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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola HBC Buys Controlling Interest In Egyptian Coke Bottler

A subsidiary of the Swiss-based bottler will acquire nearly 95 percent of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Egypt SAE from its major shareholders (Coca-Cola Co. and MAC Beverages Ltd.) for $427 million. Coca-Cola owns 23 percent of Coca-Cola HBC. The company said that the transaction provides access to the second largest non-alcoholic ready to drink market in Africa by volume, with Nigeria and Egypt accounting for around a quarter of the continent's population. The purchase will expand the company’s exposure to high-growth regions, with low single digit earnings per share accretion expected in the near term.

Calls For Deposit Scheme After Huge U.K. Can And Bottle Beach Cleanup

A massive U.K. beach litter cleanup effort found that nearly two-thirds of the discarded bottles and cans collected had been traced to 12 companies, with Coca-Cola packaging being the most prevalent. The report, by marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS), said other branded packaging pollution came from PepsiCo, AB InBev, McDonald’s, Mondelēz International, Heineken, Tesco, Carlsberg Group, Suntory, Haribo, Mars, and Aldi. Nearly four thousand volunteers collected branded items on 11,139 miles of coastline, making it the U.K.’s biggest coordinated cleanup event. SAS called for legislation creating an “‘all-in” deposit scheme that would hold companies to account and “turn off the tap of plastic and packaging pollution flooding the ocean.” Beverage and other companies have said that a lack of a good deposit return scheme (DRS) in the U.K. means their packaging is needlessly littered.

Keurig Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper Debuts Chocolate-Flavored Variant, Rewards Program

The Frisco, Texas-based soft drink company’s FANtastic Chocolate! Flavor Is being introduced with a limited time Dr Pepper "Pepper Perks" rewards program. Consumers participate by scanning the proof of purchase QR code on Dr Pepper purchases, triggering a prompt to create a "Pepper Perks" account. Once the qualifying number of points are earned, consumers can redeem their purchase to receive the new flavor while supplies last. Participants can also enter for a chance to win a trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship and redeem other Dr Pepper branded college team gear.


Nestlé May Acquire Australian Dairy Firm A2 Milk

An Australian media report says Nestlé is keeping a close eye on the specialty dairy company, though industry observers expect no moves to be made until after A2 reports its annual financial results on August 26. Several factors that curbed consumer demand led to A2 Milk's market capitalization falling from $16.1 billion to $4.7 billion over the past year: the pandemic disrupted sales of its infant formula to Chinese consumers through the daigou channel; infant birth rates have been declining significantly in China; and there has been an excess supply of its products. There are also reports that multinational beverage company Kirin Lion has also been interested in A2 but felt the price would be too high. 

Nestlé Vietnam Implements Advanced Closure Cap Marketing Technology

The Biên Hòa-based company announced it is now using packaging company SIG’s QR code closure solution “One Cap, One Code” to boost one-to-one online marketing effectiveness among Gen Z consumers and strengthen brand loyalty via a differentiated reward program. Introduced in May, the closure caps of Nestlé’s Milo teen protein drinks in SIG’s “combismile” carton packs have included easily scannable QR codes that generate reward points redeemable online via the popular Vietnamese messaging application Zalo. The QR codes are not only visible on the package but also hidden on the inside of the closure. 

Other Companies

First Bev Acquires Controlling Interest In Health-Ade

The Los Angeles-based kombucha beverage company confirmed that longstanding partner First Bev has acquired a controlling stake in the company with the help of investment firm Manna Tree (Vail, Colo.) and other investors. Early investor in Health-Ade, CAVU Venture Partners, will be selling shares as part of the transaction. With annual retail sales surpassing $200 million, Health-Ade products are sold in more than 45,000 U.S. stores. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

NZ’s Kabocha Milk Co. Sees A Big Asian Market For Its Buttercup Squash Beverage

Thanks to a partnership between the Auckland company and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), the milk made from locally-grown kabocha buttercup squash is arriving in supermarkets in Japan, Korea, and China under the brand name Kabochamilk. The beverage is the result of a collaboration between one of New Zealand’s largest buttercup squash growers and Sachie Nomura, a Japanese celebrity chef and the brains behind avocado milk. Kabochamilk is fully vegan, and free from artificial flavors and colors. Kabochamilk uses the un-exported “tag-3 fruit” that would otherwise go to waste. New Zealand is one of the largest exporters of kabocha squash to Japan and Korea. 

All Market Expands Into Functional Beverages With Protein Water

The New York-based Vita Coco parent company’s protein-infused water Pwr Lift is being marketed as a post-workout fitness and recovery beverage. The keto-certified line, available online in four flavors, contains ten grams of whey protein, B vitamins, electrolytes, and zero sugar. The functional water line joins All Market's portfolio that includes Vita Coco coconut water, Runa energy drinks, and water brand Ever & Ever. According to Food Dive, the new beverage range “could help it compete in a highly competitive space and position itself better for an IPO” slated for as early as the third quarter of 2021. On Amazon, 500-milliliter bottles of Pwr Lft are sold in packs of four for $9.99 or 12 bottles of one flavor for $23.99. 

Austrian Energy Drink Offers Added Functional Benefits

Newly introduced into the U.S. market, energy beverage brand Altitude claims to deliver something more than a caffeine jolt to consumers. Available in five-ounce cans in various multi-pack configurations via subscription, the beverage supplements the natural caffeine with ingredients that focus on dietary, immune, and anti-inflammatory health. It is also organic, vegan, GMO-free, and contains natural caffeine and no preservatives or artificial colors. Altitude is the U.S. label for the brand PilotsFriend, headquartered in Austria with operations in Europe and Canada.

Moonlight Beverage Company Intros Sexual Wellness Drink

The Denver, Colo.-based woman-owned company announced Love Life Enhanced Intimacy Beverage, a non-alcoholic, caffeine-free functional beverage with a patented formula of amino acids that provides natural vasodilation for both men and women. Citing Cleveland Clinic data on significant levels of sexual dysfunction in both men and women, said the statistics exclude 50 million American women who could benefit from a sexual wellness remedy. The new drink “harnesses the power of nitric oxide,” a molecule that increases blood flow and performance, with the help of L-arginine and L-citrulline. The 15-calories-per-serving beverage is naturally sweetened, lightly carbonated, low sodium, caffeine-free, Non-GMO, and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Caliwater Closes $2M Seed Funding Round

The Los Angeles, Calif.-based maker of cactus fruit (prickly pear) water has closed a $2 million seed round, putting the company at $10 million in valuation. Participants in the funding round included celebrities and business people such as Gerard Butler, beverage entrepreneur Ashley Coleman from (Gallo Wines), serial entrepreneur Avrum Elmakis (founder of CLMBR), and Marco Borges, the co-owner of plant-based company 22 Days Nutrition. Caliwater is available in two vegan, kosher and non-GMO flavors: Organic Wild Prickly Pear and Organic Wild Prickly Pear with Ginger and Lime. Other early-stage cactus water brands include True Nopal Ventures LLC and Pricklee.
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