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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


When It Comes To Sustainability, Companies Should Not Cater Blindly To Consumers

A former sustainability expert at Coca-Cola said recently that while companies should try to accommodate customer preferences, that accommodation should not mean compromising sustainability goals. This position contradicts what Coca-Cola’s chief sustainability officer Beatriz Perez told a recent business forum: Coca-Cola “won’t be in business if we don’t accommodate customers” who, for example, might stop drinking Coke if it no longer came in single-use plastic bottles. But, according to Dan Vermeer of Duke University, influential brands such as Coca-Cola are ideally positioned to drive shifts in consumer preferences, pushing even plastic-seeking customers to more sustainable choices. “Brands can lead customers to different choices … [by] limiting available options to more sustainable choices to shift the mainstream away from environmentally or socially damaging products.”[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]

Swire, COFCO Announce Further Investment Plans In China

Two Coca-Cola China bottling partners have announced plans to further expand production capacity and build local supply chains in the country. Swire Coca-Cola (Hong Kong) plans to put six new production lines into operation, with a total investment of 250 million yuan ($36 million) and an additional annual output value exceeding 1.7 billion yuan ($245 million). The company will also add a plastic bottle production line to its plant in central China's Hubei Province, which is expected to be operational in May 2021. COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages Ltd. (Beijing), a joint venture with Coca-Cola, is building a 270 million yuan ($39 million) factory in southwestern province of Guizhou, its first in that region. The new plant, scheduled for operation by the end of 2021, will start with two advanced PET soda production lines with an annual capacity of 170,000 tons.[Image Credit: © Swire Coca-Cola HK]


Nestlé’s Lineup Of Plant-Based Foods And Beverages Continues To Grow

The company, which offers a variety of plant-based dairy alternatives made from rice, oat, soy, coconut, and almonds, said it plans to launch a family of Starbucks non-dairy creamers in the U.S. in August, a vegan Carnation condensed milk alternative in the U.K. in September, and a range of non-dairy cheeses to go with its plant-based burgers. Development of the plant-based foods, which is supported by proprietary technologies such as plant-protein extraction, fermentation, and thermal treatment, is focused on creating products with a creamy mouthfeel, good nutritional profile, and pleasant flavors. A key focus area, the company says, is pea protein: its Ninho Forti+, launched in Brazil last year, and Nesquik GoodNes, launched in the U.S. this year, are both oat- and pea-based beverages. Its newest pea protein-based drink, Nesfit, was introduced in Brazil. [Image Credit: © Nestlé]

Other Companies

BNB Global Brings Cold-Brewed Coffee Tied In With Korean Boy Band BTS To U.S.

The California wholesale food and beverage distributor is introducing a cold-brew coffee named after a popular seven-member boy band BTS (or Bangtan Boys) to the U.S. from South Korea. The “Cold Brew BTS special package” includes concept photos of BTS' album Map Of The Soul. Cold Brew BTS is “characterized by a smooth, clean, and refreshing flavor without a bitter taste.” The product debuted last year as a refrigerated beverage, but is now available at room-temperature, making it more convenient for storage and handling. BNB Global hopes to expand distribution to medium and large supermarket chains in the U.S. by the end of the year.[Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/BNB Global]

Canadian Brewery Revives 19th Century Recipe For Sarsaparilla

Canadian beer brewer Cold Garden has revived a recipe for a beverage associated mostly with the nineteenth century the Old West -- sarsaparilla, known also as “cronk.” A Calgary researcher sparked interest in what was once a small (or weak) beer, when he tweeted vintage ads from 1880s editions of the Calgary Herald. The micro-brewery Cold Garden Beverage Company decided to replicate the vintage recipe, and the result appeared recently. Brewer Trevor Cox said following the recipe wasn’t easy but, "as a brewing company, we wanted to do something different from beer." The company’s first batch of 1,800 bottles of four-percent ABV Cronk debuted on August 19. The concoction is made with molasses – it’s fermented out, yielding some alcohol -- plus yeast, green tea, chamomile, cinnamon, ginger, and sarsaparilla root. The original recipe called for sassafras, which is a form of narcotic and potentially carcinogenic, and therefore not a legal ingredient in any alcoholic beverages in Canada.[Image Credit: © Cold Garden Beverage Company]

Cascadia Managing Brands Buys Into Minority-Owned BFY Beverages Company

Krisp Drinks (Harrisburg, Pa.), marketer of three lines of better-for-you beverages, has attracted the financial attention of Ramsey, N.J.-based Cascadia Managing Brands. Cascadia announced it has taken an equity position in the minority-owned company founded by Sean L. Banks. Krisp Drinks produces three lines of beverages: Krisp Flava ($1.89 per 16.9 fl oz. bottle), a line of flavored and sweetened non-sparkling spring water; Krisp Fruitish (99¢), spring water available in grape, fruit punch, coconut, mixed berry, strawberry flavors; and watermelon; and Krisp Natural spring water.[Image Credit: © drinkkrisp]

