"When PepsiCo purchased Tropicana in late 1998, I was given an opportunity to join the Tropicana team," says Mr. Berdusco, 38. He had been senior VP-marketing at PepsiCo unit Frito-Lay. "I jumped at it because it's a terrific trademark, a powerful brand, and there's lots of news in this brand to communicate."
To squeeze market share from the refrigerated ready-to-drink OJ segment means a battle with Coca-Cola Co.'s Minute Maid.
In the last two years, the OJ titans have seen refrigerated sales soar, especially in the calcium-fortified and non-pulp varieties.
In the $3 billion refrigerated orange juice segment, Information Resources Inc. pegs Tropicana's Pure Premium dollar sales at $1.103 billion, up 17.1% during the 52-week period ended March 26, 2000. Unit sales rose 7% in that same period.
Although Pure Premium has been around since the 1950s, the orange juice line only recently began making a big splash as aging consumers show heightened interest in nutrition, says Mr. Berdusco.
FCB Worldwide, New York, took over the advertising responsibilities of Pure Premium about four years ago, producing Tropicana's most recognizable icon: a straw placed in an orange. "It's the most direct way of communicating that our juice comes from the orange to you; if it's not in the orange, it's not in the juice," says Mr. Berdusco.
Pure Premium has expanded to include blended 100% juices such as orange-pineapple, orange-strawberry and orange-tangerine.
Tropicana Pure Premium this year became the third largest-selling brand in the grocery business, edging out Campbell Soup to rank right behind Coca-Cola Classic and Pepsi-Cola.
"We've become more than just OJ," he says. As befits a superbrand, the company aired its first Super Bowl spot this year. "We're now the third-largest grocery brand in the store so we have to act like one," he says. "As we continue to move forward, we have to treat it like a leadership brand."