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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


New Juice Drinks To Be Introduced By Coca-Cola India’s Minute Maid Brand

As part of Coca-Cola India's "Fruit Circular Economy" initiative to make a difference in the Indian fruit ecosystem, the company will soon launch two juice-based drinks, Vita Punch and Nutri Force, under the Minute Maid brand. Vita Punch will be fortified with vitamin C, while Nutri Force will have soluble iron, zinc and vitamins. Initially, Vita Punch will debut in a “mixed fruits” flavor, though additional fruit variants like santra and mausambi are on the launch pad. [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

Coca-Cola Allegedly Sponsored Academic Research That Downplayed Soda’s Role In Obesity Epidemic

Researchers from the University of Oxford report in a scholarly journal that Coca-Cola used a “front group” purporting to be studying the causes of obesity to promote the idea that lack of exercise, not a bad diet or sugar consumption, was the real cause of the obesity problem in the U.S. The study says the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN), founded in 2014, received $1.5 million dollars from Coca-Cola by 2015 to support the research. The company distributed millions more to GEBN-affiliated academics to conduct the research. The Oxford University scientists looked at more than 18,000 pages of emails between Coca-Cola in Atlanta, West Virginia University, and the University of Colorado. Both universities were part of Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN), which ran from 2014 to 2015.[Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNIT]

Topo Chico Set To Be Coke’s Vehicle For Entry Into U.S. Hard Seltzer Market

CNBC has confirmed that Coca-Cola in 2021 will enter the burgeoning U.S. hard seltzer market with the launch of an alcoholic version of Topo Chico following a successful market test in Latin America. Coke will have a slew of competitors in the segment, especially White Claw (Mark Anthony Brands) and Truly (Boston Beer Company), which together comprise 85 percent of the category. Hundreds of other brands follow those leaders, including offerings from Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors, Constellation Brands, and dozens of craft beer companies. Data from Bump Williams Consulting show Americans spent about $3 billion on hard seltzer over the 52-week period ending July 11, 2020, with sales up 241 percent. Nielsen, however, reports that sales of hard seltzer are beginning to cool off. [Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]


Danone NA Debuts Pumpkin Spice Creamers For Autumn Season

Danone North America is introducing limited edition pumpkin spice coffee creamer, and pumpkin pie coffee creamer, in August nationwide for the autumn season with an MSRP of $3.79. Among the fall launches are International Delight Zero Sugar Pumpkin Coffee Creamers, and a $3.99 four-pack of two yogurts, Pumpkin Pie and Toasted Marshmallow. Each 5.3-ounce cup has 12 grams of protein and 80 calories. The Light & Fit Pumpkin Pie flavor is also available as a single serve for an MSRP of $1.19. Other launches include: Oikos Greek Pumpkin Pie Yogurt, So Delicious Dairy Free Caramel Apple Crumble Oatmilk Frozen Dessert, So Delicious Oatmilk Frozen Desserts crafted with oatmilk, and Silk Almond 0 g Sugar Unsweet Pumpkin Spice Creamer. [Image Credit: © Danone S.A.]

Sales Remain Level For Danone’s EDP Business, But Waters Take A Pandemic Hit

The coronavirus pandemic did almost no financial harm to Danone SA’s Essential Dairy and Plant-based (EDP) segment in the first half of its fiscal year, but drove a decline in sales for the company’s Waters business: out-of-home demand declined for single-serve bottled water. EDP posted flat sales of €6.6 billion ($7.8 billion) over last year, while Waters sales sank 21 percent to €1.85 billion ($2.19 billion) from €2.35 billion. EDP brands Silk, Horizon, Alpro, Actimel, and Danette increased in volume by double-digit percentages. The company expects at-home consumption in Europe and North America to continue for the rest of the year, which should benefit EDP. Danone did not provide financial guidance for the fiscal year because of uncertainty over COVID-19.[Image Credit: © Société Anonyme des Eaux Minérales d’Evian]

Keurig Dr Pepper

KDP, Polar Seltzer Tighten Their Manufacturing/Distribution Bonds

Burlington, Mass.-based Polar Beverages has inked a multi-year franchise distribution agreement with longtime partner Keurig Dr Pepper (Plano, Texas) under which KDP will provide national distribution to Polar Seltzer'ade, SeltzerJR, and more than 35 other varieties across all channels through KDP's direct store delivery (DSD) and manufacturing network. Polar Seltzer is the third largest branded flavored sparkling water1 in the U.S., despite availability in less than 35 percent of the country. Polar Beverages has manufactured and distributed key KDP brands in its Northeast territories for more than 30 years. Polar will continue to manufacture and distribute its sparkling water in current territories, as will select Polar distributors. [Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Polar Beverages,Keurig Dr Pepper]