Better Booch Expands U.S. Distribution Footprint

The Huntington Park, Calif.-based kombucha maker said its distribution network now includes more than 2,000 retail locations, and includes new partnerships with Whole Foods Southern Pacific, Southwest and Northern California regions. Products will also be available soon in Central market, Nugget Markets, and New Leaf stores in California. It has inked new deals with distributors Iris Nova in the Northeast and Dynamo in Texas. The brand says over the past year it experienced 320 percent growth of its canned tea-based kombucha line, which is available in eight SKUs (citrus sunrise, golden pear, ginger boost, morning glory, rose bliss, cherry retreat, and hola horchata). Each 16-ounce can contains 50 calories and 10 grams of sugar (SRP $2.99).[Image Credit: © Better Booch]

Sports Drinks Deliver Functional Ingredients For Every Workout Phase

Innovation in sports nutrition beverages is focused these days on ingredients that deliver workout hydration with varied flavors, consistencies, and functional claims. Companies are creating products for consumption before, during, and after workouts. Ingredients for pre-workout beverages include caffeine, whey protein, and leucine for muscle protein synthesis. During workouts the emphasis is on delivering electrolytes, various forms of glucose, and caffeine; and post-workout (recovery) drinks feature proteins, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) like leucine, isoleucine and valine, and creatine monohydrate, omega-3 fatty acids, collagen, sunflower seed proteins, black cumin oil, carnitine, vitamin D, and high-antioxidant fruit juices.[Image Credit: © Ascent Protein]

Joii Barley Water Debuts Organic Barley-Based Beverages

The Charleston, S.C., company’s new line of functional waters promises plant-based hydration made with organic, non-GMO barley grains and flavored with fresh juices, botanicals, and adaptogens. According to the company, barley water contains essential vitamins and nutrients that promote digestion, preserve skin elasticity, boost the immune system, and support heart and kidney health.  Three variants are available: Digestion (orange with ginger, turmeric, & rose); Zen (lemon with ginger & orange blossom), and Detox (lime with matcha & liquid chlorophyll). Each 12-ounce bottle provides two grams of fiber , two grams of protein, and seven grams of sugar (60 calories).[Image Credit: © Joíí Barley Water]

Avocado Seed Beverage Start-Up Partners With Food Delivery Start-Up

Dubbed Reveal, the Phila., Pa.-based company’s drink is made from upcycled avocado seeds collected from local restaurants that would otherwise dispose of them. The company freezes the seeds, extracts their antioxidants in a process for which it has a provisional patent, and uses that as a base for the drink. The remaining pits are then composted. The drink blend, manufactured at the Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University, also contains apple cider vinegar and is available in rose mint, mango ginger, and grapefruit lavender flavors. It will be available in 12-ounce bottles exclusively through the new goPuff delivery service for $3.79. The beverage (and the delivery company) are the creations of Drexel University graduates. [Image Credit: © Hidden Gems]

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Company Expands Line Of Holistic Cold-Pressed Juices

The squeezed-fresh juice company (Fort Pierce, Fla.) said it is expanding its Holistic Line with the introduction of Nourish and Immunity. Nourish contains green superfoods such as cucumbers, kale, spinach, pineapple, celery, lime cilantro, jalapeno. Immunity contains natural vitamin C from oranges and tangerines, as well as pineapple, aloe vera, and sweet basil. The company says it experienced a 126 percent sales increase in 2019 due to distribution gains, promotional activity, and consumer interest in juice. The functional Holistic Line, which includes Resilient, Relax, Purify, and Aura blends, grew four times faster than the functional beverage category as a whole, according to Natalie’s. The juices are available nationwide at $2.99 for 10 ounces. [Image Credit: © Natalie's Orchid Island Juice Co.]

BodyArmor Inks Sponsorship Deal With USTA

The sports drink brand’s multi-year deal with the U.S. Tennis Association makes BodyArmor Lyte the official sports drink of the U.S. Open tennis championship. As a result, BodyArmor products will be made available to players during U.S. Open matches and practices, in locker rooms, and in training facilities at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York, from August 31 to September 13. Spectators will not be allowed, and there will only be a limited media presence. BodyArmor said it would activate the USTA deal with digital and social integrations, mass media, and retail activity with Team BodyArmor athletes and partners. The winners of this year’s singles and doubles competitions will receive less money than in 2019 due to the financial effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic.[Image Credit: © BA Sports Nutrition, LLC.]
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