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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola CEO Tells Investors Not To Expect Brisk Acquisition Pace To Continue In 2019

After initiating six acquisitions in 2018, including the $5.1 billion purchase of U.K. coffee chain Costa Coffee, Coca-Cola will tap the brakes in 2019, according to CEO James Quincey, who said the plan is to spend time absorbing what it bought. Shares of the company are up more than seven percent so far this year, standing relatively strong against broader market volatility, an indication that investors are happy with the aggressive growth plan. Coke now has a market value of $209.8 billion. And while the beverage industry has been eyeing cannabis-infused drinks as an avenue for growth, Quincey said Coca-Cola will hold off from including cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis compound, in any of its products until it is "legal, safe and consumable."

Swiss Coca-Cola Bottler Tests Technology That Draws CO2 From The Air

Bottler Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland has partnered with Climeworks, a pioneer in applying a technology that captures carbon dioxide directly from air. Coca-Cola will use the technology in bottles of the sparkling water Valser. Climeworks uses stacked shipping containers that pull air inside and through filters that capture CO2 like an ultra-powerful tree. Once a filter is full, the collector is heated, releasing the gas in a pure form that can be injected deep underground for storage. The company’s first partnership was with a nearby greenhouse that used the CO2 to help plants grow faster; the beverage industry was the natural next step. Drawing CO2 from the atmosphere is more expensive than getting it from other sources, but the developers believe that declining costs eventually will make the technology more economically feasible.

Coca-Cola Closes Aggressive Acquisition Year With Series A Investment In POS Connectivity Firm

Coca-Cola took the lead in a $10 million Series A investment round in Hayward, Calif.-based restaurant tech company Omnivore, developer of a universal point-of-sale connectivity platform. Other investors were Performance Food Group and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik. Omnivore promotes an "end-to-end suite of solutions" to help optimize the digital restaurant experience, such as online ordering, paying at the table, third-party delivery, kiosk/digital menus and analytics. The financing will be used to accelerate current development and growth of proprietary Omnivore products that minimize friction for restaurant brands, third-party technologies, and POS companies, according to a news release.

Wayback Burgers To Offer Coke Products In U.S. And International Locations

Wayback Burgers has switched to Coca-Cola products for the drink fountains in its 161 restaurants in the U.S. and overseas. Wayback has locations in 30 states and in Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan, and The Netherlands. The company will now sell Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Powerade Mountain Berry Blast, Minute Maid Lemonade, Barrilitos Aguas Frescas, Gold Peak Tea, as well as specialty craft beverages. In 2018, 14 of the top 50 quick-serve restaurant concepts were burger brands, and of those 14, 13 of them serve Coca-Cola.


Bottled Water Companies Continue To Struggle With A Major Packaging Challenge

Growing consumer criticism of the disposable plastic bottles that contain America’s most popular beverage – bottled water – not to mention stricter new government regulations and bans by public facilities have created a major problem for bottlers. They have yet to come up with a more enviro-friendly bottle, though they are searching for answers. PepsiCo says its acquisition of countertop water carbonator SodaStream will help it move “beyond the bottle.” Poland Spring-owner Nestlé is rolling out glass and aluminum packaging for some brands. Evian has pledged to make all its plastic bottles entirely from recycled plastic by 2025, up from 30 percent today. Parent company Danone SA hopes the move will help it regain market share and win over plastic detractors who are already pressuring the makers of straws, bags and coffee cups. Advanced recycling technologies wait in the wings, but no one knows whether they will work or be economically feasible.

Other Companies

Koia Targets Keto Dieters With High-Fat Coconut Cream-Based Beverage

California RTD smoothie company Koia plans to launch a high-fat, low-carb beverage for the keto diet market in 2019. Koia Keto is targeted at those who adhere to a ketogenic diet or those looking for a healthfuly, sweet-flavored RTD option. Available flavors will be chocolate brownie, cake batter, and caramel crème. Koia’s beverages, including three fruit infusions, are sold in Whole Foods nationwide, and in Publix, Wegmans, and other regional retailers now carry the original collection of five drinks, as well as its recent line of three fruit infusions. Koia Keto is primarily coconut cream with 14 g of MCT oil, 22 g of fat, 12 g of plant-based protein (pea, rice and chickpea), with a total of five net carbs. It contains no added sugar and reaches a ratio of 74 percent fat, 18 percent protein and eight percent carbs.

Sipp Sparkling Completes Rebrand, Launches New Products

Philadelphia, Pa.-based Sipp Sparkling Organics announced it has completed a rebrand of Sipp Sparkling, and is releasing Sipp Infusions. The company has also launched an e-commerce website, allowing consumers to purchase directly from Sipp. The rebrand includes new packaging and “a healthier formula” featuring new flavors: cherry fizz, ginger blossom, mojo berry, ruby rose, summer pear and zesty orange. Available in 10.5 oz cans, Sipp Sparkling now has half the calories and sugar per serving than previously. Cans have 35 calories and nine grams of sugar and 12 oz bottles contain 40 calories and 10 grams of sugar. Sipp Infusions flavors include: cool cucumber, pineapple breeze, and strawberry delight. 

Flow Alkaline Spring Water Extends Portfolio With CBD-Infused Variants

Canada’s Flow Alkaline Spring Water has launched in select markets a functional beverage line infused with cannabidiol (CBD) and an array of botanical and antioxidant ingredients. Made with 100 percent naturally alkaline spring water, Flow Glow is an “ultra-hydrating, mineral-rich H2O super food” in 330 ml bottles, the company says. Its consumers research found that 63 percent of adult Canadians are familiar with CBD, 40 percent are consuming it for both recreational and medicinal purposes, and 67 percent are interested in consuming it in the future. Flow naturally alkaline spring water has a pH of 8.1 and is sourced from a family-owned artesian spring and limestone aquifer in South Bruce County, Ontario, Canada. Four flavors are available in North America: cucumber + mint, lemon + ginger, strawberry + rose and watermelon + lime. Two more will launch in 2019: grapefruit + elderflower and blackberry + hibiscus.

Push Hopes To Take Reformulated Energy Drink Liquid Lightning National

N.J.-based Push Beverages has reformulated, repackaged and refreshed its 10-year-old regional beverage Liquid Lightning Energy Drink, which has been out of production for several years. Push acquired the trademarks and formulations intending to take the beverage nationwide with its existing distribution network. The company resized the container to 12-fl.oz., and replaced high fructose corn syrup with pure cane sugar. Regular and zero-calorie versions are available. "Energy boosters" include D-Ribose, caffeine, inositol, taurine, glucuronolactone, panax ginseng extract, and high doses of B vitamins to help with stress and eliminate the "crash" that often occurs after the energy boost. Liquid Lightning has 120 calories and 15mg of sodium per 12-fl.oz. can and uses natural flavoring to obtain its light berry flavor. 


Homegrown Food And Beverage Brands Give Multinationals A Run For The Money

China’s home-grown food and beverage brands are beating multinational competitors among Chinese families, according to research from Kantar World Panel that looked at families in 20 provinces and four municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing). Dairy giant Yili was the most consumed dairy brand among Chinese families last year. Sales rankings of multinationals like Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Mars, Mondelez, and Pepsico were evenly distributed across the chart, ranking 5th, 8th, 12th, 13th, and 16th respectively. Among multinational players, the biggest percentage growth (3.2 percent) was achieved by Coca-Cola. Among local brands, percentage growth was highest for Nongfu Spring (eight percent), with 120 million families consuming its products, up from 111 million last year. Nongfu Spring grew its shopper base among young consumers by 30 percent in the last 12 months due to the success of its Victory vitamin water. 
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