Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Smart Lids - Drink Safe!

Smart Lids. The lid that tells you when its safe to sip! Wow. I really could use this on my commute to work. I can't tell you the number of times I have burned my tongue trying to drive through traffic and drink my morning green tea.

I wonder how long it will take for a major chain like Starbucks to pick it up??

Smoking Doesn't Have to Kill You

Check this product out!! Now you can keep "smoking" without the negative health issues!!

"It feels like a cigarette, looks like a cigarette but it isn't bad for your health.
A Chinese company marketing the world's first "electronic" cigarette hopes to double sales this year as it expands overseas and as some of China's legions of smokers try to quit.
Golden Dragon Group Ltd's Ruyan cigarettes are battery-powered, cigarette-shaped devices that deliver nicotine to inhalers in a bid to emulate actual smoking.
"The nicotine is delivered to the lungs within 7 to 10 seconds," said Scott Fraser, Vice President of SBT Co. Ltd., the Beijing-based firm that first developed the electronic cigarette technology in 2003 and which is now controlled by Golden Dragon.
"It feels like a cigarette, looks like a cigarette, it even emits vapor. In many ways, it is like an actual smoking experience, and that's what makes us different," he told Reuters.
The cigarettes sell for around 1,600 yuan ($208) apiece and are already available in China, Israel, Turkey, and a number of European countries, but not yet the United States.
Golden Dragon's competitors include global giants Pfizer and Novartis AG, which sell more familiar nicotine replacement products such as chewing gum, patches, and inhalers.
But Golden Dragon's financial results show it might be onto a good thing. Sales more than doubled to HK$286.1 million in 2006, after surging more than ten-fold to HK$135.6 million in 2005, a year after the technology was perfected.
China -- home to 400 million smokers and a roughly $160 billion dollar tobacco industry -- accounts for 65 percent of Ruyan sales. The firm estimates around 10 percent of China's smokers are attempting to quit, and averaging a 2 percent success rate." to Open New T-Shirt Shop in Chicago

I absolutly love! I love it so much that when I was in college I would (when ever possible) use them in all my projects (well at least 2). Now, you can only imagine how thrilled I was when I heard they are opening a shop in Chicago. The only problem is...I live in Toronto. I guess a trip to Chicago is in order.
The new shop will feature two floors. The first floor will be dedicated to retailing Threadless's amazing tees, while the second floor will be a gallery of award winning designs. In addition to the gallery the second floor will also be used to hold courses on design and other such events.
I hope work takes me to Chicago very, very soon....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Jones Sugar Cane Soda

Obviously I have some invested interest in Jones Soda (i.e. Big Sky Brands Jones Soda Carbonated Candy). As an employee of Big Sky Brands; I feel it necessary to weigh in on the new direction of the Jones Soda, the commitment to replace high fructose corn syrup with sugar cane and to change their name to “Jones Sugar Cane Soda” in the year to come. Since the news release I have taken the time to cruise online media/ blogs and see what people have had to say, some love this new venture, while other think it is just a marketing stunt with no real benefits. In my opinion this is a great step. Even if people do not think there is a real benefit with switching from hfcs (which many believe is the cause of North America’s obesity problem) to sugar cane there definitely will be. Sugar cane is a far better sweetener than hfcs and will enhance the already enjoyable Jones Soda flavors and ensure their place as a leading premium soda company. Those consumers who are looking for an alternate will get one, those who do not see the health benefits will receive an enhanced premium soda.

I believe the strategic decision was a positive one. Although, it is not up to me, it is up to the consumer and in the end there opinion is the only one that counts.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I am in love with Etsy! I spend hours searching through all the one of a kind items made by creative entrepenuers. The great thing about Esty is everythings hand made and rarely duplicated which means your loved ones are getting something different, something their own. A nice hand bag or a pair of mittens you know when they strole down the streets they won't blend in with all the Gap loving clones.

So give the gift of individuality and support an artist at the same time. Give Etsy. I do.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Jones Candy Now Sold at Target

We at Big Sky Brands are pleased to announce that the Jones Soda Carbonated Candy is now carried at Target stores all across the United States!!! To all of you who have written in wondering where to pick this "sweet" little item up....your search is now over!! So, don't delay checkout a Target store near you to pick up your tin of Jones Soda Carbonated Candy!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Give Me Your Best Quote...

For all you out there who are familiar with the Jones Soda Carbonated Candy. Also, will know that we have little quotes on the inside of the lid. Well, it has come time for some new quotes for the next run of tins. So, I need all you Jones Soda Carbonated Candy lovers or haters to send me your best quotes. Although, it is going to be tricky, these quotes have got to be 6 words or less.

Can't wait to see what you all come up with.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Canada's Identity

A friend and I were talking a few days ago about the Canadian identity. We could not help notice that over the past month people have been grabbing their homelands flag in the support of their country's soccer team. I have nothing against that. In fact, I find that to be a beautiful thing about Canada. The extreme presence of each culture creating such a multi-cultured society. Although, I noticed come July 1st, many people were still celebrating their country in the World Cup and had forgotten Canada's birthday. Not to bring anybody down but isn't this beautiful country the reason we are able to celebrate?

So, what is to be done with this here land of ours? How can we get back on track and give Canada the democratic salute it deserves? I may have a Dutch heritage that I am proud of but, I am Canadian first!

Wine endorsement

For those who have not heard Mike Weir has a winery. Who is Mike Weir? As one of Canada's star Golfers he has world class wins like the Masters in 2003. To most people it does not seem like a big deal...Pro golfer becomes wine conisuer so what? Well, the interesting part is that the idea for Weir winery came from Peter Jensen the owner of Creekside Winery in Jordan Ontario. He thought up the strategy of putting a famous face on his wine to help promote Creeksides wines. What better fit than the face of Mike Weir?

They are currently producing two wines under the Weir winery, 2005 Chardonnay and a 2004 Carbnet Merlot. Mike Weir Estate Winery recently took home the Best Meritage Award for the 2002 Cabernet Merlot at the 2006 Cuvee Awards. The first win for Weir...on the wine level!

This paring by Peter Jensen is brilliant. I hope they will continue to be successful with this great Ontario wine.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Finger Print Art

Check out DNA11 they are a very originally sleek Canadian company. Shown here is their latest innovation Fingerprint Portraits. These guy push the rule of being different and live by their slogan "From Life Comes Art." Thanks guys for being so imaginative and bringing such a cool Canadian product to the market.

You can find out how to get your own personalized art by visiting their website, custom jobs start as low as $190!!


To start things off I would like to introduce myself and talk about what I do. My name is Luke vanVliet. I work for a candy company called Big Sky Brands. Big Sky Brands (and I) are dedicated to bringing "cool" back into the STALE candy industry in North America. So far we have done this by introducing some really "sweet" products - check them out on our website.

Our most recent innovation was to create a product with Jones Sode Co. We felt that the candy category could use a new face so why not partner with North America's fastest growing beverage company and create a fresh new product. Working with Jones we realized they had the same mission as us. That is, they care about their customers and want to bring them products they actually like. It has been a great fit.

The Jones Soda Carbonated Candy hit the market in January 2006 and has proven to be a great product. Check out who's talk'n about it... Josh Spear, Trend Hunter, Seth Godin and Blogcritics just to point out a few. We have been really pleased at the consumers love of this product, so much so, we are planning to launch more killer products along this line come fall 2006. So keep an eye out!!