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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coke’s Open Bar Project Seeks Innovative Bartender Help Creating New Mixers

As part of its Open Bar Project, Coca-Cola is soliciting the help of innovative bartenders around the world in creating its next batch of Signature Mixers for dark spirits. Last May, five top bartenders helped launch the Signature Mixers range, which was introduced with four flavors: smoky, spicy, herbal, and woody. The company said its goal is to “continuously innovate, and create new and exciting taste experiences for discerning drinkers.” Bartenders from around the globe will be joined by local talent from across Western Europe, including France, Ireland, and Belgium. When the new recipes are finalized, the company will launch pop-up Signature Mixers Open Bars in “secret locations” across Europe in a bid to test the new batches with the public.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

Coca-Cola Says It’s In China “For The Long Term,” Coronavirus Or Not

Coca-Cola’s top executive for China and Korea says the company is committed to the region, no matter what happens with the coronavirus.  “We are here for the long term,” says Curt Ferguson, who notes that China is the company’s next biggest market. “We’re here to invest. We’re here to build it.” China is Coca-Cola’s third largest market in terms of unit case volume. The company sees great opportunities in this important market and will continue to invest for long-term growth, Ferguson said. The company’s annual report noted that the Covid-19 virus situation continues to evolve, “and the company expects to provide more information during its next earnings call in April.” Ferguson, president of Coca-Cola Greater China and Korea, thanked the Chinese government for their quick and decision action in tackling the coronavirus. “I just wanted to give our appreciation to all the first responders out there – the nurses and doctors that kept us all safe. You kept us strong.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

Keurig Dr Pepper

Keurig Dr Pepper Names Former JAB Holding Exec To New International Development Job

Plano, Texas-based Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. has appointed Mauricio Leyva to the newly-created role of president, international and business development. Leyva, who will report directly to CEO Bob Gamgort, will be responsible for leading KDP's Canadian and Mexican business units and external growth initiatives, including strategic partnerships and mergers and acquisitions across all geographies. Leyva most recently served as a senior adviser at JAB Holding, supporting the group's global beverage and coffee team. Prior to JAB, he was CEO at Grupo Lala, a Mexican dairy company.[Image Credit: © Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.]

Other Companies

Rebranded Cott Company Primo Water Acquires Western N.Y. Water Delivery Firm

Home and office bottled water delivery company Primo Water Corp., formerly Cott Corp., announced that subsidiary DS Dervices will acquire water supply company Mountain Valley Water, serving Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y., for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition adds about 1,500 customers in the northern New York region and makes DS Services the only home and office bottled water delivery business distributing Mountain Valley Water products in New York.  Cott rebranded to Primo Water Co. in early March after it purchased Winston-Salem-based Primo. Cott s been working to become a “pure-play water company” by selling its coffee business and acquiring a Hungarian company.[Image Credit: © CNW Group/Primo Water Corporation]

LifeAid Debuts Sugar-Free, Keto-Friendly Version Of FocusAid

Santa Cruz, Calif.-based LifeAid Beverage Co. has launched a sugar-free, five-calorie version of FocusAid containing the same proprietary blend of nootropics and 100 mg of natural caffeine, sweetened with monk fruit (instead of the organic agave used in the original FocusAid). Keto-friendly FocusAid Zero Sugar contains no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Both beverages have a melon-maté flavor and a blend of nootropics to help enhance cognitive function. Each can of 'clean energy' contains 100 mg of natural caffeine from yerba maté and green tea. The new keto-friendly FocusAid Zero Sugar will be available online at $59.76 for a 24-can case, and at select retailers starting this month, at an SRP of $2.99 per 12-fl. oz. can. [Image Credit: © LIFEAID Beverage Co..]

Rishi Launches Line Of RTD Sparkling Botanicals

Hoping to capitalize on the rapidly-expanding RTD market, Milwaukee-based Rishi Tea & Botanicals has launched a range of canned sparkling botanicals. The range includes black lemon, dandelion ginger, grapefruit quince, patagonia maqui, schisandra berry, and turmeric saffron flavors, none of which contain powders, extracts, added sugars, sweeteners, or acidic preservatives. The new line “elevates RTD with craft brewing and meets [the] demand for real plants with real virtue.” The company has signed on authorized distributors in Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Austin, Denver, and Milwaukee. The product has made its retail debut at organic co-ops in Southern California. The botanicals are available for an MSRP of $3.99 per 12-oz can and will be available online in April.[Image Credit: © Rishi Tea & Botanicals]

Asahi To Introduce Soy-Based Variant Of Lactic Acid Milk Calpis

Asahi next month will launch a plant-based version of its cultured lactic acid milk Calpis, using soy milk instead of regular milk. Soy-based Green Calpis is a variant of the popular lactic acid drink made from non-fat dairy milk fermented slowly by adding microorganisms including lactobacilli. The flavor is expected to the same as original Calpis, though Green Calpis is said to have a more refreshing aftertaste and is not as sweet because it is made from soymilk. The company hopes to sell 500,000 boxes of the drink, mainly targeting health-conscious females in their 40s and 50s, as well as consumers with a preference for non-dairy products. Green Calpis drink will be available in convenience stores, supermarkets. and general stores in April, retailing for $1.20 per 300 ml. Asahi also plans to launch new flavors for Mitsuya Cider this year.[Image Credit: © Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd.]

