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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Quincey Says Coca-Cola Will Have To Hike Prices

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said the company will be raising prices on its beverages to offset the effects of rising product costs. Coke last reported raised prices in 2018, citing the effect of the Trump administration’s aluminum tariffs. The company is “well-hedged” in 2021, he said, but commodity cost pressure is building for 2022, “so there will have to be some price rises.” The company will have to focus on package sizes to “optimize the price points for consumers.” During the pandemic, Coke switched to larger bulk packaging to cater to stay-at-home customers stocking up at the supermarket. But it’s likely that as the COVID crisis eases, smaller packaging will return.

Coca-Cola To Sell Some Of Its Stake In African Bottler

Coca-Cola is expected to sell a portion of its holdings in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) when that company launches an IPO in the next 18 months on the Amsterdam and Johannesburg exchanges. The company said it had not yet decided on the size of the stake to be divested, and would work with CCBA on the IPO process over the next year and a half. The IPO is expected to pave the way for CCBA, Africa’s biggest bottler, to operate as an independent Africa-focused, South African-headquartered, managed, and domiciled business. Timing of the IPO will be determined by a number of factors, including macroeconomic conditions. CCBA, formed in 2016, is 66.5 percent owned by Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola Reports Flat Demand, Rising Sales, Lower Profit

Net sales for the company were up five percent in the first quarter to $9.02 billion, beating analyst expectations of $8.6 billion. Net income, however, was $2.25 billion, down from $2.78 billion a year ago. Quarterly demand was unchanged from a year earlier – North America and Western Europe are taking longer to recover – but demand improved every month of the quarter, driven by markets like China where uncertainty tied to the virus fell. The company’s sparkling soft drinks segment, which includes its namesake soda, saw volume growth of four percent in the quarter. Coke’s hydration, sports, coffee, and tea segment was the hardest hit, with volume shrinking 11 percent. The coffee business declined 21 percent due to the virus impact on Costa cafes. 


Two Low-Carbon, Drought-Resistant Coffee Varieties Developed By Nestlé

Scientists at the Swiss company say they have developed a new generation of low-carbon coffee varieties by using classical non-GMO breeding and by harnessing the plant's natural biodiversity. The two new Robusta varieties deliver up to 50 percent higher yields per tree using the same amount of land, fertilizer, and energy. The result is a 30 percent reduction in the CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) footprint of the green coffee beans. Since green beans account for 40-80 percent of the CO2e emissions of a cup of coffee, the new varieties significantly reduce the carbon footprint associated with coffee consumption, according to the company.

Other Companies

Rubicon Drinks Launches Sparkling Beverage Range

The two sparkling water variants from the AG Barr (U.K.) subsidiary known for fruity soft drinks include Rubicon Sparkling Raspberry & Pineapple and Rubicon Spring Pineapple Passion. The raspberry/pineapple flavor is available in 330 ml, 500 ml, and two-liter (£1.49, or $2.08) price-marked packs; Pineapple Passion is available in £1 500 ml plain and price-marked packs beginning this month. Rubicon Spring will be supported by a sampling campaign over the summer alongside a digital campaign and Rubicon Sparkling will be supported by out-of-home and digital advertising.

Mock Spirits Company Adds To Lineup

San Diego, Calif.-based non-alcoholic spirits brand Drink Monday has launched Monday Whiskey, its second non-alcoholic variant after Monday Gin. Monday Whiskey is matured in white oak, with flavors of butterscotch, raisin, and burnt brown sugar. The non-alcoholic whiskey is keto- and paleo-friendly, made from natural ingredients, with zero carbs, sugar, and calories. According to the company, which was founded in 2019, Monday Gin saw $1.38 million in sales in the first nine months on the market, attracting the attention of investors. A crowdfunding initiative has raised more than $858,000. Both products are available on drinkmonday.co. A 750 ml bottle of Monday Gin is promo-priced at $39.99, and subscriptions are available.

La Colombe’s Coffees Now Available In Steeped Format

The Philadelphia, Pa.-based coffee roaster has partnered with Steeped Coffee to create tea bag-style fully compostable single-serve packets of its Monaco Medium Roast, Corsica Dark Roast, and Monte Carlo Decaffeinated coffees. Steeped Coffee (Scotts Valley, Calif.) has partnered with more than 200 coffee roasters to provide their products in Steeped Packs available online, at premium grocery stores, and through hospitality, office, and other wholesale providers. Steeped Coffee doesn’t require a machine, grinder, or specialty equipment to prepare premium coffee. Brewed similar to tea, Steeped packs contain craft-roasted, freshly ground pre-portioned, triple nitro-sealed coffee.

Lifeaid Beverage Debuts Powdered Sleep Enhancement Drink

The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based functional canned and powdered beverage company’s first sleep enhancement product, Dreamaid Go!, contains five mg of melatonin, chamomile, and valerian. The product was developed after a survey of 2,000 consumers found that fewer than ten percent feel “fully rested” after sleeping; more than 60 percent cannot remember the last time they felt truly rested; and more than 20 percent say they can never get enough sleep.

Hellowater’s Defense Powered By CYTO+ Supports Immune System

The Chicago, Ill.-based company known for its flavored fiber-infused water has introduced a beverage that “creates a shield against incoming toxins” with a blend of electrolytes, vitamins, and beneficial botanicals that support the immune system. A 16-ounce bottle of Hellowater Defense contains no sugar or calories, and comes in three flavors: Shield (cherry lime), Protect (lemonade), and Defend (watermelon). A variety 12-pack of the Defense flavors is available on the company website for $44.99.

Hain Celestial Group Completes Sale Of Two Non-Dairy Beverage Brands

The Lake Success, N.Y.-based organic and natural products company has completed the divestiture of its North America non-dairy beverages brands, Dream and Westsoy, to SunOpta Inc., for $33 million. The company said the sale represents the “ongoing transformation” of its portfolio toward a simplified and prioritized lineup of products.
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