will be greatly missed,” Hill said. “PBV prides itself as a top bottler and distributor of some of the most recognizable consumer beverage products in the world. I am honored to accept the role of president and CEO and look forward to many great years of continued success for our business, our customers, and consumers.”

Hill spent his 30-year career in the Pepsi system. He joined PBV in 2000 as vice president of corporate planning before assuming the role of chief financial officer (CFO) in 2008. As CFO, Hill led PBV to record-breaking profits and strategically managed a series of mergers and acquisitions that expanded the company’s distribution territory and sales footprint.

“We are very excited to welcome Derek as the new president and CEO of Pepsi Bottling Ventures,” said Kazuhiro Saito, president and CEO of Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd., in a statement. “He is an immense talent with a strategic vision, and I’m confident that the leadership transition will be seamless. Together, we will continue to drive PBV’s business forward.”    

Kirk Tanner, CEO of PepsiCo Beverages North America, added: “The partnership we’ve had with Paul over the years has been simply outstanding and he has built a high-performance team that plays a significant role in PepsiCo’s success. As he takes on the new adventure of retirement, he leaves a legacy that should stand as a source of great pride and a model for the beverage industry. With Derek in his new role, we have a strong leader and trusted partner with world-class knowledge of the PepsiCo bottling business. He will help us take our relationship to even greater heights and we look forward to continued success together in the future.” BI

Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Co. LLC, a subsidiary of Tilray Brands Inc., announced its expansion across California with distribution partners Reyes Beer Division, tying together the continued westward expansion of the SweetWater brand with the opening of SweetWater Colorado Brewing Co. LLC in Fort Collins, Colo., and the recent acquisition of San Diego beer brands, Alpine Beer Co. and Green Flash Brewing Co. Through Reyes Beer Division, the largest beer distributor in the United States, SweetWater’s lineup of year-round, seasonal and specialty beers now are available across California.

London-based Fever-Tree drinks recently entered the South Korean market, as it continues to extend its global reach. Now available through a partnership with award-winning South Korean brewing company Bohae Brewery, Fever-Tree has brought their award-winning range of premium mixers to the fast-growing market, it says. “We are very excited to be entering the South Korean market. As one of Asia’s fastest growing markets, South Korea presents a great opportunity for us to elevate the nation’s favorite serve, the soju tonic or “so-tonic”, and increasingly the highball, with our award-winning premium mixers,” said Tim Warrillow, co-founder and CEO of Fever-Tree, in a statement. “We are excited about our partnership with Bohae Brewery to help South Korean consumers mix with the best.”

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Beverage community calorie reduction effort sees decrease for 4 straight years

Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo announced the creation of a new North American organization dedicated to accelerating efforts inside and outside of the company to help address inequalities for historically excluded people and underserved businesses and communities. The new Multicultural Business and Equity Development Organization will operate across PepsiCo's North America beverage and convenient foods businesses and integrate work streams aimed at addressing a variety of business and people priorities into a one-team approach that will enable PepsiCo to drive sustained change and scale faster across its entire North America businesses. Underscoring the importance of this move, PepsiCo has appointed Derek Lewis as its first-ever president of Multicultural Business and Equity Development to lead this effort. In his new role, he will create and lead a new organization tasked with ensuring end-to-end business inequalities are addressed to maximize overall results and impact.  Lewis will report to Kirk Tanner, CEO of PepsiCo Beverages North America, and Steven Williams, CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America.

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Calories consumed from beverages continue to decline in communities where obesity rates are above the national average, according to an independent evaluator. For four years straight, the actions the beverage industry is undertaking nationally with public health partners to reduce the sugar people get from beverages is working, and the data proves it, states American Beverage, Washington, D.C.

Independent evaluator Keybridge LLC released its annual report on five select communities where the beverage industry is measuring progress of the Balance Calories Initiative (BCI), a national commitment by American Beverage, The Coca-Cola Co., Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo to reduce per-person beverage calories by 20% by 2025.

The report details that average calories in each 8-ounce serving from 2014/15 (baseline start of BCI) through 2020 have gone down between 10% and 15.5% in all five communities, which include Eastern Los Angeles, Calif., Little Rock, Ark., Bronx/Brooklyn, N.Y., Montgomery and Lowndes counties, Ala., and the Mississippi Delta.

Consumers in these five communities as well as nationally have shifted toward more beverages with low sugar and zero sugar and away from full-calorie beverages, the association states. This is a trend beverage companies have been working to achieve through the creation of more beverage choices with less sugar and smaller portion sizes, and by encouraging consumers to try to balance the sugar they get from beverages, it adds.

Beverage companies now are halfway to their national goal to reduce beverage calories by 20%.

“I’m especially proud of the progress we’ve made in communities where we know consumers need more choices with less sugar to balance their lives,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of American Beverage, in a statement. “Today, nearly 60% of all beverages sold are zero sugar, and our public-private partnerships with community groups are supporting consumer efforts to reduce the sugar in their diets.” BI

Du Nord Social Spirits first graduate of Jack Daniel’s, Uncle Nearest’s Business Incubation Program

The Jack Daniel's Distillery and the Nearest Green Distillery announced that Minneapolis-based Du Nord Social Spirits, a small batch distillery producing gin, vodka, liqueurs and whiskeys, is the first graduate of the Business Incubation Program, one of the core pillars of the Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative.

Launched by the Jack Daniel Distillery and the Nearest Green Distillery in 2020, the Nearest & Jack Advancement Initiative aims to advance diversity within the American whiskey industry with a Business Incubation Program, Leadership Acceleration Program, and the creation of the Nearest Green School of Distilling, it says. The Business Incubation Program offers BIPOC entrepreneurs mentorship in all areas of the distilling business including access to marketing, branding, expanded distribution networks, and other assets and opportunities for growth.

Du Nord Social Spirits was the first business selected for the initiative’s Business Incubation Program in 2020. As part of the program, Du Nord worked with industry experts to transform its branding identity and packaging while receiving mentoring from leaders at both Uncle Nearest and Brown-Forman. Through distributor networking opportunities, the distillery increased its sales footprint and now is available in 10 states across the country. Additionally, Du Nord recently partnered with Delta Air Lines to have its Foundation Vodka available on all domestic Delta flights.  

“Our experience in the Business Incubation Program has been a game-changer while providing the foundational elements of strong branding and helping us develop a path of growth. Without this program, we would not be in the position we are now,” said Du Nord CEO and Head Distiller Chris Montana in a statement. BI

The Fun Wine Co., Miami, appointed Todd Anderson as president of the company. Anderson will be responsible for the sales, marketing, distribution and operations strategy of FUN WINE. After 16 years with Mark Anthony Brands, Anderson joined Lone River Beverage Co. as chief commercial officer. The maker of Lone River Ranch Water hard seltzer was recently acquired by Diageo Beer Co. “I am looking forward to joining this rapidly emerging brand and working closely with the Fun Wine Team on our strategy to further disrupt total beverage alcohol,” Anderson said in statement. “The Fun Wine Co. has a unique opportunity to engage the diverse and evolving North American and international consumer markets by building our brand on the lifestyle occasions behind music, fashion, art and just plain FUN.”

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March 2022    |

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