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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola On Track To Acquire Nigerian Juice Company In 2019

Coca-Cola will acquire Nigerian juice company Chi Ltd early in 2019 for an undisclosed price. The move is another sign of the company’s strategy of global diversification from its code soda business that has so far included the purchase of Costa coffee and the possible bidding for GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK.L) Indian Horlicks nutrition business. Coca-Cola has had a 40 percent stake in Chi since January 2016, when it said it would boost its interest within three years. Peter Njonjo, president of Coca-Cola’s west Africa business, told Reuters that a company priority is offering juice drinks at a range of affordable price points. Nigeria emerged from a recession in 2017 but sluggish growth and high inflation remain serious issues. “Affordability will start becoming a bigger issue in this market than it was in the past,” Njonjo said.


Analysts Predict Nestlé Will Divest Skin-Health Business To Focus on Beverages, Food

Nestlé may be planning to divest its $2.79 billion skin-health business as a way to placate an activist investor who believes the company should focus on food and beverages. Selling the unit could generate $4.1 billion, according to analysts, but the company did not comment on the speculation. Investor Daniel Loeb took a $3.5 billion stake in Nestlé last year and has since pressured the company to sell its investment in L’Oréal SA and in the skin-health arm set up in 2014 after Nestlé assumed full control of Galderma. CEO Mark Schneider has said the key to reviving stagnating growth is to focus on core areas with growth potential like coffee, pet care, water, and infant nutrition. Regarding coffee, the company recently bought the rights to market and sell Starbucks coffee and tea products in grocery and retail stores, and last year bought a majority stake in U.S. premium coffee chain Blue Bottle.

Other Companies

Soylent Plans U.K. Launch

Los Angeles-based meal replacement company Soylent is expanding to the U.K. after market research found that skipping meals is becoming more commonplace there. Launched in the U.S. in 2014 after a crowdfunding campaign raised $1.5 million, Soylent has developed a significant following for its RTD beverages and powders among athletes and gym rats who use it as a high-protein workout supplement. It was the top grocery product on Amazon in the U.S. beginning in January 2018. The company is planning a soft launch because of the novelty of the meal replacement concept in the U.K. The strategy is to drive word of mouth, awareness and advocacy to educate consumers. Marketing will target gamers, urban Millennial achievers and busy students.

Talking Rain To Enter Energy Drinks Market With Caffeinated Sparkling Ice

Talking Rain Beverage Company will officially enter the energy beverage market in October with the addition of Sparkling Ice + Caffeine to its lineup following market testing in several U.S. cities. Classified as a flavored zero-calorie sparkling water, the Sparkling Ice portfolio has steadily grabbing market share from the diet carbonated soft drinks category after the company revamped the brand eight years ago. CEO Chris Hall said recently that Sparkling Ice + Caffeine was the result of the company’s desire to create a caffeinated “immediate consumption solution” for consumers and to make a direct play into the $16 billion energy and CSD category. The beverage will be sold in a “user-friendly” 16-ounce can and will contain 70 mg of caffeine .

Alkaline Water Company To Develop A Line Of Functional Bottled Waters

To meet the growing demand for nutritional and functionally beneficial bottled water, Arizona-based Alkaline Water Company has created a business unitto focus on “brand extension and product innovations in the healthful water category” under the Alkaline88 trademark. The A88 Infused Beverage Division will serve as an incubator for new product development in several areas, including hemp-derived CBD-infused water, naturally flavored water, sparkling water, and water infused with natural vitamins and minerals. The Alkaline Water Company has developed an electrolysis process to produce alkaline water.

Caskai Adds New Distributors In Pursuit Of National Market Penetration

Caskai North America, maker of a sparkling beverage brewed from dried coffee cherries (cascara), says it has added Barista Pro Shop (BPS) and Humankind as distributors. The company’s goal is to expand distribution in the coffee shop channel coast to coast. Caskai Sparkling Cascara Infusion is made with spring water, organic cane sugar, carbonation, and tartaric acid. Barista Pro Shop serves Colorado with a DSD distribution system and the entire country with direct delivery from warehouses in Colorado, New Hampshire, and Kentucky. Humankind has a DSD distribution system that serves the coffee channel in the greater Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and Baltimore areas.

Companies Partner, Split Apple-Product Marketing Tactics

An upstate New York apple juice and cider company that believes it has a national and global destiny has not only invested in a state-of-the-art bottling facility to support its future, it has partnered to take full advantage of its possibilities. Red Jacket is a fresh apple business that, like its competitors, has been investing heavily in state-of-the-art fruit-packing and storage facilities with the goal of offering products year-round and globally. To achieve its goal, the company has joined forces with a company that has already spent millions on infrastructure. Red Jacket has partnered with New York Apple Sales Inc. to combine their fresh apple marketing programs. Under the agreement, Red Jacket’s sales force will concentrate on juice sales, while New York Apples Sales takes over marketing of the farm’s fresh-apple market.

Braham And Murray Introduce Chilled Milk Made From Hemp

The U.K.’s Braham and Murray has extended its line of hemp-based food products with the addition of a chilled hemp milk under the Good Hemp brand. The milk, made from organic hemp seeds, is positioned as a dairy alternative for vegans, vegetarians, and lactose intolerant consumers. Available sweetened or unsweetened, it is fortified with calcium, and with vitamins B12 and D. Packaged in clear recyclable 750 ml bottles, the milks are sold at Asda and Waitrose stores in the U.K. at $2.62.

Several Companies Are Testing The Market For Carbonated Coffee Drinks

Several emerging and established coffee brands believe carbonated coffee could prove as popular as carbonated water, tea, or juice. Positioned either as sparkling cold brews or coffee sodas, new products using innovation and unique flavors aim to change how consumers view carbonated coffee. Portland, Ore.-based Clutch Coffee Roasters, for example, offers a carbonated and bottled cold brew made with filtered water, organic spices, cane sugar, agave syrup, and extracts for sweetness and flavoring. Raleigh, N.C.-based Slingshot Coffee’s soda is available in eight-oz. cans in two varieties (black cherry cola and citrus vanilla cream soda) sweetened with fruit juice and cane sugar. High Brew of Austin, Texas, will soon launch three versions of shelf-stable carbonated coffees at several retailers. And Chameleon Cold Brew, acquired by Nestlé last year, continues to test market a four-SKU sparkling cold brew line.

Dunkin’ Donuts Adds Canned Coffee To Portfolio

Two years after introducing its bottled iced coffee line, Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Donuts is launching a canned RTD lineup dubbed Shot in the Dark coffee espresso blend. Available in three flavors (caramel, mocha, and vanilla), the new brand is manufactured and distributed by Coca-Cola. Each 8.1 ounce can contains 80 calories and is sold at “select retail locations,” though availability will expand through 2019 at convenience and grocery stores across the U.S. Dunkin’ is also expanding its bottled iced coffee lineup this month with a new pumpkin spice flavor.

Coca-Cola To Buy French Juice Maker Tropico SAS

Continuing its diversification strategy, Coca-Cola said it will acquire French juice company Tropico SAS whose 2017 revenue was about $34 million. Financial terms were not released. Founded in 1982, Tropico beverages are sold in cans and PET bottles primarily through retailers in France and Belgium. In a news release Coca-Cola said the acquisition of Tropico would strengthen its goal of becoming a "major player in the still fruit-flavored beverage sector," a key segment in the French non-alcoholic drinks market that has experienced regular growth over the past few years. Marketing of Tropico in mainland France and Belgium will gradually be taken over by bottlers CCEP France, CCEP Belgium, and SOCOBO (Corsica).
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