Michigan’s Imperial Beverage acquires Bayside Beverage’s beer business

A pair of Michigan-based MillerCoors distributors are consolidating their beer businesses. Kalamazoo-headquartered Imperial Beverage today announced that, after five months of negotiating, it had acquired Bayside Beverage, the beer division of Highland Park-based Great Lakes Wine & Spirits. Financial terms of the deal, which closed on March 9, were not disclosed.

Speaking to Brewbound, Larry Cekola, Imperial’s VP of sales and marketing, said the deal would add about 220,000 case equivalents to Imperial’s existing 3 million case beer and wine business. He added that about 65 percent of Imperial’s business is in beer.

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Constellation Brands COO Bill Newlands takes over president title from CEO Rob Sands

Sands will continue to serve as CEO, a press release noted. “Bill is a dynamic leader who has demonstrated an ability to advance our strategic priorities and strengthen our innovation capabilities in ways that further bolster our position as a leading total beverage alcohol company,” Sands said via the press release. In the expanded president role, Newlands, who was named first named COO last January, will “have oversight and accountability for all operating aspects of the company,” Constellation said via a press release.

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Conagra acquires Sandwich Bros ahead of Q2 2018 results

Conagra has agreed to acquire Sandwich Bros. of Wisconsin, a producer of frozen flatbread sandwiches, for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is ecpected to closed in early 2018. Conagra’s president and CEO, Sean Connolly said,”Adding the sandwhich Bros. business to our portfolio is another step in Conagra Brands’ ongoing work to accelerate growth.

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Zest Tea Launches RTD Line

After three years of jolting its consumers awake with its flagship line of highly-caffeinated bagged teas, Zest Tea has launched its first ready-to-drink (RTD) products. The new 12 oz. cans of “High Octane” sparkling energy teas, launched in December for sale via the company’s website and Amazon, mark a large growth opportunity for Zest Tea, which is positioning the three-SKU line as an alternative to both coffee and traditional energy drinks.


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Leadership Transition for Coca-Cola North America

The Coca-Cola Company today announced that J. Alexander “Sandy” Douglas Jr. will retire as President of Coca-Cola North America (CCNA). He will be succeeded by James L. “Jim” Dinkins, who currently serves as President of the Minute Maid Business Unit and Chief Retail Sales Officer for CCNA.

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