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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Grape-Flavored Fanta Variant Sees Booming Sales In Japan

Japanese consumers in their 30s and 40s are driving a resurgence in sales of Fanta Premier Grape, a new soft drink targeting adults that was released in March. The Coca-Cola (Japan) Co. brand had shipped 31 million bottles by the end of November, making it the biggest hit of all 90 products in Fanta's lineup sold during the past decade. According to reports, the soft drink's popularity is a relief for the company which had hoped to regain customers from the one-time “Fanta generation.” Fanta Premier Grape contains 13 percent fruit juice and is made using grapes processed within 24 hours of harvesting. The soft drink comes in 380 ml bottles and sells at a suggested retail price of 150 yen ($1.45) per bottle.[Image Credit: © Coca-Cola(Japan)Company, Limited]


Danone NA Launches Protein-Rich Sports Drink In Silk Range

The Broomfield, Colo.-based dairy and plant-based food and beverage company has launched Silk Ultra, containing 20 grams of of plant-based protein as well as calcium and vitamins A, D, B2 and B12. The drink is available in multi-serve cartons in Creamy Chocolate, Unsweet, and Original flavors. The marketing campaign features endorsements from Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Michael Phelps and world champion gymnast Aly Raisman. The two will be featured in ads on the Silk website and in other marketing channels in 2021. Silk Ultra is available in multi-serve cartons (MSRP: $4.99 / 59-oz. carton) in the refrigerated section at U.S. grocery stores. [Image Credit: © PRFoto/WhiteWave Services, Inc.]


Monster Beverage Withdraws Four Tainted Energy Drink Brands From Sale In Ireland

High levels of the food additive propylene glycol were found in four Monster Energy drinks in Ireland, prompting their removal from sale. The tainted drinks were: Ripper Juice Monster Energy + Juice, Lewis Hamilton Monster Energy, Espresso Monster Vanilla Espresso Triple Shot, and Espresso Monster Salted Carmel Triple Shot. The removal affects all batches and best before dates. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland said “the implicated drinks are not expected to cause any harmful effects." Propylene glycol is generally recognized as safe and is approved by the FDA as an additive that absorbs extra water and maintains moisture in certain medicines, cosmetics, or food products, such as coffee-based drinks, liquid sweeteners, ice cream, whipped dairy products, and soda.[Image Credit: © Monster Energy]

Other Companies

Sunshine Beverages Hires Market Intelligence Firm To Drive Growth

The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based maker of BFY energy drinks and sparkling energy waters has hired Inmar Intelligence, a market data services company, to help Sunshine reach “a new type of energy drink consumer.” According to Sunshine, that new type of buyer is someone who needs energy but isn’t interested in traditional energy drinks containing excessive amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. Sunshine’s products are gaining popularity with active, health-minded consumers because each 12-ounce can contains vitamins and electrolytes, but only 70 mg of natural caffeine. Inmar leverages its consumer data to uncover insights into anticipated behaviors, attitudes, and preferences of Sunshine and category shoppers. Using that data, Sunshine is driving incremental traffic to beverage aisles, thereby contributing to the growth of the overall category. Sunshine is available in more than 3,500 retail stores and will be available in 2021 in select Walmart and Wakefern stores.  [Image Credit: © Sunshine Beverages, LLC]

Flow Alkaline Spring Water Unveils Immune-Supporting Water

The Toronto-based company’s Vitamin Infused Water, available in three flavors, contain a vitamin and nutrient blend that includes: ascorbic acid (vitamin C), zinc gluconate, niacinamide (vitamin B3), calcium D- pantothenate (vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), biotin (vitamin B7), folic acid, and thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1). Each flavor – cherry, citrus and elderberry – is available in a 500-ml Tetra Pak carton made from nearly 70 percent renewable materials and is fully recyclable. Suggested retail pricing for a single 500-ml unit is US $2.99.[Image Credit: © Flow Water Inc./GlobeNewswire, Inc.]

Laird Superfood Adds To Functional Coffee Offerings

The Sisters, Ore.-based plant-based and functional food company has launched Focus Coffee, a blend of botanicals and a functional mushroom extract that was “created to fuel your focus.” Focus Coffee ingredients includes medium roast ground organic Peruvian coffee, rhodiola extract, organic lion's mane mushroom extract, and coffee cherry. The product is priced at $17.95 for 12 oz. bags. The coffee is available on Laird’s website.[Image Credit: © Laird Superfood]

