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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Buys Residual Interest In “Value-Added” Dairy Company Fairlife

Coca-Cola company now owns 100 percent of “value-added” dairy producer Fairlife LLC after acquiring the remaining 57.5 percent stake from joint venture partner Select Milk Producers. Fairlife LLC launched in 2012 with a high-protein milk shake called Core Power. It now offers a broad portfolio of products, including an ultra-filtered milk, in the fast-growing value-added dairy category in North America. Fairlife will continue to operate as a stand-alone business based in Chicago. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

Coca-Cola To Launch Strawberry-Flavored Coke In Japan

Coca-Cola Japan is releasing for a limited time a strawberry-flavored variant of Coke on January 20. Marketed with the slogan “Drink a strawberry reward,” the new version will appear at a time of the year when Japanese consumers look forward to enjoying the seasonal fruit.[Image Credit: © COCA-COLA BOTTLERS JAPAN INC.]

Keurig Dr Pepper

Appellate Court Finds No Fraud In Use Of Word “Diet” In Beverage Brand Names

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (San Francisco, Calif.) has ruled that Dr Pepper/Seven Up, now part of Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. and the maker of Diet Dr Pepper, did not deceive consumers into thinking the soft drink promoted weight loss by including “diet” in its name. California resident Shana Becerra, who claimed to have struggled with obesity since childhood, said scientific evidence linked artificial sweetener aspartame used in Diet Dr Pepper to possible weight gain. The appeals court, however, said Becerra failed to show that reasonable consumers associated diet soda with health benefits and therefore did not violate the state’s consumer fraud laws. The decision could doom a similar Calif. lawsuit over Diet Coke. A federal appeals court in Manhattan earlier this year upheld dismissals of similar cases against Dr Pepper, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo under New York consumer fraud laws.[Image Credit: © Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.]


Vietnamese Coffee Bean Supplier To Take On Nestlé In Instant Coffee Market

Vietnam’s biggest supplier of raw robusta coffee beans used to make instant coffees, including Nestlé’s brand Nescafe, Intimex Group is preparing to offer its own soluble powder early this year. Intimex exports as much as a third of Vietnam’s robusta beans, but now sees an opportunity in Asia’s burgeoning demand for the instant coffee and a way to buffer the impact of large swings in international commodity prices. Ho Chi Minh City-based Intimex aims to overtake Nestlé as Vietnam’s biggest pure instant-coffee supplier in the next five years by expanding annual capacity fivefold to 20,000 tons. A Nestlé executive based in Vietnam said the company will compete with both local and international companies by “leveraging our scale of size, our expertise in technology and manufacturing … and by growing together with Vietnamese coffee farmers.” [Image Credit: © Nestle]

Other Companies

India’s OZiva Debuts Matcha Green Tea Blended With Licorice, Ginger, Charcoal

Indian clean-label active nutrition brand OZiva has released the country’s first green tea packed with a blend of organic Japanese matcha, licorice, activated charcoal, and ginger root. Functional Matcha Plus was developed to improve the skin health of urban Indian women by controlling skin pigmentation, dark circles and dullness. The Matcha Plus brand, which contains 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea, neutralizes free radicals caused by long-term exposure to sun, pollution, and stress. [Image Credit: © Oziva]

Waka Coffee Adds “Indian” Instant Coffee To Its Portfolio

Los Angeles-based Waka Coffee has added an “Indian” instant coffee to its lineup. Today, they are announcing the addition of Indian instant coffee to its offerings. The new Indian instant coffee, made from 100 percent Arabica beans, comes in a single-serve SKU and a 3.5 oz bag SKU. The single-serve box includes eight 0.1 oz packets; the larger bag includes a bulk size of instant coffee, packaged in a resealable pouch. The new product is a light roast, low acidity coffee, with notes of chocolate and hazelnut. It is now available for purchase on Waka's website and on other online channels.[Image Credit: © Waka Coffee]

GNC Launches Sugar-Free Energy Drink

Pittsburgh-based marketer of health- and nutrition-related products GNC Holdings, Inc., has launched a caffeinated sugar-free energy beverage that will be sold at its retail shops, at Rite Aid store-within-a-store locations, and on its website. Mad Pony Energy contains a “nature-based” extract NeuroFactor – it “may impact Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)” – along with 200 mg of caffeine, taurine, vitamins B6 and B12, the amino acid GABA, and CoQ10 “for overall energy production, mental and heart health.” Mad Pony is available in cherry berry, orange mango, and watermelon flavors in individual 16 oz. cans (MSRP: $2.49) or in a case of 12 (MSRP: $25.99). [Image Credit: © General Nutrition Corporation]

Soylent Nutrition Expands Meal Replacement Line With “Stacked” Energy Drink

Los Angeles-based Soylent Nutrition, Inc., the makers of a range of meal replacement drinks and powders, has launched a functional energy drink “to fuel the mind and body.” The 11-ounce caffeinated RTD beverage Soylent Stacked contains nutrition in the form of plant protein, healthful fats, slow-burning carbs, and essential nutrients, as well as a proprietary nootropics "stack" of amino acids and other compounds to “enhance focus, accuracy, and the ability to switch between tasks successfully.” Nootropic ingredients, according to the company, are a class of supplements that when "stacked" together provide synergistic, positive effects. Soylent Stacked contains a "stack" of l-theanine (an amino acid) and caffeine in a 2:1 ratio providing “focused, calm, sustained energy without the jitters,” the amino acid l-tyrosine for focus, and alpha-GPC for cognition and memory. Each can contains 180 calories and three grams of sugar, 15 grams of plant protein, and 36 essential nutrients.[Image Credit: © PR Newswire/Soylent]

Another Big Dairy – This Time Borden – Launches Reorganization Proceedings

Texas-based Borden Dairy Company has launched reorganization proceedings under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code to reduce its debt, maximize value, and “position the company for long-term success.” The 163-year-old company will conduct business normally as it pursues “a more viable capital structure.” Within the last couple of years, Borden has introduced several new products; growth in 2019 outpaced the industry as it increased year-over-year sales. But the company, like other dairy producers, continues to be hurt by declines in milk consumption, by the rising cost of raw milk, and various market challenges that have “contributed to making our current level of debt unsustainable,” according to CEO Tony Sarsam. Dean Foods, America's largest milk producer, filed for bankruptcy in November.[Image Credit: © Borden Dairy Company]

Chinese Coffee Company Debuts Smart Vending And Coffee Machines

Beijing-based Luckin Coffee Inc. announced it has launched unmanned smart vending and coffee machines. The Luckin Pop vending machines will be placed in office buildings, bus terminals, airports, on college campuses, and at other locations. The smart vending machine and the Luckin Coffee Express machine are new channels in the "unmanned retail network" that Luckin is building. The company says the innovations eliminate payroll and rental costs, as well as other expenses. At the end of 2019, Luckin Coffee had 4,507 self-operated stores. Luckin stock has nearly doubled – up 96.3 percent – over the past three months. [Image Credit: © www.luckincoffee.com]
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