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Press Clips: BluePrint Heist in NYC, Monster’s Mad, Pepsi Drops Lil’ Wayne

Robberies, vendettas and crude language… it’s just another run-of-the-mill week for the beverage industry.

Now, we know the raw juice craze is sweeping the nation, but this is just plain nuts. On Saturday, The New York Post reported that a man impersonating a delivery driver stole $153,000 worth of BluePrint juice products from the company’s facility in Long Island City, N.Y. The thief arrived at the juice plant, signed a shipment slip and proceeded to load his truck with 13 pallets of juice totaling 15,303 bottles.

BluePrint co-founder Zoe Sakoutis said that company found out what happed when its real driver showed up a couple hours after the heist. With a retail price of around $10 per bottle, it sounds like a pretty significant score for the brazen thief. However, the bottles were supposed to be on their way to a high-pressure processing (HPP) facility in Allentown, Pa. Without the HPP treatment, the raw juice will only have a shelf life of about five days. Whoops.

The publicity surrounding a robbery is undoubtedly something most beverage companies would rather avoid, but it’s got to be preferable to the overwhelming media attention garnered by the tit-for-tat lawsuits between Monster Beverage Corp. and San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera. A few days after Monster sued Herrera for demanding that the company curtail its marketing to minors and reduce its caffeine content, Herrera filed suit against the energy drink giant, and blasted it as “the industry’s worst-offender” of “irresponsible and illegal marketing practices.”

In a recent article on Foodnavigator-USA.com, a Monster spokesperson said that by singling out the company, Herrera appeared to be “motivated by publicity rather than fact or science,” and claimed that “the media got copies of [Herrera’s] lawsuit before Monster did.” Noting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA] has never disputed that the ingredients in its energy drinks are Generally Recognized as Safe [GRAS], the spokesperson stated that Starbucks sells coffee products with more than twice the amount of caffeine as a single 16 oz. can or Monster Energy “with no restrictions or limitations and, apparently, with the acquiescence of Defendant.”

Bad publicity is the last thing that PepsiCo needs these days, but that’s just what the cola giant’s been facing in recent days. According to the Associated Press, the company made the decision to drop Lil’ Wayne from its high-profile roster of endorsers following a public outcry about a crude lyrical reference to a civil rights martyr. Lil’ Wayne, who had a deal to promote Pepsi’s Mountain Dew brand and over the past year worked with the company on several advertising partnerships, was called out by several civil rights leaders over his reference to Emmett Till, a black teen who was grotesquely tortured and murdered in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman. In the controversial verse, Lil’ Wayne raps about a violent sexual act on a woman and his desire to inflict the same type of damage that was done to Till.

In a statement, PepsiCo said that Lil’ Wayne’s “offensive reference to a revered civil rights icon does not reflect the values of our brand.”

Source: Beverages