Beverage Bulletin June 2011

California Beverage Retailers Association

P.O. Box 56686

Sherman Oaks, CA 91413

(818) 788-8120


June 2011


This month's stories

Traffic (the 405)

Inflation and the price of coffee

Radioactive Tea

The Effect of Drinking Alcohol on Athlete's Foot and Dementia

Redwoods vs. Grapes

Food Additives

Industry Moves - More stores for Whole Foods, more Health Foods for Safeway, Great Chef's at Macy's, Beringer possible sale, Edna Valley's sale, and Lawsuit over a Name

Which Drinks are Hot and Which are Not

and always...

Tasting Notes

Industry Calendar


Industry News


Traffic Alert – if you haven't already heard

If you need to travel between the Valley and West L.A. or just around West L.A. In Mid-July, we have one word for you – DON'T. Caltrans is closing the 405 Freeway from the 101 to the 10 from July 15 to 18. It sounds like a good week to be vacationing in Canada. Scotty, Beam me up! "This doesn't need to be a car-mageddon," county Supervisor Zev Yaroslovsky said at a news conference. "The best alternative route is to totally avoid the 405 area, completely avoid it, don't come anywhere near it, don't even think about coming to it. Stay the heck out of here." If you do need up to date factual information go to


Coffee Prices Up from Wholesale to Diner-Is This a Major Indicator?

Wholesale coffee prices have risen significantly this year, sending the price of a pound of coffee at the market or a cup at the diner up as well, dealers say. The fact is that every major round of inflation since World War II has been preceded by an increase in the price of coffee. One pound was selling for an average of $5.10 in April, the U.S. Department of Labor reported. That was up from $3.64 a year earlier. "These are big increases -- and I don't think we're done with it," Phil Lempert, editor of the blog, told the Los Angeles Times. "We're going to see higher prices on coffee for a very, very long time." Tim Castle, a coffee importer and expert, said prices are likely to rise faster at first in stores than in restaurants. He said restaurants often sell brewed coffee for four times what they pay for it, which allows them to hold the line on price increases for a while. But even there, prices are going up. The Starbucks chain hiked prices for some of its drinks last fall and is planning a 17 percent increase in the price of coffee beans it sells retail in its coffee shops. Experts say there are a number of reasons for the price increases. They include bad weather in many coffee-growing areas, which has cut down on the supply, while residents of developing countries like China are drinking more coffee, just as they are using more gas.


There is no longer an off season for any grown product.

With an estimated 350,000 ingredient items and end products produced in 99 countries; foods, beverages, aqnd products of all kinds are available year around.


TOKYO — Authorities said they had found radioactive substances in Japanese green tea in the nation's largest growing region, 370 kilometers south-west of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The dried tea leaves from the Warashina area in Shizuoka were found to contain 679 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium, above the officially permitted level of 500 becquerels. Japan produced 83,000 tons of dried tea leaves in 2010, of which Shizuoka prefecture makes up about 40 per cent. The government decided on June 2 to stop shipments of dried tea leaves produced in some areas.


Munich-The consumption of non-alcoholic Weissbier -- wheat beer -- has a positive effect on athletes' health, researchers in Germany found. Study leader Dr. Johannes Scherr of Technische Universitaet Muenchen at Klinikum and colleagues examined 277 test subjects three weeks before and two weeks after the 2009 Munich Marathon. Non-alcoholic Erdinger wheat beer was selected as the test beverage because of its rich and varied polyphenol content and its popularity with marathoners and triathletes. The "active" group drank up to 1.5 liters -- more than six glasses of beer -- of the test beverage per day, while a second group consumed an equal amount of an otherwise indistinguishable placebo beverage that contained no polyphenols and was produced specifically for the study, Scherr says.


A scientific study in Germany has shown that seniors 75 and older have a 30% lower chance of developing dementia if they drink one or two servings of alcoholic beverages daily. The researchers are not completely sure why this occurs. However, they indicated that it might be due to the life style of the teat subjects. The subjects were happy people, didn't live alone, well educated, and had opportunities for social drinking.


