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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Names New General Counsel

The board of directors elected Monica Howard Douglas, a 17-year veteran of the company who was chief compliance officer and associate general counsel for North America, as senior vice president and general counsel. She will oversee the company’s global legal function, reporting to CEO James Quincey. Douglas succeeds Bradley Gayton. The board also elected Jeffrey Gilbert as vice president and chief security officer and Lucy Reid as vice president of strategic ingredient supply. 

CCEP To Merge With Coca-Cola Amatil

U.K.-based Coca-Cola European Partners will pay AU$9.93 billion ($7.7 billion) for Coca-Cola Amatil (NSW, Australia). The merged company, dubbed Coca-Cola Europacfic Partners, will be the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottler with 33,000 employees encompassing 26 countries. The acquisition is due to be completed next month. The proposed deal is predicted to grow CCEP’s revenues by 25 percent from €12 billion ($14.2 billion) to more than €15 billion ($17.7 billion) and gives CCEP access to the Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia.


Danone Plans To Grow Plant-Based Silk Line

The Paris-based food and beverages company’s multi-pronged plans for its Silk brand in North America include further expanding almond and the soy segments amid stiffer competition in plant-based milk alternatives. Nondairy milk sales increased 20 percent in the U.S. in 2020 to reach $2.5 billion. The company says it has launched a marketing campaign for Silk almond that has shown “positive market share results.” The company is “reframing” the soy portfolio and is “seeing also here first promising results, with the segment returning back to growth since the beginning of the year.” Lastly, Danone is “restaging” the Silk oat milk products to “focus on product and brand positioning.” An international executive search firm is looking for a new CEO after Emmanuel Faber left the company in March. Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta and Shane Grant continue to serve as co-CEOs.

Keurig Dr Pepper

Celsius Sues KDP Energy Drink Brand Over Packaging, Health Claims

The Nevada-based energy drink company, which says its beverages are scientifically proven to raise metabolism and burn calories, has sued Keurig Dr Pepper and its partner brand, A Shoc, alleging copied packaging and fraudulent health claims. The suit says A Shoc Accelerator intentionally copies the Celsius range of energy drinks and confuses consumers. It also alleges that A Shoc Accelerator's claims of being able to boost metabolism mimic those of Celsius but with no supporting scientific evidence. According to the suit, A Shoc is using "false and fraudulent unproven dietary supplement claims."


Stronger Coffee Sales Drive Nestlé Sales Growth In 1st Quarter

The Swiss fodd and beverage company posted 7.7 percent organic sales growth in the first quarter, driven by a boost in coffee sales and a gradual recovery in out-of-home channels. Q1 net sales were $23.02 billion, compared to $22.7 billion last year, mainly due to strong demand for Nespresso, Nescafé, and Starbucks products. The company’s Nespresso unit grew organically by 17.1 percent, reflecting the continued expansion of its Vertuo system and strong demand for its Original system. Nestlé is expecting a continued increase in organic sales growth in 2021 toward a mid-single-digit rate.

Other Companies

Dunkin' Adds Coconutmilk Beverages To Menu

The Canton, Mass.-based coffee and baked goods chain is catering to America’s growing demand for non-dairy beverage options with the launch of coconutmilk at its restaurants nationwide beginning this month. In addition to a Coconutmilk Iced Latte, the company is unveiling Coconut Refreshers that combine coconutmilk, flavored fruit concentrate, and B vitamins in three varieties: Pink Strawberry, Golden Peach, and Purple Pomegranate (medium-size $3 from April 28 to May 25). In the nondairy category, the company also offers oatmilk and almondmilk options. 

Hip And Trendy Ten Years Ago, Jones Soda Has A New CEO And A New Mission

The struggling 25-year-old premium soda company recently handed the reins to a retired 61-year-old food industry veteran who believes he can provide “right guidance and the right leadership" to not only “stop the bleeding” but begin growing the company again. Known for its quirky flavors – Blue Bubblegum, Pineapple Cream, Strawberry Lime, the brand has been a victim of the consumer trend away from sugary drinks. Once valued at $30 a share, its stock price is now languishing at $0.50. With Mark Murray at the helm, however, the company has doubled down on expansion, identified gaps in distribution, rolled out a mixer pack geared toward cocktails and giving it a presence beyond the soda aisle; and is more proactively managing the shelf where its flavors are stocked. Murray's efforts are starting to pay off: In the last three quarters, Jones has increased sales and trimmed losses.

