Beverage companies tap into bottled water market as sales surge

March 27th

NEW YORK (AP) — Bottled water is starting to seem more like pop, and sometimes taste like it, too.

As bottled water surges in popularity, Coke, Pepsi and other companies are using celebrity endorsements, stylish packaging and fancy filtration processes like “reverse osmosis” to sell people on expanding variations of what comes out of the tap. They’re also adding flourishes like bubbles, flavors or sweeteners that can blur the lines between what is water and what is pop.

For this year’s Super Bowl, PepsiCo even ran an ad for its new Lifewtr, promoting the drink in a spotlight typically reserved for pops. Also running their first Super Bowl ads were Fiji and Bai Brands, which sell “enhanced waters” made with fruit juice and stevia sweetener.

Michael Simon, Bai’s chief marketing officer, says its drinks “give people that healthy profile they’re looking for, but now they no longer have to sacrifice on taste with the neutrality of water.”

Bottled water has been gaining ground for years, and overtook pop as the No. 1 drink in the U.S. by sales volume last year, industry tracker Beverage Marketing Corp. said. Some of the fizzy, sweetened drinks are considered water by the companies and industry trackers, as the

distinctions between them lose meaning. Companies aren’t as interested in the big, economy packs of plain bottled water that have been fueling the growth, said Ali Dibaj, a Bernstein analyst who covers the industry, since those are less profitable than pop and are a “horrible business to be in.”

So Coke and Pepsi are focusing on pricier options that compete with brands like Evian and Perrier. And they’re introducing fizzy and fruity varieties to get a better foothold in an increasingly crowded marketplace where options like LaCroix and others are gaining popularity. Showing just how blurry the lines are getting, PepsiCo launched a drink last week that it describes as “sorta juice, sorta soda, sorta sparkling water.” Such options can capture people looking to cut back on pop or juices, and may get people who might buy lower-priced waters to upgrade.

“You can get up the ladder in terms of water and get out of the categories that don’t drive a lot of value,” Coca-Cola’s incoming CEO, James Quincey, said in September.

Quincey cites Smartwater, which has enjoyed sales growth in North America, as a way for Coke to profitably expand its water business. The brand is billed as “vapor distilled” and features actress Jennifer Aniston in its ads.

He also said that in the crowded Chinese market, Coke is upgrading people to a water brand it markets as “socially responsible” with a different blend of minerals, which costs twice as much.

Exactly what makes water seem like it’s worth the extra money varies, but image is key.

PepsiCo had toyed with names like “Qua” and “Om” before settling on Lifewtr. The company points to the artwork featured on its bottles, and the “reverse osmosis” filtration the water undergoes, with electrolytes added for taste.

“This is where consumers are heading,” said Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing at PepsiCo, about lower-calorie drinks like Lifewtr.

Both Lifewtr and Smartwater, which account for a small portion of the overall packaged water market, are made with municipal water and were selling for $2.79 for a 1-liter bottle at a 7-Eleven in New York City. The convenience store chain’s private-label brand was selling for $1.50 for the same size bottle.
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Bahamas Development Corp Moves To Capitalize On The Athleisure Trend
 Richard Sandle / in Momentum & GrowthMomentum StocksStocks / on Wednesday, 05 Apr 2017 06:57 AM

The growing fashion trend known as Athleisure is becoming more and more popular. The trend can be described as clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities that  is worn in other settings. It’s very common nowadays for consumers of all ages to wear athleisure clothing for everyday activities such as during work, trips to school, or other casual or social occasions. According to The NPD Group, a market research company, the rise in Athleisure has given apparel sales a significant boost in the last couple of years.
Bahamas Development Corp (OTCMKTS: BDCI) works with companies doing business in the Bahamas and Caribbean region through its working relationship with the Bahamas Port Authority. Their focus is on businesses that are looking for a more tax friendly environment in the Bahamas, due to the Hawksbill Creek Agreement. Since the beginning of 2017, the company has made a couple of significant acquisitions to bolster its position in the Athleisure fashion business, and has initiated manufacturing operations on the Island of Freeport of Bahamas.
On March 8, 2017 BDCI begun formal steps to establish operations in Freeport, Bahamas. The President of BDCI visited Freeport and met with Counsel to establish the Bahamian Corporation for all Island operations. Corporation, business licensing, and work permits are estimated to be completed in early May of 2017.
 Another critical meeting held was with the Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute (“BTVI”). The discussion centered on building a labor force capable of manufacturing BDCI’s t-shirts and high performance apparel. Before leaving the Island BDCI toured sites in Freeport to house both operations. BDCI is focused on two 5,000 square foot buildings that are for sale, and is currently working through Bahamian real estate brokers.
8 Caribbean Nations That Import Alot Of Food

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Sept. 23, 2016: One in 6 people in the word rely on imports to feed them today and the Caribbean region is no exception. It continues to import most of its food even though most of the land is fertile and prime for agricultural exports. The total food imports for the Caribbean and Latin America regions were put at over USD 67 billion in 2014. More than US$2 billion is spent on the annual food import bill by Caricom countries alone which have a combined population of only six million people. Here are 8 Caribbean nations that import most of its food according to latest data from the Food and Agricultural Organization, (FAO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO):

1: Cuba
Cuba is the number one importer of food with a bill of USD 1.8 billion in 2014 alone. By contrast, the island’s food export was put at USD just 499 million.

2: Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic may have a thriving food export market but it still imports a lot of its food – in fact the second highest of any Caribbean island with a food import bill according to latest figures at USD 1.4 billion in 2014. That same year, the DR exported USD 793 million in food.

3: The Bahamas
According to latest data available, The Bahamas’ food imports were valued at $1.1 billion worth. Of this amount, approximately 60 to 70 percent is channeled toward the retail sector, while the remaining 30 to 40 percent is directed toward the hotel, restaurant, and institutional (HRI) food service sector.

4: Haiti
Haiti imports a whopping USD 911 million in food to the island for its population of 10.2 million people. By contrast, its food export is only USD 18 million as of 2014.

5: Jamaica
Jamaica’s food import as of 2014 was put at USD 824 million for its population of 2.7 million. Its food export was far less, at just US $234 million.

6: Trinidad & Tobago
The twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago imported USD 756 million in food in 2014 alone for its population of 1.3 million while it exported only a fraction of that amount – only a meager USD 114 million.

7: Barbados
Barbados’ food imports in one year were put at USD 242 million compared to its food export total of US $47 million.

8: Guyana
Guyana, a country of 83,000 square miles of agri-rich farm land that was once positioned as the bread basket of the Caribbean today imports USD 202 million of food according to the FAO data. By contrast, however, the country’s food exports was put at USD 387 – not as bad as many other neighboring islands and definitely more than its imports.


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