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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola European Partners Speeds Up Decarbonization Program

The British multinational Coke bottler says it is accelerating the decarbonization of its business by reducing absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent from 2019 levels across its entire value chain – including scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions – by 2030. The overall goal is to become a Net Zero business by 2040. The emissions reduction plan affects its entire value chain: ingredients, packaging, operations, transportation, and refrigeration. A major focus will be on a commitment to support strategic suppliers as they set their own science-based carbon reduction targets and use 100 percent renewable electricity. CCEP is investing €250m ($303 million) over three years to implement the plan.


Pandemic Pushes Danone SA To Restructure, Reorganize

The Paris-based food company revealed recently that the coronavirus pandemic has forced it to rethink its entire business model. With the overriding goal of returning to its pre-COVID profit margin level of approximately 15 percent, with sales growth in the three to five percent range, Danone is shifting its strategic emphasis from global to local, committing to reducing costs by $1.9 billion by 2023, and redesigning its approach to procurement, innovation, and manufacturing. As part of a restructuring and reorganization, Danone is putting research and development, sourcing, procurement and manufacturing “under the same roof,” to achieve four main goals: accelerate top-line growth through better, faster and bigger innovation; improve gross margin through efficiencies; improve the company’s supply chain; and create a single integrated team that benefits all of the company’s businesses around the world. The company plans to cut 20 percent of its SKUs down to 2,000. 


Nestlé Sees Regenerative Farming As Key To Emissions Reductions

The Swiss company says it is taking measures to halve its emissions by 2030 and achieve Net Zero by 2050. Major activities include encouraging farmers and suppliers to advance regenerative agriculture by planting millions of trees over the next decade and completing the transition to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025. The company also said it is continuously increasing the number of “carbon neutral” brands. The plan is the result of a review of Nestlé's businesses and operations to understand the depth of the challenge and determine the actions needed to address it. The company emitted 92 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, which will serve as the baseline for measuring progress. The company will invest CHF 3.2 billion ($3.6 billion) over the next five years to accelerate the plan, including CHF 1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) to spark regenerative agriculture across its supply chain. 

Nestlé To Expand Production Capacity At Wis. Nutrition Drinks Factory

The company said the $50 million expansion at the 450-employee plant, which makes medical nutrition products, nutrition drinks, and infant formulas, will create 70 jobs ranging from processing, packaging, and filling lines to mechanics and engineers. The Eau Claire facility is a zero waste-to-landfill operation that plans to be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025. Brands produced there include BOOST nutritional drinks and Gerber Good Start formulas. Following expansion, it will produce BOOST Kids Essentials and some Carnation Breakfast Essentials brands.

Other Companies

Panos Brands’ Better Than Milk Debuts In U.S.

The Rochelle Park, N.J.-based organic beverage is a plant-based milk alternative made from spring water sourced 450 meters above sea level in the Lessini Mountains of Northern Italy. The five-flavor line – available in one-liter cartons at an SRP of $3.99 – is free from gluten, dairy, lactose, soy, sulfites, carrageenan, and artificial flavors. Flavors include: unsweetened almond, almond drink, unsweetened oat, unsweetened rice + calcium drink, and rice hazelnut. All are USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, vegan, plant-based, and kosher pareve. They are packaged in recyclable cartons that are aseptic and sourced with plastic bio caps made of renewable sugar cane rather than petroleum. Panos Brands products are sold in Canada and the U.S.

Virtual Medical International To Acquire Gen X Fitness Water

The Los Angeles-based marketer of medical grade CBD oil says the acquisition of Gen X Fitness Water, a sports beverage created to help athletes maximize their workouts, fits into its business expansion model and mission to support general health and wellness. VMI hopes to expand the Gen X line with new flavors as well as a CBD-infused version. Gen X Fitness Water provides hydration during physical activity. It contains no added sugars, carbohydrates, or proteins, and no added calories.

Start-Up Ivusion Beverage Co. Launches Functional Hydration Drinks

The Irvine, Calif.-based company’s dehydration recovery solution contains electrolytes, vitamins A, C, B12, B complex, magnesium, potassium, 5 HTP, L-tyrosine, and anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea compounds. Ivusion says its drink tackles dehydration issues related to hangovers, heat exhaustion, and exercise, The drinks come in mixed berries and citrus orange flavors. Each 12-oz can contains 11 grams of organic sugar, 60 calories, and zero caffeine. They will be available beginning December 15 for a suggested retail price of $3.99 per can and $15.96 per four-pack. The beverages may be purchased on the company’s website as well as Amazon, Alibaba, and selected retailers.