Nestlé’s Pandemic Response Is To “Rethink” The Out-Of-Home Business, Not “Right-Size” It

Nestlé CEO Ulf Mark Schneider told investors recently that the company has no plans to “right-size” its business in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is definitely “rethinking” categories like coffee and water and will adapt wherever possible in the out-of-home business. That means less hotel and restaurant business “for a while going forward,” Schneider said. But he noted that many more consumers have ordered in from restaurants and dark kitchens during the crisis, so “there's almost like a blurring of the lines between what is in-home consumption and what is out-of-home consumption.” Nestlé’s out-of-home sales declined by as much as 60 percent in the first half of the year as offices, restaurants, and hotels closed. The company’s year-to-date profit increased 18 percent to 5.9 billion Swiss francs ($6.5 billion); earnings per share increased 22 percent to 2.06 Swiss francs ($2.29). [Image Credit: © Nestlé]

Iconic Nesquik Mascot Quiky Gets A Makeover For New RTD Beverages

Chase Design Group (South Pasadena, Calif.), aided by the Nestlé Design team, has revamped Nesquik’s cartoon mascot Quiky to make it more relevant for a new line of RTD beverages to be sold mostly in convenience stores. They tinkered with the mascot, simplifying colors, fonts, imaging, and character poses, transforming it into “an iconic asset using a defined silhouette that still maintains the whimsical nature of the character.” The restyled mascot will appear on the five core flavored milk selections; the three Protein Power variants will feature a banner across the middle of the bottle and a different communication hierarchy.[Image Credit: © Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.,]

Other Companies

PureHeart Energy Plans U.S. Debut Of Energy-Water Drinks

The Danish beverage company (Copenhagen) plans to introduce its two energy-water drinks via the ECRM virtual buyer-seller meet-and-greet program “Vitamin, Weight Management, Beverage, and Sports Nutrition Program” in October. The company’s Organic NRG Waters contain organic fruits, grape sugar, spring water, and caffeine from South American guarana berries. NRG Water is vegan, gluten-free, caffeinated to the level of two shots of espresso, and available in pineapple & mango and lime & mint flavors. The company hopes its products will be available soon in the U.S.[Image Credit: © GlobeNewswire, Inc.]

Luckin Coffee Chain Faces Punitive Actions After Financial Fraud Confirmed

After Chinese investigators confirmed that the Luckin Coffee chain, the country’s answer to Starbucks, had committed $300 million accounting fraud, the Ministry of Finance announced it would punish the company. The agency investigated two Luckin subsidiaries, as well as related companies and 23 financial institutions relating to the scandal, confirming that the coffee chain had fabricated sales of 2.25 billion yuan ($322 million) and revenue of 2.12 billion yuan ($304 million), and said it will move take punitive action that will be made public later. The scandal led to Washington tightening scrutiny of Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges. Luckin Coffee’s business model was built on outselling  rivals by quickly expanding its outlets and offering deep discounts to build the customer base. [Image Credit: © www.luckincoffee.com]

Value-Added Water Segment Starts To Pick Up Steam

In early July, beverage makers as varied as Nestlé, Tree Top, and newcomer Treo introduced varieties of flavored, functional water – dubbed “value-added water” – targeting both children and adults. The category includes regular and low-calorie enhanced waters, flavored water, alkaline water, and essence water. Between 2018 and 2019, Beverage Marketing Corp., which tracks the category separately from bottled water, said volume grew 8.5 percent and retail sales grew 10.6 percent, the most significant change of any other category. New entrants include Fruity Water from Nestlé SA’s Pure Life brand intended for children, and Tree Top’s (Yakima, Wash.) Fruit+Water, a low sugar beverage packaged in pouches. Chopt Creative Salad Co., recently introduced Free Rain, a functional sparkling water line that focuses on the functional benefits of energy, focus and calm.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]

Mars Unveils Another Plant-Based Milkshake In British Market

The confectionery company’s vegan chocolate oat milkshake joins its recently unveiled oat-based Galaxy and coconut-based Bounty milkshakes in the U.K. All three plant-based drinks are registered with the Vegan Society and contain no added sugar. Mars launched a vegan range of “milk” chocolate Galaxy bars in the U.K. last year in three flavors. According to the company, vegan snacks are worth £10 million ($13 million) in a £4 billion ($5.2 billion) chocolate market, so there is ample room to grow. Market research firm Mintel revealed that 23 percent of all new U.K. food product launches in 2019 were vegan; growth in the sector is expected to continue, with plant-based sales exceed £1.1 billion ($1.4 billion) by 2024. Mars Oat is available for £1.50 ($1.82) per 250 ml bottle in Asda supermarkets.[Image Credit: © Mars, Incorporated]
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