Mike's Hard Lemonade

Pink Watch 3: Water, juice, and grown-up lemonade

My third Pink Watch post plunges into the world of beverages. Everyone knows water is essential to good health, but I’ve also included juice, iced tea, and an alcoholic beverage. The debate around alcohol and breast cancer could take up a whole series of posts on its own, and I’m just not going there right now (maybe later). I decided to include Mike’s because I was interested in what a relatively small, local company is doing to raise awareness for a disease that cost them a dear colleague.

As always, let me know if you have more information on these products or if you see any unusual pink products out there.

Product: Athena water Athena bottled waters
Company: Athena Waters, a DS Waters company
Beneficiary: Unspecified breast cancer research, awareness and education programs
Donation : $400,000 guarantee (through 2013)
Tied to Sales? Yes
Dates: Ongoing through 2013
Back story: Historically, Athena has contributed to women’s cancer causes, not just breast cancer. When Athena was purchased by DS Waters of Americas, the company pledged to donate a minimum of $400,000 between the acquisition date (2010) through 2013.
Did I buy? I have in the past – usually see it at events
My $.02: I’m a little sad that Athena was purchased by a large distributor, but can imagine how difficult it would be to keep such a low-margin business afloat. I also wonder, now that the funds are earmarked for breast cancer, what happens to the other women’s cancer organizations that were receiving Athena funds?

Product: Crystal Springs Crystal Springs bottled water
Company: DS Waters
Beneficiary: Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Donation : Minimum of $300,000
Tied to Sales? Yes
Dates: Through December 31, 2012
Back story: DS Waters will donate $30 for every qualified new customer who starts bottled water delivery service with a Komen Budget Plan. Additionally, they will donate $30 to Komen every time a current bottled water delivery service customer refers a new, qualified customer who begins bottled water delivery service. Additional campaign information is available on their website. This is in addition to the Athena donation.
Did I buy? Yes
My $.02: It will be interesting to see if they decide to continue the program after 2012. W

Product: Evian water Evian bottled water
Company: Evian
Beneficiary: Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Donation : $150,000
Tied to Sales? No
Dates: September 1, 2010 through October 31, 2010
Back story: This is the second year of the partnership, resulting in a cumulative donation of $275K
Did I buy? No
My $.02: So many water choices! If I’m going to buy bottled water, I go for a local brand like Talking Rain.

Product: QFC “Giving Hope a Hand” bottled water
Company: QFC (a Kroger company)
Beneficiary: Local organizations and events including Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Race for the Cure events, the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program, and the Walk to Empower Mother’s Day events of Breast Cancer Network of Strength (formerly Y Me).
Donation : $3 million commitment
Tied to Sales? Indirectly
Dates: October 2010, but Kroger supports events throughout the year
Back story: Through their annual Giving Hope a Handprogram, Kroger’s works with key vendor partners to commit to $3 million for breast cancer awareness, treatment and research in their local communities. All of the funds are spent in the communities where Kroger’s customers and associates live and work. 


This year the program highlighted Kroger employees who have faced breast cancer. Their stories are shared on special product packaging (like the pink water) and online at http://www.sharingcourage.com/.

Did I buy? Not the water, but other Giving Hope a Hand products
My $.02: The sheer volume of pink-labeled products can be overwhelming when you walk through the aisles of your local QFC, and it’s not easy to figure out exactly how much money is going to which organizations. That said, I really like their web site, and the fact that they’re giving employees the opportunity to share their stories. I’d love to hear from someone who works for Kroger to see if the program was embraced by employees.

Product: Pink water
“Pink” bottled water
Company: Talking Rain
Beneficiary: 15 breast cancer organizations around the US, including The Donna Foundation (Atlantic Beach, FL), City of Hope (LA), and Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliates (Boise, Chicagoland, Los Angeles, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, Phoenix, Puget Sound and Salt Lake City)
Donation : $.25 per case sold, $4,000 donated in the past 12 months
Tied to Sales? Yes
Dates: Ongoing (product introduced in 2009)
Back story: Talking Rain, located outside of Seattle, has been involved with the Puget Sound Susan G. Komen Race for the Curesince its inception, and has also done special labels to support breast cancer awareness foundations (Twist Mango Acai and Sparkling ICE Pink Grapefruit) in years past. Talking Rain also donates water for many local run/walk events (breast cancer and other beneficiaries). 


Per a Talking Rain rep, they hope to feature other special label programs in the future.

Did I buy? Yes
My $.02: I like that the proceeds from local sales go to local organizations and affiliates of national organizations.

Product: Pink Poetry Superfood (juice)
Company: Odwalla
Beneficiary: Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Donation : $25,000
Tied to Sales? No
Dates: Ongoing
Back story: From the Odwalla press release, it “not only tastes great but also contains antioxidant Vitamins C & E, as well as iron and calcium – two things often lacking in women’s diets.”
Did I buy? No, I went with C Monster
My $.02: A healthy beverage! Yes!

Product: Honest Tea Honest Tea (iced tea)
Company: Honest Tea, part of Coca Cola‘s Active Lifestyle Brands division
Beneficiary: Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Donation : $100,000
Tied to Sales? No
Dates: September 1, 2010 through November 30, 2010
Back story: Together, Coca Cola’s Active Lifestyle brands will donate a total of $875K: FUZE ($325K donation), Glacéau SmartWater ($450K), and Honest Tea ($100K)
Did I buy? No
My $.02: Better than soda any day, imvho.

Product: Mike's Hard Lemonade Mike’s Hard Pink Lemonade (alcohol)
Company: Mike’s Hard Lemonade Co
Beneficiary: Breast Cancer Research Foundation
Donation : $250,000 (for a cumulative donation of $500K)
Tied to Sales? No
Dates: The pink lemonade is a seasonal product. Not sure of the actual dates, but I’ve seen it in the summer.
Back story: Mike’s, located in Seattle, lost one of their employees, Jacqueline S., to breast cancer. Their pink lemonade and donation is one way the company is honoring her memory.
Did I buy? Yep
My $.02: I know there is a lot of controversy about the impacts of alcohol consumption on breast cancer. However, after reading up on the Mike’s campaign, I think it’s a nice way for the company to honor a beloved colleague and maybe bring a little awareness to the disease that took her. It’s not always about the sales, sometimes it’s about real people who have a real the need to do something as a part of healing from a tragic loss.

Links to major breast cancer organization partner programs:


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