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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola’s Packaging Strategy Swerves From Plant-Based To Fully Recycled Bottles

Once a strong advocate for plant-based bottles that don’t use fossil-fuel materials, the company is moving to the use of 100 percent recycled plastic bottles in the U.S. The tectonic shift in sustainability strategy is a step toward reduction of plastic waste pollution by cutting the use of new plastic more than 20 percent across its North American portfolio compared to 2018. “The reality is that that plant-based material, as it’s turned into plastic, is really still a virgin plastic,” said Coca-Cola sustainability chief. “That’s not something consumers will stand for anymore.”

Topo Chico “Twist” Range Expanded

Coca-Cola’s Topo Chico sparkling water portfolio in the U.S. now contains a tangerine variety. Zero-calories, zero-sweetener Twist of Tangerine joins Twist of Lime and Twist of Grapefruit. The new flavor is available now in single glass bottles, as well as packs of four and 24 at Sprouts Farmers Markets nationwide. The beverage will roll out in Whole Foods Market stores this spring.

Complying With South African Law, Coca-Cola Bottler To Sell Stake To Locals

The deal, which is valued at $669 million, fulfills a condition of Coke’s buyout of former partner SABMiller, now a part of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV. It puts Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa Co. (Port Elizabeth) in compliance with South African policies that prescribe minimum holdings in companies for Blacks and other groups that faced economic discrimination under apartheid. It will increase employee ownership of the company: employees will control about 15 percent of the stock, up from 5 percent. Broad-based Black ownership will increase to 20 percent, with the balance owned by outside investors.

BA Sports Nutrition Debuts Sports Drink With Natural Caffeine

The New York-based beverage company, partly owned by Coca-Cola, has introduced Bodyarmor Edge, a sports drink containing natural caffeine and no artificial colors. Available in Berry Blitz, Tropical Chaos, Power Punch, and Orange Frenzy flavors, the Edge line is said to offer the same hydration benefits as Bodyarmor Sports Drink, including a coconut water base, 1,000 mg of electrolytes, 100 mg of natural caffeine, plus antioxidants, natural flavors, and sweeteners. Bodyarmor Edge is available in U.S. stores and on Amazon.com.


Nestlé To Focus On Three Ingredients To Achieve Net-Zero Emissions By 2050

As part of its plan to reach net-zero emissions in Europe, Middle East, and North Africa (EMENA) by 2050, the Swiss company is focusing on cocoa, coffee, and milk as “key ingredients.” Because nearly two-thirds of its carbon emissions are linked to agricultural production, supplier farmers will transition to regenerative agriculture to promote healthy soils and improve farmer incomes. In the EMENA countries, the company will work toward net-zero dairy farms and sustainably sourced cocoa and coffee. Nespresso has pledged that “every cup” of its coffee will be carbon neutral by 2022. The company says its pilot projects – Climate-friendly Milk in Switzerland and First Milk in the U.K. – have already achieved “strong results” in reducing carbon emissions on more than 220 dairy farms.

Carnation Breakfast Essentials Unveils Drinks With Kellogg Cereal Flavors

Nestlé Health Science’s Bridgewater, N.J.-based Nutritional Drinks unit has worked with Kellogg’s and General Mills to create nutrient-rich drinks that capture the flavors of several iconic breakfast cereals. The new Carnation Breakfast Essentials Flavored Nutritional Drinks contain the same protein (10 grams), vitamins, and minerals per serving as the original drinks, but come in flavors like Kellogg’s Froot Loops, Krave, and Frosted Flakes, as well as General Mills’ Golden Grahams. The drinks are available in 6-count RTD packs at Walmart stores in the U.S. and on Walmart.com. The Frosted Flakes flavor will be available in June. The SRP for the nutritional drinks at Walmart is $6.75 per 6-pack.

Nongfu Spring

Nongfu Spring Stock Triples In Value

The stock of the Hangzhou, China-based bottled water company, which raised $1.24 billion in an IPO in Hong Kong last September, has nearly tripled in value to roughly $85 billion over the past five months. “Investor exuberance,” The Wall Street Journal says, coupled with a paucity of tradeable shares, has inflated the stock value. Investors are especially impressed with the company’s high profit margins and growth potential in areas such as flavored-tea drinks. In addition, the Nongfu Spring water brand is easily recognized and is considered immune from economic downturns and heightened geopolitical tensions. The lack of tradeable shares is due mainly to the Hong Kong exchange’s allowance of a smaller public float, which the company says is now around 14 percent.

Other Companies

Masq Unveils Yerba Mate-Based Hard Tea With Adaptogens

The Winchester, Va., company’s carbonated four percent ABV ready-to-drink tea is flavored with organic “superfoods,” sweetened with blue agave and monk fruit, and contains an herbal adaptogen blend. Masq is offered in Lemon-Ginger, Dragon Fruit-Acai, and Blueberry-Lavender flavors in a 4-pack of 12 oz cans for a suggested retail price of $9.99 in Southeast and Midwest U.S. states.

FreshCap Mushrooms Introduces Functional Mushroom Drinks

The Canadian mushroom-based nutrition company (Edmonton, AB) has launched three instant functional mushroom beverage products. The new beverages are Mushroom Coffee (blend of coffee and mushrooms for energy, cognition, immune support), Focus Lion's Mane Elixir (caffeine-free drink with mushroom and Neumentix spearmint extract for focus), and Unwind Reishi Elixir (mushroom and botanicals for relaxation). The are available online in boxes of 15-20 stick packs, each emptied into a mug of hot water. 

Talking Rain Pursues Environmental Cleanup Projects, Sustainability

The Preston, Wash.-based maker of Sparkling ICE says it is assuming responsibility for three land cleanup projects in Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Michigan that will offset 100 percent of the company's Scope 1 and 2 emissions, most of which come from transportation of its products to retailers nationwide. The company says independent research, as well as its own consumer research and customer feedback, has found significant support for sustainability efforts. A joint study by IBM and the National Retail Federation that polled 3,500 North American consumers found that nearly 70 percent of respondents prefer sustainable brands and that it is important for companies and brands to be eco-friendly. The company says its sustainability mission of offsetting its carbon emissions has become particularly important as it continues to grow and reach more consumers with an expanding portfolio of products.


Thai Beverage To Spin Off Brewery Business In Potential $2B IPO

The Singapore beverage company plans to list its brewery unit on the local stock exchange after receiving a no-objection letter. ThaiBev’s plan to spin off its brewery business was put on hold last year after the coronavirus pandemic hit its business, with bars and restaurants closing and alcohol sales banned. ThaiBev is best known for producing Chang, a lager whose green bottles are adorned with an image of two elephants. In 2017, ThaiBev’s Vietnamese affiliate bought a controlling stake in Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp., the country’s largest brewer, for about $4.8 billion. The beer business to be listed had revenues of nearly $3.5 billion for the fiscal year that ended September 30.
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