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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace

Coca-Cola

Coke Drops “Share A Coke” Packaging Message For The Summer

Coca-Cola is tweaking its packaging message for the summer season to add the word “Enjoy” before the brand name – i.e., “Enjoy Coca-Cola” – in the old handwriting style (Spencerian script) usually reserved for the brand name itself. The packaging change also includes giveaways and promotes the U.S. Women’s National Team, which will compete in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup event. The “Enjoy” message will appear on packs of Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, replacing the “Share a Coke” slogan for several months. In the summer, labels on 20-ounce bottles of Coke and Coke Zero Sugar will have peel-away wristbands with six summer-themed designs, such as popsicles or hot dogs. One shows the words “I Believe” and the U.S. Women’s National Team’s crest. Consumers can scan a “sip and scan” icon to access 150,000 prizes. The summertime packs are set to hit shelves on May 13. 

Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Dr Pepper Adds Limited Edition Dark Berry Flavored Variant

Dr Pepper has added a new flavor to its current lineup – original, cherry, and vanilla – for the first time in five years. Available nationwide on May 1 for a limited time, the “dark side” blend of blackberry, black currant, and black cherry flavors – dubbed Dr Pepper Dark Berry – is being billed as a “subtle, fruity twist on the original soda,” itself a blend of 23 flavors. A 12-can pack will cost around $5.29, and the 20-ounce bottle will retail for $1.99, arrayed in purple special edition collectible Spider-Man packaging to celebrate the release of the new movie, Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Nestle

Poland Spring 100% rPET Bottled Water Goes Nationwide Beginning In May

Nestlé Waters NA brand Poland Spring is making its bottled spring water available nationwide for the first time. Poland Spring ORIGIN will be packaged in “ergonomic” 100 percent food-grade recycled plastic (rPET) bottles. According to Nestlé Waters, ORIGIN's 100 percent natural spring water has been sustainably sourced from the White Cedar Spring in Maine, filtered by 10,000-year-old glacial sands. It contains no additives other than the minerals that come from the earth, including naturally occurring electrolytes. The product will be nationally available on Amazon.com in a 12-pack of 900 ml bottles, and via delivery by ReadyRefresh Nestlé. From May 2019, Poland Spring ORIGIN will be available in select retail locations in Florida and Texas with plans for national retail expansion in 2020. Meanwhile, litigation over the sources of Poland Spring water continues to churn in courts in Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.[Image Credit: © Nestlé Waters North America]

Nestlé Opens Pop-Up Coffee Shop In Beijing

Nestlé's 80-year-old coffee producer Nescafé this month is opening a pop-up coffee shop – the Nescafé Sense Café – in Beijing, China, the third offline outlet in China for the brand. Nestlé China's coffee unit reached saw double-digit growth last year, highlighted by ready-to-drink coffee and capsule coffee. The pop-up store was designed to create an immersive experience that blends culture, architecture, and art, a Nestlé spokesman said, to keep up with the ever-changing demands and consumption trends. In April, Nestlé unveiled a new locally-developed fruit-flavored ice soluble coffee that targets young consumers.

Other Companies

Goat Milk And Cheese Are In The USA To Stay

According to the USDA, dairy goat herds have been the fastest-growing major livestock group over the last ten years – up 61 percent – while numbers for other livestock were flat or declining. Meanwhile, the nation’s dairy cow herd grew just three percent from 2007 to 2017, with growth concentrated in Texas, Michigan and Idaho. The herd declined in 60 percent of the rest of the states. Part of the trend may be due to cow milk allergies among children, but adult consumption of cow milk has dropped nearly 50 percent since the 1970s, replaced by plant-based milks (i.e., oat, almond, soy, etc.). And goat milk is not far behind. The marketing director of LaClare Family Creamery in Wisconsin says this country is finally catching up with the rest of the world in terms of milk from goats, which has less lactose than cow milk, and the fat drops in goat’s milk are smaller and break down more easily. Liebhauser has grown 300 percent in the past two years, with a full line of pasteurized milk, fresh chevre (goat cheese) and traditional cheeses such as mozzarella, jack, and cheddar made from goat’s milk.

