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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola With Coffee Off To A Flying Start In U.S.

Coca-Cola has partnered with Walmart and nationwide drone services provider DroneUp to provide drone deliveries of the new Coca-Cola with Coffee from a Walmart supercenter in Coffee County, Georgia, on Jan. 26-27. Marking the debut of the product in the U.S., the drones will deliver a two-pack of Coca-Cola with Coffee and Coca-Cola with Coffee Zero Sugar for $2.32. The offer is available to those who opted in last summer to receive updates about the product launch. And beginning on Jan. 25, customers can receive a free can of Coca-Cola with Coffee, using the Ibotta app, at Walmart stores across the country. The U.S. is the fiftieth market to launch Coca-Cola with Coffee, introduced in Japan in 2018.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Keurig Dr Pepper Signs On To U.S. And Canada Plastics Pacts

The Burlington, Mass.-based beverage company has joined two regional initiatives of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's global Plastics Pact network: the U.S. Plastic Pact and the Canada Plastics Pact. Both bring together major players from across the local plastic value chain to create a circular economy for plastics. The company also recently joined Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas Alliance, which is working toward solutions that will mitigate plastic waste entering the ocean. The company has committed to converting 100 percent of packaging to be recyclable or compostable by 2025, and to use 30 percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) content across its packaging portfolio by 2025.

Monster

Monster Energy Expands Ultra Drinks Portfolio With New Flavor

The Corona, Calif.-based energy drinks company has added Ultra Gold pineapple flavor to its Monster Energy Ultra family. The new flavor contains ten calories and 150 mg of caffeine per can, and targets “the power players, the grinders, [and] the weekend warriors.” The zero-sugar Ultra Family comes in 11 varieties.

Nestle

Nescafé Sets 2025 As Deadline For Fully Responsibly Sourced Coffee

Stepping up efforts to ensure a more sustainable coffee sector, the company announced 2025 as the date it expects to have 100 percent responsibly sourced coffee. The company’s current target is tp achieve 75 percent of coffee for Nescafé products being responsibly sourced, or traceable to an identified farmer group and verified or certified by independent organizations. The company has also committed to reduce and remove carbon emissions where it sources coffee and throughout its operations. 

Other Companies

Shamrock Farms Introduces Chocolate Milk With Plant-Based Ingredients

The Phoenix, Ariz.-based dairy has introduced a chocolate milk that blends creamy dairy milk and natural, plant-based ingredients: coconut cream and almonds. Available in Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Almond Coconut flavors, Swirled contains less sugar than other chocolate milks and is free from artificial colors, ingredients, sweeteners, and growth hormones like rBST.

Fruit Flavored Drinks Offering Functional Benefits Set To Soar

Beverage flavor experts predict that a healthy mix of traditional and emerging flavor combinations are on the horizon for beverages, especially those that offer immunity, cognitive, and mood-boosting benefits. An example is acerola cherry, now gaining popularity because of its vitamin C content associated with immunity and health. Data from Innova Market Insights indicates that 60 percent of surveyed global consumers are looking for food and drink products that support their immune health.  That means domestic and exotic fruit drinks that add vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, increase the juice content of a beverage, reduce the added sugar content, and potentially reduce the caloric load. Look for watermelon, key lime, Meyer lemon, ruby red grapefruit, mango, guava, dragon fruit, paw-paw, huckleberry, yuzu, lychee, hibiscus, elderflower, and orange blossom.

Instant Coffee Maker Unveils Functional Beverages

Alpine Start (Boulder, Colo.) worked with elite Mount Everest climbers Adrian Ballinger and Cory Richards to create a line of instant beverages fortified with vitamins, adaptogens, and MCTs. Delivering “clean, optimal energy,” the new IMMUNITY + FOCUS / With Benefits line includes two flavor profiles that range from a higher caffeinated organic coffee to a low-caffeine organic matcha green tea. Both powdered instant blends are vegan, free of added sugars, and deliver adaptogenic mushrooms (organic reishi + lion's mane), MCT's (medium-chain triglycerides), and vitamins D and A.

GUTsy Captain Launches Zero-Sugar Kombuchas

The Portuguese kombucha maker has launched a range of zero-sugar and zero-calorie kombuchas in the U.K. Available in original, ginger & lemon, pomegranate, watermelon & mint, passionfruit, and raspberry flavors, the drinks are made in the same traditional way as the brand’s existing core range, but with a longer fermentation period to leave no sugar at the end. The Zero range comes in three different pack formats, including a can, PET bottle, and glass bottle, and will be available at grocery, health, and convenience retailers, including Holland & Barrett.

Flow Water Goes Public

The Toronto-based premium-water brand announced it is planning a reverse merger, with the stock expected to begin trading this spring. According to CEO Nicholas Reichenbach, the plan came together because public markets looking for sustainable investments have doubled Flow’s private valuation. “The primary reason we’re going public is because this is fundraising at the best valuation that we can get,” he told Forbes. Company sales have grown 44 percent in the past year, hitting $25 million (CAD$30 million) in 2020. Flow sales were growing eight times faster than the premium water category overall as of a year ago. Its ecofriendly packaging has been a big selling point, with customers willing to pay $2.29 for a liter.

Cascara Gaining Attention In The Beverage World

That cherry-like fruit that surrounds every coffee bean, and used to be treated as a waste product, has caught the attention of beverage makers. It has an earthy, sweet flavor that appeals to many consumers and offers some health benefits as well. According to one expert, cascara can provide added nutrition to food and beverages because it contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber. And because it is derived from coffee, it complements coffee products like ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages or cold brews. A FutureCeuticals exec says cascara innovation has “limitless potential” thanks to consumer demand for antioxidants and polyphenols.
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