Wrestler/Actor’s ZOA Energy To Debut In March

The new better-for-you energy drink created by a team that includes a venture capitalist and several body builders – including actor and retired professional wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – contains an array of immune-supporting nutrients. On the list of ingredients are 160 mg of caffeine from unroasted green coffee and green tea extract, 250 mg of branched-chain amino acids, and 100 percent of the daily value of vitamin C (from camu camu, acerola, and asorbic acid), turmeric, vitamins D, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12, choline, potassium, magnesium and electrolytes. The 16-ounce energy beverage will be available in five varieties: original, pineapple coconut, super berry, wild orange and lemon lime. The original and wild orange varieties contain zero sugar. The Molson Coors Beverage Co. will be ZOA Energy’s exclusive distribution partner for all retail locations.[Image Credit: © Molson Coors Beverage Company]

Ribena Adds Single Cans To Sparkling Beverage Line

The Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I brand’s single can format will include sparkling Blackcurrant and Sparkling Raspberry variants available in 330 ml cans for 80p ($1.09) and 65p ($0.88). The format joins existing 500 ml and two-liter bottles, and multi-pack cans. A brand representative at Suntory said flavored carbonates are experiencing growth of 4.2 percent, while 330 ml cans are growing at 7.3 percent. “Combining Ribena Sparkling’s performance and the opportunity that exists within single cans, it made sense to bring out Ribena Sparkling in this format,” the rep added.[Image Credit: © Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ltd.]

U.K.’s Fentimans Establishes U.S. Subsidiary

The British soft drinks company is setting up a U.S. operation in Pittsburgh, Pa., to provide the company a “clear focus and strategy, giving access to both the on and off trade.” The company is targeting growth in the U.S. after it decided to switch from a distributor model to a wholly-owned subsidiary model. Noting that 2020 brought unique challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic, the company continued to manage cash while investing in future growth. “Despite the closure of hospitality for much of 2020, both in the U.K. and internationally, we have traded well and this has underpinned overall performance across 2020,” the company said in a statement.[Image Credit: © Fentimans]

Sparkling Pineapple-Based Probiotic Beverage Offers New Take On Tepache

Los Angeles-based HERE Studio and Red Decimal’s De La Calle is a sparkling fermented and probiotic pineapple drink that updates the traditional Mexican beverage Tepache. The companies are know for launching several health food brands, including Kevita, Juice Served Here, Forager, and VINA. De La Calle's Tepache is available in five flavors made with fresh, organic pineapples, turbinado sugar and tamarind. It is certified organic, fermented, probiotic, good for the gut, less than 40 calories, low in sugar, and rich in vitamins C & D, the company says. The five flavors include Moderno (orange turmeric), Original (ginger manzana), Tradicional (pineapple spice), Picante (mango chili), and Regional (tamarind citrus). They retail for $3.29 a can the company’s website, at Erewhon markets in Southern California, and soon in two regions of Whole Foods Markets by March. A national distribution  strategy is slated for the rest of the year at grocery, grocery delivery, and national restaurant chains.[Image Credit: © DE LA CALLE]

Husky Says Its Coffee Cherry-Based Tea Is Available Now

The Palm Beach, Fla.-based company’s RTD sparkling tea made from the husk of dried coffee cherries contains a proprietary tea concentrate brewed from organic coffee fruit, sparkling water, and vitamin-rich citrus, Available now online and at select retailers, Husky comes in grapefruit, orange, and lemon flavors. Two percent of sales are donated to Husky’s partner farms in Costa Rica, Colombia, Honduras, and Brazil that provide the dried skin of the coffee fruit, known as cascara in Spanish, a usually-discarded byproduct of traditional coffee bean harvesting. [Image Credit: © Husky Beverages Inc.]

Daily Harvest Launches Dairy Alternative In Form Of Frozen Wedges

The subscription-based, plant-centric meal company’s new milk alternative Mylk is packaged as frozen wedges that contain only ground almonds, pink sea salt and vanilla bean powder. The product is prepared by blending with water. The product is launching with almond and almond vanilla flavors, but the company says two more – cashew and cashew vanilla – will be available “in the coming months.” The company says Mylk is made with 100 percent transitional organic almonds without harmful chemicals. The five-year-old company, based in New York, sells more than 85 items made with 95 percent organic ingredients and no fillers, gums, refined sugars, stabilizers or artificial ingredients. A package of Mylk retails for $7.99.[Image Credit: © Daily Harvest]

Organic Valley Debuts Fat-Free Grassmilk

The Wisconsin-based farmers cooperative’s addition to its 100 percent grass-fed milk line is Organic Valley Fat Free Grassmilk. According to the company, demand for milk from grass-fed cows is on the rise: it has experienced a three-year CAGR) increase of 27 percent. Cows that produce Organic Valley milk are fed 100 percent grass and dried forages and never fed grain. Organic Valley Fat Free Grass Milk has an SRP of $5.99 for each half-gallon, and will arrive on store shelves this month. [Image Credit: © Organic VAlley]
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