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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola North America To Boost Media Spending With Minority-Owned Firms

The Atlanta-based company plans to nearly double spending with Black-, Hispanic-, and Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)-owned media companies over the next three years. The set-aside will amount to eight percent of the company’s total annual media budget in North America by 2024. Coca-Cola NA is getting off to a quick start with the program, boosting 2021 spending with minority-owned media five-fold compared to 2020. It will build relationships with newer partners like Ebony/Jet, Revolt TV and My Cultura, while continuing partnerships with multicultural media outlets like Essence and Univision.

Quincey: Broader Definition Of Ecommerce Would Help Sellers Of Heavy, Perishable Products

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey says adopting a broader definition of “ecommerce” would benefit brands that sell heavy, bulky, or perishable products that are difficult or expensive to ship to consumers. Such brands can still leverage the ecommerce channel and technology to engage customers, improve retailer relations, and grow their business. According to Quincey, ecommerce has multiple pieces – four, in fact – each of which “has its own dynamics and its own future.” In the case of Coca-Cola, for example, ecommerce involves eB2B platforms, food delivery as immediate consumption, online with grocery retailers, and lastly direct-to-consumer. Quincey says he is most excited about the opportunity to improve retailer relations with Coca-Cola through ecommerce digitization.

Consortium Of China’s Coke Bottlers Has Reaped Significant Benefits

The China Bottlers Purchasing Consortium (CBPC), a Coca-Cola/bottlers group created in 2002 to share procurement knowledge and best practices, has become an effective way for Coca-Cola to undertake supply chain initiatives, including implementing World Class Operations (WCO) across the supply network. The eleven suppliers who now comprise the CBPC WCO are strongly focused on operational excellence, a priority that has helped them achieve a turnaround in performance, revenue, and growth. Between November 2017 and March 2020, the collective value of the profit improvement projects (PIPs) undertaken across the supplier network totaled more than $800,000. Other benefits for Consortium members include increased competitive advantages, reduced materials waste, the creation of sustainable value for customers, and reduced consumption of electricity and water.


Danone Sells Vega To U.S. Private Equity Firm

The French food and beverage company is selling the Canada and U.S. plant-based nutritional products brand to funds managed by WM Partners, a U.S.-based private equity investment firm focused on the health and wellness industry. According to Danone, the sale is part of a continuous capital allocation optimization and  strategic review of its brands portfolio, SKUs, and assets announced in October 2020. Founded in 2001, Vega sells plant-based vegan powders, bars, drinks, and supplements.


Debut Of Nestlé Malaysia’s Adaptogen-Enhanced Teas Set For August

The new range was created to leverage the functionality of traditional natural ingredients to “capture the attention of stressed-out consumers.” The adaptogenic range, dubbed LIVELY, has three variants based on black tea: orange guarana, raspberry lemon balm, and pear schisandra. The range integrates favorite Malaysian flavors with specifical adaptogens to make three teas: Focus (orange flavor with guarana), Calm (raspberry with lemon balm) and Sustain (pear with schissandra). The LIVELY range is available in FamilyMart stores in Malaysia at an introductory price of $0.85, normally $0.93. Nestlé Malaysia will launch the range on ecommerce platforms Shopee and Lazada in July, and in supermarkets and more convenience stores in August.

Carnation Breakfast Essentials Unveils Cinnabon Breakfast Beverage

The Bridgewater, N.J.-based Nestlé drinks brand has partnered with the cinnamon roll company to launch Carnation Breakfast Essentials Cinnabon Bakery Inspired Flavored Nutritional Drink. The breakfast beverage contains the ten grams of protein and 21 vitamins and minerals of the original Carnation Breakfast Essentials Nutritional Drinks but with the flavor of an oven-baked Cinnabon cinnamon roll. The drinks are available in a 6-count of 8 fl oz ready-to-drink bottles at Walmart, on Amazon, and in other stores nationwide. Pricing will vary, the company says, because pricing is at the sole discretion of the retailer.

