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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace

Coca-Cola

CCEP Launches Sprite Ad Campaign Targeting Gen Z Shoppers

The multimillion dollar “Let’s Be Clear” ad campaign for Coca-Cola Europacific Partners’ Sprite brand highlights the more easily recyclable clear bottles and is designed to encourage to Gen Z to “reset and refresh.” Featuring digital and social media content, alongside out-of-home and print advertising, the campaign features the Sprite 500ml clear plastic bottle, which will be made from 100 percent recycled plastic content in quarter four of this year.

Coca-Cola U.K. Sees Full Transition To rPET Bottles By September

Working in partnership with Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Coca-Cola Great Britain will transition its entire range of on-the-go bottles to 100 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate beginning in September 2021. All 500 ml and smaller beverage bottles containing Coke Original Taste, Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, and Lilt, will be made from 100 percent recycled PET and will be fully recyclable by September in Great Britain. The move will save around 29,000 metric tons of virgin plastics each year. The company uses around 50 percent rPET in its smaller bottles.

Danone

Evian Develops Reduced-Plastic Water Dispensing System

The Danone SA-owned company’s system consists of a plastic base and recyclable bubbles that are made of a thin layer of recycled plastic, like a bag. The bubbles crumple a little after each use and when empty, scrunch into a small heap for recycling. Dubbed Renew, the system was launched in France and the U.K. in June after about a year of testing in a hundred households in each country. France-based Evian said the bubbles, which hold five liters, use 60 percent less plastic per liter than a standard 1.5-liter bottle. To launch the product in the U.S. market, Evian said it would likely need to tweak the device so that it could deliver colder water. British consumers can purchase bubbles at Tesco PLC grocery stores. In the U.K, the base costs £35 ($48), and two bubbles are £7.99 ($11).

Danone Manifesto Ventures Buys Majority Stake In Coconut-Based Food Company

The New York corporate venture fund, which first invested $30 million in Harmless Harvest in 2017, will provide financial, strategic, and operational support while the company continues to operate independently. Harmless Harvest markets organic Thailand-sourced coconut-based products including coconut water and dairy-free coconut yogurt alternatives. It is the first U.S. investment to become majority-owned by DMV. According to DMV, the deal will provide Harmless Harvest with additional resources and operational capabilities to propel growth and sustainability initiatives.

Nestle

Nesquik Relaunches In Canada With Cleaner Ingredients, Sustainably-Sourced Cocoa

Nesquik is relaunching its line of chocolate and flavored syrups and powders with a revamped formulation featuring no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners, and with added micronutrients, including iron and vitamins A, B3, and C, and 100 percent sustainably-sourced cocoa. The company also unveiled a new addition to its syrup line, Vanilla Syrup. The improved powders and syrups target a demographic dubbed “Betweenagers:” youngsters at a “unique in-between age when they are too old for the little-kid-things they grew up with, and too young for everything else.”

Other Companies

Royal Unibrew Acquires French Energy Drinks Company

The Danish brewing and beverage company is acquiring 100 percent of MC Energy S.A.S. (La Farlède, France), which has a ten percent volume share in the energy drinks market, a new category for Royal Unibrew. The acquisition is the next step in developing the French business toward a multi-niche market, the company said. The company also said it believes it can take the Crazy Tiger brand to the next level “through investments in innovation and in the organization.” “We expect that Crazy Tiger will continue to grow at double digit growth rates in the coming years supported by investments into the organization, innovation and marketing. In 2020,” the company said. MC Energy’s revenue was about DKK 100m ($16 million) in 2020.

