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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Diet Coke Does A Remix Of Classic Jingle In New U.K. Ad Campaign

The brand’s new media campaign, designed by agency Droga5 London to “shine a light on individual authenticity,” remixes the classic jingle “Just for the taste of it” that introduced Diet Coke in 1982. The ad features Grammy Award-winning artist Thundercat singing the more laid-back and easygoing version and shows a series of joyful moments among a diverse cast of characters in various settings. The “Just Because” ad is launching this week across out-of-home, social, and digital platforms, and multi-screen audio visuals, supported by POS and online activations.

Coca-Cola Japan Launches Freeze-Dried Tea, Coffee Cubes

The Tokyo-based company announced the "1,2, Cube" series of freeze-dried cubes that can be dropped into cold or hot water to instantly brew barley tea, green tea, or coffee. The company says the freeze-drying process concentrates the original aroma and flavor of tea leaves and coffee beans into the cube for a flavorful brew that can be enjoyed at home or on the go. The product is part of a sustainable development goals initiative by the company, featuring paper bags and no individual packaging for the cubes, in an effort to cut down on plastic waste caused by other instant teas and coffees. All three versions are available exclusively on Amazon.

Coca-Cola Energy Abandoned In North America

The company’s product streamlining strategy has claimed another sagging brand in favor of its “best innovations,” including AHA and Coca-Cola with Coffee. The company said Coke Energy, launched with a flurry of publicity last year, will remain on store shelves in other parts of the world. Soft drink competitor PepsiCo, in the meantime, boosted its presence in caffeinated sodas with the 2020 purchase of Rockstar Energy, the launch of fruity flavors of Mountain Dew, and a new version targeting morning consumers, Mountain Dew Rise Energy, endorsed by NBA star LeBron James. Coca-Cola still holds a majority stake in Monster Beverage Corp, a top energy drink maker in the U.S.

Coca-Cola Introduces Hard Seltzers In Belgium

For the first time, Coca-Cola has begun selling a line of hard seltzers in Belgium. The fruit-flavored, lightly alcoholic fizzy drinks so popular in the U.S. and Britain are made with the Mexican brand of sparkling water, Topo Chico, used by bartenders and mixologists in the U.S. and Latin America for cocktails. Responding to concerns that a popular soft drink company would sell an alcohol beverage that appeals to younger people, the company said it won’t advertise the drinks near schools. Topo Chico Hard Seltzer (4.1 percent alcohol) is available in lemon, mango, and cherry flavors in 11-ounce cans.


New CEO At Danone Is Antoine De Saint-Affrique

The former Barry Callebaut chief will succeed the interim leadership team of Véronique Penchienati-Bosetta and Shane Grant, appointed when CEO and chairman Emmanuel Faber stepped down from both roles within the space of two weeks following pressure from shareholders for governance changes. De Saint-Affrique, who has served as CEO of the chocolate maker since October 2015, also held a series of senior executive positions at Unilever.

Other Companies

Biotiful Dairy Blends Kefir With Coffee

The London-based maker of kefir and kefir-based foods has created a barista-style cold-brewed blend of kefir and arabica coffees in mocha and latte varieties. Each 250 ml bottle contains 30 billion live cultures and vitamin B12 to help support immunity. According to Biotiful Dairy, the functional drinks offer a variety of health benefits, including a natural energy lift. The Biotiful portfolio of kefir formats includes yogurts, shots, ice cream, spreadable cheese, and its original drinks. The new beverages are available in Sainsbury’s stores in the U.K. for £1.60 ($2.27) and will launch later this month in Ocado, with more retailers to follow.

Tea Drops Closes $5M Series A Round

The Los Angeles-based maker of bagless tea blends said the funding round was led by BrandProject, with participation from Siddhi Capital and existing investors AF Ventures, Cue Ball Capital, and Halogen Ventures. Endorsed by celebrities like supermodel Chrissy Teigen and former first lady Michelle Obama, the brand markets an assortment of organic fair trade whole-leaf teas pressed into single-serving shapes that dissolve in water. To date, the company has raised $8.4 million, and its products are sold in 2,000 retailers. The proceeds from the Series A funding round will be used to expand the brand’s retail footprint and support its online business, which represents about 80 percent of revenue. The company hopes to expand to Asia and the U.K., where tea consumption is robust.

SunOpta Thrives As Demand For Plant-Based Drinks Surges

The plant-based food and beverage company (Mississauga, Canada) says its double-digit sales growth is being driven by strong demand for oat, soy, and rice beverages. The company posted sales of $119.5 million in the first quarter ended April 3, an increase of 12 percent from $106.2 million in the previous year’s first quarter and up 47 percent from $81.3 million in the first quarter of 2019. Higher demand for oat-based product offerings and increased retail sales volume of other plant-based beverages drove growth. Last month, the company announced the acquisitions of the Dream and WestSoy plant-based beverage brands from Hain Celestial; it already produced the entire WestSoy product portfolio and 50 percent of the Dream (rice)product portfolio. 

Beverage Partners International (BPI) Links With Fruit Juice Maker S+C

The independent Israeli global beverage bottler and distributor (Tel Aviv) says it is offering a licensing and distribution opportunity to Sumol+Compal (S+C), a Portuguese marketer of fruit beverages. The company is the largest juice producer in Portugal – 16 brands of juices and nectars, soft drinks, water, snacks, vegetables, and alcoholic drinks – with a presence in 68 countries. Flagship brand Compal is the market leader in the juice category in Portugal; Sumol is a slightly sparkling drink made with real fruit juice and pulp. 

Britvic Relaunches Rockstar Energy After Brand Makeover

A year after PepsiCo acquired the caffeinated soda brand Rockstar Energy, Britvic is relaunching the brand this month with a new pack design, a reformulated original flavor, and a multipack to attract new customers and capitalize on increasing demand for take-home formats. The Original flavor was reformulated to include vitamin C. Rockstar’s entire range will be available in a 500 ml format, with the Original flavor available in a four-pack. The launch comes as stimulants account for 78 percent of the total value growth in soft drinks in the past three years. The Rockstar range comprises 13 flavors, with varieties like Baja Juiced El Mango, Punched Sour Bubble Burst, and Juiced Passion Frutas.
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