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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola HBC Buys Large Stake In Caffè Vergnano

Once the deal closes, the Zug, Switzerland-based bottler’s 30 percent stake in the Italian coffee roaster will give it exclusive distribution rights to the brand's beans and espresso pods outside of Italy. HBC, which worked with the Coca Cola Company on the new deal, said Caffè Vergnano will be "highly complementary" to its existing Costa Coffee arm, and will allow it to "address an even wider range of consumer tastes and segments." The 139-year-old family-owned Italian roaster sells espresso beans and single-use pods in 90 countries.

Coca-Cola Nigeria Benefits From Ecommerce During Pandemic Lockdowns

The Coke unit serving Africa’s most populous country and largest economy says it tripled its ecommerce business under government-imposed lockdowns and shifts in consumer buying patterns. High inflation and unemployment rates have eroded disposable income in the country, but Coca-Cola says it is starting to see sales return this year: they could eventually match pre-COVID sales as the economy improves. On top of that, Nigeria is seen as a frontier for ecommerce growth because of its largely youthful population – the average age is 18 – and widespread and growing use of smartphones. The company has also adjusted prices and is selling smaller value-based pack sizes targeting consumers who have low disposable incomes.

Coca-Cola Japan Introduces Canned Hard Lemonade Cocktails

The Tokyo-based business is releasing the second alcoholic beverage brand – Nomel’s Hard Lemonade – in Japan following the success of the popular Lemon-Do chuhai. Three flavors (ABV five percent) will be marketed: Nomel’s Hard Lemonade original, Sour! Sour! Sour!; and Bitter Sour, with a hint of juniper berry. The introduction this summer will be accompanied by a "pop" themed label illustration; original stories focused on three characters who start a lemonade business will be available on the official site and social media accounts.

Keurig Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper Partners With Video App Firm To Launch Zero Sugar Soda

The AI-powered short video app company Triller (Los Angeles, Calif.) has teamed with Dr Pepper (Keurig Dr Pepper) on a video promotional campaign to publicize the new beverage. Earlier this month, Triller and Dr Pepper took 20 top social media influencers on a "Zero G" flight together, during which the celebrities shared their weightless experiences across social media channels in support of the product launch. The influencers boarded a modified Boeing 727 that performed aerobatic maneuvers called parabolas to create true weightlessness. Dr Pepper Zero Sugar is available in the U.S. in original, cherry, and cream soda flavors, in 20 oz bottles, two-liter bottles, six-packs of 0.5-liter bottles, and 12-packs of 12-oz cans. 


Nestlé Waters To Advance Regeneration Of Local Water Cycles

The Swiss company (Vevey) said it will implement more than 100 projects supporting better water management and infrastructure at its 48 local water sites by 2025. The initiative builds on the company's 2017 commitment to certify by 2025 all of its Waters sites by the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), a standard requiring water users to understand and act collectively on water challenges. Examples of projects include: U.K. (Buxton) – protection of land from development as well as natural flood management interventions; France (Vittel) – river restoration and renaturation projects in Vosges; Pakistan (Sheikhupura) Nestlé Pure Life support for farmers to use drip irrigation; and Egypt (Benha) Nestlé Pure Life delivery of water treatment, filtration and pipeline infrastructure for the municipal water supply. The company said it will invest $130 million to assist the implementation of the more than 100 projects.

Nestlé Debuts Perrier Water Bottles Made With “Endless Recyclable” Technology

Produced as part of the Carbios global consortium, the technology allows plastic to be endlessly recycled while maintaining properties that are virtually equivalent to virgin plastics. Scientists at Nestlé's R&D center in Vittel, France, produced the first Perrier 50-cl prototype bottles made from colored recycled PET materials. Tested for safety, quality, and performance, the bottles were adapted to withstand the pressure of carbonated water, while also incorporating the iconic design and green color of the Perrier bottle. Carbios consortium members include L'Oréal, Suntory Beverage & Food Europe, and PepsiCo.

