Beverage Notes

New c-store leader for Anheuser-Busch; new bottled water from Pepsi

Published in CSP Daily News

Pepsico's new Qua water may be introduced in California this summer.

ST. LOUIS -- Kevin Wilkerson has assumed the role of vice president of national retail sales for small format at Anheuser-Busch, CSP Daily News has learned.

Wilkerson fills the role vacated by Tony Gaines, who exited the company in November to take a position with electronic cigarette company LOGIC Technology.

In his new role, Wilkerson will be responsible for leading the convenience-, drug- and dollar-store teams.

A 15-year veteran of St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, Wilkerson most recently held the position of senior retail sales director, Anheuser-Busch Region 8, based in California, where he successfully aligned national and regional retail teams. He’s been a category manager, market manager, business analyst and pricing manager, in addition to spending time at an independent Anheuser-Busch distributor in Texas.

Water Qua-lity

Multiple reports show Pepsico in line to introduce a new premium bottled-water brand that would compete in the same space a Coca-Cola's smartwater and Nestle Waters' Resource, as well as other high-end bottled waters.

Tentatively named Qua, and previously tested as Om, the new water was passed out to attendees at this week's Golden Globes award ceremony.

A PepsiCo spokesperson told the Chicago Sun-Times that the company is still working out the kinks and that the name and design for Qua may change before it’s rolled out more broadly.

Pepsico spokesperson Elisa Baker told CSP Daily News, "We don’t have a specific rollout date; we’re looking at summer 2014 in California and one-liter bottles. We also don’t have pricing yet either."

Qua is made with tap water, according to reports, and is micro-filtered and free of sodium.