La Colombe Debuts Three RTD Cold Brews

The Philadelphia-based coffee roaster company’s three new cold brew products include Extra Bold 42 oz Multi-serve, Nitro Cold Brew with Lemon, and Hazelnut Draft Latte. The Extra Bold 42 oz Cold Brew, which joins other La Colombe multi-serve products, has a higher caffeine content (275 mg per 12 oz serving), is lactose-free, dairy-free, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan with no sugar. The packaging is inspired after that of a Chemex brewer for its purity in both form and function. It is available  at Wegmans, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods Market and other retailers for $5.99. The total ready-to-drink coffee category is $2 billion in annual sales, and is growing at an average rate of 24 percent across all channels. 

Nautilus Mineral Waters To Launch Line Of Caffeinated Milk Drinks

The private label bottled water company says its upcoming “Mad Cow” line of caffeinated milks will satisfy milk drinkers “looking for a stimulating option” that also delivers the refreshment they expect from “good ol’ moo juice.” Not recommended for children, diabetics, or people sensitive to caffeine, Mad Cow jumps into a sagging dairy milk market but booming energy drinks and specialty coffee markets. Nautilus believes its patent-pending caffeinated milk could help recharge the dairy industry. The company plans to license the brand to independent dairy farmers who have been battered by the nationwide drop in dairy milk consumption due to the rise of dairy-free and plant-based milk alternatives. The Nautilus tagline says it all: “Oh yeah! Milk gets buzzed!”

Lower-Sugar, Lower-Calories Naked Smoothies Added To Lean, Machine Ranges

Naked Berry Lean smoothies, available from the U.K.’s Musgrave Wholesale and Spar stores in 360 ml bottles ($3.61), contain 40 percent less natural sugar and calories than other smoothies on average and 40 percent fewer calories than other smoothies, with 44 calories per 150 ml. The brand is refreshing its Naked Lean range with variants like Naked Rainbow Machine, available in 360 ml and 750 ml bottles. Each bottle contains various fruits and vegetables, including red apple, mango, kiwi, blackberry, blueberry, banana, beetroot, and elderberry, delivering a variety of vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin B1.

Rebellious Infusions Debuts Antioxidant-Rich Plant-Based Energy Drinks

The Chicago-based maker of organic, plant-based, infused beverages that can be added to water, smoothies, and other beverages, has launched Pure Energy Infusions, a premium range that delivers 100 mg of antioxidants and 100 mg of caffeine per serving. The functional infusions are formulated to increase a sense of alertness and enhance focus without an energy crash. Available in Marvelous (mango), Tenacious (tangerine), and Courageous (cherry) flavors, the liquid infusions are sold in 12- or 24-packs and variety packs on the company website and on Amazon.

U.S. IPO Filing Shows Oatly Slumping In 2020, But Sales Are Rebounding

The 27-year-old Swedish oat milk company’s $100 million IPO filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission revealed a $60 million net loss on $421 million in revenue in 2020, compared with a loss of $36 million on revenue of $204 million in 2019. However, the company saw a 151 percent jump in dollar sales at retail outlets during the 52-week period ended March 13. The plant-based dairy category as a whole rose 20 percent during the same period. Oat milk is the second-most popular option after almond milk in terms of sales. In February, Oatly was exploring a U.S. listing at a value of around $10 billion, after it secured $200 million in funding from investors led by Blackstone Group Inc. The company was valued at about $2 billion in the round. 

Solving Digestive Issues Drives Growth Of Innovative Dairy Milk Companies

Lactose intolerance – developed when people lose the ability to digest the enzyme found in dairy milk – has created a marketing opportunity for dairy companies who can deliver a product that is both lactose free and nutritious. Consumers are actively seeking information about digestive wellness and gut health, and especially want to avoid compounds and foods that cause discomfort. Milk and dairy products are naturally rich in calcium and protein, and in the nine essential amino acids. Beverage company Valio Sweden gained profitability through its range of lactose-free dairy products, whose sales are growing eight percent a year. A unit of the company, Valio Food Solutions, helps struggling dairy manufacturers create value-added products, especially lactose-free milk. According to the company, it takes only a few months from the approval decision to the product launch, and no capital investments are needed. 
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