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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Warns Of Artificial Sweetener Supply Problems Thanks To Coronavirus In China

Artificial sweeteners used in Coca-Cola’s diet and zero-sugar drinks could be in short supply, thanks to the coronavirus outbreak in China, the company said. Coke’s suppliers of sugar alternatives say production and exports have been delayed, but the company says contingency supply plans are in place and it does not “foresee a short-term impact due to these delays.” There may be a longer-term problem if production or export operations in the country deteriorate. Aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, saccharin, cyclamate, and steviol gylcosides are the main sugar alternatives the company uses. As to the safety of its Chinese employees, Coke said it was taking precautionary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus. "The safety and health of the company's associates remains a high priority," according to a company statement. [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]


Danone SA To Invest $2.2B To Speed Up Its “Climate-Powered Business Model”

French food products company Danone SA said it will spend $2.2 billion to “massively accelerate” development of “a fully climate-powered business model.” The company has been working since 2009 on ways to improve its carbon profile, and recently announced it has already achieved a goal of reaching “peak” carbon emissions by 2025. But CEO Emmanuel Faber acknowledged that packaging was one area where the company was “caught off guard.” To rectify that situation in the water business, the group aims to move away from virgin PET by 2025, switching to rPET in Europe. In April, rPET water bottles will be rolled out across “most” formats in France, the full range in Germany, and all on-the-go Evian formats in the U.K. The Evian and Volvic brands will both become “climate neutral” this year, and the company will introduce metal bottles and cans for brands like Evian and Bonafont and switch to tetra for Volvic’s kids’ range. “There's clearly a need for acceleration,” Faber said, especially in end-to-end sourcing and omnichannel, to achieve climate-efficient sourcing for planetary diets and regenerative agriculture.[Image Credit: © Danone S.A.]

Keurig Dr Pepper

Merger With Dr Pepper Snapple Group Proves A Major Benefit For KDP

The 2018 merger of Keurig Green Mountain and Dr Pepper Snapple Group has proven to be a boon for  Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), which posted a 49 percent increase in 2019 net sales to $11.12 billion. KDP’s underlying net sales grew 3.2 percent compared to last year, thanks to strong performance in carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) and single-serve coffee pods. Net income more than doubled to $1.25 billion in 2019 compared to $0.59 billion in 2018 – a 31 percent decrease – while operating income rose 92 percent to $2.38 billion. KDP said both figures were driven by the merger. Packaged beverage net sales slid 2.4 percent decrease, with 2.3 percent growth in underlying net sales hurt by changes in the Allied Brands portfolio. Underlying net sales in packaged beverages were driven by recently acquired premium water brand Core, Dr Pepper, Canada Dry, and Snapple Juice drinks, but were offset by declines in Bai, 7UP, and Snapple Tea. Fourth quarter net sales increased 4.3 percent thanks to strong performance of Dr Pepper and Canada Dry CSDs, Snapple Juice drinks, and Motts apple sauce, as well as retail consumption of single-serve pods.[Image Credit: © Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.]

Other Companies

Study Claims Dairy Milk Associated With Risk Of Breast Cancer; Dairy Industry Says Findings Mislead

New research from scientists at Loma Lind University in California claims that women who drink even one cup of dairy milk a day could increase their risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 50 percent. The study also claims that women who consumed soy in high quantities also had a high risk of breast cancer. The sex hormone content of the milk could be blamed for the rise in the risk of cancer by drinking it, said lead author Gary Fraser, who also said the observational study provides “fairly strong evidence” that dairy milk or “some factor closely related to drinking dairy” is “a cause of breast cancer in women.” But the Dairy Farmers of Canada said “the findings of this research study could be misleading.” It pointed to offsetting studies from the World Cancer Research Fund International and the International Dairy Federation (IDF), as well as a 2016 study showing that the risk of breast cancer decreased by four percent with skim milk intake.[Image Credit: © Imo Flow from Pixabay]

