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Beverages

Circle K Southeast Launches GazZu

Rolls out proprietary line of energy drinks with BooKoo

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Circle K Southeast Division, a unit of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., has launched the company's first wholly owned proprietary energy beverage, GazZu.

According to Circle K officials, GazZu was developed to respond to the worldwide energy drink boom and lack of drinks that appeal to both men and women. To successfully enter the fast-growing energy drink segment, we realized that GazZu had to have a unique approach, different from the typical macho look, feel and taste. We wanted broad appeal, said Russ Kidd, senior category manager [image-nocss] of packaged beverages for Circle K Southeast.

Developed with BooKoo Energy, an independent energy drink producer, GazZu offers flavors including regular energy (citrus), cherry and orange-mango. The company performed taste and brand profile testing with more than 400 Southeast residents from teenagers to senior citizens to chose the flavors. Circle K is considering additional flavors and a low-carb version.

Dan Lee, president of BooKoo Energy, said, The fact that they were so involved in the concept, research, development, marketing and throughout the creation of GazZu reinforces the strength of the partnership between Circle K and BooKoo, and will help to make GazZu a success.

Packaging also played an important role in product development. The GazZu logo and design combines a high-tech look with a retro feel to appeal to hip energy drink consumers, both male and female, the company said. The GazZu tagline, Give me a G, provides a call to action and a flavor-customizable slogan.

For the initial launch, 16-oz. cans of GazZu will be sold exclusively at Circle K stores in the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest. To kick off the product launch, all Circle K Southeast locations are featuring a Buy 1 Get 1 Free promotion on GazZu that began September 5 to continue through the remainder of 2007. Sampling in markets across the country also will be initiated this fall to create buzz around the product.

GazZu will be priced competitively with other front-line energy drinks nationwide.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Circle K Southeast operates more than 366 convenience stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Northern Mississippi.

Circle K is owned and operated by Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard, which operates more than 4,900 stores, more than 3,000 of which sell motor fuel, including Mac's, Couche-Tard and Circle K locations in three geographic markets (East, Centre and West) across Canada, and five major markets covering 23 American states (Midwest, Southeast, Florida and Gulf Region, Arizona Region and West Coast) in the United States.

Boo Koo develops, produces, markets and distributes alternative beverage category energy drinks under the Boo Koo brand name. Boo Koo currently sells and distributes its products in 43 states throughout the United States and parts of Canada through its network of regional bottlers and other direct store delivery distributors, including independent Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Cadbury Schweppes, beer and other wholesale distributors. Boo Koo said it also intends to expand its distribution network through alternative distribution arrangements, including direct delivery. Boo Koo's products are sold primarily to convenience and grocery store chains, drug stores, gas stations and other mainstream and discount consumer stores.

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