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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Experiments With Driverless Freight Hauling System In Sweden

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is testing the use of the Einride autonomous electric transport system in its Swedish distribution network to haul beverage products between warehouses near Stockholm operated by CCEP and food retailer Axfood. The multi-year test will explore opportunities to improve sustainability and efficiency in warehouse transport. Sweden-headquartered Einride has developed sleek "T-Pod" trucks that use electric propulsion, have a range of 124 miles per charge, and operate without a cab or driver. However, a remote driver can take control of the vehicle when necessary. 

CEO James Quincey: Coca-Cola Has Led The Sustainability Movement For A Decade

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said in a recent interview that investors are increasingly paying attention to the kinds of sustainability efforts that the company has been involved in for a decade. A sign of that trend is the popularity of ESG investing that weighs environmental, social and governance against traditional profit and loss metrics. Quincey said Coca-Cola has been setting sustainability goals for at least ten years. For example, the company is working toward recovering and recycling the equivalent of 75 percent of the bottles it produces by next year. It has also invested in two recycling technologies that will allow it to use recycled plastics for its bottles more efficiently. “We have a track record of setting ambitious sustainability goals, and going after them,” Quincey said. “In the end, there is only one planet.”

CCEP Invests $26.3M In Sustainable Product Production Line In London

As part of its forming part of its $198 million investment program into its U.K. operations this year, Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is opening a new $26.3 million line at a factory in North London to boost production of its “most sustainable” products. The line will make Bag-in-Box products containing concentrate for food service and licensed operators. The concentrate is mixed with carbonated water to dispense draft soft drinks. The format is more sustainable because it delivers soft drinks without requiring packaging or water, saving the equivalent of 48,400 tons of CO2. CCEP’s ongoing multi-year sustainability investment program has totaled $856 million since 2010 in Great Britain.

Coke CEO Quincey Regrets Waiting So Long To Launch A New Sparkling Water Brand

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said the launch next March of the caffeinated sparkling water brand Aha, a replacement for the Dasani brand, is a better-late-than-never kind of thing. Asked whether Coke waited too long for the launch, Quincey pointed to its existing sparkling water offerings, but added, "We should have done it a lot sooner." PepsiCo launched its sparkling water brand Bubly in February 2018; it announced it would buy SodaStream later that year. The March 2020 launch of Aha will help the company catch up, though it does offer sparkling water options like Topo Chico and Smartwater Sparkling. Aha will be the company's first major brand launch in a decade. Sales of sparkling water drinks like seltzer and club soda reached $2.2 billion in the U.S. in 2018. Coke North America sparkling water sales rose 27 percent in 2018.


Michigan Court Hands Nestlé A Setback In Water Privatization Plans

Nestlé’s Ice Mountain water brand sued the small mid-Michigan town of Osceola when it blocked the company from building a pumping station that doesn’t comply with zoning laws. Now, in a decision that could throw a monkey wrench into Nestlé’s attempts to privatize water around the country, Michigan’s second-highest court has ruled that the company’s commercial water-bottling operation is “not an essential public service” or a public water supply. To carry out such plans, Nestlé will need to be legally recognized as a public water source that provides an essential public service. An attorney who has previously battled Nestlé in court said any claim that the Swiss multinational is a public water utility “is ludicrous.” The ruling could also lead state environmental regulators to reconsider permits that allow Nestlé to pump water in Michigan.

With Bottled Water Sales Growth Flattening, Nestlé Pins Hopes On New Products

As global sales growth of bottled waters level off, Nestlé is planning new product launches in 2020 to pick up the slack, including a Poland Spring energy water and functional Nestlé Pure Life Plus. Canned sparkling water Poland Spring energy water will have the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee but the caffeine source will be green tea extract.  Pure Life Plus, the company’s first push into functional waters, will launch in February with three varieties: magnesium, zinc, and potassium, none of which will contain artificial sweeteners or sugar. The fastest-growing water category is tap or filtered water, as consumers turn to using eco-friendly reusable water bottles, spurning single-use plastic bottles. That trend has hurt Nestlé: during the first nine months of 2019, its global bottled water volumes fell 2.2 percent, and North American organic sales of water were flat, in contrast to a 7.2 percent surge during the first nine months of 2015.

Other Companies

Thailand’s Carabao Plans Extensive Marketing Of New Green Apple Energy Drink

Carabao Group of Thailand, which launched the Carabao Green Apple energy drink this year targeting younger consumers, says the “tasty, refreshing and nutritious” beverage is a best-seller in the country, ramping up to 12 million cans a month in 2020. To achieve that sales target, the company will continue extensive marketing and activities throughout 2020. The main marketing message is the “Carabao Clock,” saying essentially that Carabao Green Apple can be consumed around the clock by all age ranges and sexes. The marketing plan includes offline and online activities, especially on social media via influencers. 

Ocean Spray Debuts Three New Unsweetened Juices In Redesigned Packaging

The Ocean Spray agricultural cooperative owned by more than 700 cranberry farmers has added three unsweetened juices to its Pure Fruit Juice portfolio distributed in Walmart stores across the country beginning this month.  The Pure portfolio expansion, available in redesigned packaging, indicates the cooperative’s ongoing commitment to health and wellness. Ocean Spray Pure fruit juices contain no added sugars, no artificial flavors, no preservatives, and are non-GMO. The juices will now be available in pure cranberry, pure tart cherry, pure white grapefruit, and pure concord grape.  The unsweetened juices can be enjoyed on their own or added to smoothies or sparkling water for an extra health boost, the company said. The suggested retail price of pure tart cherry is $4.78 per 32 oz. bottle, while pure white grapefruit and pure concord grape are $2.98 per 32 oz. bottle.

Ireland’s Kerry Develops Plant-Based Protein Ingredient For Low-pH Beverages

Irish food and beverage company Kerry (Tralee, Republic of Ireland) has introduced ProDiem Refresh, a plant-based protein for use in low-pH beverage applications, including waters, juices, and energy drinks. The company says the product helps fill a need for natural, plant-based, allergen-free, and sustainable protein ingredient for foods and beverages. ProDiem Refresh ensures a low-pH drink offering that offers an environmentally friendly protein source.

New Distribution Pact Expands Reach Of Optimum Nutrition Hydration Drinks

Glanbia Performance Nutrition has signed a distribution agreement with Kalil Bottling Company on behalf of its Optimum Nutrition (ON) brand. Kalil will distribute Optimum Nutrition’s sparkling hydration drink Essential AminO Energy Plus Electrolytes in the southwestern U.S. The company said the products have had “impressive sales” in convenience stores over the past year. The sparkling hydration drinks are available in eight flavors in a combination of five grams of amino acids and electrolytes, as well as 100 mg of caffeine, sourced from green tea and green coffee bean extract. At less than five calories per 12 ounce can, the drinks contain no sugar or artificial colors. Optimum Nutrition products are available in more than 10,000 convenience store retailers and independent outlets.

Energy Beverage Brand Dark Dog Lands In The U.S.

European energy beverage brand Dark Dog has introduced its Organic Energy Drink in the U.S. in four flavors: original, blood orange, coconut water (low calorie), and cranberry mint (low calorie). All four are Non-GMO verified, certified organic, gluten-free, low sodium, and vegan energy drinks that “aid in maintaining the performance and energy levels needed throughout the day.” They are in addition rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, with ingredients such as acerola fruit, lemon juice, orange juice, cranberry, coconut water, green tea, guarana, and green coffee beans. They contain no artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, preservatives, or harmful chemicals, the company says.
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