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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola CEO Sees Major Opportunities In India

One of the goals of Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey is to advance the Indian market from the No. 6 spot to No. 3 spot in terms of volume. To accomplish that, the company will focus on building local businesses, certainly through innovation and marketing of sparkling beverages, but also fruit drinks and fruit-based drinks. Success in that endeavor will involve using the local fruits so familiar to India’s people. To develop and sell these drinks – whether made from mosambi or from other local fruits – it is important to show consumers that they may be able to squeeze their own juice when the fruit is in season, but they can still enjoy the juice when the fruit is not in season. Quincey – who wants to build an R&D center in India – says there is a major opportunity to develop local products that will benefit consumers.

Maaza Mango Drink Packaging Gets Makeover From Coca-Cola India

Coca-Cola India worked with brand design agency Taxi Studio to redesign the packaging of its hugely popular Indian mango beverage, Maaza, giving it a more contemporary look and feel. The revamped Maaza bottles and tetra packs arrive on store shelves this month, supported by a new advertisement in Hindi and vernacular languages featuring three popular Bollywood actresses. The refreshed design conveys the distinct mango shape through a blend of mango illustrations. The bottle’s mango juice drip and mango leaves were brought to life through a realistic illustration style; the back of pack story-telling further enhances the brand’s new positioning as “innocent indulgence.”

Coca-Cola Unveils Six New Beverages At Expo West

Coca-Cola last week unveiled six new health-centric juice flavor combinations that exemplify the company’s “total beverage strategy.” Showcased at the Expo West Natural Food and Beverage show, the new products include a smoothie-kambucha mix from Odwalla called Smoobucha. The range is available in the U.S. in three flavors containing probiotics and fiber – citrus and guava, berry and ginger, and apple and greens – in 15.2 oz bottles. The company also added a new packaging option to its recently-acquired sparkling mineral water, Topo Chico. The company will start selling 6.5-ounce, glass 6-packs for $4.99 nationwide starting in June. The product is now mainly sold in 11.5- to 50.7-ounce glass bottles, or 20-ounce to 1.5-liter plastic bottles. 


Danone Forms JV In Thailand To Market More Healthful Beverages

Danone’s Thai subsidiary Myen Pte Ltd is forming a joint venture with a Sappe Public Company Ltd subsidiary to develop and market “healthier choice” beverages in Thailand. The Thai beverage market is fragmented but large: the country has the highest per capita consumption of non-alcoholic beverages in Asia. The CEO of Sappe says Thai consumers are looking for “new and different product experiences,” including more healthful alternatives to traditional sugary drinks. Among these is Danone’s B’lue, a fruity, vitamin-enhanced beverage that is low in sugar. 

Keurig Dr Pepper

KDP Ups Investment In Dyla Brands In Time For Rollout Of 11 Oz. RTD Energy Coffee

Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) and other shareholders of Dyla Brands, owner of the Forto Coffee and Stur brands, have upped their investment in the company by $20 million, which will be used to build its DSD infrastructure. Nestlé veteran Alberto Hernandez Lopez was named Dyla’s chief marketing officer, as the Forto brand gears up to sell 11 oz. RTD energy coffee line this spring along with its 2 oz. shots. The brand has secured partnerships with national retail chains, including Walmart, Walgreen’s and Dollar General, and last year began producing coffee shots for JAB-affiliated brands Green Mountain, Donut Shop, Krispy Kreme, and Gevalia that feature “Powered by Forto” on the package. The new 11 oz. variant

Other Companies

Flow To Use Digital – “Augmented Reality” – Mirrors In Retail Store Demonstrations

Calif.-based Flow Alkaline Spring Water has launched an in-store demonstration program based on augmented reality (AR) mirrors developed by technology company MemoMi, maker of the world’s first digital mirror.  Flow's summer promotional campaign (the "Superpower of Alkalinity") will feature an interactive AR experience using customized MemoMi MemoryMirrors” that track the customer's face to “add super power illustrations that coincide with Flow's original alkaline spring water” and create an experience that can then be shared on social media. According to MemoMi, this is the first company in the CPG space to use its AR technology. In clothing stores, the mirrors save a shopper’s’ images with clothes they try on, compares try-ons side-by-side, and makes sharing images on a smartphone easy. The MemoryMirrors can also show shoppers what they look like from behind, and dress them virtually. Using the mirrors in store demos, Flow says it can learn more about customers, “listen to their needs, share offers and invites, and better engage with them.”

Listening To Fan Feedback, High Brew Debuts Nut Milk Lattes

 High Brew Coffee of Austin, Texas, is expanding its canned RTD cold brew line with three plant-based lattes made with coconut and cashew milk. The company previously offered dairy-free options (Black and Bold, Triple Shot Black) and Sparkling Cold Brews, but consumer feedback – fans laced their cold brews with nut milk – pointed the company toward a dairy-free latte. The dairy-free options contain nine grams of sugar – 35 percent less than High Brew’s current offerings – and come in three flavored lattes: bourbon vanilla, toasted coconut and smoked butterscotch. Like all High Brew products, the new Nut Milk Lattes ($2.99) are made from 100 percent Direct Trade Arabica beans and are cold brewed over time, not heat. 