Nescafé Launches Gold Iced Coffees Into U.K. C-Stores

Nescafé Gold Iced Cappuccino and Nescafé Gold Iced Latte Salted Caramel contain seven sachets per box, retailing at £2.98 ($4.14) each, and are available in Unitas wholesalers and CJ Lang wholesalers.  A Nestlé U.K. brand manager said the launch was based on the observation of “huge growth in the popularity of iced coffee in cafés and coffee shops” that would transfer to home coffee drinkers. The company introduced its Nescafé Gold Blend Roastery Collection into the U.K. market in May.

Nongfu Spring

NongFu Spring Criticized On Chinese Social Media For Use Of Japanese Ingredients

Criticism on Chinese social media of the Zhejiang-based bottled water brand centered on what appeared to be a company claim that its peach-flavored sparkling water contains peach ingredients from Japan's Fukushima Prefecture. Chinese Internet users are sensitive about issues related to the Fukushima nuclear plant, especially after Japan decided to dump Fukushima wastewater into the sea in April. A photo posted on the social media platform Weibo showed an advertising board in a supermarket touting a peach-flavored sparkling water from Nongfu Spring that uses "Atakuti peach." However, Nongfu Spring explained that it just used a recipe to imitate the taste of the peach, but not peach ingredients from Japan. The company requested social media platforms to immediately delete articles and comments that harm the reputation of the company.

Other Companies

As Energy Beverages Continue to Flourish, BFY Energy Segment Grows In Popularity

As the pandemic dragged on through 2020 and into 2021, consumers looking to boost their productivity at home turned to trusted energy drink brands, a trend that is not abating. But consumers are also looking for something more – actually less in some cases – in their energy drinks, experts say. Better-for-you energy beverages are becoming increasingly popular because they offer natural and clean sources of energy that don’t lead to the typical jitters and crashes experienced with traditional energy drinks. That means there’s less interest in sugary, highly caffeinated drinks. Some beverage makers are delivering appropriate solutions: Del Mar, Calif.-based Rowdy Energy, for example, contains no artificial flavoring or sugars, and the caffeine comes from green tea paired with the nootropic L-theanine; Sway Energy (Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Elegance Brands) contains vitamins A, B6, B12, C, and D, organic green tea caffeine, minerals and amino acids such as magnesium, L-arginine, D-ribose and amino BCAA, and zero sugar and zero artificial flavors. 

Better Juice Raises $8M From Multinational Group Of Investors

The Rehovot, Israel-based start-up whose technology reduces all sugars from natural juices, will use much of the cash to build a full-scale manufacturing plant in Israel to serve the growing demand for reduced-sugar juices. The high-tech plant will increase production capacity by 40-fold while generating up to $50 million in sales annually. The start-up's enzymatic technology uses all-natural ingredients to convert fructose, glucose, and sucrose into prebiotic dietary fibers and other non-digestible molecules, reducing sugar content by as much as 80 percent. The company will also use the funds to expand sales and marketing teams to support its commercialization stage. Investors include iAngels, Israel; Maverick Ventures, Israel; Food Tech Lab TFTL, Spain; the Kitchen Hub, Israel (Strauss Group and IIA); NEOME, Israel; Schestowitz Group, Israel; and Semillero, Puerto Rico.

Princes Adds Seven Production Lines To Cardiff Soft Drinks Bottling Plant

The Liverpool, U.K.-based food and beverage company says it has finished the first phase of an $83.4 million investment in its Cardiff soft drinks factory. According to the company, the investment is the largest spent on the Cardiff facility and will take the company into new markets beyond fruit juice. The company boosted production capacity with seven new production lines, upgraded and refurbished two existing lines, and improved warehousing and logistical capabilities. The upgraded Cardiff site will be able to produce ambient, mini, and chilled drinks to compete in new markets. The facility produces Princes, Jucee, and customer own-label products. 
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