Powdered “Hydration” Sports Drinks Are Catching On In A Big Way

The emergence of independent brands offering clean label credentials, including clinical study-based  claims of effectiveness, is breathing new life into the hydration-focused powdered sports drinks market. Dominated by Gatorade’s single-serve offerings, brands like Nuun, Liquid I.V. and Skratch Labs are growing despite a 2.1 percent year-over-year decline of the $79.9 million subcategory. Nuun’s core Sports line alone grew 55.2 percent to $1.8 million in sales in March. New entrants like Cure Hydration are looking to further roil the segment as they take aim at Millennial consumers and online buyers. In fact, as the “hydration” claim takes on a life of its own, powdered brands are resonating catchin on with consumers by promising a better and more convenient delivery vehicle for replenishment. Industry observers say the growing interest in hydration is linked to the rise of endurance sports and workout trends, like Spartan Race and Crossfit.

Tree Sap-Based Beverages Are On The Rise

A report from Packaged Facts says water producers are catering to consumer demands for plant-based food and beverage alternatives – and hoping to replicate the success of coconut water – by infusing products with sap from maple and birch trees. “In addition to flavor,” the report notes, “proponents are pushing the drinks as healthy with functional benefits and as more sustainable than typical waters.” Drink Simple, for example, is marketing several flavors of maple water that is “naturally alkaline and contains electrolytes, antioxidants and prebiotics.” Sap!, which offers plant-based sparkling beverages, uses 100 percent Vermont maple and birch sap to make its sparkling birch water, maple soda, and maple seltzer.

Sonic Drive-Ins Now Offering Slush Drinks Energized With Red Bull

Red Bull and Oklahoma City, Okla.-based drive-in restaurant chain Sonic have created the frozen beverages Red Bull Slush and Cherry Limeade Red Bull Slush. The restaurants will also sell 8.4-ounce cans of Red Bull. Previewed at the annual MOSCHINO Desert Party in Indio, Calif., the Red Bull Slush  is available now at Sonic drive-ins for a limited time.

Yerbaé Debuts Four New Flavors Of Caffeinated Sparkling Water

Functional beverage company Yerbaé (Chicago, Ill.), founded in 2017, has introduced four new flavors of its caffeinated sparkling water in 16 oz. aluminum cans. Available now are coconut raspberry, orange vanilla dream, watermelon strawberry, all containing the herb yerba mate and its naturally occurring caffeine that “that stimulates the body and focuses the mind.” The Yerbaé sparkling waters are available in eight Western states with expansion to 16 states this year. Retailers carrying the products include Wawa, Circle K, Sprouts, Safeway, Albertsons and many more supportive retailers.

Demand For Functional, Clean Label Teas Ushers In The “Tea 3.0” Era

Experts behind the World Tea Expo say tea is now caught up in the health and wellness – and transparency – trends driven by consumer demand not just for good flavor and convenience, but also functional health benefits. In the new “Tea 3.0” era, health-conscious consumers – especially Millennials and Baby Boomers – are taking an interest in the origins, ingredients, and supply chain of tea. Some believe greater transparency in tea labels could lead to a rise in a “connoisseur culture” similar to wine. The key to the tea market now, according to Performance Tea CEO Joe Gagnon, is the creation of easy-to-consume, functional teas for the active consumer and formulated for stress management, pain relief and physical adaptation with ingredients like adaptogens and cannabidiol (CBD).

India’s Hector Beverages Gets $30 Million Shot In The Arm

Venture capital firm A91 Partners is in final talks with India’s Hector Beverages, producer of Paper Boat and other ethnic drinks, to lead a $30 million funding round. Belgian investor Sofina, one of the company’s existing investors, is also expected to participate in the round. A91 has already invested an initial tranche of $1.45 million in Hector in March. Hector Beverages launched in 2010 with an energy drink called Tzinga. Its flagship brand Paper Boat was launched in 2013, with drinks in traditional Indian flavors such as Aamras, Aam Panna, Anar, Jamun Kala Khatta, Kokum and Chilli Guava, all made without preservatives, added colors or carbonation. For the year ended 31 March 2018, Hector posted a 70 percent jump in revenue to $17 million crore. 
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