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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coke India Innovates As Consumer Preferences Evolve

Vijay Parasuraman, marketing VP of Coca-Cola India & South West Asia, said the company is “seeing good growth” across all of its beverage categories and hopes to extend that trend by expanding the portfolio to offer more product choices to India’s consumers. Noting that Indian consumers “are evolving faster than the rest of the world and hence their … reasons for consumption are evolving too,” Parasuraman said there will continue to be increased fusion between drinks categories – e.g., the launch of Minute Maid Apple Sparkle, a blend of juice and carbonation. An important strategic target over the coming months is sports fans and athletes, especially devotees of the ICC Cricket World Cup matches beginning at the end of May. The company expects to introduce Powerade to India in June.

Coca-Cola To Hold On To Majority Stake In CCBA; Will Incorporate Financials In Its Own Results

Coca-Cola announced it will retain a majority stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa as “a very important part of the Coca-Cola system” for the foreseeable future. The company said it would begin presenting the financial statements of CCBA within its results from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2019. CCBA has been accounted for as a discontinued operation since Coca-Cola became the controlling shareowner in October 2017. As a result of the reclassification, Coca-Cola expects CCBA will provide reclassified prior year financial information before the second quarter earnings release; and depreciation and amortization will be reinstated. CCBA’s results will be reported as part of the Bottling Investments Group segment.

Coca-Cola Debuts An Array Of Craft Beverages For Bubbler Dispensers

Coca-Cola is showcasing the results of its emphasis on customization and craft in new product development with the introduction of more than two dozen beverages with premium flavors like mango citrus cardamom, blackberry basil lemonade, and watermelon ginger lime. The new drinks, which were on display recently at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, were formulated for bubbler dispensers. The dispensers highlight “a fresh, artisanal positioning” of juices, teas and lemonades that the company believes are a major opportunity for food service operators. Coke research finds that bubbler beverages are growing at 25 percent to 30 percent year-over year; 71 percent of Millennials (ages 23 to 38) and 64 percent of Centennials (ages 13 to 22) drink beverages dispensed from bubblers.

1985 Product Failure New Coke To Re-Appear Temporarily In Partnership With Netflix

Coca-Cola is bringing back New Coke temporarily beginning on May 23, using the same recipe from its aborted – after 79 days – 1985 introduction. Expected to last an even shorter time than before, New Coke is being incorporated via a promotional campaign for the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” which debuted in 2016. Producers of the series have interwoven the brand into the storyline using products, ads, and logos. The third season of “Stranger Things,” debuting on July 4, is set in 1985, when New Coke was launched.

Other Companies

Mars Debuts Milk Versions Of Two Favorites Candy Bars

Giant U.S. candy maker Mars is introducing Snickers- and Twix-flavored chocolate milk in convenience stores nationwide beginning this month. According to the company, Snickers-Flavored Chocolate Milk delivers a “bold, nutty flavor balanced with the intense sweetness of gooey caramel, and rich chocolate,” while Twix-Flavored Chocolate Milk merges chocolate, caramel, and cookie flavors. Both are made with low-fat milk and have 14 grams of protein in each bottle. The SRP is $2.49 a bottle.

Marketing To Millennial Parents Is Not Like Marketing To Baby Boomers

A report from researcher Packaged Facts finds that Millennial parents, a major segment of the parenting demographic, require a different approach to innovation and marketing from previous generations. “Formulation must appeal to the purchasing parent, and taste ultimately is what matters,” the company noted. Millennials have a definitive perspective on what is important in products and brands they buy, according to a Packaged Facts analyst. As to beverages specifically, Millennial parents are looking for products that are all-natural, non-GMO, offer no or low sugar, and have no artificial ingredients. It is important that marketers tout these benefits, because Millennial parents read product labels. Lastly, growth of the multicultural population requires marketers to leverage strategies to appeal to varied traditional and cultural values.

Scotland’s AG Barr Beverage Company To Launch Energy Version Of IrnBru

Scottish soft drink manufacturer AG Barr says it is launching an energy drink version of the national soft drink of Scotland, Irn-Bru, this summer. Irn-Bru Energy will combine the drink’s flavor with taurine, caffeine, B vitamins and the “taste of an energy drink.” Sugary and sugar-free variants will hit store shelves across Scotland, Ireland, and northern England on July 1.

Cannabis Products Marketer Caliva Acquires Plant-Based Beverage Company Zola

In an effort to help it broaden its vertically-integrated cannabis business, California-based Caliva has acquired plant-based beverage maker Zola from investment group KarpReilly for an undisclosed sum. Caliva produces flower, vape, and oil products derived from cannabis and wants to expand into beverages with the help of Zola’s research and development team and the company’s retail distribution network. The company says it will develop THC (tetrahydracannabinol)-infused beverages to sell in California dispensaries under the Caliva trademark, along with CBD-infused beverages under the Zola and Caliva brands for mainstream retailers nationwide. The company has no plans to develop THC-infused beverages under the Zola name.

GreenSpace Brands Sells Its Nothing But Nature Assets To Zurban

Canadian brand-ideation company GreenSpace announced it is selling its Nothing But Nature business assets, including the Kiju brand of organic juices and iced teas, to Zurban for $8 million. GreenSpace acquired the assets 2016 from Ontario-based Nothing But Nature. The sale price includes upfront cash of $7.5 million and a revenue-based earnout of $500,000. The Kiju-branded business represents approximately 10 percent of the revenue of GreenSpace, and about 40 percent of its market cap as of closing on May 17.


Higher Marketing, Ad Spending My Help PepsiCo Regain Lost Market Share

PepsiCo’s four biggest brands all lost market share in terms of volume, according to a Beverage Digest report that also noted that Coca-Cola brand volumes – except for declining flagship Coke – either were flat or gained market share. Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew and Diet Pepsi all experienced volume slides, though a Beverage Digest editor said PepsiCo is showing signs that increased marketing and advertising spend for core brands Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Gatorade “could work to gain share lost to Coke in recent years.” Overall, U.S. volumes of carbonated soft drinks remained fairly steady in 2018 after more than a decade of steeper declines.


Healthy First Quarter Financial Report From Uni-President

Taiwan-based food and beverage conglomerate Uni-President Enterprises Corp. reported stronger-than-expected earnings for the first quarter, thanks to lower taxes and positive subsidiary performance. Consolidated net profit was $252.6 million in the quarter, up 19.8 percent from a year earlier. Net profit attributable to the parent company increased 23.08 percent, with earnings per share at its highest level for the period in the company’s history. The company’s major subsidiaries include Taiwan’s President Chain Store Cor and Ton Yi Industrial Corp., and Chinese unit Uni-President China Holdings Ltd.  The earnings contribution from President Chain Store increased by 15 percent, and that from Uni-President China increased 48 percent to $55.76 million due to favorable raw material costs and a “lucrative product mix.”
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