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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Japan Refreshes Georgia RTD Coffee Line

Coca-Cola Japan hopes to breathe new life into its Georgia Coffee RTD line with the addition of two very different products: Georgia Emerald Mountain Blend Premium and Georgia Grand Bito. The Emerald Mountain Blend, made from certified “rare Emerald Mountain beans” from Colombia, has a balanced flavor featuring “depth and sweetness.” The Georgia Grand Bito – Japanese for “less sugar” – is made with a new recipe that uses less milk to deliver “suitable levels of sweetness and bitterness.” The Georgia Emerald Mountain Blend Premium is available in stores nationwide, retailing at $1.29 for a 260 ml bottle; Georgia Grand Bito, with two grams of sugar per 100 ml of coffee, is available at $1.07 for a 185 g can, $0.94 for 170g, and $0.71) for 160g.[Image Credit: © COCA-COLA(JAPAN)COMPANY,LIMITED]

Coca-Cola Showcases 28 New SKUs At C-Store Show

Coca-Cola debuted 28 new energy, coffee, tea, juice, and water SKUs at the recent National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) show. The company’s quest to become the total beverage company continues to take it further from carbonated soft drinks by offering variety, convenience, natural ingredients, low calorie, and low sugar beverages. Several new productss also have functional ingredients, and are free from artificial additives and sugar. But probably the biggest news from the company is its entry into the energy drink market with Coca-Cola Energy, tested in Spain and Hungary early this year, and expected to launch in North America early next year with an emphasis on the C-store channel. According to Coca-Cola, the penetration of energy drinks into American households was only 43 percent through 2018, leaving a large market opportunity.[Image Credit: © THE COCA-COLA COMPANY]

Coca-Cola To Take Its Alcoholic Beverage Remondo Nationwide In Japan

Coca-Cola Japan plans to launch its canned lemon-flavored alcoholic beverage, “Remondo,” nationwide on October 28, marking a major stride into the Japanese alcoholic beverage market. The “chuhai” spirits-based drink has been available as part of a market test only in the Kyushu southwestern region, but will go on sale in all parts of the country, except the island prefecture of Okinawa. The popular chuhai drinks offer an opportunity for market expansion in the country at a time when growth in sales of carbonated drinks has stalled due to greater health consciousness and declining birth rates. Four types of the chuhai drink will be sold, each with different alcoholic content (from three to nine percent). A 350-milliliter can of Remondo will cost about $1.52. [Image Credit: © COCA-COLA BOTTLERS JAPAN INC.]

Keurig Dr Pepper

New Cream Soda Dr Pepper Flavor Coming In March

A new Dr Pepper flavor – Cream Soda – made an appearance at the recent National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) show in Atlanta. It will hit stores nationally next March in both regular and diet variants. According to reports, the flavor, based on vanilla, is “probably closest to Dr. Pepper's …  Cherry Vanilla flavor, which features ‘a splash of cherry, a hint of vanilla, and the authentic taste of Dr Pepper.’"[Image Credit: © Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.]


Nestlé USA Shows Off An Array Of New Products At C-Store Show

Nestlé USA is adapting its Outshine band of frozen fruit bars, yogurt, etc., to include coconut water beverages, expected to debut in January. The new Outshine beverages were on display at the recent National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) show in Atlanta. Formulated to have the benefits of coconut water “without the polarizing taste,” according to a Nestlé USA RTD beverages exec, the Outshine coconut waters include blueberry lemon, strawberry watermelon and tropical fruits flavors. Each 16.9 oz bottle contains 50 calories, natural electrolytes, no added sugar, and no added sweetener. Nestlé also showcased innovations in coffee, milk, and protein drinks. The company is expanding the distribution of Chameleon Cold Brew into the convenience channel with shelf stable coffees and lattes. Four new varieties are now available in eight-ounce cans specifically for c-stores: original smooth black coffee, churro smooth black coffee, original whole milk latte and cinnamon dolce whole milk latte. A few more flavors will launch exclusively at Whole Foods. Also on display at NACS: Jacked Rabbit, a new high-protein product from the Nesquik family; and two milks modeled after Snickers and Twix candy bars, the result of a partnership with Mars Wrigley.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]

Other Companies

Kids Water Is The New Frontier For Legacy Beverage Companies

Established beverage brands have been grappling with changing attitudes toward sugar and other nutritional issues for years. For them, and for and emerging brands, kids waters present an opportunity, albeit a challenging one, as sales of fruit juice and dairy brands weaken across all retail channels. New kids waters from Juicy Juice and Apple & Eve show how legacy juice brands are incorporating water in their product portfolios. Meanwhile, new players like Rethink, Hapi Water, and WONDER+WELL have focused exclusively on delivering hydration for young people. Competing with kids waters are better-for-you low-sugar kids drinks like Roar Kids, Honest Kids, and Good2Grow, all low calorie juice beverages lightly sweetened with fruit concentrate. Developing a strong identity for, and building a business around, kids water is a tough assignment. But some water brands don’t bother differentiating the target market: they hope to appeal equally to kids and adults – a “whole family” strategy. An example is actor Jaden Smith’s JUST Water brand, which offers “responsibly sourced” spring water in sustainable, recyclable packaging. “Kids get what JUST is about intuitively,” says a JUST executive. [Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay]

