Phusion Projects Adds New Products, Exec

Published in CSP Daily News

Returning alcohol-industry veteran Whittaker to focus on analytics, metrics

CHICAGO -- As it rolls out new adult beverages in the United States and Canada, John Whittaker has rejoined the Phusion Projects LLC executive team, taking on the position of vice president of business analytics where he will be charged with overseeing all of Phusion's knowledge management systems.

Whittaker, who previously worked at Phusion for two years, has more than 25 years of experience in the alcohol industry. He most recently served as territory sales manager of North American Brewery's Southwest Region.

"As we continue to invest in sales force automation and data solutions, Whitaker's experience and particular skill set make him the perfect choice to make our internal data actionable to our Phusion sales team and add value to our distributor partnerships," said Jim Sloan, executive vice president of Phusion. "As our portfolio expands and our retail customer base increases, our need for customized data will continue to grow."

Phusion recently introduced Loko Rita, a progressive adult beverage (PAB) offered in a sensory optimized can, which the company said delivers a distinctive experience to consumers from its taste to the physical, textured feel of the can.

Loko Rita--available in Margarita and Peach Margarita--is 8% ABV and available in 16-oz. single cans. Capitalizing on the growing popularity of margarita-flavored beverages and consumer demand for 16-oz. cans in the PAB segment, Loko Rita uses natural flavors and real fruit juice. The can is designed with raised texturized artwork.

"With the introduction of Loko Rita, we are showcasing our ability to develop new flavors and innovative packaging," said Jim Sloan, executive vice president with Phusion. "The tactile can is something we feel will draw consumers to the product and the taste will keep them coming back for more."

Phusion launched Loko Rita in four test markets in late May: Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Las Vegas.

Phusion also has added three new flavors of Four Loko to the Canadian market--Black Cherry, Grape and Peach.

"Adding three flavors to the Canadian lineup continues Phusion Projects' mission to develop and innovate new flavors that consumers desire," said Steve de Luca, vice president of international development.

The new Four Loko flavors will join existing varieties Fruit Punch, Watermelon and Lemonade, and they will be available in 8% alcohol by volume (ABV) in 695ml (23.5-ounce) cans.

And Phusion recently introduced Moskato Life, a new PAB, to the Canadian marketplace, exclusively available in most self-serve Beer Stores in Ontario.

Moskato Life is a combination of light carbonation and sweetness that delivers on consumer's desire for varied drink choices. Packaged in a 750 ml bottle at 6% alcohol by volume (ABV), Moskato Life is available in two flavors--Original and Rose. It launched the product in the United States  last year, and it is now available in Ontario, with growth planned into other provinces.

"We strive to be an innovative company that recognizes trends in the beverage industry and work to develop products that align well with those opportunities," said Chris Hunter, one of the co-founders of Phusion. "Moskato Life is a progressive adult beverage that represents attainable luxury, showing consumers it doesn't have to cost a lot to live a lavish lifestyle."

Phusion is a Chicago-based, multi-brand alcoholic beverage company that sells its products-- including Four Loko, Poco Loko, Earthquake, Moskato Life and Island Squeeze--in the United States and Canada.