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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Two Coca-Cola Plant Closures In 2023 Will Affect 500 Workers

The Atlanta-based soda, tea, water, and sports drink company’s decision to close two bottling plants by 2023 are part of its "asset right" strategy to ensure it has the proper level of resources to transform its beverage portfolio into drinks that have the potential to achieve a large scale. The decision to shutter the two bottling operations in California and Massachusetts was not made “lightly,” the company said. Workers will be encouraged to apply for jobs within the Coca-Cola system and at other third-party manufacturer locations. 

Coca-Cola To Sell Three U.S. Bottling Plants To Refresco

The Dutch independent bottler will acquire three hot-fill production plants – in Truesdale, Missouri; Waco, Texas, and Paw Paw, Michigan – and will become one of Coca-Cola’s third-party contract manufacturers in the U.S. Refresco said the acquisition is part of an effort to strengthen its manufacturing footprint in North America, improve its proximity to its customer base, and expand its technological capabilities. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Monster Beverage Posts Healthy 2nd Quarter Numbers Despite Supply Chain Headaches

The Corona, Calif.-based energy drinks company reported record second quarter sales, but aluminum can shortages and delays in acquiring ingredients, along with significant COVID-related disruption in several areas, limited the company’s ability to fully satisfy demand. Net income for the quarter ended June 30 was $403.8 million, or $0.75 a share on the common stock, up 30 percent from $311.4 million, or $0.59 a share, in the same period a year ago. Quarterly sales grew 34 percent to $1.46 billion from $1.09 billion the prior year. Sales in the Monster Energy Drinks segment, which also includes Reign Total Body Fuel, grew 33 percent to $1.37 billion from $1.03 billion. Sales in the Strategic Brands portfolio, which includes energy drink brands purchased from the Coca-Cola Co., grew 46 percent to $86.9 million from $59.6 million.

Other Companies

Ito En Partners With U.S. Functional Ingredients Company

The Tokyo-based green tea supplier, whose traditional marketing channel is direct-to-consumer, has entered the B2B space with Taiyo International (Minneapolis, Minn.) to supply high-quality matcha to food, beverage, and supplement companies in North America. Taiyo and Ito En will be adding new clinical research allowing for additional structure and function claims. Matcha, made of high-grade green tea leaves, is a rich source of polyphenols, vitamins, minerals, fibers, chlorophyll, and L-theanine. Ito En’s ceremonial matcha adds to Taiyo’s existing portfolio of culinary organic matcha powder and ceremonial organic matcha powder. In addition to its strong antioxidant activity, matcha has been shown to improve focus, memory, and energy. It delivers natural catechins, vitamins, caffeine, fiber and L-theanine, he adds.  

Campari Unveils Alcoholic RTD Soda In U.K.

The Milan, Italy-based company, known for its namesake aperitif with the strong bittersweet flavor, says the new Campari Soda is the “right balance of bitterness and effervescence in a glass.” The company recommends the soda be served straight from the fridge into a glass filled with ice and a slice of orange. The 10 percent ABV drink is available in Waitrose stores with an RRP of £9 ($12.47) per five packs of 9.8 cl (3.3 fl ounces) bottles.

REBBL Launches Functional Sodas, Cold-Brew Coffees

The Emeryville, Calif.-based maker of functional beverages is entering the soda and ready-to-drink coffee categories with the REBBL POP and REBBL Stacked Coffee lines. REBBL POP, a sparkling functional soda designed to support immunity and digestive health, contains 50 calories and five grams of sugar per can and are formulated with prebiotics. The organic, vegan, non-GMO beverages are available in root beer, mandarin orange, blackberry, and ginger lime flavors. RTD REBBL Stacked Coffees, which provide balanced energy, focus, and immune support, combine caffeine, green tea’s nootropic L-Theanine, oat milk, reishi mushrooms, Lion’s Mane mushrooms, and MCTs in café mocha, vanilla late, hazelnut latte, and straight black flavors. The new drinks are available nationwide at Whole Foods Market stores and online.  REBBL POP 12-oz cans retail for $2.49; REBBL Stacked Coffee retails for $3.99 per 12-oz bottle.

BevCanna Completes Production Run Of Pot Beverages From Keef Brands

The Vancouver, B.C.-based food and beverage company said the Keef Brands cannabis-infused beverages will be delivered to select provincial distribution boards across Canada. According to BevCanna, Canadian consumers have been “eagerly awaiting” the arrival of Keef’s Classic Sodas. Keef Brands develops, produces, and distributes an assortment of cannabis-infused lines, including Classic Sodas, in more than 1,000 licensed retailers and delivery services in seven U.S. states. A partnership agreement will enable BevCanna to use Keef’s U.S. manufacturing and distribution network to launch its own line of products into the U.S. “in the event of positive federal regulatory reform.”

TurtleTree To Supply Lab-Made Milk Ingredients To Food Producers

The Singapore-based synthetic milk developer, which runs a lab in Woodland, Calif., is using isolated and stimulated mammalian cells from cows and humans to transform how milk is produced. It will be a long time before any actual lab-made milk reaches grocery store dairy aisles, but in the meantime the company is getting ready to supply food companies with some of the nutritious ingredients it has developed. Its biomimetic human milk proteins and milk components could help improve the health of infants, the elderly, or the average consumer. The company is also focused on sports nutrition because many milk proteins offer immunological benefits. The company expects to provide companies with ingredients to help enrich certain products like chocolate and yogurt by the end of the year.

Uncle Matt’s Organic OJ Debuts Packaging Makeover

The Clermont, Fla.-based brand, sold back to founder Matt McLean by Dean Foods in 2020, has a redesigned logo and packaging that “reflects the metamorphosis” of the product. The refresh comes as the company continues its expansion within the juice, functional beverage, and shots categories. The company says the design increases shelf presence with a more modern look featuring a sophisticated color palette, and easy-to-read product benefits. Products featuring the new logo and packaging are rolling out to retailers now to reach on-shelf displays this month. The brand has also just launched its direct-to-consumer platform via UncleMatts.com, offering their functional and better-for-you beverages.

G Fuel’s New Energy Drinks Inspired By “Alien Symbiote” Film

The New York, N.Y.-based energy drinks company’s two new flavors – Black Ooze and Red Ooze – are “inspired” by Sony Pictures’ upcoming film Venom: Let There Be Carnage this fall. Consumers were able to pre-order the limited-edition flavors at gfuel.com through August 6 while supplies lasted. The flavor inspired by lethal protector Venom, Black Ooze, has a sweet black cherry taste, while Red Ooze has a sour black cherry taste. The limited-edition G Fuel Black Ooze and Red Ooze flavors are available for U.S. fans to pre-order as a standalone 40-serving tub. 
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