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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


East African Investment Firm To Sell Beverage Assets To Coca-Cola

After deciding to exit the beverage industry, publicly-traded East African investment company Centum has entered into an agreement to sell their Almasi Beverages and Nairobi Bottlers Limited to Coca-Cola for around $186 million. The company’s goal is to move toward a more cash-generating business. The company said it would use some of the cash from this transaction to settle their debts, while the remaining cash will be used ii other business ventures.

Three Of Coca-Cola Europe’s Brands To Be Packaged In rPET Bottles By 2020

Coca-Cola Western Europe announced that three of its brands will be sold in 100 percent plastic (rPET) bottles in several markets on the continent beginning in 2020. According to the company, the adoption of the new bottles for the Honest, GLACÉAU Smartwater, and Chaudfontaine brands will save about 9,000 tons of virgin plastic a year across Western Europe. The company also said it will change the packaging for its Sprite brand from a green PET bottle to a clear PET pack, which it claims is easier to recycle. The changes are part of Coca-Cola’s pledge to ensure that at least half of the plastic used in its PET bottles across Western Europe will come from recycled sources by 2025.

Powerade Launched In India As Official Drink Of ICC Cricket World Cup

Coca-Cola India has launched the sports drink Powerade to compete with PepsiCo’s Gatorade in the non-fizzy beverage category. Powerade is the official sports beverage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Star Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni has signed to endorse Powerade, which is available at $0.72 for 500 ml in mountain blast and orange surge flavors. The introduction of the $2 billion Powerade brand in India is part of Coca-Cola’s move to diversify its portfolio with beverages beyond sweetened fizzy drinks


Danone Waters NA Wins B Corp Certification As PBC

White Plains, N.Y.-based Danone Waters NA announced it has achieved B Corp Certification and is now a public benefit corporation (PBC). The certification indicates that the company has proven its commitment to meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability, the company said. It plans to use the B Corp Certification and PBC status to engage business partners, stakeholders, and consumers in this “important movement." Danone is the U.S. and Canadian importer and distributor of Evian natural spring water, Badoit sparkling natural mineral water, and Volvicnatural spring water,

Keurig Dr Pepper

Alkaline Water Fad Attracts The Attention Of Big Water

Impressed by the success of alkaline water product Essentia, big water companies – Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Keurig Dr Pepper, and Nestlé SA – are either selling versions of alkaline water or marketing current products as “pH balanced.” Nestlé SA, for example, doesn’t have an alkaline water product but is calling Poland Spring “perfectly balanced” in a nod to the growing trend. Although only a fraction of the massive $17 billion U.S. bottled water industry, alkaline water grew 36 percent to nearly $270 million in the U.S. in the year ended in April. The market leader, closely held Essentia, saw its sales surge nearly 80 percent over the last year to more than $181 million. Alkaline Water Co., which makes Alkaline88, is expected to post revenue in the $30 million range in the most recent fiscal year, up more than 60 percent. 

Other Companies

7-Eleven Heads To Sumatra For Its Newest Seven Reserve Coffee Offering

C-store chain 7-Eleven, Inc. has selected a coffee grown on the Indonesian island of Sumatra for its newest Seven Reserve premium brand of fresh-brewed coffee. The ethically-sourced Kinara Sumatra Mandheling blend is the company's first Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee from the Asian-Pacific region. Other certified single-origin and blend coffees offered by 7-Eleven stores have been sourced from Africa, and Central and South America. Seven Reserve Kinara Sumatra Mandheling coffee is offered at the same price as all other hot beverages, determined by the size of the cup. The Seven Reserve blend is brewed from 100 percent Arabica beans grown by the Rahmat Kinara co-op of small-holding farmers in the volcanic highlands of Sumatra.

Hank’s Gourmet Launches Organic Zero-Calorie Flavored Water

Hank's Gourmet Beverages, maker of Hank’s Root Beer and other premium soft drinks, is launching Aqwi Organics, a line of zero-calorie flavored water infused with sea salt and antioxidants sourced from kelp. The new portfolio from the Philadelphia-area company will be sold in 16 oz. glass bottles in five flavors: guanabana passion fruit, blood orange pineapple, cucumber watermelon lime, mango peach, and coconut lime. The brand will be available at retailers on the East Coast in July.

AI Tool Helps Arla Foods Boost Profitability, Sustainability

Denmark-based dairy cooperative Arla Foods is using an in-house artificial intelligence (AI) tool to better predict milk intake from farms. The tool, created to boost profitability and sustainability, can predict in a matter of hours how much milk 1.5 million cows will produce in the future, a calculation that used to take days to create and manually from Excel sheets. With the new tool, it only takes a few hours and is said to be 1.4 percent more accurate. BY accurately predicting milk intake, the cooperative “can plan and optimize the entire value chain,” improving profitability for farmer-owners and driving sustainability,” according to Michael Bøgh Linde Vinther, director of global milk planning. The new tool is implemented in  Arla’s markets across Europe, including Denmark, Germany, Sweden, the U.K., Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

AG Barr Adds Energy Variants To KA Soda Line

AG Barr’s (U.K.) soft drink brand KA, created in the 1960s in Jamaica, is set to add a glucose-based energy drink duo to its portfolio. Available beginning July 1, KA Reload will be available in black cherry and mango flavors, in 500 ml at $1.24. The launch will be supported with a digital campaign across Instagram, Snapchat and Spotify, targeting KA’s “core urban drinkers.” The company said consumer taste tests found 95 percent of its shoppers and 86 percent of non-KA drinkers saying they would buy KA Reload.

Functional Beverages Surging In Japan In Five Key Areas

New product development in functional beverages is accelerating, thanks largely to a relaxation of once-stringent Japanese government rules governing functional claims (i.e., Foods for Special Health Purposes rules, or FOSHU). The upshot is that five consumer trends have emerged in the functional beverages market, according to Suntory: weight loss and easing of diabetes symptoms by drinking vinegary beverages; enhancement of beauty with beverage ingredients like Azuki polyphenols, persimmon, collagen, type III collagen, and brown rice black vinegar; improvement of elderly mobility with drinks containing maca, royal jelly, glucosamine, and protein; promotion of gut health; encouragement of relaxation and sleep, using ingredients like GABA, theanine, omithine, and mono-glucosyl hesperin in chocolate and dairy products.

Captain Kombucha Introduces Sparkling Water Kefir Drinks

Portugal’s Captain Kombucha has launched a line of organic sparkling fruit drinks fermented with water kefir grains. The vegan-friendly Oh My Gutness range is available in original, ginger and lemon, Atlantic raspberry, and cola variants in the U.K. According to the company, water kefir promotes gut health and a stronger immune system. The original and Atlantic raspberry flavors are sold in Sainsbury’s in the U.K.; the full range is available in Wholefoods and Grape Tree stores with a recommended retail price of $2.28. Captain Kombucha recently sold a minority stake to Norwegian food group Orkla.

Swiss Dairy Company Emmi Boosts Stake In Brazilian Milk Producer

Swiss milk and dairy products company Emmi has upped its investment in Brazilian dairy producer Laticínios Porto Alegre to 70 percent to strengthen its presence in Latin America. Laticínios Porto Alegre makes natural cheese, mozzarella requeijão (cream cheese), UHT milk, cream, butter, and whey powder.  Emmi first acquired a 40 percent stake in the company in 2017, before Laticínios Porto Alegre before it became one of the top three milk producers in Latin America. The remaining 30 percent of the company remains in the hands of brothers José Afonso and João Lúcio Barreto Carneiro, who is chairman of the board and managing director.
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