ANNAPOLIS, California — The ocean fog and cool climate of California's rugged northern coast allow redwood trees to thrive and help give wine grapes a distinctive flavor. Residents are opposing plans to cut acres of redwoods and firs to provide space for grapes. At present, two proposed "timberland-to-vineyard" conversion projects, the first such applications that California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials can remember. Even with a three-year drop in the price of high-end wines like those grown in Sonoma County, and a glut of wine grape production on the more than 62,000 acres of vineyard already planted in the valley below Annapolis, two large wine companies want to remove nearly 2,000 acres of trees. The grape growers claim this forest will be developed as the county grows, and that it is better to have vineyards than housing developments. Napa's Artesa Vineyards, owned by Barcelona, Spain-based wine Grupo Cordoniu known for making sparkling wine, wants to develop 151 acres of pinot noir and chardonnay vineyard on a site containing artifacts from ancient Kashaya Pomo villages. Premier Pacific Vineyards is seeking to plant grapes on about 1,800 acres of 20,000 acres it owns nearby in a project that will also include residential housing called "Preservation Ranch." Decisions on both projects are expected by county and state officials within the next year or two.


Washington, D.C. - The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) has launched an International Food Additive Database designed to provide industry with easy access to accurate and current regulatory requirements on food additives in importing countries around the world. "The International Food Additive Database will be an invaluable tool in helping to expand export markets for U.S. specialty and processed food products," said Pamela G. Bailey, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). "The Database will help U.S. exporters ensure the products they are shipping comply with the food additive standards and regulatory requirements in the export market and, by establishing a single global source of food additive standards, it will also help U.S. federal trade officials prevent and eliminate trade barriers to U.S. food products." The long term objective is to expand the Database over time so that it includes all major export markets for U.S. value added products. Currently, the food additive regulatory requirements for Codex, China, Korea,, Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Japan, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan and Uganda are included in the Database.Additional markets will continue to be included through 2011. The database can be accessed at



Whole Foods Market co-CEO Walter Robb told investors at a Jefferies Global Consumer Conference that the now-300-store chain is expected to grow to 1,000 stores in the United States. The organic grocer sees opportunity in Canada as well, and Robb said it expects to grow its store count there from six to 35.


PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway here has officially launched Open Nature, a new private-label line of 100% natural foods. The first Open Nature products have rolled out in Safeway's meat departments, and include fresh beef, pork, chicken, chicken sausages, bacon and beef hot dogs, all priced between $3.99 and $5.99. The brand's meat and poultry products are raised on an all-vegetarian diet, without the use of antibiotics or added hormones, and are processed without the use of artificial preservatives. Safeway also ensures that all Open Nature products are made only with ingredients from natural sources. Open Nature is the third line of private label products in Safeway's portfolio of health and wellness brands along with O Organics and Eating Right

Macy's announced that its "Macy's Chefs A-Go-Go" food truck tour will kick off in Miami on June 28. The first-ever tour will feature a chef from Macy's Culinary Council at each stop. MCC chefs include Cat Cora, Todd English and Marcus Samuelsson. continuing through late summer, the Macy's-branded food truck will visit multiple cities during its nationwide tour including Miami, New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.


Varietal Genes-US scientists are experimenting with creating new grape varieties through genetic mapping and gene splicing. The driving force is the fear that a vine disease could wipe out all of our current in-bred varieties much like phyloxera did in the mid-19th century. Today 70% of the crop fungicides are already used in the US are used on wine grapes.


It is well known that Fosters Australian operations are up for sale and bidders include AB Inbev and Miller's SAB. Fosters spun off its Treasury Wine Estates division earlier this year. Now there is speculation that Treasury Wine Estates may sell its crown jewel, Beringer. Beringer still has lots of growth potential despite already selling 5 million cases a year.


As we go to press E & J Gallo announced the purchase of Edna Valley Vineyards from Diageo. Included are the winery and 62 acres, about 2/3 planted in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.


On April 12th, Pussers Rum filed a lawsuit in US District court against Giuseppe Gonzalez and Richard Boccato, owners of the NYC Tiki Bar 'Painkiller.' The suit claimed "irreparable harm to Pussers brand, unfair competition and unfair business practices. The bar can't afford the legal fight so it has been renamed PKNY. Meanwhile a bartenders group is sponsoring a Facebook page called “Bartenders Against Trademarking of Cocktails” and asking bartenders across the country to boycott Pussers. How do you make the disputed cocktail? Mix 2 parts Pussers Rum with 4 parts pineapple juice, 1 part cream of coconut and 1 part orange juice over the rocks with fresh grated nutmeg on top.


