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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Growth Chief’s Retirement Spurs Reorganization Of Marketing, Strategy Efforts

Major changes in corporate marketing are underway as two long-time veterans of Coca-Cola Co. are retiring, the company announced. Senior Vice President and Chief Growth Officer Francisco Crespo will retire in 2020, stepping down after 30 years. And Senior VP and General Counsel Bernhard Goepelt will retire, also in 2020. With Crespo’s departure, corporate growth activities will be vested in three Coca-Cola units headed by three senior leaders: Integrated global marketing, which includes teams for creative, category, marketing operations, design, and knowledge & insights, will report to Manolo Arroyo; corporate strategy will report to CFO John Murphy; and customer and commercial operations will report to Chief Operating Officer Brian Smith. The company said the alignment of integrated global marketing under Arroyo will more closely integrate marketing within operations. He will continue to lead the Asia Pacific group, reporting to Smith. The appointment of Arroyo reverses a previous decision: the company terminated the chief marketing officer position in 2017.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

Coca-Cola Experiments With Beverage Subscription Service Featuring Monthly Shipments

Coca-Cola North America is testing a beverage subscription service that allows customers to sign up for a monthly shipment of a sampling of 20-plus new drinks set to launch in early 2020. Dubbed the Coca-Cola Insiders Club, the service covers “three category-spanning beverages – from AHA flavored sparkling water to Coke Energy,” the company said. Subscribers will have two payment options for the six-month membership: $10 a month or $50 prepaid (with one month free). The company said the initial inventory of 1,000 memberships sold out in only three hours; customers on a waiting list will be notified when more subscription spots open up.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

Memos Allegedly Document Coke’s Efforts To Sell Sugary Drinks To Teens, Despite Obesity Epidemic

A public health journal report based on Coca-Cola Co. internal memoranda shows that the company issued a global request for proposal (RFP) in 2013 for a public relations campaign coinciding with the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and targeting, among others, teenagers and moms, despite rising obesity rates among children and a company goal to “cement credibility in the health and well-being space.” The paper, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that Coca-Cola’s public relations goals included trying to shift teens’ sense of the health impacts of drinking sugary soda. The RFP was for a campaign called “Movement Is Happiness,” one of whose goals was “to increase Coke brand health scores with teens” while cementing health and well-being credibility. “What’s insidious here,” says one of the authors, “is a health campaign that is using tobacco’s tactics, promoting alternative science in a way that advances the notion that sugary sodas aren’t really so bad for people’s health.” Obesity rates for children have tripled since the 1970s, an increase that puts children at greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]


Danone Waters Brands Commit To Carbon Neutrality Targets

Danone announced that four of its water brands – Evian, Lanjarón, Volvic, and Font Vella – have committed to net zero carbon emissions on a staggered schedule over the next decade in a move to accelerate achievement of a corporate 2050 target. Subsidiary companies Aguas Danone Spain, Danone Waters Germany, and Danone Waters of America all pledged to meet the targets while attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid.[Image Credit: © Danone S.A.]

Other Companies

MillerCoors To Launch Antioxidant-Rich Hard Cider In 2020

MillerCoors will spend millions of dollars next year to launch a functional hard seltzer made with vitamin C-rich acerola cherry. Vizzy, the company’s initial foray into the booming hard seltzer market, will come in four flavors – black cherry lime, blueberry pomegranate, strawberry kiwi, and pineapple mango – each of which will contain 100 calories, one gram of sugar, and five percent alcohol by volume. Consumers have moved beyond foods and beverages that claim to be free of sugar and synthetic dyes and flavors and are looking for products that tout some functionality or at least some healthful ingredients. Acerola cherries contain roughly 30 times more vitamin C per cup than an orange. Vizzy will be packaged in bright orange variety 12-packs of 12-ounce cans, as well as single-flavor six-packs and some single cans, all priced to compete with White Claw and Truly, the top two sellers in the segment.[Image Credit: © MillerCoors LLC,]

Koia Launches RTD Coffee Line In Whole Foods Stores

Plant-based protein drink maker Koia will launch a line of RTD coffees next month exclusively at Whole Foods stores nationwide. The new Koia Coffee line will compete in the coffee segment alongside functional-positioned brands such as Kitu Life Super Coffee and Bulletproof. Twelve-ounce bottles of Koia Coffee contain 200 mg of caffeine, five grams of MCT oil, nine grams of protein, zero sugar, and 110 calories in mocha latte, vanilla latte, and salted caramel flavors. They will be sold exclusively at Whole Foods for four months for $3.99 a bottle. The launch comes as the brand undertakes an omnichannel expansion after nearly doubling its retail footprint for the core product line from 4,000 to more than 8,000 stores. A Keto beverage line was launched in January as a six-month Whole Foods exclusive, later expanding to more than 3,000 stores nationwide. The expansion includes accounts in the natural and specialty, conventional grocery, mass, convenience, and food service channels. [Image Credit: © Koia Inc.]