V2O Works Toward National Distribution Of Its Sparkling Balsamic Water

The Oklahoma City company’s functional water is already available on the West Coast, and in Oklahoma and Texas, with new locations added every day. The water, made from barrel-aged balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, is rich in antioxidants and probiotics, low-calorie, and contains no added sugar, no artificial colors, and no preservatives. V2O is non-GMO, gluten free, vegan, and has a low glycemic index. Flavors include cranberry pear, honey ginger, and Sicilian lemon at $38 for a 12-pack. National distribution is being handled by KeHE and other regional distribution partners.

Ocean Spray To Replace Sugar With Sweet Proteins In Cranberry Juice

The New England cranberry farmer cooperative is partnering with Israeli company Amai Proteins to incorporate healthy, sweet proteins into its product portfolio. The mission of the joint development agreement is to develop cranberry juice with at least a 40 percent sugar reduction. Amai Proteins' sugar-reduction solution is a hyper-sweet protein that is thousands of times sweeter than sugar. Through “computational protein design,” the company creates proteins that fit the requirements of the market, including temperature and acid stability for better shelf-life, good taste, and affordability. The resulting designer proteins are 100 percent protein that Ocean Spray expects to be a healthy, tasty, sweetening solution.

Jones Soda Co. Names New CEO

The Seattle, Wash.-based soft drinks bottler and distributor has named Mark Murray to the roles of president and CEO, effective immediately, replacing interim CEO Jamie Colbourne and former CEO Jennifer Cue, who resigned in April. Murray has served as president of food manufacturer JGC Foods, and worked for Campbell’s Food Company, Harry’s Fresh Foods, and Kraft Heinz Food Service. Murray began working with Jones as a consultant earlier this year and was named president in September. During his time with Jones Soda, the company recorded a 17 percent year-over-year increase in Q3 turnover after six consecutive quarters of revenue decline.

Olam Coffee Turns Coffee Cherry Pulp Into Beverage Infusion Ingredient

The Healdsburg, Calif.-based company, a subsidiary of Olam Food Ingredients, says it’s not the first to see the upcycling benefits of coffee pulp, known as cascara, a usually discarded by-product of coffee plant processing. Starbucks, for example, introduced beverages sweetened with cascara syrup in the U.S. this year. But Olam says it is aggressively developing innovative applications: dry cascara can be used for tea infusions and flour; liquid cascara concentrates can be used for jams, jellies, dessert toppings, and bakery fillings; and soluble cascara powder can be used in hot and cold ready-to-drink beverages and mixes. The perceived health benefits of cascara include: more antioxidants than acai, pomegranate, and other superfruits; rich in bioactive food compounds, like polyphenols and chlorogenic acid; and about 25 percent of the caffeine content of coffee beans. 

True Citrus Launches Clean Label Drink Mixes For Kids

The Baltimore, Md.-based “wellness-centric” brand has launched True Lemon Kids, a low-sugar, clean-label powdered drink mix for children that contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors, or preservatives. The eight-ounce mix packs use colors from fruits and vegetables, offer 25 percent of the daily servings of vitamins A, C, and E; has 10 calories per serving; are sweetened with stevia and two grams of sugar; and are Non-GMO, gluten-free, and sodium-free. The mixes are available in pink lemonade, fruit punch, and blue raspberry flavors. 

Marketer Soho Waterworks Offers Promotional Services To Niche Water Bottlers

The New York-based start-up water distributor says its naturally-sourced waters come from artesian wells, deep ocean salination, naturally filtered aquifers, and glacial water. The company has launched a retail marketing campaign to educate Americans about the health and wellness benefits of its waters, which until now have been mostly confined to international tasting competitions and high-end restaurants.  The company offers an “innovative, made-to-order promotional program” that allows niche luxury water bottlers to capture an expanded share of the $18 billion bottled water market “by serving as their outsourced marketing partners.” Services include public relations and digital as well as social media marketing targeting individuals, retailers and high-end restaurants and institutions. An example client is Alaska Glacier Products (AGP), a bottler whose glacier water comes from Alaska's Eklutna Lake and contains 94 milligrams of total dissolved solids (TDS). This “provides enhanced health benefits for consumers,” Soho says.

BevCanna Enterprises To Buy Canadian Beverages Company

The Vancouver-based cannabinoid-infused beverages maker said it will acquire Naturo Group Investments, also of Vancouver, B.C. Under a three-year-old partnership agreement, BevCanna has had access to Naturo’s 40,000-square-foot beverage manufacturing facility. The proposed transaction will create a fully licensed white-label beverage manufacturing and distribution company. BevCanna will also take ownership of the Naturo flagship brand Trace, which offers, among other products, alkaline and sparkling waters. Marcello Leone, founder of Naturo and CEO of BevCanna, said the merger will lead to creation of “beverages that consumers will love, whether mineral- or cannabis-based, wellness-focused or recreational.”
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