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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola’s “Holistic” Strategy Of Achieving Corporate Water Security

The new water strategy, developed after detailed water risk assessments and shaped by feedback from bottling partners, NGOs, governments and peer companies, focuses on reducing shared water challenges around the world; enhancing community water resilience with a focus on women and girls; and improving the health of priority watersheds. Water stewardship has led to some major achievements since 2010: as of 2019, the company had improved water use efficiency by 18 percent. The strategy acknowledges the growing urgency of shared water risks and the need for systemic action across the value chain, including at bottling plants and among producers of agricultural ingredients like cane sugar, oranges, and apples.

Coca-Cola Successfully Applies Behavioral Psychology To Package Design

When Coke Zero switched from the all-black can in 2018 to one with a narrow black band at the top, it was a classic example of the successful application of behavioral psychology, according to Andrew Wardlaw of British branding agency MMR. The expanded wall of Coke Zero red cans on shelves made Coke Zero easier to buy. It promoted healthier choices “by making shopper decisions feel less polarizing.” And it reminded thirsty shoppers of Classic Coke. Creativity specialist Sara Garcia of the Together Agency (U.K.) says associative learning theory, with its decades of robust experimental studies, teaches that learned expectations can be transferred between different stimuli that are perceptually similar. “By making new Coke Zero even more perceptually similar to Coke Classic, we can estimate that consumers’ expectations about these two products will align more closely,” she says.

Coca-Cola Japan Launches Subscription Service With Vending Machines

Vending machine drink sales in Japan have fallen 35 percent over the past year as the pandemic forced people indoors and away from crowded city centers. To revive the business, the Japanese Coke unit has come up with a $25 a month subscription service via its Coke On smartphone app. Users can pick up one drink a day – including soft drinks, tea, coffee, etc. – from any of the 340,000 vending machines in the country. The Coke On Pass service launches in May with a half-off promotional offer ($12.40) to attract consumers to the app, which had 25 million downloads as of January.


Russian Beverage Factory Now Producing Danone’s Alpro Plant-Based Drinks

Danone’s Labinsk plant in southern Russia is now producing plant-based Alpro drinks. The company launched an investment project in late 2019 whose goal was to build a production line at the facility in Krasnodar Krai, the first stage of which has now been completed and is capable of producing 7,000 units of product an hour in one-liter and 0.75-liter packaging. It is making oat, almond, and coconut drinks, the first time the beverages have been produced in the country. Danone is also investing $14.3 million in a new plant-based production line at its Parets del Vallès factory in Spain.


Nestlé Australia’s New “Social” Drinks Use Upcycled Coffee Berry Husks

The Rhodes, NSW-based company says its caffeinated sparkling Nescafé Nativ Cascara drinks, made from upcycled coffee berry husks, are a “social beverage” – “neither coffee nor tea” – available in Classic, Kakadu Plum, and Lemon Myrtle & Pepperberry flavors. The drinks use the discards from coffee harvesting, cutting food waste and giving growers a new business opportunity. Made with 99 percent Australian ingredients, the cascara drinks are packaged in recyclable materials with a paper label. All three flavors are gluten-free and suitable for vegans, and are available across IGA outlets nationwide, as well as via Amazon. 

Nestlé SA Targets Pandemic-Wary Office Workers With Contactless Coffee Machines

As vaccination campaigns sharpen the prospect of a post-pandemic life, Nestlé is eyeing opportunities to expand in offices while catering to at-home demand with new capsules and types of soluble coffee. Though the out-of-home segment could take two to three years to return to pre-COVID levels, the maker of the Nespresso and Nescafé brands wants to reassure cautious office workers with the new generation of touchless coffee machines, controllable with smartphones. They are being distributed globally, with introductions in Russia and China in coming weeks. The company sees opportunities for growth in the U.S., especially with capsules and soluble coffee, and big growth prospects in China, where average coffee consumption is just seven cups per person a year. India and Africa are also priority markets for expansion. Looming on the horizon, however: the coffee supply is tightening.

