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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coke Adds Three Sparkling Water Flavors To Smartwater Lineup

Coca-Cola announced it is adding three sparkling water flavors to its Smartwater brand: strawberry-blood orange, fuji apple-pear, and raspberry-rose flavors. In 2018, Coke’s sparkling water business was up 19 percent in the U.S., driven by the addition of Topo Chico. Flavored waters accounted for 89 percent of the revenue growth in Coca-Cola North America’s sparkling water portfolio, which also includes Dasani Sparkling. The company is targeting Millennials with its flavored sparkling waters. The new flavors will be available initially in half-liter bottles in seven U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. The company is also expected to roll out Smartwater Alkaline and Smartwater Antioxidant throughout the U.S., following a limited launch last year.

Coca-Cola Canada Introduced “Most Exciting Innovation” In Packaging: 8.5-Ounce Bottles

Coca-Cola has introduced a smaller bottle in Canada for its Coke, Coke Zero Sugar, Diet Coke. and Sprite soft drinks. The 8.5-ounce (250 ml) bottles, available as single or in eight-packs, are “one of the most exciting innovations we’ve seen in packaging in a long time,” said company president Darlene Nicosia. Coca-Cola said the new mini-bottle is the first of at least 20 innovations expected in Canada in 2019 across the company’s portfolio, including low- and no-calorie drinks, new ”bold” flavors, and soda water beverages. The inside of the recyclable mini-bottle is coated with FreshSafe, an ultra-thin protective layer of silicon oxide (SiOx, chemically pure glass) that increases shelf life by up to four months. Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Ltd. invested $20 million to upgrade production line capabilities at the Brampton plant to support mini-bottle production. The investment follows an announcement last spring that Coca-Cola Ltd. is investing $85 million to build a new plant in Peterborough, Ontario, to support production of fairlife ultra-filtered milk.


Danone NA Extends Stok Dairy-Free Coffee Line

Danone North America has added two dairy-free creamed coffees to its Stok Cold Brew portfolio: Oatmilk Latte and Almondmilk Mocha. Brewed for ten hours, the beverages contain at least 130 grams of caffeine in a 12-ounce serving. The almond milk cold brew contains 15 g of sugar per serving and chocolate. The dairy-free, gluten-free, and certified vegan cold brews are available in the U.S. in 48 oz multi-serve bottles with an SRP of $5.49. The Stok lineup also includes a Protein Cold Brew Coffee with 16 g of protein per serving. In 2018, Danone revealed plans to triple the size of its plant-based business by 2025, growing sales from $1.9 billion to around $5.6 billion.

Keurig Dr Pepper

Canada Dry Debuts Ginger Ale Flavors, Plus Zero-Calorie Lemonade Variant

Keurig Dr Pepper’s soda brand Canada Dry is introducing two new flavors: Ginger Ale and Orangeade, and Diet Ginger Ale and Lemonade. The sodas contain real juice infused with the brand’s iconic “ginger ale flavor.” The drinks are available at retailers nationwide in the following options: 12-pack of 12-oz cans ($5.29); 2-liter bottle ($1.89); and 20-oz bottles ($1.99). The brand is also debuting a zero-calorie version of Ginger Ale and Lemonade in the same packaging options and prices.


Poland Spring Says It’s Time To Teach Americans The Difference Between Spring And Purified Water

Nestlé spring water brand Poland Spring is launching a promotional campaign to explain why spring water is so special. The brand sponsored a national survey of 1,000 adults that found 43 percent of participants admitting they didn’t know what differentiated spring water from purified bottled water. Though most said they drink bottled water, there was “a surprising lack of engagement around knowing the source and ingredients in their bottled water.” In its new promotional campaign, Poland Spring will focus on the Maine sources of its Natural Spring Water – particularly springs filtered by glacial aquifers – to better educate bottled water drinkers in the Northeast. 

Nestlé Waters Expands ReadyFresh Delivery Service To North And South Carolina

Nestlé Waters NA (Stamford, Conn.) announced an expansion of its ReadyRefresh shop-online/business-home delivery service with the purchase of Diamond Springs water and beverage delivery company in North Carolina and South Carolina. The acquisition adds five new branches: Greenville and Charleston, S.C.; and Charlotte, Raleigh, and the Triad region of North Carolina (Winston-Salem, High Point, and Greensboro). After a transition period, Deer Park Brand Natural Spring Water and Nestlé Pure Life Purified Water in refillable three- and five-gallon size containers will be produced locally. The delivery service will offer Deer Park in three- and five- gallon bottles, Pure Life in five-gallon bottles, and other brand and packaging options.

Other Companies

Americans Are Turning From Candy Bars To Shots Of Healthful Drinks For A Quick Energy Boost

American consumers increasingly view bottled potable soups, bone broths, plant-based lattes, and cold-pressed juices as healthful between-meal snacks. The beverages are taking the place of crackers and candy bars at snack time because they can be rich in protein, carbs, and fat that provide a mid-morning energy boost. Examples of the trend include: Fairlife Smart Snack nutrition shakes (Coca-Cola distributor) featuring ultra-filtered milk blended with honey and oats; and Well Yes! Sipping Soups (Campbell) available in harvest carrot and ginger, tomato and sweet basil, and butternut squash and sweet potato. One industry observer says the difference between a beverage snack and a meal replacement drink “comes down to portion size.” In other words, a shot of healthful juice or soup versus a 20-oz shake. 

RAW Pressery Will Expand Beyond Juices, Possibly To Dairy, Bottled Water

India’s cold-pressed juice maker RAW Pressery announced aggressive plans to double its volumes by expanding distribution, spending more on marketing, fleshing out its beverage portfolio, and possibly adding dairy products and bottled water. The company also hopes to leverage its association with Indian professional cricket teams in the upcoming season. The company feels it has fully established itself in the juice category, and it’s now time to “offer the same brand promise in other categories.”

Plant-Based Food Company Qwrkee Announces “Pea M’lks”

British plant-based food and drink brand Qwrkee announced the launch of a line of Pea M’lks in unsweetened and sweetened variants. The products are carried at Whole Foods in the U.K., retailing for about $4 per one-liter carton. According to the company, the products are high in protein, allergen-free, and a source of fiber, omega 3, calcium, iron, iodine, and vitamins B2, B12, D, and A. New products will be added to its portfolio in the coming months, all with vegan ingredients and sold in 100 percent recyclable packaging

Britvic Tinkers With Recipe For Sugar-Free Tango To Make Flavor More Like Original

U.K. beverage firm Britvic announced a change in the formulation of its sugar-free orange drink Tango to get the flavor closer to the original. Available in stores now, the new version, along with new sugar-free flavors strawberry-watermelon and tropical, come with recommended retail prices (RRP) of $0.88 for a 33 cl can, $1.84 for a 500 ml bottle and $3.00 for a two-liter bottle. The company says the main recipe difference is that the "sensory profile" now more closely matches the original Orange. 

Sprig Claims Its CBD-Infused Sodas Are Distributed In A Third Of U.S. States

Los Angeles-based cannabis beverage maker Sprig announced expansion of distribution to eight more states, bringing the total to 17, comprising 4,000 accounts. The cannabidiol (CBD)-infused sodas are mainly distributed by independent Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi wholesalers in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, Kentucky, Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island. A “red-hot trend,” the segment got a boost from the recently-enacted U.S. Farm Bill, which legalized – with an array of restrictions – the cultivation and sale of non-psychoactive hemp and hemp-derived compounds. Sprig offers CBD sodas in four flavors, three of which are zero sugar. Each can of Sprig has 20 mg of hemp-derived CBD.
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