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Bat-shaped bottle hits test markets

National Beverage Corp. is stepping to the plate with a sports drink that it hopes will drive up sales the way baseball sluggers drive in runs. In April, the Fort Lauderdale, FL-based company began test marketing Louisville Slugger Sports Drink®, a 20-oz beverage sold in four "Power ized®" flavors.

Pw 20454 Nat Bev Coris 8

[Louisville Slugger and Powerized are registered trademarks of Hillerich & Bradsby.] The polyethylene terephthalate bottle's baseball bat shape and colorful full-body shrink label deliver instant recognition for the product, which is currently being tested in select regional markets as well as at Walgreens outlets nationwide. The packaging materials and filling processes used for the product are being tested for usability and long-term viability. The bottle's polyvinyl chloride label is designed to emulate the wood grain of a baseball bat. The PET provides a shatter-proof 38-mm container whose content can be chugged. "Consumers are drawn to the uniqueness of the package," according to the company's promotional literature. "Being first, different, unique and having great-tasting flavors gives the Louisville Slugger Sports Drink an advantage."

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