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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coke Bottler CCCI To Build Distribution Facility In Indiana

North Carolina-based bottler Coca-Cola Consolidated Inc. plans to build a $55 million distribution and automated warehouse facility in Whitestown, Ind. CCCI said construction on the 400,000-square-foot plant begins this month. The company acquired distribution territories and manufacturing facilities in Indiana from Coca-Cola Company in March 2017.[Image Credit: © The Coca Cola Company]


Nestlé U.K. Steps Up DTC Activities With Delivery Partnership

Nestlé U.K. has joined forces with Deliveroo’s Essentials delivery platform so that stay-at-home British consumers can have a variety of its brands delivered to their door during the pandemic. Customers place orders via the Deliveroo app with deliveries available from 11 sites in Leeds, London, Manchester, and Nottingham. Other big food manufacturers that have turned to the direct-to-consumer (DTC) channel in recent months include PepsiCo rolling out new websites selling its snacks and drinks in the U.S., and Kraft Heinz launching an e-commerce operation (Heinz to Home) in the U.K. giving consumers a chance to buy its products. The move to DTC at least partly replaces lost revenue from the closure of some retail stores and most hospitality venues during the pandemic.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]

Big Producers Prosper As Pandemic Shutters Neighborhood Coffee Shops

As pandemic lockdowns force closures of smaller specialty coffee shops, bigger coffee makers like Nestlé and Starbucks with ready access to retail could see their brands grab a bigger share of the market. Supermarket coffee sales have risen since March, as consumers buy more coffee to get their fix at home. In the 13 weeks ended May 17, U.S. retail coffee sales at supermarkets and other outlets rose 15 percent from a year earlier, according to IRI data. But “at-home increases for coffee will never compensate for food-service loss,” according to Judy Ganes, the president of J. Ganes Consulting, which follows the coffee industry. “Recovery won’t be quick.”[Image Credit: © Starbucks Corporation]

Other Companies

B Natural, Amway To Offer Immune-Supporting Fruit Drinks

ITC’s B Natural and Amway India have teamed up to offer the B Natural+ fruit juice range in two variants: Orange and Mixed Fruit. The drinks will be available in one-liter packs at a price point of $1.72. The company says the new drinks provide the dual benefit of immunity plus fruit & fiber. Ingredients were tested in a randomized, double-blind placebo controlled clinical study conducted over a period of three months. Amway India is expected to make the new range available nationally in stores and through the company’s Indian distribution network. According to ITC, the urgency of the pandemic crisis drove B Natural to proactively provide an effective fruit beverage range this summer that could contribute to supporting immunity with a clinically-proven ingredient.[Image Credit: © ITC Limited]

Iconic Protein Expands Lineup With Children’s Drinks

Santa Monica, Calif.-based protein beverage company Iconic Protein is expanding its market reach with the launch of Iconic Kids protein drinks for children. The sugar-free, 80-cal. RTD beverages, made from kale, broccoli, and spinach, come in Vanilla Vacay, Chocolate Carnival, and Fruity Fiesta flavors. Containing grass-fed milk protein isolate (eight grams) and prebiotic chicory root fiber (four grams), they are sweetened with stevia leaf and monk fruit. The Iconic Kids drinks are available nationwide in single 8-oz cartons ($2.29 to $2.49) and 2-packs ($26.99 to $29.99).[Image Credit: © ICONIC Protein]

Huiyuan Juice Products Now Featured On All Three Of China’s Major E-commerce Platforms

Fruit and vegetable juice firm China Huiyuan Juice is reportedly investing heavily in its e-commerce platforms to maintain its leadership rank in the China Brand Power Index. Consumers can now purchase Huiyuan’s products – 100 percent juices, nectars, and juice drinks – in the Huiyuan Beverage Flagship store on the Pinduoduo platform, as well as on China’sother  e-commerce platforms, Tmall and Jd.com. Pinduoduo has 600 million active users, 3.6 million merchants, and an annual transaction volume exceeding $140 billion.[Image Credit: © Myriam Zilles from Pixabay]

