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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Launches Mango-Flavored Zero-Calorie Variant In Israel

Local market research led Coca-Cola Israel to launch a new zero-calorie flavor for the Israeli market, Coca-Cola Zero Mango. Market research convinced the company that mango was a preferred choice for Israelis, though some taste-testers were unsure why they should buy a mango-flavored Coke rather than mango juice. Others who reacted negatively to the flavor changed their minds after the drink was chilled in the freezer for an hour. Zero Mango will be available in 1.5-liter bottles and 330-milliliter cans.[Image Credit: © The Coca Cola Company]


U.K. Competition Agency Okays Danone Acquisition Of Harrogate Water

Danone’s acquisition of a majority stake in bottled water company Harrogate Water got the thumbs-up from the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after the agency completed an inquiry launched last month. Harrogate Water owns the British bottled water brand Harrogate Spring Water, as well as the charitable water brand Thirsty Planet. Danone’s U.K. bottled water range includes Volvic and Evian, operated by the company’s Danone Waters U.K. & Ireland subsidiary. The CMA apparently concluded that the addition of Harrogate Water to Danone’s existing portfolio of major water brands would not represent a competition concern. Harrogate Waters CEO James Cain will join the management team of Danone Waters U.K., while managing the Harrogate Water business.[Image Credit: © Harrogate Water Brands]

Keurig Dr Pepper

KDP’s Closing Of N.J. Bai Beverage Warehouse Could Cost 69 Employees Their Jobs

Keurig Dr Pepper is closing the 69-worker Bordentown, N.J., warehouse that handles Bai beverage packs. A company spokesman said the facility would close at the end of July, with about 69 workers slated to lose their jobs. The closing was originally slated for the end of April, but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Operations will be taken over by other company facilities, so Bordentown employees can apply for open positions elsewhere. Workers who do not find other positions in the company are eligible for severance pay and other benefits. Eleven-year-old Bai became part of KDP after Dr Pepper Snapple Group merged with Keurig Green Mountain in 2018.[Image Credit: © Keurig Dr Pepper Inc.]


Sanpellegrino Group Divests Nestlé Vera Bottled Water Brand

Nestlé’s Sanpellegrino Group subsidiary has sold its Nestlé Vera bottled water brand to start-up Aqua Vera Spa, established by the owners of PET container manufacturers Sicon. Aqua Vera Spa will also acquire bottling facilities in Santo Stefano Quisquina, Sicily, and Castrocielo, Frosinone, in the deal along with the Nestlé Vera brand itself. Sanpellegrino will retain its bottling facility in San Giorgio in Bosco, Padua – which produces beverages for Sanpellegrino’s other brands – but the facility will continue to produce mineral waters for the Nestlé Vera brand. Sales of the Nestlé Vera brand registered an annual turnover of €80 million ($90.5 million) in 2019. The brand has a six percent share of Italy’s bottled water market. Nestlé recently announced it might sell “the majority” of its Nestlé Waters North America unit.[Image Credit: © Nestlé Waters]

Other Companies

Karma Water Says Patented “Karma Cap” Assures Delivery Of Nutritional Ingredients

Karma Water says it worked with an unnamed “global food science company” to complete a “bio-analytical study” determining that premixed vitamin drinks and kombuchas diminish sharply over time and within the date code of bottling, losing their nutritional value. “Simply put – all too often, wellness beverages do not deliver the nutrition benefits promised on their labels,” the Rochester, N.Y.-based company said. The solution to the problem is the patented protective Karma Cap, the company said, which stores key ingredients until seconds before consumption, assuring optimal nutritional potency. [Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Karma Water]

Rockstar Energy In U.K. Boosts Caffeine Across Core Range

Rockstar Energy announced a reformulation of its core range in the U.K. that results in a 25 percent boost in caffeine. The range includes best-sellers Xdurance and Punched, and Original and SuperSours (Bubbleburst and Blue Raspberry) variants. The drinks will be sold in sugar levy free 500 ml 99 p ($1.24) big can formats. Production and distribution of Rockstar for the U.K. and Ireland are franchised to Irn Bru owners A.G. Barr until 2027. In March, PepsiCo announced it had agreed to acquire Rockstar Energy for $3.85 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2020. The reformulated range will be available in July.[Image Credit: © Rockstar, Inc.]

