Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bev Lab booked!

NuBev's laboratories booked through May, 2010! New clients, continuing projects and trial runs have occupied our calendar for the entire month. To get your beverage project on the schedule for June/July, contact NuBev ASAP.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fine Taste of France

Romantic...check. Fashionable...check. Beverage buzz...check.
Yes, the RTD beverage arena seems more developed than in recent years in France. Functional drinks, high end exotic juices, and Red Bull. A distant change from the traditional mineral water, juices and dairy drinks that would litter most of the retail space. Red Bull is finally authorized nationally and is no longer limited to the the petrol stations on the peage (toll) highways. It is evident that they are pouring major marketing dollars into France as well and they seem to be doing a good job at keeping the likes of Monster and other competitors at bay.

NuBev recently spent a few days each in Paris, Provence and the French Riviera to get an idea on what is going on in the French beverage market. France is certainly an interesting beverage market and it appears challenging (distribution) for beverage entrepreneurs and smaller companies that don't have the Coca-Cola, Nestle, Danone or Pepsi name behind them. Nonetheless, there is a lot to learn from the French in terms of food and beverage occasions.

Our interest lied within the cafes and the mom & pop specialty stores. And this is what makes France... well, France. Mealtime is treated with delicacy and high importance and Beverage consumption is less on the go and more to be enjoyed with food. Special note: Try to withhold any American eating habits like impatience for slow service, special menu requests, etc.

One truly unique experience was a visit to the Water Bar in Paris. This small eatery is located on the basement floor of the extremely popular Colette store on rue Saint Honore near Place Vendome. Upon entering Colette I was stunned to see how crowded this place was. Waves of hipsters flowing through the store browsing the (laissez-faire) selection of music, books, accessories, clothing and shoes. The last place you'd expect to find a beverage heaven.

The Water Bar, located down the Colette staircase is a small restaurant that specializes in offering mineral waters from around the world. Sparkling or still, the water list resembles a wine list. In addition, they have a healthy selection of alternative beverages with some of the more well-known brands Vitamin Water, POM and Lorina occupying the beverage cooler at the front of the restaurant. If you want a well-priced lunch or need a relaxing drink break with great people watching, the Water Bar should definitely be on your To Do list. Oh yeah- bring your full credit card limit for the shopping upstairs. For more info visit: www.colette.fr.

During our travels to the southern part of France, we stumbled across some interesting, yet innovative packaging and beverage concepts. One was a functional product called Purelosophy (www.purelosophy.com). A Swiss company that distributes to high end bars, spas and hotels around the world. This is one packaging type I have yet to see in the states and the taste was light and refreshing. We picked up the Detox.

The other was Gloji (www.gloji.com). A 100% juice product containing goji berry blended with other high quality juices to promote inner health and beauty. The packaging is certainly unique while the taste profile was along the lines of an exotic juice blend. Gloji is located in the US but we have yet to find it in the States. If you find it, let me know because we are interested in trying the other flavor options.

After drinking all the fantastic wine and enjoying the notoriously amazing French cuisine, we did find it difficult to spare stomach share on tasting beverages. Regardless, France is a great place for foodies, winos, and beverage tourism. The French pay a lot of attention to detail and it reflects in their food and drink choices. Now if someone in the States could make a "Real" quinine tonic water like Schweppes in Europe! It goes beautifully with Grey Goose and a lemon.

-posted by B. DeClark