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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Amatil Nixes Bid For Kirin’s Australian Drinks Line

Coca-Cola’s Australian business decided not to buy Kirin’s drinks and yogurt portfolio, which includes brands such as Pura milk, Big M flavored milk, Yoplait yogurt, Berri juice and Farmers Union iced coffee and yogurt. Noting that it was “comfortable with” its own portfolio of beverages, Coca-Cola Amatil said it was not pursuing a bid for Lion Dairy & Drinks. Coca-Cola Amatil last month reported a 37 percent drop in first-half profit after a $146.9 million write-down of the fruit and vegetable canning business SPC.


As Taxes On Sugary Drinks Rise, Nestlé Will Debut Sugar-Free Milo In Thailand

Nestlé has unveiled plans to introduce a new sugar-free version of the popular Milo chocolate and malt drink nationwide in Thailand in early June, where obesity and diabetes rates have been rising. The new variant of Milo, which has seen limited distribution in convenience stores, has only the natural sweetness of its milk constituents and malt. A 180-milliliter packet of the drink retails for $0.41. The new sugar-free Milo version is a response to the Thai government’s 2017 sugar tax designed to control sugar consumption and obesity in the country. The sugar tax rate varies depending on the amount of sugar in a product. The tax rate will be raised gradually until 2023. The tax prompted Nestlé earlier to release a product under the Milo brand with 30 percent less sugar in an effort to expand its lineup of low-sugar products.

Nestlé Argentina Modernizes, Enlarges Milk Factory In Argentina

Nestlé Argentina has opened a new $11.9 million liquid milk production line at one of its factories that will boost annual production to more than 10 million liters. The Villa Nueva factory in Córdoba province uses ultra-high temperature (UHT) technology to produce added-value beverages at the facility, including Nesquik, Nido, and NAN. The revamped factory houses a new sterilization plant, state-of-the-art technologies, an upgraded packing line, renovated boilers, and a new cold system for the whole plant. The Villa Nueva factory is the third Nestlé factory in the world to produce infant formulas using UHT sterilization.

Other Companies

Powdered Energy Drink For Competitive Video Gamers Will Launch Soon In Cans

Powdered beverage G Fuel Energy Formula plans to launch an RTD version this summer in a 16-ounce can. Dubbed the Official Energy Drink of Esports (i.e,, multiplayer video gaming with spectators), the G Fuel RTD version will be available in four flavors: fazeberry, blue ice, sour cherry and rainbow sherbet. The drink features a proprietary combination of whole-food caffeine from unroasted coffee beans and the amino acid L-tyrosine, plus antioxidants, vitamins, zero sugar and zero calories. It will be available in late June at gfuel.com. 

Starbucks Juice Company Evolution Fresh To Debut Celery Variant

Evolution Fresh, the juice and smoothie brands acquired by Starbucks in 2011, will launch Organic Celery Glow in 15.2-ounce bottles in April. Cold-pressed, “brightened with a twist of lemon,” and containing two grams of sugar, the new flavor will sell for $5 s bottle at Whole Foods Market and other natural retailers. The juice will not be sold at Starbucks locations.

Coffeehouse Company Caribou Spurs A Trend: Malt Coffee

Minn.-based coffee and coffeehouse chain Caribou Coffee has turned malt – an ingredient found in beer, malted milkshakes, ice cream, and candy – into a coffee flavor trend. Malt has been around since its invention in 1883 as a powder that could be mixed with hot water to create a beverage. Caribou offers a malted mocha made with espresso, malted milk powder, chocolate chips, and steamed milk. The malted mocha cooler contains malt blended with chocolate chips, coffee and ice. Malt is also found in a crafted hot or cold press coffee. A small malted mocha (12 ounces) costs $4.69, while a regular mocha is $4.09. Caribou has more than 300 locations in 22 states and 270 international franchise stores.

Welch’s Develops Technology To Neutralize Aroma, Flavor Of Concord Grape Juice

With the help of Cornell University and the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, Welch’s Global Ingredients Group, a unit of Welch Foods, has developed a technology that neutralizes the aroma and flavor of the firm’s signature Concord grape juice. According to the company, the neutralized juice can be used as a base wine or blender and provides a new option for winemakers wishing to reduce costs without sacrificing quality across a variety of wine styles. The technology for producing neutralized Concord grape juice “takes our participation in the winemaking industry to a new level.” Welch’s (Massachusetts) is the processing and marketing subsidiary of the National Grape Cooperative.

Vital Proteins Takes Collagen Beverages From Powders To RTD Format

Industry research finds that the beauty drink market will be worth $1.4 billion within three years, thanks to a shift in consumer aspirations and the growth in convenient formats. Until now, the industry has mostly concentrated on powders and supplements, but collagen is being incorporated into ready-to-drink (RTD) and ready-to-eat (RTE) formats that could broaden the category’s overall appeal. Chicago-based Vital Proteins, for example, has developed a line of RTD drinks that deliver 10 grams of collagen (protein) in five flavors: original, strawberry-lemon, lemon-ginger, blueberry-mint, and blackberry-hibiscus. They are made with real fruit juice and contain no artificial sweeteners or added sugar. Each of the RTD products retails online for $4.50. Collagen drink prices generally range from $4 to $8.

N.Y. Company Chlorophyll Water Touts Functional Benefits Of Its Eponymous Product

Claiming its new beverage provides a hydrating, plant-powered energy source for fitness fans, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Chlorophyll Water has launched a shelf-stable (six months) vitamin water that has no calories, gluten, or sugar, but is rich in vitamins A, B12, C, and D. According to the company, chlorophyll, the green pigment essential to plant photosynthesis, contains health benefits that “may include” stimulating the oxygen supply to the cells, and “helping to regenerate your system.” Chlorophyll can assist in promoting healthy alkaline pH levels, oxygenating the body, boosting energy levels and detoxifying the body. The water is harvested from an aquifer and then undergoes a three-part purification process. Chlorophyll Water is available at ChlorophyllWater.com in cases of 12 20-ounce bottles. 

Lifeway Foods Bets On Growth Of Dairy-Free, Probiotics-Rich Beverages

Lifeway Foods (Morton Grove, Ill.) is betting its future on the growing trend of plant-based dairy alternatives and kefir, a fermented milk beverage. Its Plantiful range of dairy-free drinks with probiotics are available in four flavors: plain, coconut-vanilla, mixed berry, and tropical fruit. The company’s market research shows that in the next two years, 40 percent of the dairy space will be dairy alternatives, which puts the company in a solid position for growth. 


Wahaha Pulls Packaging That Claims Its Milk Boosts Breast Size

China’s largest beverage company Hangzhou Wahaha apologized to consumers earlier this month after complaints about an on-package ad showing a young girl praising Vitamin A&D Calcium Milk for its ability to enlarge breasts. The company claimed the ad was a real quote from a consumer. The company issued a statement saying: “Each and every quote used is selected from Internet users’ comments and we have obtained their permission to use them – it’s not a slogan.” Nevertheless, the company said it had stopped using the packaging after social media criticism called the ad misleading and vulgar. Last month, Hainan Coconut Palm Group, maker of a popular coconut milk, was forced to remove ads that showed large-breasted women in skimpy tops alongside slogans such as “I drink from small to big.” 
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