Vital Proteins Adds Collagen Water To Its Lineup Of Collagen-Based Products

Illinois-based Vital Proteins has expanded its array of collagen-based products to include five flavors of the new hydration beverage Collagen Water. Available in 12 oz. bottles containing 60 calories, 10 grams of “collagen peptides” derived from bovine sources, Collagen Water also has fruit juice and “reverse osmosis water. The company offers Collagen Shots containing seven grams of collagen peptides, and a portfolio of collagen powders, blends, and capsules. The five flavors of Collagen Water are: original (a citrus twist on a neutral taste), strawberry lemon, blackberry hibiscus, lemon ginger, and blueberry mint.

Vivic Tackles The RTD Sparkling Coffee Market

California start-up Vivic has launched a line of sparkling coffees – the “missing link between teas and cold brews” – infused with roots and botanicals. Still relatively unfamiliar to American consumers, RTD sparkling coffee has been tried by several established and start-up coffee companies. Some, like Stumptown, discontinued their product, while others, like Slingshot Coffee Co. and Clutch Coffee Roasters, pitch them as either “Soda” or “Pop,” respectively. Vivic, however, has positioned itself  as a low-sugar, low-calorie alternative with more refined flavors. The new line includes original, lavender, and sarsaparilla flavors, retails for $2.99 per 9.5 oz can containing 30 calories, and eight grams of sugar. They are also sweetened with licorice root to keep the sugar level low and add additional gut health functional benefits. The company expects to launch three new SKUs this summer.

LaCroix Maker Posts 3rd Quarter Declines In Sales, Profit – CEO Blames “Injustice”

National Beverage Corporation, maker of LaCroix sparkling water, posted a 40 percent drop in third quarter profit along with a three percent drop in sales (after a seven percent increase in the prior quarter). In a press release, CEO Nick Caporella blamed the poor performance on “injustice,” referring to a lawsuit filed against the company in October alleging that “all natural” LaCroix actually contains artificial ingredients, including one used by exterminators. “You’re guilty without being proven so, without due process,” a company spokesman said. In addition to the “injustice” cited by Caporella, however, the company is facing stiffer competition in the flavored seltzer space from products sold by PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. A Wall Street analyst suggested that the weak sales, plus data suggesting LaCroix is no longer a hot topic on social media, may portend bad times for National Beverage: there is “little hope that the brand can recover,” said Laurent Grandet of Guggenheim Securities.

Kerry Lists Up-And-Coming And Emerging Flavor Ingredients For 2019

Global food company Kerry (Ireland) has issued its 2019 Taste Charts for the beverage industry, based on primary and secondary research into trendy and emerging flavors and ingredients. Kerry’s pick of three top beverage flavors to watch are pomelo, turmeric, jasmine, and cherry blossom. In cold beverages and waters, look for up-and-coming flavors such as avocado, matcha, baobab, mint, bergamont, peppercorn, cactus, rhubarb, etc.; and emerging flavors acai, myrtle, advocaat, orange blossom, prickly pear, rooibos, etc. In hot beverages and dairy look for up-and-coming flavors such as basil, hemp (seed), beetroot, birch, lemon verbena, cardamon, etc. Emerging ingredients include acai, hyssop, jujube, maqui, carob, milk thistle, etc. Kerry’s research looks at sales performance data, consumer trend reports, foodservice influences, and endorsements from internal culinary experts.

Koios Beverage Corp. Functional Drinks To Be Sold At Walmart Stores

Canada’s Koios Beverage Corp. has inked a vendor agreement with Walmart, which will add the Koios beverage line to its new functional beverage set. The pear guava, blood orange and peach mango beverages will be available in 1,094 Walmart locations in the U.S., and will also be available through Walmart’s online portal and in stores April 1. Koios says its nootropic (memory enhancing) formula improves brain function, including mental focus, memory and concentration. The main ingredient is lion’s mane mushroom. The formula is also used in a line of healthful organic beverages and drink powders. The Koios brand had been carried primarily in health store chains, and various grocery chains, including GNC.

U.K. Soft Drink Company Radnor Hills Debuts Energy Water

British soft drinks firm Radnor Hills, founded in 1990 in Powys, Wales, has launched a line of natural energy drinks with zero sugar and five calories per bottle. Radnor Plus Energy, a sparkling water beverage, will be sold in two flavors: cranberry and raspberry, and lemon and lime. Each 500 ml bottle contains seven B vitamins and 70 mg of natural caffeine, about the same as a cup of coffee.
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