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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


First Woman Named To Head Coca-Cola’s Franchise Operations In Central Europe

Coca-Cola Romania has named its first woman as Franchise Director, Central Europe, a job that involves oversight of the six countries that comprise the territory: Switzerland, Austria, Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. Nicoleta Eftimiu was promoted because of the “exceptional results” she obtained after two years and nine months managing local operations in Romania. The Romanian management job will be taken over by Paris Nikolopoulos, who previously held the position of Franchise Country Manager, Coca-Cola Switzerland. [Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]

DJSI Ranks Coca-Cola HBC The Leader In European Beverage Sustainability

The 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) has named bottler Coca-Cola HBC the most sustainable beverage company in Europe for the sixth time in seven years. The top ranking was given to the company for reducing carbon emissions by 25 percent since 2010 – two years ahead of its 2020 target date – lowering the amount of water used in production by 22 percent, and recovering the equivalent of 45 percent of primary packaging placed in the market for recycling. The company was given top scores in 11 categories and was also recognized for positive improvements in nine other categories. The overall score of 90 placed it second in the global ranking. Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) was also listed on the DJSI. [Image Credit: © Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company]

Honest Tea Expands Into RTD Coffee Category

Bethesda, Md.-based Honest Tea, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Co., earlier this month unveiled a line of bottled coffees at Natural Products Expo East. Honest Cold Brew Coffee features organic and Fair Trade-certified coffee and cane sugar and is available in three varieties: unsweetened, Cubano, and mocha. The company says its lightly sweetened varieties contain half the sugar of leading sweetened ready-to-drink coffees. The products join a growing portfolio that includes bottled and brewed teas, organic juice drinks, and lemonade. [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

Keurig Dr Pepper

KDP-Backed LifeFuels Debuts “Smart Nutrition Bottle” Linked To App

Reston, Va.-based LifeFuels has introduced what it says is the world’s first “smart nutrition bottle” that is linked to an app that tracks hydration and nutrition goals. The Keurig Dr. Pepper-backed beverage technology firm’s bottle accepts “FuelPods” that mix with water to provide beverages in various flavors. The pods also contain a variety of functional ingredients such as electrolytes and antioxidants. The 500 ml bottle features a seven-day battery life. The bottles hold up to three FuelPods that can create up to 90 customized beverages. [Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/LifeFuels]

KDP Expands Production, Distribution Facilities in Eastern Pennsylvania

Plano, Texas-based Keurig Dr Pepper announced it is buying a 1.5 million square-foot former Kraft Heinz Co. property in Lehigh County, Pa., and will spend $220 million to renovate it for manufacturing, warehouse, and distribution use. The updated facility will give KDP additional capacity for existing and new brands, while also optimizing logistics in the Northeast. The expansion project, partially funded by state economic development grants and tax credits, will create 378 new full-time jobs.[Image Credit: © Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.]


Big Coffee Players Aren’t Touting The Health Benefits Of Coffee Drinking – Guggenheim

A new Guggenheim report estimates U.S. coffee industry sales at $80 billion a year, of which $70 billion is from out-of-home traffic at coffee shops. The category is dominated by Nestlé, Starbucks, and JAB Holdings, which owns Caribou Coffee, Peets Coffee and others. A key area for improvement remains: sixty-eight percent of non-coffee-drinkers don’t like the taste; and 14 percent are concerned about “negative health effects.” Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) and other major players like Nestlé’s Nespresso, Dunkin Brands Group, and Starbucks “are all failing to communicate the healthiness of their brand based on social conversation,” Guggenheim analysts wrote. But craft coffee companies (e.g., Four Sigmatic, Bulletproof) “have made health their central selling point. As to single-serve machines, Keurig is still the dominant platform, but Nespresso “over-indexes versus Keurig in consumer responses on many attributes (e.g., quality, variety, durability).” [Image Credit: © Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay]

Other Companies

Freestar’s New Production Process Retains The Beer Flavor In A Non-alcoholic Brew

U.K. start-up Freestar has launched an alcohol-free beer using what it calls an alternative production process that maintains the original beer flavor. The “efficient and sustainable” process – it used 80 percent less water and creates 70 percent less waste – blends all-natural ingredients without yeast, ensuring zero alcohol in the final product. The traditional alcohol-free fermentation process removes alcohol – and much of the flavor – from full-strength beer. But rather than brew the beer, Freestar blends malted barley and perle hops with pomelo and bergamot. Sixty-two-calorie Freestar is low in sugar, free-from gluten, and suitable for vegans. “Choosing not to drink alcohol shouldn’t mean choosing to compromise,” says co-founder Charlie Crawley. The RRP of Freestar is $2.80 per 330 ml bottle (off trade).[Image Credit: © freestar.co]

