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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Bisleri CEO Is Optimistic After Wrestling With Pandemic Problems

Venkata Susmita Biswas, who heads the Mumbai, India-based bottled water company, says the firm successfully navigated the choppy waters of the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks partly to the launch of an ecommerce platform. But it is still recovering from hits to its corporate, food service, and hotel industries (HoReCa) businesses. Here is a quick look at Biswas’ take on the present – and future –of Bisleri: the corporate and HoReCa businesses are running at about 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels; the ecommerce channel is expected to be significant for Bisleri over the long term, because it “helped us gain good word of mouth on the ground;” the company is focusing on the sale of fizzy drinks in metros, and tier I and II markets; and Bisleri believes strongly that the hand sanitizer business is here to stay because “consumers are now looking for products that smell good and are not too harsh on their skin.”


Full Sail IP Partners Snags Odwalla Brand From Coca-Cola

With a view toward reviving the 40-year-old brand’s fruit juice, smoothie and energy bar businesses, Warburg Pincus-backed JV Full Sail IP Partners (New York, N.Y.) has acquired the rights to the Odwalla brand from the Coca-Cola Company. Odwalla is the first acquisition Full Sail IP Partners has made since its launch as a joint venture between Warburg Pincus and brand licensing specialists LMCA. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Coke’s Marketing Strategy Is Five-Pronged

Coca-Cola COO Brian Smith offered some insights at a recent conference into the company’s plans for streamlining marketing to make it more effective. In brief, Smith said the company will: attract new consumers, a tougher challenge but necessary; measure results using “very strong quantitative measures of whether we’re making progress or not in terms of increasing the consumer base;” “identify and ditch mediocre marketing campaigns;” match dreams with capabilities, and distribution with marketing ambitions; and apply discipline to “how we’re going to do things for the global brands around the world.”

Coca-Cola Company Is Main Reason For Success Of Topo Chico Seltzer

Part of the success of the Topo Chico sparkling water brand can certainly be attributed to the huge demand for bubbly water from American consumers. But another reason is the fact that the brand was acquired in 2017 by Coca-Cola, which expanded distribution from Mexico and Texas and 29 other states to all 50 states. In one 12-month period from 2018 to 2019 sales, rose 39 percent to almost $130 million, and are still rising. At the moment, however, there is a nationwide shortage of Topo Chico, much to the dismay of longtime fans. Coca-Cola says the shortage is due to a scarcity of raw materials amid continued high consumer demand. The company says it is “working hard and implementing contingency plans to keep the products on shelves.”


New Danone CEO Faces Problems “Not Easily Solved”

It will take several months for Antoine de Saint-Affrique to figure out how to reignite sales growth at the French consumer goods company, mainly because “the problems at Danone are not easily solved,” according to one analyst. It’s not a cost-cutting challenge, but rather a need to generate more revenue growth across its dairy and plant-based milks and yogurts, baby formula, and bottled water businesses. A Bernstein analyst said Danone’s problems are deep-rooted – structurally weak markets and market share losses – and will not be easy to fix. Possible solutions include major investment to stoke growth or a major divestment of, for example, its bottled water business. In the meantime, the company is tinkering with governance, reducing board size from 16 to 12, and replacing six members by 2023 and another four in 2024.

Danone NA Links With Hershey Brand On New RTD Iced Coffee

International Delight has partnered with Reese’s to create Reese’s Iced Coffee, a ready-to-drink (RTD) iced coffee that features chocolate, peanut butter, and coffee. The new variant is the eighth addition to International Delight’s line of RTD iced coffees, which includes Mocha, Mocha Light, Caramel Macchiato, Caramel Macchiato Light, Vanilla, Hershey’s Chocolate Caramel, and Oreo Cookie flavored. The product will hit shelves nationwide in early October in 64 oz cartons for an SRP of $3.99.

Other Companies

Flow Beverage Posts 79% 3Q Revenue Growth

The Toronto-based premium natural water company’s performance maintains its position as the highest growth brand in the category with 94 percent growth in the U.S. multi-outlet and natural channels, and 76 percent growth in Canadian channels. Net revenue grew 79 percent to C$12 million in Q3 2021, gross margin grew to 22 percent, net revenue increased by 90 percent for the nine months of 2021 to date, and gross margin hit 28 percent. The company said “the next phase of its evolution” will be guided by “a focused strategic framework” designed to maintain a high growth net revenue trajectory while taking a disciplined approach to cost and capital management. 

SodaStream Unveils New Version Of Its Seltzer Maker

The White Plains, N.Y.-based maker of eco-friendly sparkling water machines is replacing its popular Fizzi appliance with "Terra," available in black, white, misty blue, and red colors and high polish and matte textures. The introduction of Terra marks the entry of its patent pending Quick Connect Cylinder technology to the U.S. market. The Terra machines are available at SodaStream.com for $99.99.

Zolt Beverages Now Available In 300 U.S. Stores

The New York-based maker of plant-based “super drinks” says its distribution network now includes Harmon and Bed Bath & Beyond. The new retail partnerships “come at a time when health-conscious consumers are looking to feel and perform better.” Zolt uses plant terpene botanicals for its drink mixes “tailored to core functional areas of health.” The products are sold in 10-packs at a suggested retail of $25 or in a 30-pack at a suggested retail of $69.

Louis Dreyfus Company Asia Creates JV With Japanese Coffee Company

The Singapore-based merchant and processor of agricultural goods, including coffee and sugar, has signed a joint venture agreement with specialty coffee merchant Zephyr Japan. The company reportedly sees Japan as a fast-growing market for specialty coffees, and believes the new JV will help it bring specialty coffees to the country. The global specialty coffee market is expected to exceed $83 billion by 2025, with significant opportunities in Asia as coffee companies focus on offering customized, taste-based coffees. Zephyr Japan is an importer and distributor of green bean coffee from around the world. Last month Louis Dreyfus Company formed a joint venture with private label coffee company Instanta to build and operate a freeze-dried instant coffee plant in Binh Duong province, Vietnam.

Talking Rain Relaunches Hydration Drink Under New Name

The Seattle-based maker of Sparkling Ice flavored seltzers has relaunched its Essentials Hydration beverage under the name Talking Rain AQA. The beverage is a 9.5pH+ premium ionized water with electrolytes and minerals for taste. The water will be available in one-liter bottles with a 20-ounce size this month through select retailers.

Nuun Introduces Immunity3 Hydration Powder

The Seattle-based maker of functional hydration products says the quick-dissolving powder contains a blend of ingredients for rapid hydration and immune system support. Immunity3 also serves as an as-needed complement to Nuun Immunity tablets, the company says. Ingredients include electrolytes, five vitamins including vitamin C, and prebiotics (fiber) that promote the production of healthy gut bacteria. The powders come in Mandarin Orange and Super Berry flavors and are available online and at select retailers, including Whole Foods Market and REI.
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