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Health Drink Launches First Big Marketing Effort

Is Odwalla ready to go mainstream? For years the oddly named, super-premium juice drink has maintained a quirky image not inconsistent with its history of being created by three musicians squeezing fresh orange juice in a California shack. Today, it is the No. 1 brand in the national health beverage category, and its best-selling flavor is a bright green concoction, known as "Superfood," pumped up with 15 ingredients that offer micronutrients in a super-healthy drink. Other entries in the line include Mo' Beta (with antioxidants, vitamins C, E and beta-carotene) and the new PomaGrand, a pomegranate juice. The brand has been owned by Coca-Cola for the past five years and now the company thinks Odwalla might be ready for prime time. A new ad campaign is in the works, marking the product's first big ad push, with the tagline: "For every body." Promotions and events are also on tap. No budget was revealed, but Coke spent just $37,000 behind the brand through November 2005, up from zero in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Coke hopes its accelerated efforts will make the oddball Odwalla a household name in a category now blossoming with nutrient-laden rivals like Naked Juice, Bolthouse Farms and Pom Wonderful. "Consumers are becoming more and more aware and educated around health and wellness needs for themselves," said Odwalla COO Steve McCormick. "We play right in that strike zone. Consumers are reading labels more. They're more educated about how they live."



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