Waiākea “Volcanic Water” Now Available In Upcyclable “Bag-In-Box” Package

Waiākea Water (Los Angeles, Calif.) announced the addition of the "Pahu Nunui" 15-liter Bag-in-Box (MSRP $40) to its online store. Pahu Nunui is a naturally alkaline, Hawaiian volcanic water packaged in a 100 percent recyclable box that reduces packaging by 66 percent and carbon emissions by 97 percent. “The launch of the Bag-in-Box is one of many steps that Waiākea has, and will continue to take, to be the enviro-tech leader in the beverage space,” the company says. The Bag-in-Box, a component of a closed loop recycling/upcycling system, offers more volume with less environmental impact compared to traditionally-lined cartons, PET, or glass containers. Customers can return their empty bags and spouts to be upcycled into a new product. The upcycling process uses pyrolysis technology to convert used bags into wax-based materials and high-grade fuels. Ten upcycled Waiākea bags make almost half a gallon of high-grade fuel that can be turned into wax for candles and energy to power machinery.[Image Credit: © WAIĀKEA INC.]

Celsius Holdings Agrees To Buy Finnish Wellness Firm Func Food Group

Florida-based Celsius Holdings announced it will acquire six-year-old Finnish wellness company Func Food Group Oyj, a Nordic functional food and beverage company, for $24.6 million in cash ($15.1 million) in cash and the assumption of $9.5 million of outstanding debt. Celsius, manufacturer of the fitness drink brand Celsius, said it will pay for the deal with proceeds from a subsequent equity public offering. Func Food markets and distributes beverages, protein bars, supplements, and superfoods under several brand names, including Celsius. Their relationship began in 2016 when Func took over the distribution of Celsius in Scandinavia, solidifying its position in the Swedish market. The combined business will take advantage of Func Food’s multi-market supply chain to drive expansion across Europe. Adding Func Food’s FAST Sports Nutrition line to the Celsius line will provide additional revenue streams.[Image Credit: © Func Food Group Oy]

AriZona, The “Big Can” Tea Company, Tiptoes Into Promotion For The First Time

Iconic iced tea brand AriZona (Woodbury, N.Y.) has begun promoting the product for the first time in its three-decades history, all while keeping the per-can price at $0.99. Noting that his dad, Don Vultaggio – he introduced the “big can” (23-ounce) beverage in 1992 – didn’t believe in spending money on commercials or billboards, son Welsey and his brother are moving in a different direction. The brand, for example, recently partnered with Adidas to create a line of limited-edition sneakers. The brothers created a pop-up shop in SoHo (New York City) where they planned to sell limited edition AriZona merchandise, all priced at 99 cents. The event sparked chaos on launch day when 6,000 or so sneaker-hungry fans swarmed the streets of SoHo. Police had to shut it down before it even opened when the crowd became unruly. But the brand faces a more serious problem: health-conscious consumers are turning to less sugary drinks. Sixteen fluid ounces of AriZona’s "Lemon Tea" pack 180 calories and 48 grams of sugar. Honest Tea’s Lori’s Lemon flavor contains 60 calories and 15 grams of sugar in 16 fluid ounces.[Image Credit: © AriZona Beverages USA LLC]

Harmless Harvest Introduces Coconut Drinks Blended With Plant Proteins

San Francisco-based organic coconut drinksmaker Harmless Harvest is introducing a line of plant-based snack drinks called Protein & Coconut. The drinks, designed to “bridge the gap between meals and fuel the everyday,” are made with 12 grams of plant proteins (pea, sunflower and pumpkin), and contain five grams of MCTs, eight to nine grams of fat, and seven grams of saturated fat per serving. Flavors include chocolate, vanilla spice and toasted coconut. The beverages are USDA certified organic and made with Fair for Life Fair Trade Certified ingredients. Harmless Harvest also markets coconut water and dairy-free yogurt coconut drinks.[Image Credit: © Harmless Harvest]

Former Nestlé Waters CEO Joins CBD Technology/Beverage Brand Ojai Energetics

Ojai, Calif.-based cannabis technology and beverage brand Ojai Energetics announced that CPG sector veteran Tim Brown – a former CEO of Nestlé Waters NA – will join the company as a business partner. The company, which claims to be the “clear technology leader in hemp-based solutions,” says it is poised for “massive growth in consumer packaged goods (CPG) with a focus on food and beverage in addition to the supplement market.” Brown worked at Proctor & Gamble and Nestlé Canada before taking the reins at Nestlé Waters NA in 2013. Ojai Energetics is the creator of Super CBD Hemp Elixir, a CBD (cannabidiol) delivery system.[Image Credit: © PR Newswire Association LLC.]
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