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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coke CEO Sheds Day-To-Day Duties To Focus On The Big Picture

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey is handing over day-to-day management duties to newly-named chief operating officer and 21-year Coke veteran Brian Smith, 62. He will also take on the title of president, which is held by Quincey. The promotion will take effect in January. The company also named new chief financial officer John Murphy, Asia-Pacific president, who will replace Kathy Waller, 60, in March. The management moves will permit Quincey to focus on the company’s overall strategic direction as more consumers shun sugary soft drinks. Chief Technical Officer Ed Hays, who is retiring in March, will be replaced by Nancy Quan, who holds the same post for Coke’s North America division.

Other Companies

Smucker Predicts Solid Growth In Competitive Retail Coffee Market

The Smucker coffee unit, battling tough competition from Keurig Green Mountain, Nestlé/Starbucks,’s partnership with Starbucks to sell its retail products globally, and Coca-Cola/Costa, plans to focus on premium offerings that “bring the café experience home.” Emphasis will be on darker profiles and ready-to-drink items; marketing will span social, digital, experiential, and traditional media. Smucker expects its Folger line – 47 percent of which is K-Cups – to comprise 26 percent of company sales in fiscal 2019, up from 15 percent of the coffee portfolio in 2014. The company is also expecting solid contributions from the 1850 brand and from its partnership with the Dunkin’ Brand Group. Initiatives in these areas will bring approximately two percent annual growth to the Smucker’s coffee portfolio, the company says.

Korean Shipping Giant STX Embarks On Functional Beverage Marketing Strategy

South Korean trade and shipping company STX has begun marketing a traditional Korean “folk remedy” in France. The plum-based fermented beverage Méshil – maesil in Korea – takes three years and several stages to produce after a summer harvest. The long period of aging converts sugar into glucose, fructose, and oligosaccharides until its healthful elements and unique flavors develop. According to the company, the antioxidants in the beverage promote digestion, detoxification, immune defense, and refreshment. STX is known mainly for shipbuilding, ocean shipping, and commodity and heavy equipment trading, but a new strategy of diversification led management to support the marketing and distribution of Méshil outside of Korea. Once established in France, the organic beverage will be marketed in the rest of Europe and in the U.S.

British Functional Beverage Brand DRGN Launches Turmeric Soft Drinks

Market researcher Mintel in 2016 named turmeric as a “superfood to watch.”’ The advice was not lost on U.K. beverage brand DRGN, which recently launched a turmeric-infused soft drink that contains vitamins, electrolytes, citrus flavor, and an amino acid to reduce fatigue and aid hydration. The drink also contains ginger, which the company says has antioxidants that support liver function. Each 250 ml DRGN, suitable for vegans, contains 80 calories and no caffeine, artificial flavors, colorings, or sweeteners. The company also pitched the beverage as a “smarter mixer” when paired with spirits.

Community Coffee Debuts RTD Lattes, Plans Expanded Distribution Beyond Southeast U.S.

Louisiana’s family-owned importer and roaster Community Coffee Company has launched a line of 230-calorie RTD iced lattes blending its own dark roast coffee, cane sugar, and natural flavors and coloring. The lattes are packaged in recyclable 13.7-ounce glass bottles containing caffeine equivalent to a cup of coffee. Community Iced Lattes are sold by retailers in the Southeast U.S., including Winn-Dixie, Rouses, Market Basket and at C-Stores in Louisiana and Arkansas. The company notes, however, that it plans to expand distribution over the next few months. 

Kirin To Sell Its Australian Dairy And Drinks Unit LDD

After a strategic review, Kirin Holdings of Japan plans to divest its Australian dairy, soft drinks, and juice unit Lion Dairy & Drinks (LDD) after spending billions of dollars to acquire and build it. Kirin said the sale was sparked by LDD’s current strategy of leveraging consumer wellness trends, which will need “new capabilities and capital investment.” LDD brands include Pura milk, Dare iced-coffee and South Cape cheese, and distributes Vitasoy plant-based milks in Australia. Kirin’s overall Australian business, Lion, said the sale of LDD will free up capital to speed up investment in "premium, crafted non-alcohol beverages" alongside its core beer brands, as well as hot beverages such as Schibello coffee in Australia and Good Patron in NZ. Kirin entered the Australian dairy market in 2007 with the US$2.6 billion acquisition of National Foods.
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