Campbell's Conquering Convenience

Campbell Soup Company, Camden, N.J., clearly understands the importance of convenience to the average consumer and continues to re-formulate its soups to save those precious minutes. Their Soup at Hand line of microwaveable soups, one of the breakout successes of last year, will be joined by several new flavors to appeal to the tween market.

The three new varieties—Chicken & Stars, Mexican Fiesta, and Pizza—will hit stores in July and join a portable version of two other powerhouse Campbell brands. Portable Chunky soup will be found in six varieties in an individual, 16-oz. microwaveable bowl. The Select line from Campbell's also goes the microwaveable route with four varieties, including New England Clam Chowder and Italian Style Wedding.

The company is not content to expand only its soup offerings, however. Developers with the company have added a twist of lemon to its popular V8 vegetable juice line. These will be available in two sizes—a multi-serve, 46-oz. version and 12-oz. glass bottles for convenience stores.


Snapple Beverages, White Plains, N.Y., has incorporated an aluminum bottle for some of its line. The move is an effort to “create a bottle that matches the lifestyle of our consumers,” according to the company.

The sleek, silver aluminum bottle will be used for the company's Elements energy drinks, available in four varieties—fire, rain, meteor and sub-zero. The container is sturdy enough to withstand any adventure—be it snowboarding, mountain biking, or a day at the beach.

Ingredients in the line include caffeine, ginseng and guarana, and among the flavors are dragonfruit, agave cactus fruit, tangelo, and Siberian cherry. The 18-fluid-oz. products will be available in convenience stores and supermarkets in the spring.


Sugarshots, San Francisco, is a line of pure cane sugar liquid sweeteners made from filtered water and liquid cane sugar. The products claim to contain the highest concentrations of both to provide a true sugar taste, with fewer calories. The four varieties—original, organic, turbinado, and free!—are sold in specialty coffee and tea retailers packed in four-oz. mini bottles, 12.5-oz. sugar wells and a 64-oz. refill size.

The products are formulated by brewing filtered water and pure cane sugars in a proprietary manner to balance high sugar content and instant dissolvability. The company promises the Sugarshots will never recrystallize.

The manufacturer claims the product has been carefully crafted for sweetening premium coffees and teas.

The Cola'd War

The U.S. position as the world's superpower has led to a number of detractors, and new products in Europe and the Middle East are capitalizing on this wave. While Coke, Atlanta, and Pepsi, Purchase, N.Y., battle it out at the top of America's soft drink sales charts, Mecca Cola and Qibla Cola are battling for the hearts, minds and palates of those who oppose U.S. policies.

Mecca Cola first launched in France, targeting French Muslims boycotting American products in protest of U.S. policies in the Middle East. With a label encouraging consumers to drink with “an engaged political consciousness,” it has since found a much larger audience, and 10% of the company's profits go to a Palestinian charity.

Qibla Cola, referring to the direction of Mecca, adds similar political views to the usual ingredients of sugar, caffeine and carbonation. Plans are in the works to introduce lemon- and orange-flavored versions of the cola drink.

While U.S. politics may be an anathema to the companies, they well are aware of the benefits of a good brand. Both Qibla and Mecca feature labels strikingly similar to the famous logo on Coca-Cola bottles. The Atlanta beverage giant offered no comment on the possible trademark infringement.