G├╝dpod Secures NA Distribution Rights For Novel Pod-Based Drink Technology

The Newburgh, N.Y.-based maker of blenders for smoothies and shakes says the deal with Imper SpA (Milan, Italy) gives it the North American distribution rights for Imper’s patented, compostable, pod-based beverage technology, Güdpod Compostables. According to Güdpod, it took eight years and $214 million to develop Imper’s pod technology. The pods are compatible with Keurig K-Cup coffee and tea and Nespresso espresso pod brewing platforms, but are unique because they are 100 percent compostable in 90 days in commercial composting facilities. Güdpod compostable pods are available in premium Italian coffee and espresso maker Mitaly’s branded Keurig K Cup and Nespresso compatible pods. 

RTD Coffees Gain Ground Thanks To A Variety Of Consumer Preference Trends

Segment sales are likely to continue strong, even if surpassed by ground coffee sales, as more consumers – especially young adults and youth – opt for the convenience and added health benefits of the segment. Data from 2020 show that the growth of the caffeinated beverage category largely was being driven by single-serve, convenience segments: ready-to-drink (RTD) and single-cup coffee. Refrigerated RTD coffee alone posted $487 million in sales for the year ended May 17, 2020. Rising coffee trends cited by industry watchers: single-cup coffee brewers (more than 42 percent of households in 2019 owned a single-cup coffee brewer); premiumization of RTD coffee and the trend toward RTD coffee as a clean-label energy beverage; increased demand for organic, ethically sourced, or non-GMO coffee; growing interest in dairy-free coffees and lattes; and incorporation of functional ingredients such as CBD, mushrooms, and protein into coffee beverages.

Jaindl Companies Creates Drinks Based On Mike And Ike Fruit-Flavored Candies

The Bethlehem, Pa.-based candy company’s 83-year-old confectionery brand is being transformed into soft drinks under Jaindl’s A-Treat soda brand. Two of Mike and Ike’s best-selling flavors – cherry and strawberry – will be available in 20-ounce plastic bottles starting in July. According to David Jaindl, third-generation company president, “an alliance between the two classic brands makes a lot of sense when you consider not only their local history, but the nostalgia associated with each.” The Orefield, Pa.-based company acquired the A-Treat soda brand in 2015.

Vimto Out of Home Awarded Rights To Make And Sell Slush Puppie Brand

In an agreement with J & J Snack Foods Corp. (Pennsauken, N.J.), the U.K.-based soft drinks supplier has acquired the rights to manufacture, manage, distribute, and sell the frozen drink brand Slush Puppie. Vimto is planning to launch a new design to “reinvigorate” the brand and “bring it to a new generation of slush fans” in the U.K. and Europe.

Further Sugar Reductions In New UNESDA Health And Nutrition Targets

The Union of European Soft Drinks Associations’ enhanced health and nutrition targets are designed to help Europeans manage their intake of added sugars from soft drinks by reducing sugar by a further 10 percent by 2025. The new targets represent a 33 percent overall reduction in average added sugars over the last two decades, building on past sugar reduction milestones that the industry achieved from 2015 to 2019 (14.6 percent reduction on average) and from 2000 to 2015 (13.3 percent reduction on average). Besides reducing sugar content, UNESDA members will introduce products in smaller pack sizes to support portion control. 

Consumers Want Organic And Non-GMO, But Clean Label Is A Challenge For Companies

Beverage marketers are increasingly touting “natural,” “organic,” and “non-GMO” ingredients on their packaging and in their ads, thanks to data showing that consumers are especially tuned into those beverage attributes. In fact, nearly 60 percent of all food and beverage launches that have organic claims also claim to have non-GMO ingredients. In addition, as the beverage marketing chief at ADM noted, the company is seeing increased consumer demand for beverage formulations that deliver functional, plant-based nutrition to help address individual nutrition needs and goals. Responding to demands for clean and clear labels, formulators are developing botanical-infused beverages, including flavored waters, energy drinks, tea, and carbonated soft drinks. Clean-label ingredients are in high demand, but formulating beverages with them has inherent obstacles: namely, cost and formulation challenges. Non-GMO products, for example, tend to be costlier so it can be challenging for beverage manufacturers to keep products affordable.
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