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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Pressure To Cut Plastics Use Sways Coke Toward Aluminum Cans For Dasani

Under pressure to reduce plastic use in packaging, Coca-Cola Co. will start selling Dasani in aluminum cans in the U.S. Northeast next month, and in other parts of the country in 2020. PepsiCo Inc. said recently it would try selling its mainstream water brand Aquafina in cans at restaurants and stadiums. Aluminum cans generally contain more recycled material than plastic bottles and are less likely to float away in the ocean. Dasani and Aquafina are the top two bottled brands in the U.S., with combined sales north of $2 billion. Coke also plans to introduce a “hybrid” Dasani bottle, with half of the materials from a combination of plants and recycled plastic. [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

After U.K. Success, Coke To Launch Cinnamon-Flavored Variant In The U.S.

Coca-Cola plans to launch a limited-time cinnamon-flavored version of its iconic namesake soda – either the zero sugar or full-sugar variety – in the U.S. at the end of September. The company was persuaded to launch stateside after cinnamon-flavored Coca-Cola Zero Sugar made a splash in the U.K. last year. Coke reportedly also plans to launch a Winter Spiced Cranberry variant of Sprite at the same time.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

Coca-Cola Amatil Agrees To Distribute Australian Firm’s Health Beverages

Australia’s Coca-Cola Amatil has signed a distribution agreement with specialty beverage firm Made Group that will expand the reach of Made’s protein smoothie brand Rokeby Farms and cold-pressed juice brand Impressed Juices to more than 50,000 locations. The company said it has other plans in the works with Made Group that will come to fruition before the end of the year. It also plans to further expand the capacity of its chilled products distribution within the year. Both Coca-Cola Australia and Coca-Cola Amatil invested in Made Group last year, each acquiring a 45 percent minority interest. A Coca-Cola Amatil Group executive said Made Group was considered “an important link” in the Accelerated Australian Growth Plan for Coca-Cola Amatil and Coca-Cola Australia.[Image Credit: © Coca-Cola Amatil Limited]

CCEP Chief Says Coke Energy Brings “Edgier Aspect” To Overall Portfolio

Damian Gammell, head of Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), refuted arguments that consumers are not likely to buy energy drinks from big beverage brands like Coke or Pepsi. He said the recently launched Coke Energy drink adds an “edgier aspect” to the overall Coca-Cola brand and will ”benefit the wider portfolio.” Last month, PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta said "core energy consumers" want "something different to what brand Coke or brand Pepsi can offer,” adding that Coke Energy and Pepsi Energy will not “be the center of the category." Coke CEO James Quincey has said the company has no immediate plans to launch Coke Energy in the U.S.[Image Credit: © Coca-Cola European Partners]


Danone Debuts First Sparkling Water Range Produced In U.K.

Danone Waters (U.K. & Ireland unit) will spend $1.8 million promoting the launch of a new range of U.K.-produced sparkling water under the Volvic brand. The campaign will cover out-of-home, social media, sampling, and influencer activity. L'mon contains no added sugar and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, and is available in three flavors: lemon & orange, lemon & lime, and lemon grapefruit. The launch is exclusive to the U.K.[Image Credit: © Danone S.A.]

Other Companies

Lawsuit Alleges False Advertising Because Of Fruits Pictured On Bai Drinks Packages

Los Angeles resident Daniel Schwartz has filed a class action suit against Bai Brands LLC and Dr Pepper Snapple Bottling Group alleging violation of the federal Consumer Legal Remedies Act, false and misleading advertising, unfair competition and unjust enrichment because the labels on their line of Bai Antioxidant Cocofusion beverages falsely advertise that the drinks contain real fruit ingredients. The plaintiff alleges that the defendants' beverage labels display "color images" of two fruits, leading the consumer to believe the beverages contain "real fruit ingredients." But they really contain "flavored compounds" that "mimic" fruit taste. The suit seeks punitive damages, declaratory, injunctive and equitable relief for the plaintiff plus attorneys' fees and costs.[Image Credit: © Bai]

