The alcohol industry may be under increasing scrutiny about its marketing practices, but none can deny the impact of the beer industry on the nation's economy. At least, that's what Beer Serves America—sponsored by the Beer Institute (Washington) and National Beer Wholesalers Association (Alexandria, Va.)—believes.

According to the organization, the U.S. brewing industry contributes billions of dollars of wages and taxes to the nation's economy. The group says a further indication of the importance of the beer industry is its inclusion in the basket of goods the government uses to calculate the Consumer Price Index.

More than 1,800 brewers and beer importers compose today's beer industry, plus another 2,200 beer wholesalers and 560,000 retail establishments. Beyond these segments, however, the industry broadcasts a broad economic ripple effect. This effect benefits packaging manufacturers, shipping companies and agriculture firms, plus other businesses that depend upon the brewing industry.

As a whole, directly and indirectly, 1.66 million Americans are employed through the beer industry, earning $47 billion in wages and benefits. In terms of taxes, the industry pays $27 billion in business, personal and consumption taxes, including $5.1 billion in excise taxes.

The industry marked its seventh straight year of growth in 2002 and set an all-time record in shipments from brewers to wholesalers. Of course, this is due in no small part to a huge increase in brands over the last decade. More than 3,500 malt beverage brands dot the marketplace, triple the amount of a decade ago. Furthermore, considering the growth of microbreweries and brewpubs, the country has five times the amount of breweries compared to a decade ago.

Should've Had a V9!

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (Washington, D.C.) and its principal agency for cancer research, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) (Bethesda, Md.) have determined that American men are falling short when it comes to consuming fruits and vegetables. To combat this, the pair are encouraging men to “Shoot for 9”—nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

A recent NCI survey found only 3% of men were aware they should eat nine servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and the new campaign looks to increase this awareness. In so doing, the hope is that the nine-a-day program will reduce men's risk of numerous diseases, including many cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. These plus strokes account for roughly 75% of all deaths in the U.S., and men “develop chronic disease earlier in life and have higher death rates from them than do women,” say the groups.

Men have been found to eat only 3.1 servings of fruit and vegetables a day, according to a 2002 study by the NPD Group (Port Washington, N.Y.). HHS and NCI are working to inform men that they need more fruits and vegetables than do women and children, as men develop heart diseases and other diseases earlier in life than women.

Furthermore, NCI recommends a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables. Red, yellow-orange, white, green and blue-purple help to provide as many health-promoting phytochemicals as possible.

Sidebox: THE IN BOX

Acatris (Minneapolis) is expanding its food business into the U.S. with sales offices in the Midwest. The Minneapolis office may be reached at 952-920-7700, and the Chicago office is at 269-623-5306.

Campbell Soup Co. (Camden, N.J.) appointed senior vice president of sales and chief customer officer Larry S. McWilliams to president of North America Soup. Also, Denise M. Morrison has been named president of global sales and chief customer officer.

Bunge North America (Emporia, Kan.) will idle productions at its Marion, Ohio soybean processing facility until margins improve.

Dairy Management Inc. (Rosemont, Ill.) has retained Thomas O'Connell, president of Marketing Concepts, to act as innovation specialist, helping to “bring more innovations from the lab to the consumer.”

Omega Protein Corp. (Houston) will build a new 100-metric ton per day fish oil processing facility at its Reedville, Va. plant. The facility will include state-of-the-art processing equipment and controls that will allow the company to refine, bleach, winterize and deodorize its manhaden fish oil and will more than triple the company's existing refined fish oil production capacity.

Current Snapple Beverage Group (White Plains, N.Y.) president Jack Belsito has assumed the role of president for both Snapple and Mott's (Stamford, Conn.).

Kraft Foods (Glenview, Ill.) has announced that Marc Firestone, currently senior vice president and general counsel of Philip Morris International, will become senior vice president and associate general counsel for Kraft. In addition, Kraft Foods North America has named Michael P. Senackerib executive vice president of Kraft Foods N.A. and general manager of the snacks division.

Solbar Industries Ltd. (Ashdod, Israel) has moved into its new headquarters, adjacent to the Solbar factory site in Ashdod. The plant is certified ISO 9002, HACCP/GMP, kosher and halal.

McCain Foods (St. John, New Brunswick, Canada) purchased Belleisle Foods, another player in New Brunswick's food processing industry.

Aurora Foods (St. Louis) appointed Steve Smiley vice president of purchasing, in charge of all of Aurora's supplier relationships.

Hershey Foods Corp. (Hershey, Pa.) named Thomas K. Hernquist senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Illes Seasonings & Flavors (Dallas) has appointed Damon Parkhurst as vice president of national accounts, reporting directly to the president and CEO, Rick Illes.

McClancy Seasoning (Concord, N.C.) has launched its new website at

A team at the National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, Md.) has found little evidence that people consuming the most fiber have a decreased risk of developing colon cancer.

Red River Commodities (Fargo, N.D.) has purchased Sun Valley Products Inc. and will operate the firm under its wholly owned subsidiary SunGold Foods Inc.

FASMAC Co. Ltd. (Kanagawa, Japan) has been named exclusive licensee of GeneScan in Japan.

Quality Institute International (San Francisco) awarded its 2003 Gold Taste Award for best-tasting shredded cheese to Sargento (Plymouth, Wisc.).

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (Arlington, Va.) reports U.S. dairy exports topped $1 billion for the third straight year in 2002.

Quest International (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) is opening its first U.S. customer training and tasting center, known as the Chef's Innovation Center, to be completed by June 30, 2003.

Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. (Lakeville-Middleboro, Mass.) laid off 58 employees, about 10% of the workforce at its Lakeville headquarters.

The Sugar Association (Washington) appointed Andrew C. Briscoe president and CEO.

Fortune Brands Inc. (Lincolnshire, Ill.) named Christopher J. Klein as senior vice president of strategy & corporate development.

Mitsubishi Corp. (Tokyo) will cooperate with a biotechnology start-up to make natural preservatives and other food additives recycled from vegetable scraps.

Foremost Farms (Baraboo, Wisc.) will close four cheese and whey manufacturing plants—Abbotsford, Appleton, Hillsboro and Decorah, all in Iowa.

McDonald's Corp. (Oak Brook, Ill.) named Tim Fenton division president of McDonald's U.S. East Division.

Sara Lee Bakery Group (St. Louis) will lay off 296 employees and cease production at three of its 55 baking plants.

Just Born Inc. (Bethlehem, Pa.) has completed its acquisition of Goldenberg Candy Co. (Philadelphia).