Nespresso Ups Production Capacity For Coffee Machines In Switzerland

The Nestlé coffee machine and coffee brand is setting aside $126 million to build out a key Swiss production center to keep up with demand for its coffees and support international development. The factory will add three production lines and expand its distribution center, augmenting current logistics capacity. The Avenches, Switzerland. production center serves as Nespresso's global distribution center, shipping capsules to more than 80 countries. It produces Nespresso Original and Professional coffees as well as Starbucks by Nespresso. The expansion will start in July 2021 and will be fully operational by September 2022. The new production lines will be up and running by March 2022.

Other Companies

New Flavors, Healthier Offerings, Will Drive CSD Sales In 2021

Excluding traditional sugary beverages, carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) – dominated by industry giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo – did pretty well in pandemic-battered 2020, thanks to successful flavors, better-for-you products, and innovative packaging. While CSDs lost ground to BFY beverages such as bottled water, the $30.5 billion CSD category grew 11.4 percent in multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ending January 23, according to Nielsen data. Demand is rising for specialized products, or those that are made with less processed ingredients, such as craft sodas made with cane sugar or carbonated beverages that lack sweeteners altogether such as Spindrift. As to flavors, cream soda is No. 1 in multi-outlets, with $406 million in sales and triple-digit growth of 116 percent in multi-outlets; ginger beer sales were up 36 percent. Beverage companies are striving for more “sizzle and pop” innovation within the CSD category, such as Coca-Cola with Coffee and Coca-Cola with Coffee Zero Sugar. 

Quebec Bottled Water Company Naya Waters Sold

Champlain Financial Corporation and supply chain specialist GefCo have acquired the Mirabel-based bottled spring water company for an undisclosed sum. According to Montreal-based private holding company Champlain, Naya will now be able to accelerate development and promotion of new products and packaging. Naya has partnerships with retailers across Canada..

U.K.’s Highland Spring Adds Flavored Sparkling Waters

The Scottish supplier of bottled water says its Highland Spring Flavored Sparkling Water will be available in April in Pear & Elderflower, Rhubarb & Ginger, and Blackberry, Plum & Hibiscus flavors in individual 330 ml cans ($1.59). The Pear & Elderflower and Blackberry, Plum & Hibiscus will also be available in 4x330 ml multi-packs ($4.48). An advertising campaign along with social media, digital, and in-store promotional activities will support the launch.

New RTD Cold-Brew Coffees From Starbucks

The Seattle-based coffee shop chain’s new line of beverages target the 72 percent of households – according to industry data – that have never tried a ready-to-drink coffee product. The line was developed after extensive market research showing that consumers want an affordable smooth coffee with a small amount of milk and flavor, no preservatives, and lower sugar and calories. Cold brew has apparently become more appealing to those not drinking RTD coffee, so the R&D team began with a cold-brew coffee base then added flavor profiles inspired by popular cold coffee beverages from Starbucks coffee shops. Cold & Crafted is available in: Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Vanilla, Coffee with a Splash of Milk & Mocha, and Coffee Sweetened Black varieties. The vanilla and mocha flavors contain 90 calories and 15 grams of sugar; the black variety contains 50 calories and 10 grams of sugar. They retail for around $3 per 11-oz bottle at grocery stores and convenience stores.

Drop In Profit In 2020 Does Not Daunt Fever-Tree

The London-based upmarket mixers company sees the end of pandemic lockdowns as cause for optimism: it expects the second half of 2021 to see an upturn in out-of-home spending. The company is confident that revenue in 2021 will rise between 12 percent and 16 percent with gross margins similar to those in 2020. Market researchers have found that a quarter of all U.K. households plan to spend at least 25 percent of the additional savings they have built up while at home during the pandemic. On-trade beverages previously accounted for about 45 percent of Fever-Tree’s global revenues, but they slumped 62 percent last year. The company benefited from the switch to home consumption during the lockdown – sales were up 22 percent – despite its premium pricing. Fever-Tree says it ended the year in the U.K. with 40.1 percent of the mixers category by value compared with Schweppes at about 33 percent. In the U.S., as spirits volumes grew so did demand for premium mixers. 
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