Another drink making the rounds of the “In Bars” is “The Ultimate Bloody Mary”? To make one you will need: 1 Tablespoon Celery Salt, ¼ Lemon cut in 2 wedges, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, ¼ teaspoon soy sauce, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, Dash Cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon Franks Red Hot, ½ teaspoon grated horseradish, 2 ounces Vodka, 4 ounces tomato juice, 1 Celery stick. Place celery salt in a shallow saucer. Rub rim of 12-ounce tumbler with 1 lemon wedge and coat wet edge with celery salt. Place lemon wedge on rim of glass. Fill glass with ice. Add Worcestershire, soy, black pepper, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and horseradish to bottom of cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and add vodka, tomato juice, and juice of remaining lemon wedge. Shake vigorously, taste for seasoning and heat, and adjust as necessary. Strain into ice-filled glass. Garnish with celery stalk and serve immediately.


One last hot drink recipe: “The Good Doctor”. Combine 1½ oz. Amaretto, 1½ oz. Rye, 6 oz. Dr.Pepper, fill glass with ice, garnish with an Orange Slice.


And finally Zagat lists “the most disgusting restaurant drink” as Planet Hollywood's “Terminator”. It's a combination of vodka, rum, gin, triple sec, Kahlua, sour mix, cranberry juice and beer. Ugh!

Tasting Notes

This month we participated in some very notable wine tastings. As always we were looking for good values. Wines that are true to type, sound, will age for a couple of years, go well with food, and make retail customers happy because they are a good value for the price. That's a tall order, yet we usually find some. “Chef Alain Ducasse says a wine should be good. It can be good at 5 Euros or 500 Euros.” We agree.


The Stars of California Tasting was held at the Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica. It was a beautiful patio setting for a delightful sunny Southern California afternoon. We tasted a number of very good and very fine wines that came from Santa Barbara in the South to Napa and Sonoma in the North. Several rate as “good buys.”


Mauritson Wines showed several very good wines. The Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc 2010 was fresh, clean, and aged in stainless steel. With a retail at $15.99 it is a good buy. (707) 431-0804.


Rarecat Wines showed three wines under the Common Dog label. The Napa Sauvignon Blanc 2010 was fresh, clean, and herbaceous $15.99. The Napa Cabernet Sauvignon which is a blend of 2007 and 2008 wine at only $19.99 for a Napa Cab! The Sonoma Chardonnay 2009 has all the mineral and steely character of a fine north coast 100% chardonnay for $17.99. These three all pair well with food and rate as good buys. Contact Sharon Harris at (707) 968-5031

Industry Calendar

07/04 Independence Day

07/19 Fresh Produce Expo-Anaheim

07/22-25 California Gift Show-LA

08/7 Rhone Rangers Tasting-LA

08/28-30 Expo Comida Latina-San Diego

08/28-30 Western Foodservice Expo-San Diego

09/05 Labor Day

09/15 Christermon Golf Tournament-Livermore



Our industry is more controlled by laws than most others. The State Legislature and the ABC give us license privileges and can take them away. New alcoholic beverage laws are being introduced, passed, and sent to the Governor. Many critical issues are pending. Is your business safe? Members are encouraged to look through the Legislative Bulletin. If there is a new law that is a problem for your business, call the association office now. The CBRA is your voice in Sacramento. If you are not a member, join today. The CBRA is your only voice when it comes to new beverage laws.

Brands and Comments

The CBRA Newsletter has not accepted any payment from any of the brands mentioned in this edition. The editor, Ron Ziff, welcomes comments at

CBRA Membership Remains Open

Now, more than ever, access to your industry is important. The CBRA is California's only statewide association of licensed retailers, and our membership continues to be open for the first time in 20 years.

At CBRA we deal with licenses and regulations that affect the beverage business on a daily basis. That's why CBRA offers practical solutions, unique products, services, information, and timely advice for both large and small beverage businesses. With reasonable fees, superior service, and associates that are easy to reach, CBRA helps you to run your business better and easier.

California Beverage Retailers Association – We know how to get it done.


California Beverage Retailers Association
If you are not a California Beverage Retailers Association member, please join, Print this form, and mail with a $50.00 check to: CBRA PO Box 56686, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413. You may also renew your membership. Dues are not a charitable contribution, but may be deductible as an ordinary business expense.



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