Humm Launches Kombucha Without Sugar

Oregon-based kombucha maker Humm is introducing a line of sugar-free kombuchas, set to launch in select markets and on Amazon in April. Making kombucha requires sugar – it serves as food for the yeast culture that ferments the tea base – but it does not need to be added after fermentation. The new Humm Zero line adds plant-based sweeteners – monk fruit, allulose, etc. – and organic flavors – but no added sugar. The products will be sold in 11 oz. single-serve cans ($2.99 SRP) and 4-packs ($9.99) in four flavors: peach tea, blood orange, ginger lemonade and raspberry lemonade.[Image Credit: © humm kombucha]

Moving Beyond Pickles, Grillo’s Enters Beverage Market With Pickle Vinegar Drinks

Boston, Mass.-based pickle company Grillo’s Pickles is branching out into the beverage market with a line of cold-pressed pickle vinegar drinks. Officially launching at Natural Products Expo West 2020 (originally set for March but postponed because of the coronavirus scare). Grillo’s founder Travis Grillo says the expansion into beverages is part of a strategy to build a cross-category platform brand. The company is also changing its name from Grillo’s Pickles to Grillo’s Fresh. The drinks are positioned as health beverages and as pre- and post-workout alternatives to sports drinks. The high electrolyte content also makes the drink a potential hangover recovery beverage. The line features two flavors, pickle and lemon, and will retail for $4.49 per 12 oz. bottle.[Image Credit: © Grillo's Pickles, Inc.]

New Products From Flow’s Acquisition Of BOONS Collagen Water Hit Store Shelves In May

Canadian mineral water company Flow Alkaline Spring Water (U.S.: Verona, Va.) has acquired BOONS Collagen Water in a deal that expands Flow’s wellness-focused lineup with a new collagen-infused water portfolio that uses BOONS’ proprietary formula. The lineup features flavors BOONS launched late last year – watermelon, pink grapefruit and cucumber – each infused with 10 grams of grass-fed collagen protein. Marketed as Flow Collagen Infused Water, the new products will hit retailers’ shelves in May, packaged in Flow’s new paperboard containers made from 75 percent renewable materials. The products will have a suggested retail price of $3.49 per 16.9 oz. carton in the U.S., and will be available in 12-packs on Flow’s website.[Image Credit: © Purposeful Excellence]

Illycaffè Debuts RTD Cold Brew Coffee In U.S. In April

Italian coffee roaster Illycaffè’s (Trieste) first RTD cold brew coffee product will go on sale nationwide in the U.S. next month. Made with the Illy brand’s blend of 100 percent Arabica coffee, the new drink expands the company’s line-up of RTD coffee beverages trhat Café, Café Unsweetened, Café Latte, Cappuccino, and Mochaccino. The launch will be supported by advertising, social media promotion, and “experiential events”, including sponsorship of food and music festival BottleRock in May 2020. Illy Cold Brew Ready-to-Drink will be available in 8.45 fl oz cans, with a suggested retail price of $3.49 per can.[Image Credit: © illycaffè S.p.A.]

Versatile Coconut Water From iTi Tropicals Works Well In A Variety Of Formulations

Lawrenceville, N.J.-based iTi Tropicals is an independent company that imports high-quality tropical and exotic fruit purees and concentrates. The company says one of its more versatile products, coconut water, is used by customers as a base in tropical drinks, teas, sauces, cocktails, and smoothies. It can be served as a standalone beverage, or used as a broth or marinade in cooking. Coconut water can also be combined with cold-brew coffee to create a hydrating energy beverage containing both caffeine and electrolytes, including more potassium than a banana, It is, iTi says, “natural sports drink.” The company supplies single-strength coconut water, coconut water concentrate and organic coconut water concentrate, all free from GMOs, artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, added sugars, fat, and cholesterol.[Image Credit: © iTi Tropicals, Inc.]
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