Beverage Companies Tout Functional Benefits Of Added Fiber

Despite some confusion over the functionality of different types of food fibers, beverage companies are adding more of it – often labeled soluble, insoluble, or “prebiotic” – to their products. A drink marketed only in Japan, Coca-Cola Fiber Plus, for example, containing five grams of indigestible dextrin, was approved as a “Food of Specified Health Use” (FOSHU) by the Japanese government. Each bottle of Hellowater (Hello Beverages, Chicago) delivers five grams of fiber from inulin; Gutzy (New York City) emphasizes gut health with its pouches of prebiotic acacia fiber-rich (six grams) fruit and vegetable drinks; and Danone North America (White Plains, N.Y.) also stresses gut health on its Activia Probiotic Dailies & Prebiotic Fiber drinks containing chicory root fiber and ginger. The company is also introducing drinkable yogurt – for tweens and teenagers – containing protein and fiber sourced from carob bean gum.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]

Functional Beverage Company Tempo Debuts CBD-Infused “Wellness Shots”

Chicago-based Tempo Beverages has introduced a line of 2.5-ounce cannabis-infused “wellness shots” infused with 25 milligrams of high-quality hemp-derived CBD. The shots, which also contain natural teas and fruits, are “crafted to support and enhance the body’s natural functions.” The new products build on the company’s line of unsweetened sparkling teas sold in Whole Foods locations in Illinois. The company says it has positioned the shots for retail distribution across specialty food service locations, convenience stores, as well as online, and in particular “lifestyle channels” such as co-working spaces and boutique fitness classes.[Image Credit: © Tempo - Wellness Beverages]

Company Hopes For Success In Linking Popular Sparking Water With Surging CBD Interest

British beverage enterprise Natural Hemp Company is betting its future on CBD-infused sparkling water, which it believes is the “next big thing” in beverages. The company’s first CPG brand, Day One CBD Sparkling Water, is being marketed as an everyday beverage – it contains 20 mg of broad-spectrum hemp extract – that fits into an active lifestyle. Recent Nielsen data shows dollar sales of sparkling flavored water up 15.4 percent in the 52 weeks to July 13, with sales up 8.5 percent in the latest 12 weeks, and 8.2 percent in the latest four weeks. The company says it is taking the existing demand for sparkling water and “coupling it with the massive curiosity in CBD products to give consumers a new type of sparkling water that allows you to focus without the high.” [Image Credit: © NaturalHempCo]

Elmhurst 1925 Hemp-Based Non-Dairy Milk

Plant-based food and milks producer Elmhurst 1925 (Elma, N.Y.) has expanded its Barista Editions line with a new hemp-based variant for a variety of coffee applications. Created with six ingredients, including hemp cream and whole grain oats, Elmhurst Hemp Barista Edition is made without artificial flavors, carrageenan, gums, oils or other emulsifiers. According to the company, the products contain omega-3s, protein, and fiber. Elmhurst Hemp Barista Edition is available in the U.S. in 32-ounce cartons at a suggested retail price of $6.99.[Image Credit: © Elmhurst Milked Direct LLC]

Liposomal Delivery Technology Eases Creation Of Company’s Functional Teas

A new technology from the pharmaceutical industry that delivers active ingredients wrapped in liposomes is being applied to the creation of functional teas. A major player is Bio-Up, whose two new functional teas use a proprietary version of the technology. The company’s Cholesterol Aid and Cardio Vitality drinks are both “non-GMO, gluten-free and intended to promote heart health and healthy cholesterol levels while providing essential nutrients for the brain and cellular function,” according to Bio-Up. The technology increases nutrient absorption by about 370 percent and delivers it more efficiently into the bloodstream, the company says. For example, the Cholesterol Aid drink uses plant sterol. But it is very hard to get a high enough level to make a difference. Liposomal delivery is ideal for this application. Bio-Up is testing six other versions using the technology, including beverages to improve joint, brain and energy health, as well as sports recovery.[Image Credit: © Bio-Up]

Canadian Firm Introduces Cannabis-Infused Iced Teas

Canada’s BevCanna Enterprises is launching a range of cannabis-infused iced teas – Grüv Beverages – developed in response to its own North American consumer study. The data showed that iced tea was among the top five performing cannabis-infused drinks concepts among 25 tested. Available in two variants – ginger mint herbal iced tea and matcha green iced tea – the beverages will contain five mg of THC and five mg of CBD infused in an alkaline spring water base. The company says that 1:1 ratio will  provide consumers with “a mild, yet effective cannabis experience.” In Canada, the drinks will go on sale following the legalization of cannabis-infused products in October.[Image Credit: © BevCanna Enterprises Inc.]
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