Sales Teams At Novamex Companies Reorganized As NovaNaturals

El Paso, Texas-based Novamex, parent company of C2O Coconut Water (Calif.), organic green tea marketer Steaz (Pa.), and soup maker Tio Gazpacho (N.Y.), has reorganized the sales and services teams to form the NovaNaturals division. Sales resources were combined to “better service customers and build a strong pipeline for future growth,” according to the company. Under co-CEOs Ron Greene (C2O Coconut Water) and Linda Barron (Steaz) the sales structure was realigned to be managed by former C2O VP of Sales Adam Biggs. “This is a strategic move to allow us to be stronger as one instead of individual efforts by each brand,” Greene said. [Image Credit: © THE HEALTHY BEVERAGE COMPANY LLC]

Canadian Start-Up Toro Launches Matcha Tea-Based Energy Drinks

Canadian beverage start-up ToroMatcha (Montreal) has released two lines of organic canned matcha-based energy drinks that contain a form of slow-release caffeine. According to the company, the caffeine is bound to larger molecules within the leaf powder. It is released slowly into the bloodstream as the molecules degrade, creating sustained energy without spikes lasting several hours. ToroMatcha comes in 355 ml slim cans “reminiscent of energy drinks” in four variants: ToroMatcha sparkling ginger, sparkling peach, sparkling lemon mint, and latte with oat milk. Matcha green tea is made by finely grinding the steamed and dried leaf buds of the camellia sinensis plant.[Image Credit: © ToroMatcha Inc.]

Ugly Drinks Launches Energy Variant Of Sparkling Water Line

London-based zero-calorie sparkling water brand Ugly Drinks is expanding its presence in the U.S. market with the online launch of a caffeine-infused sub-line, Energized, available in 16-ounce cans. The four-SKU line – available in peach, lemon lime, berry, and pink grapefruit flavors – is sold in 12-pack cases for $49.99 each, or $44.99 for a monthly subscription. Each can of water contains B vitamins in addition to 160 mg of natural caffeine sourced from a blend of ginseng and guarana. The company also said it has closed a new “multimillion dollar” funding round to support its rollout of Energized and to build sales and marketing infrastructure in the U.S. and Europe. The company did not disclose terms of the deal. Ugly, which launched in the U.S. last summer, is now sold in more than 10,000 locations worldwide.[Image Credit: © Ugly Brands Inc]

Boxed Water Is Better Partners With Tea Importer On Combo Pack

Boxed Water Is Better (Holland, Mich.) has collaborated with California-based tea importer Art of Tea to launch Boxed Matcha, a 24-pack of 500-ml Boxed Water with 24 Art of Tea Matchasticks, an organic ceremonial grade blend of three Japanese green tea varietals sourced from a family farm in Japan. The companies said that for each package sold, Boxed Water and Art of Tea will plant 24 trees in U.S. National Forests with the National Forest Foundation (NFF).[Image Credit: © Boxed Water]

Hal’s New York Introduces Cola-Flavored Seltzer

Maspeth, N.Y.-based beverage company Hal’s New York is releasing a limited-edition Cola-flavored seltzer water “for those who miss the soda taste, but not the cheap, high-calorie or artificially sweetened drinks of the past.” Caffeinated Seltzer Water Cola (118 mg of caffeine per serving) contains no calories, sugar, or carbs, and no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, sodium, or preservatives. The product is available on promo: two 20-ounce bottles for $2.50 exclusively at 7-Eleven stores until December 2019, on Long Island and the N.Y. metro area and on OasisSnacks.com.  [Image Credit: © Hal’s Beverage LLC]

Vietnam’s Tan Hiep Phat Beverage Group Seeks Investor With Deep Pockets To Help Expand

Vietnam’s biggest home-grown non-alcoholic beverage company Tan Hiep Phat Beverage Group (THP) says it is interested in mergers and acquisitions to grow its business, though seven years ago the family-owned firm turned down a $2.5 billion offer from Coca-Cola because of conflicting visions.  Revenues from THP’s Zero Degree Green Tea have driven the company to the top of Vietnam’s bottled tea market, outselling those from Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Capitalizing on a younger generation of health-conscious consumers who prefer teas and natural drinks, THP says it is looking to expand sales in neighboring Southeast Asian countries, having spent $500 million on three new factories at home. Its presence in the region is still small: it sold about 510 million liters of drinks last year, according to Euromonitor. The company is looking for a like-minded strategic partner to invest $3 billion to help make it the next Red Bull.[Image Credit: © THP GROUP]
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