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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Molson Coors To Make, Distribute Topo Chico Hard Seltzer In U.S.

The Chicago-based beverage company has inked an exclusive agreement with the Coca-Cola Company that signals its intention to become a major player in the hard seltzer market. Under the agreement, Molson Coors will manufacture, market, and distribute in the U.S. Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, a blend of purified sparkling water, alcohol, natural flavors, and minerals “inspired by” Topo Chico sparkling mineral water, a 125-year-old brand. The hard seltzer will be developed in tangy lemon lime, exotic pineapple, strawberry guava and tropical mango flavors, and sold in 12-pack slim can variety packs. Topo Chico is the third hard seltzer brand in the Molson Coors portfolio.[Image Credit: © Molson Coors Beverage Company]


Poland Spring Will Work With University To Develop Bio-Based Packaging

The Poland, Maine-based company will collaborate with the University of Maine and its Forest Bioproducts Research Institute to evaluate and develop bio-based solutions that could serve as alternative packaging for Poland Spring products. The school will explore new possible uses of materials derived from sustainably harvested Maine wood. Poland Spring said the collaboration will assess biomaterial technologies that could serve as alternatives to petroleum-derived, non-renewable materials. This joint effort evolved after Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) sponsored a two-day bioplastics summit at the University of Maine in May 2019.[Image Credit: © PRNewsfoto/Nestlé Waters North America]

Nestlé Unveils Non-Dairy Nesquik In Europe

The Swiss food and beverage giant is expanding its range of dairy alternatives with the launch of a plant-based Nesquik drink, first in Spain, Portugal, and Hungary, then in other European countries. The drink is made with oats, peas, and sustainably-sourced cocoa, and contains less sugar than regular milk-based Nesquik. The launch in Europe follows the introduction of Nesquik GoodNes in the U.S. in January, also based on oats and peas. Nestlé also launched its first dairy alternative drink formulated for children this year, under its Ninho brand in Brazil. [Image Credit: © Nestlé]

Nestlé Opens R&D Accelerator In Switzerland

Nestlé's new R&D center, located in Konolfingen, Switzerland, is meant to drive innovation and expedite introduction of sustainable dairy products and plant-based dairy alternatives. The company says the center is a “world-class platform for start-ups, students and scientists to leverage Nestlé's unique dairy and plant protein expertise to quickly bring products from ideation to commercialization.” It is the company's largest research and development center for dairy products and plant-based dairy alternatives.  With a fully equipped test kitchen, small- to medium-scale production equipment, and a co-working office space, the center will bring novel ideas from concept to test shop in only six months, the company says.[Image Credit: © Nestlé]

Consumer Reports Says Top Water Brands Test Positive For PFAS

The consumer product testing organization found that carbonated waters from LaCroix, Topo Chico, Poland Spring, Nestlé’s Deer Park, and Perrier all have levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, called PFAS, that are slightly higher than what some scientists deem safe. Seven of 12 brands were highlighted as having higher levels of PFASs in the report. None exceeded suggested levels for tap water from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but many scientists and some state regulators believe the suggested levels are too lax. A beverage industry trade group and several of the manufacturers called the testing flawed and said their products are safe. The International Bottled Water Association said that the Consumer Reports testing is “misleading” and “not based on sound science.”[Image Credit: © LaCroix Beverages, Inc. ]

Other Companies

Bolthouse Farms Adds “Superfood Immunity” Fruit Juice To Portfolio

The new Superfood Immunity Boost fruit juice blend from the Bakersfield, Calif.-based maker of refrigerated juices and smoothies is made with elderberry, cranberry and echinacea, said to be a source of vitamins C and D, as well as zinc. Available in a 52-ounce multi-serve bottle, the new juice blend will arrive on U.S. retailer shelves in late-October. The launch follows the company’s recent introduction of two plant-based lines: Protein Keto beverages and Refrigerated Dressings.[Image Credit: © Bolthouse Farms, Inc.]

The Benefits Of Ancient Grains As Beverage Ingredients

The plant-based milk category grew five percent in the United States in 2019 to reach $2 billion in sales. A survey found that 37 percent of respondents said they drink plant-based beverages once a week or more. An often-overlooked subcategory of that market is milks made with ancient grains, including cereals such as spelt and barley and pseudo-cereals such as millet, quinoa and buckwheat. According to beverage formulators, ancient grains add texture, nutrition, and marketing appeal to drinks, especially thicker beverages such as smoothies. The Andersons (Maumee, Ohio), for example, produces ancient grain-based pre-gelatinized functional powders that enhance the texture, mouthfeel, and moisture retention of beverages such as smoothies and shakes. Healthy Food Ingredients (Fargo, N.D.), says dairy-based beverages, drinkable yogurts, or juices with pulp, tend to work best when paired with grain ingredients. [Image Credit: © bigfatcat from Pixabay]

New Beverage Launches Increasingly Contain Energy-Boosting Guayusa

Beverage formulators are turning more and more to guayusa, a type of holly tree found in the Amazon rainforest, because it delivers a healthful energy boost. Its active compounds include naturally occurring caffeine and antioxidants in the form of chlorogenic acids. Guayusa contains 20 percent more polyphenol antioxidants, double the caffeine, and 70 percent less bitter tannins than competitor yerba mate tea, making it “one of the most functional and flavor-friendly ingredients for beverage applications.” In addition, guayusa provides much higher levels of antioxidants than green tea or coffee beans. “We have seen a surge in demand for guayusa from many customers,” says Loick Fenaux, head of lifescience and nutrition for Döehler North America (Pine Brook, N.J.)[Image Credit: © runa.com]

On The Horizon: 3-D Printed Milk

Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) have developed a direct ink writing (DIW) technique to 3-D print milk products at room temperature without additives. The technology, which is now subject to “ongoing plans for commercialization,” preserves milk’s temperature-sensitive nutrients. 3-D-printed foods are usually made with selective laser sintering (SLS) and hot-melt extrusion methods, which are not compatible with temperature-sensitive nutrients, such as the calcium and protein in milk. The “novel yet simple” method can be used in formulating various nutritious foods, according to the researchers, including those served to patients in hospitals for their special dietary needs. Milk powder, for example, can be 3-D printed as a rigid enclosure and filled with soft substances such as blueberry syrup, chocolate syrup, and maple syrup. [Image Credit: © Imo Flow from Pixabay]
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