Elmhurst 1925 Adds lattes, Smoothie Bases To Plant-Based Lineup

New York-based plant milk company Elmhurst 1925 has launched three new product lines in the coffee and tea lattes segments, in smoothie mixes, and in creamers. The company hopes the lines will help it reach new consumers and expand its presence on retail store shelves. Elmhurst launched a range of 11 oz. single-serving flavored oat milk products in January, and is now looking to expand further into grab-and-go beverage sets with oat milk lattes. The new line features two coffee-based SKUs (cacao and flash brew) and two tea-based products (matcha and golden milk). Each will retail for $4.49 per 11 oz. carton and will be available in stores and online. The company has also launched a line of added-sugar-free Superfood Smoothie Bases available in 32 oz. cartons. The new product launches come as Elmhurst expands nationwide to about 6,000 retail locations. [Image Credit: © Elmhurst Milked Direct LLC]

Trilliant Expands Partnership With Hostess To Include Lattes That Taste Like Twinkies, Ding Dongs

Little Chute, Wis.-based Trilliant Food & Nutrition announced it will expand its partnership with Hostess after the successful launch of Hostess snack cake-flavored coffees, cappuccinos and hot cocoas. The company will launch of Hostess-inspired Ready-To-Drink Flavored Iced Lattes that mimic the flavors of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Honey Buns, and Sno Balls. Hostess Single Serve Cup flavored coffees, cappuccinos, and hot cocoas are available at victorallen.com and retailers nationwide.  Hostess Ready-To-Drink Flavored Iced Lattes will soon be available at retailers nationwide. Trilliant is a vertically-integrated manufacturer in the coffee, powdered, ready-to-drink, and wellness beverage categories.[Image Credit: © Trilliant Food and Nutrition, LLC.]

Fitness Drinks Company Celsius Posts Healthy Sales, Profit Increases For Year, Quarter

Sixteen-year-old Florida-based Celsius Holdings, Inc., maker of fitness drinks, posted a 43 percent increase in global revenue to $75.1 million in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, up from $52.6 million in 2018. U.S. sales rose 53 percent to $60 million in 2019, while gross profit increased 49 percent to $31.3 million. The company reported record 4th quarter revenue of $24.1 million, up 64 percent from $14.7 million in the year ago quarter. Domestic revenue increased 56 percent to $17.1 million, up from $10.9 million in the year ago quarter. Gross 4th quarter profit was $10.1 million, up 85 percent from a year ago. Celsius products are now available in 1,500 Walmart stores this month, and the company has added more than 50 new regional DSD distributors since July – including AB InBev, MillerCoors, and Keurig Dr Pepper partners – bringing its total distribution network to over 100 partners.[Image Credit: © Celsius]

Drinks Entrepreneur Lance Collins Launches ZEN WTR In Sustainable Packaging

Beverage entrepreneur Lance Collins. who last year launched performance energy drink Adrenaline Shoc with Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), has debuted a bottled water brand designed to be more sustainable and eco-friendly. ZEN WTR is a line of 9.5 pH alkaline waters packaged in rPET bottles recycled from salvaged “ocean plastic.” The packaging was developed by California-based sustainable plastics producer CarbonLITE, and is the first product from parent company Zen Essentials. Collins is a partner in CarbonLITE and CEO of Zen Essentials. ZEN WTR is rolling out at West Coast and Southwest retailers, including H-E-B, Whole Foods, Walmart, ampm, 7-Eleven, Kroger, Safeway, and Target. The water line is available in one-liter ($1.99-2.49), 23.7 oz. ($1.79-2.19), and 16.9 oz. ($1.49-1.79) formats, and in one-liter six-packs in grocery stores for $10.99. The brand expects to launch cans, aluminum bottles, and flavored sparkling waters in the near future.[Image Credit: © Lance Collins/ZEN WTR]

As Losses Mount, New Age Beverages Considers Product Divestiture

Shares of New Age Beverages Corp. fell 0.7 percent in premarket trading March 16, after the Denver-based medical cannabis and wellness beverages company reported a more-than four-fold increase in fourth-quarter sales, but missed expectations, while losses widened. The net loss was $66.0 million, or 83 cents a share, after a loss of $2.6 million, or eight cents a share, in the year-ago period. New Age Beverages CEO Brent Willis told investors that the earlier plan to grow multiple small beverage brands is “no longer strategic,” and the company may divest some of its core portfolio, including Aspen Pure, Bucha, Coco Libre, Marley, and Xing Tea. The company was disappointed in sales at 7-Eleven and Walmart, and in the efforts of recently acquired marketing and sales agency Brands Within Reach. New Age grew revenue in 2019 to $253.7 million, up 386 percent from $52.2 million in 2018. But the growth largely came from the acquisition of multi-level marketing wellness company Morinda, now rebranded as Nomi by New Age, whose products include juices, topicals, and makeup. [Image Credit: © New Age Beverages Corporation]
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