Sparkling Water Company Phocus Introduces Cola Flavor

Louisville, Ky.-based Phocus has added a cola flavor to its line of sparkling waters. The Cola flavor contains natural caffeine from tea and the amino acid l-theanine, but no sugars, sweeteners, sodium, or calories. To create the flavor, the brand blended extracts of cinnamon, citrus, and vanilla with notes of caramel to create a cola taste, the company said. Phocus’ Cola flavor is available online for single purchase or monthly subscription, and will launch soon at retail locations nationwide.  [Image Credit: © Clear Cut Phocus]

JDE Peet’s IPO Brings In $2.5B

Coffee maker JDE Peet’s has raised $2.5 billion in its initial public offering (IPO), marking Europe’s biggest IPO since 2018. The closing offer was brought forward due to strong response by investors. The IPO took place on Euronext Amsterdam and lasted 10 days. JDE Peet’s, the merger of Jacobs Douwe Egberts and Peet’s Coffee, says the demand for coffee and tea has remained resilient during the coronavirus climate.[Image Credit: © JACOBS DOUWE EGBERTS]

U.K.’s Biiotiful Dairy Expands Kefir Drinks Range

U.K.-based Biotiful Dairy has added Kefir Mango and Kefir Blackcurrant variants to the current range, which includes Cherry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Cacao, Honey & Ginger, and Original. The drinks are made by fermenting British milk with live kefir grains and adding fruit. According to the company, the kefir drinks are rich in protein, vitamins, calcium and other minerals, as well gut-friendly bacteria. Biotiful’s Kefir Mango (500 ml, $2.83) and Kefir Blackcurrant (250 ml, $1.82) are available from Morrisons, with a further roll out planned for this summer.[Image Credit: © Biotiful Dairy Ltd]

New Vegan Coconut Drinks From Starbucks

Starbucks has added a new vegan drink to its summer menu that combines guava, passionfruit, pineapple, and ginger with coconut milk and ice. The Iced Guava Passionfruit Drink joins two “fan-favorite” vegan coconut milk beverages introduced in March. All three vegan options are hand-shaken with ice and coconut milk for a “smooth and creamy” beverage. The Golden Ginger Drink features ginger, pineapple, and turmeric; the Pineapple Matcha Drink contains matcha, pineapple, and ginger. While many U.S. businesses remain closed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Starbucks has reopened 85 percent of stores. More than 90 percent of Starbucks stores are expected to reopen by early June.[Image Credit: © Starbucks Coffee Company]

Europe’s Little Miracles Ice Tea Company Debuts Low-Sugar Sparkling Beverages

Little Miracles (Copenhagen, Denmark), a producer of organic teas blended with super-fruit juices, ginseng, and açaí, is rolling out two low-calorie, low-sugar sparkling ice teas in Europe. The new SKUs come in two flavors: Orange Lemongrass and Sparkling Pomegranate. The Sparkling Orange Lemongrass Ice Tea is blended with ginger and agave; the Sparkling Pomegranate Ice Tea is made with pomegranate, green tea, acai berries and ginseng. The drinks contain less than 50 calories each with zero additives and are served in plastic-free packaging. [Image Credit: © Little Miracles]

Peanut Farmer Creates A Coffee With A Very High Profit Margin

A fifth-generation peanut farmer has created a peanut-based coffee that may create an entirely new marketing opportunity for “goober pea” farmers. Virginia Gold Peanut Coffee (Suffolk, Va.) hasn’t landed distribution in large retail grocers yet, but founder James Harrell said the beverage has significant opportunity as an economic driver and is available DTC on the company’s website, through some wholesale and a few local stores. Harrell had to overcome significant technical challenges – removing the oil after the peanuts are roasted was a big one – but the result was satisfactory.  A 10-ounce bag of peanut coffee costs only about 6.5 cents to produce, less than the cost of the bag it is in. But consumers apparently are willing to pay a premium coffee price for Virginia Gold: $8.99 for 10 ounces, “one of the highest profit margins on the market today.” Harrell says the beverage has a leg up on traditional coffee because it is naturally caffeine free but can easily have caffeine added to it.[Image Credit: © Virginia Gold]
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