Beverage Start-Up Focus Energy Hires Chocolatier To Develop Flavors

Las Vegas, Nev.-based Focus Energy Inc, a beverage start-up that plans to launch a line of "healthier" energy drinks late in 2020, announced an agreement with award-winning pastry chef Jin Caldwell, a Korean native and chocolate expert, to oversee the creation of new flavors. Caldwell was the head of R&D at Ethel M Chocolates (a division of Mars Inc., maker of Snickers, 3 Musketeers, M&Ms, Skittles, etc.) She worked as a master chocolatier at the Bellagio Hotel, as well as the Wynn Hotel and Casino.[Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Focus Energy Inc]

Rebbl Expands Sparkling Prebiotic Tonic Lineup With Two New Flavors

Emeryville, Calif.-based functional beverage producer Rebbl has added Tropical Twist and Lemon Lime flavors to its namesake line of sparkling prebiotic tonics. Each contains six grams of sugar and various ingredients targeting gut health. Suggested retail price of each variant is $3.49 per 15-ounce bottle. Both variants will be available at Whole Foods Markets and other retailers later this month. Earlier this year, the Rebbl added a range of keto-diet drinks to its portfolio.[Image Credit: © REBBL]

U.K.’s Jimmy’s Coffee Enters Soft Drinks Sector

Iced coffee company Jimmy's Coffee (Christchurch, U.K.) has entered the soft drinks market with a coffee-cola crossover, Jimmy's Coffee Cola, for U.K. out-of-home outlets like pubs and bars in July.  The drink contains five grams of sugar and 60 mg of caffeine per 10 cl. A cup of coffee typically contains about 40 mg of caffeine per 10cl. Coffee Cola is packaged in a 27.5 cl glass bottle and will sell for £2.95 ($3.70). Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have both teamed up with coffee partners to launch RTDs in the category. Coca-Cola sells coffee-infused Coke variants in a number of markets.[Image Credit: © Jimmy’s Iced Coffee Ltd.]

Go Girl/Silk Road Merger Creates New Energy Drinks Company

Sacramento, Calif.-based energy drink company Go Girl will merge with Silk Road Soda to form a new energy drinks company called Go Roads LLC. Silk Road Soda is the maker of Granite Bay artisan craft sodas with natural flavors and ingredients such as cucumber, pomegranate, pear, ginger, and mint. The new company will be funded by local venture capitalists, and local bottling and distribution company Nor-Cal Beverage Co. and Silk Road Soda Co. Go Girl was launched in Sacramento as a sugar-free energy drink with a cause: it donated some profits to breast and ovarian cancer research. Silk Road, now sold in bottles, will be repackaged this winter to be sold in slim 12-ounce cans.[Image Credit: © Silk Road Soda]


Beverage Companies Continue To Market Sugary Drinks To At-Risk Black, Hispanic Youth

Beverage companies spent more than a billion dollars in 2018 on television and social media designed to entice people of color to drink sugary beverages, according a report (Sugary Drinks FACTS 2020) released June 23 by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. Consumption of sugary drinks is a leading cause of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart and kidney disease – the very conditions that put minorities at high risk of dying during the coronavirus pandemic. The Center for Science in the Public Interest says the phenomenon is part of the systemic racism that has driven many protestors to the streets recently, angered by police brutality and social inequities. Black and Hispanic youth, who have higher rates of sugary drink consumption than non-Hispanic White youth, were often the primary targets of advertising campaigns, the Rudd study found, especially for regular non-diet soda, sports, and energy drinks. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Keurig Dr Pepper say they are committed to reducing the impact of their products on the health of the nation.[Image Credit: © Ernesto Rodriguez from Pixabay]
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