Other Companies

G FUEL Partners With YouTube Esports Phenom To Promote “Yuzu Slash”

The New York-based esports energy drink brand announced it is promoting the new powdered "Yuzu Slash" flavor with the help of Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg, the Swedish gamer and hugely popular YouTuber with more than 110 million subscribers and more than 27 billion YouTube views. Thirty-one-year-old PewDiePie launched on YouTube in 2010 and gained fame for his humorous "Let's Plays" of popular video games. G FUEL’s citrusy yuzu fruit flavor is packaged in “cyber futuristic” packaging featuring PewDiePie donning samurai armor. Yuzu Slash is available in 40-serving tubs of powder and other variations on the company website.

Kerry: Four Key Ingredients Will Drive Functional Beverage Market In 2021

The Ireland-based food ingredients specialist says the already booming market is expected to maintain a CAGR of 3.2 percent as more brands blur the line between refreshment and functionality. Kerry says four functional ingredients will be trending in 2021 and beyond: collagen-rich beverages, including Bulletproof Cold Brew Coffee Plus Collagen and Diva’s Beauty Inside Collagen; nootropics and adaptogens, offering a solution to consumers looking for alcohol-free options; botanicals, which offer health-conscious consumers energy and immune boosts, healthy skin, and improvements in memory and focus; and prebiotics and probiotics, which support healthy digestive systems with fermented beverages, like kombucha, kefir, and enhanced waters.

GoodSport To Raise $15M In Series A Funding Round

The four-months-old Chicago company that makes a sports hydration drink from milk elements will use the new capital to launch additional flavors and fund upfront costs such as production, distribution, and marketing. The company has already won the financial support of two famous athletes, former Major League Baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. and former San Francisco 49ers football icon Ronnie Lott. Michelle McBride, a former lawyer, says she developed the drink from cow’s milk – without the protein –because it’s packed with electrolytes, vitamins, and carbohydrates that deliver superior hydration. GoodSport, distributed locally, launched on Amazon.com in March in four flavors. A 12-pack of 16.9-ounce bottles is priced at $32.99 on the website.

Pricklee Sees Itself As A Better-Tasting Alternative To Coconut Water

The N.J.-based prickly pear cactus water brand is hoping to elbow its way into the plant water category that is largely dominated by coconut water with a product that contains half the sugar and calories of coconut water. But a key to the brand’s success has been the fact that it doesn’t taste like coconut water which, in the company founders’ view, is the same as “lukewarm backwash.” In addition to tasting like “a cross between watermelon and bubblegum," Pricklee offers the health benefits associated with vitamin C, flavonoids, betalains (natural pigments), and polyphenols, such as supporting healthy skin, immunity, and recovery. Most of the brand’s retail efforts have been online, but the company is now focused on expanding distribution in the specialty and natural channels and in other outlets.

All Market Inc., Owner of Vita Coco, Plans $2B IPO

The owner of coconut water company Vita Coco plans an initial public offering of its shares this year in the U.S., perhaps in the third quarter. The company could be valued at more than $2 billion in an IPO, sources told Bloomberg. Vita Coco makes flavored, sparkling, and caffeinated coconut waters, as well as coconut oil and milk alternatives. Early investors in Vita Coco included Madonna, Matthew McConaughey and Demi Moore. The company also counts  among its backers Verlinvest, an investment firm that focuses on so-called purpose-led brands, and Strand Equity.

Uncle Matt's Organic Debuts Functional Juice-Based Shots Range

The Clermont, Fla.-based producer of Organic Orange Juice says its Ultimate Shots line contains a variety of functional ingredients and probiotics that will aid immune support, digestion, and energy. The three shot variants include Defense, a blend of orange juice, pineapple, turmeric root, ginger, black pepper (for turmeric absorption), probiotics, vitamin C, D, and zinc; Immune, made with orange juice, black elderberry, vitamins and probiotics; and Energy, a blend of orange juice, mango, caffeine, vitamins and probiotics. The shots are available on the company website and will be rolling out to select retailers nationwide over the next few months.
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