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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Soymilk Is Once Again A Player In The Non-Dairy Milk Segment

After ten years of sales decline in the U.S., soymilk seems to be on the rebound. In the 12 weeks leading up to January 24, soymilk sales – which dropped from a billion dollars a year a decade ago to $201 million in the U.S. early this year – rose 2.1 percent. One of the reasons for the reversal, according to Danone NA CEO Shane Grant, is that his company’s Silk Soymilk returned to growth in 2020, pulling off a “+16 point turnaround vs. 2019,” which had a major impact on the whole category. Key to the turnaround strategy for Silk soymilk has been an emphasis on performance and functionality. Partnerships with high-profile athletes such as Michael Phelps and Aly Raisman highlight soy – a complete protein - as the “original nutrition powerhouse” with a similar level of protein to dairy milk, and 50 percent more calcium. Meanwhile, U.S. retail sales of plant-based milk rose 21.9 percent to $2.5 billion in the year to Jan. 24, 2021, according to new data from SPINS.


Premium Functional Water Brand Essentia Acquired by Nestlé USA

The Bothell, Wash.-based company, which introduced ionized alkaline water more than 20 years ago, will join Nestlé USA’s portfolio of brands, including Perrier, S.Pellegrino, San Pellegrino, and Acqua Panna. Essentia uses a proprietary process to ionize water, delivering a pH of 9.5 or higher. The addition of the Essentia brand will help Nestlé “continue to transform and best position our water business for long-term profitable growth here in the U.S. and globally," said CEO Steve Presley of Nestlé USA. Nestlé said it is shifting its focus to international brands and more functional water products. Nestlé recently sold most of its Nestlé Waters NA business, excluding its international brands.  

Other Companies

Splash Beverage Extends Distribution For High-Performance Sports Drink

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based holding company of beverage brands said it has secured Gulf Distributing of Florida and Gulf Distributing of Alabama (https://gulfdistributingofalabama.com) for the company's TapouT Beverage. The line of high-performance sports drink contains a proprietary blend of essential vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, according to the company. The TapouT joins Coors, Heineken, Corona, Red Bull, Essentia Water, 7-Up, and Snapple, with statewide coverage in Alabama, including TapouT's new authorization of 74 MapCo stores in the state. 

GoodSport Nutrition Debuts Milk-Based Sports Drink

Using an ultrafiltration process to capture milk's electrolytes, vitamins and carbs, the Chicago-based beverage company has created a clear beverage with “a mouthfeel consumers would expect from a sports drink." The company launched GoodSport, a “natural sports drink made from the goodness of milk.” According to the company, the patent-pending formula and process “crack the code” on how to provide milk's hydration benefits in a clear beverage. The company says the product contains three times the electrolytes and 33 percent less sugar than traditional sports drinks. It contains calcium and B vitamins, and is lactose free and shelf stable. The beverage is available at Amazon.com and goodsport.com in 12 packs of 16.9-ounce bottles in lemon lime, fruit punch, wild berry, and citrus flavors. It will be available in select Chicago area retailers this spring with broader distribution to follow.

Chilean Food Tech NotCo Granted Patent For AI Technology

The Santiago, Chile-based company claims the technology gives it a clear edge in the race to reverse engineer animal foods and put them back together, molecule by molecule, with plants, creating next-generation meat and dairy alternatives. NotCo sells plant-based milk, burgers, mayo, and ice cream, in major retailers and QSR chains in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and soon in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Canada. The company launched NotMilk in Whole Foods Markets in the U.S., and has also landed deals with Sprouts, Wegmans, and other U.S. retailers. The company’s AI platform – dubbed “Giuseppe” –represents an attempt to understand in a very profound way what animal products are; not just the molecular information, the composition of the protein, but every dimension of the product. Giuseppe is tasked with recreating this experience with plants, analyzing large datasets to make connections that “are not logical for humans.”

Lucozade Energy Follows Citrus Chili Launch Last Year With Raspberry Ripple

The British beverage company’s new flavor is available in 380 ml price-marked pack bottles, retailing at £1.25 ($1.73), supported by a social media marketing campaign and brand activity throughout the year. The new variety joins recent Lucozade Energy flavor launches Citrus Chill and Watermelon & Strawberry Cooler.

Califia Farms Adds Two Variants To Line Of Plant-Based Milks/Creamers

The Los Angeles-based plant-based beverage company has added two variants to its line of Barista Blends: Mushroom Oat and Hemp. The plant milks, which double as creamers, join Califia's other Barista Blend beverages: Oat, Almond, and Unsweetened Almond. Mushroom Oat blend contains 3,000 mg of whole cordyceps and 2,400 mg of Lion's Mane mushrooms. The Hemp Barista variety contains calcium, omega-3 ALA fatty acids, and no added sugar. The products are available at leading national retailers, including Whole Foods Markets, and have an MSRP of $5.99. 

Red Bull Extends Editions Range With Cactus Fruit Flavor

The new Summer Edition variant from the Austrian energy drink company is available in 250 ml cans (£1.35 or $1.87), featuring a “burst of berry that blooms into an exotic fruit and violet flower taste.” The company said its Edition’s flavors grew 32.6 percent last year as shoppers make more frequent purchases. The launch is supported by in-store marketing.

Ocean Spray Cranberries Unveils Sparkling Waters Made With Fruit Juice, Caffeine

The first new product launch for 2021 from the Mass.-based growers cooperative was developed exclusively for Walmart and is available in strawberry-lemon, mango-passionfruit, mandarin-blackberry, and cranberry-pineapple flavors, each containing 50 mg of caffeine derived from black tea. Ocean Spray Wave sparkling waters contain no added sugars and are free from artificial flavors, preservatives, and sweeteners. The brand is available online and at Walmart with a suggested retail price of $4.98 per 8-pack.

Veteran Nestlé Exec Named CEO Of Flow Water

The Toronto-based spring water company named Maurizio Patarnello, who spent 27 years at Nestlé, as CEO. Patarnello was CEO and chairman of Nestlé Waters from 2017 to 2019, and before that was CEO of Nestlé Russia and Eurasia and CEO of Nestlé Ukraine and Moldova. The company says Patarnello will be tasked with scaling Flow Waters to meet its goal of becoming one of North America’s premier sustainable mineral spring water and wellness beverage companies. The company offers a line of original spring waters, flavored spring waters and collagen-infused waters. He succeeds Nicholas Reichenbach, founder and former CEO of Flow Water, who will take on a new role as the company’s executive chairman.
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