Ohio Beverage Start-Up Launches Sparkling Tea Line

Columbus, Ohio-based female-founded start-up Spritz Sparkling Tea, which announced pre-orders a few months back, says that the first two flavors – hibiscus and green tea – are now available online. Local retailers (Columbus area) will begin stocking the bubbly beverage this month. The guiding mission of the company is to offer tea-based beverages that “help customers celebrate everyday victories that amount to extraordinary milestones.” The company has pledged to donate one percent of net revenue to programs and nonprofits that support “women boldly pursuing their dreams.”[Image Credit: © Spritz Tea]

Start-Up Xoca Turns Cacao Waste Into Juice-Based Sparkling Drinks

Chicago-based beverage start-up Xoca (pron. sho’ka) is launching a functional line of “slightly fermented” sparkling drinks made with juice from the nutrient-rich cacao fruit pulp usually discarded after the beans are processed to make chocolate. Available in three flavors – original, mint, and ginger – Xoca is the brainchild of an aeronautical engineer who discovered that hundreds of thousands of tons of cacao pulp are discarded annually in countries like Ecuador. Cacao juice sours quickly, so the company developed a heat-based reduction process that makes the juice syrupy and stable. It is then sent to the U.S. to be processed into sparkling beverages that contain 50 percent juice plus 15 g of naturally occurring sugar and two g of fiber from the cacao fruit. Xoca Cacao Fruit Soda is available online at drinkxoca.com for $35.99 for a 12-pack of eight-oz cans, and in select stores in Chicago.[Image Credit: © Xoca World Ltd]

Mondelēz New Products Incubator Jumps The Snack Fence To Develop A Kids Smoothie

Mondelēz next summer will begin test marketing RTD frozen fruit smoothies developed by its innovation unit SnackFutures. Ruckus and Co. will be a two-SKU line available in dairy-based Berry Banana Twist and coconut milk-based Tropical Tango flavors. Each six-oz. bottle is designed as a “pack-and-thaw” item that can go into kids’ lunch boxes straight from the freezer in the morning and be ready to consume by midday. The line will be sold in 4-packs (suggested retail price $7.99) in conventional grocery and 6-packs ($10.99) in the club channel. The year-old SnackFutures unit began testing two new snack lines, Dirt Kitchen and CaPao, in July targeting school lunches. However, the Ruckus and Co. drinks were developed to appeal to both kids and adults. [Image Credit: © Mondelēz International]

Keto And Co. Launches RTD Ketogenic “Meal-In-A-Bottle”

Boston-area keto shakes producer Keto and Co, has released Sated Ready-to-Drink, a “nutritionally complete” RTD ketogenic meal-in-a-bottle. The company says Sated Ready-to-Drink shakes fill a key gap in the exploding market for convenient low-carb, keto foods. Sated's mix-it-yourself version was launched in 2014. In August 2018, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign to make Sated Ready-to-Drink a reality by raising more than $200,000 during prelaunch. The beverages are available online in naturally-sweetened chocolate and vanilla flavors. The company’s market research found that there are 15 million to 25 million people in the U.S. who follow a keto diet but whose main challenge is a lack of quick, convenient keto food options.[Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Keto and Co]

Kentucky’s Alltech Seeks Beverage Expansion In India

Kentucky-based Alltech, which focuses on animal feed, meat, brewing, and distilling, hopes to enter the beverage business in India, according to CEO Mark Lyons. The $2 billion company, which already has operations in India, is looking for partners, following the model that has worked in China. Alltech’s beer and spirits business generates about $50 million to $60 million annually. Lyons says the beverage business is so far not a major contributor to the bottom line, but the potential is there. The company makes craft beers, whiskies, and gins. It launched three gins last year, two in Ireland and one in the U.S. Globally, Alltech has more than 100 production facilities and four bioscience centers and employs about 6,000 people. It has three breweries in the U.S. and Ireland along with three distilleries.[Image Credit: © Alltech]

Jules ScullyPeet’s Coffee, JDE Merger Will Create JDE Peet’s; IPO Expected

Dutch beverage company Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) will be merged with San Francisco-based specialty coffee roaster Peet’s Coffee, according to investor JAB Holdings, which also hinted at the possibility of a public stock offering in 2020 for the new company, to be called JDE Peet’s. Brands included under the new $7.8 billion roof are Peet’s Coffee, L’OR, Jacobs Coffee, Douwe Egberts, Senseo, Tassimo, Moccona, Kenco, Pickwick, and Pilão. The company will have a presence in more than 140 countries. JAB said the exploration of an IPO is a key milestone in the partnership between Acorn Holdings, which includes controlling shareholder JAB and BDT Capital, and Mondelēz International.  Peet’s Coffee CEO Casey Keller would become CEO of JDE Peet’s, effective January 2020.  [Image Credit: © C:\Users\User2\OneDrive\CLICKNWORK\IMAGE COLLECTION\PICS NewStrategy]
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