NEW YORK -- The Triarc Cos.' planned acquisition of Snapple from Quaker Oats could enable retailers to see improved distribution and advertising of Snapple products as early as this summer, according to company and industry officials.
"In August 1995, we bought Mistic," said Martin M. Shea, senior vice president of corporate communications at Triarc here. "We introduced new graphics, and through our marketing organization, with new marketing plans, we turned it around. We hope to use the same template for Snapple."
Triarc plans to buy Snapple from Quaker Oats Co., Chicago, for $300 million cash. The deal is expected to close by the end of next month.
"We think of the brands as being somewhat complementary," Shea told SN. "Snapple's product offering is, for the most part, teas, while Mistic's is mostly juices and fruit drinks."
"Our strategy at Triarc revolves around our ability to acquire brands and combine them under talented management to deliver value to our shareholders," Nelson Peltz, chairman and chief executive officer of Triarc, said in a statement. "The acquisition of Snapple fits very well into that overall objective."
Shea said Snapple will be folded into the Triarc Beverage Group, which operates Mistic, White Plains, N.Y., and Royal Crown, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Triarc also owns Arby's restaurants, National Propane liquified natural gas and C.H. Patrick specialty dyes and chemicals. John Carlson, senior consultant at Cannondale Associates, a Wilton, Conn.-based consulting firm, views the move as a good fit. He expects Triarc to begin instituting changes to Snapple as soon as possible.
"Before the end of the summer we may see some Triarc-originated innovations," Carlson said.
"The advertising may change. Triarc has a lot of good people with good ideas."
Carlson said he also expects changes in packaging, flavors and promotions. Triarc's acquisition of Snapple will likely improve supermarket distribution as well, he noted.
Jonathan Kramer, president of J. Brown/LMC Group, a Stamford, Conn.-based consulting firm, expects that Snapple distributors will soon be stocking Mistic products, fueling that brand's expansion across the country.
"Snapple is a terrific fit for Triarc's portfolio," Kramer said. "No matter what has happened to Snapple over the last couple of years, it is still the industry leader. It has a great cachet."
Carlson said that while the ready-to-drink iced-tea market may have reached a plateau, with Coke and Pepsi gaining market share for their tea products, iced tea is still a viable segment of the beverage industry.
"If nothing else, the more smooth-running distribution system will help slow the decline or stop the [sales] decline," he noted.