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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Danone NA Launches Dairy-Like Milk Alternatives

The Broomfield, Colo.-based yogurt and plant-based dairy milk producer’s new Silk Nextmilk and So Delicious Wondermilk are blends of oat milk, coconut milk, coconut oil, and soy protein, among other ingredients. The products, which the company says taste like cow’s milk, each come in full fat and two percent and will arrive on U.S. grocery shelves in January with a suggested price of $4.99 per carton. Nextmilk will be available at regular grocery stores, and Wondermilk at natural grocers. Wondermilk will also be used in a new line of dairy-like ice creams that will be available through the So Delicious brand.

Survey Shows Consumers Are Into Gut Health – But Also Probiotics Mythology

A survey sponsored by Danone North America of 1,004 U.S. adults finds increasing interest in foods and beverages that support gut health (71 percent) but also a lack of knowledge about the “gut microbiome” and about products advertised as gut healthy. Fifty-two percent, for example, believe they’re getting probiotic benefits from fermented foods and beverages like kombucha, vinegar, sauerkraut, pickles, and sourdough bread. But a Danone nutritionist says bacteria-rich products aren’t necessarily probiotic, and many are pasteurized and baked, which kills live microbes. And while many yogurt products contain “live and active cultures,” not all yogurts contain probiotic strains that provide specific health benefits

Other Companies

Non-Alcoholic Beer Sales Up In U.K. As Traditional Brew Sales Sag

An increasing number of Brits are switching to non-alcoholic brews, as evidenced by year-on-year sales declines of beers like Beck’s (down 26 percent in 2019) and Carlsberg Pilsner (down 11 percent). Meanwhile, though the overall alcoholic drinks market is actually booming, non-alcoholic beer sales grew 58 percent between 2019 and 2020. Among the key trends: some spirits brands are offering “nolo” (no- to low-; alcohol) alternatives; the U.K. is becoming a lot more health-conscious in general, and the health and wellness industry is growing; the rise of kombucha is sending waves through the drinks industry; the global slush machine market is rising steadily; and frozen cocktails (e.g., daiquiris, mojitos, etc.) can easily be made alcohol-free.

Flower Power Coffee Company Debuts CBD-Laced K-Cup Products

The Framingham, Mass.-based company’s new line up of K-Cup products are available in light, medium, and dark roasts “that will make CBD coffee more attractive to mainstream consumers.” Independent lab tests have shown that CBD content is lost in the K-Cup brewing and filtering process, but Flower Power’s patent-pending process guarantees a consistent 25 mg of lab-tested hemp-derived CBD in every brewed cup. The new product is being sold both directly through flowerpowercoffee.com and retail channels.

C4 Energy Introduces Starburst-Flavored Drinks

The performance energy drink from Austin, Texas-based food and beverage company Nutrabolt has partnered with Mars Wrigley to launch four Starburst candy-flavored variants. Available in strawberry, cherry, orange, and lemon flavors, the zero-sugar drinks are being promoted by “talent partners” and C4 “ambassadors” Adam Waheed, Te'a Cooper, and Nick Kosir; a C4 Energy Mobile Candy Flavor Shop tasting room in the Los Angeles area in October; and events at various trade shows and comic-cons around the U.S. The C4 Starburst candy flavors will be sold in 16 oz cans online and at more than 20,000 retail locations.

Brand Finance Values Vietnam Dairy Products At $2.4B

The U.K.-based independent brand valuation consultancy’s valuation of Vinamilk (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) makes it one of the world's most valuable dairy brands. The company was also ranked among top positions in three other global food and beverage rankings this year. Vinamilk is ASEAN's only representative securing high positions in four Brand Finance rankings: world's most valuable dairy brands, the dairy brands with the most potential, and the strongest and most valuable food brand rankings. The company was recently ranked 36th in the Plimsoll's 2021 Top 50 global dairy producers by sales revenue, becoming the only Southeast Asian company on the prestigious list. 

Anheuser-Busch Continues Forays Into Non-alcoholic Drink Distribution

AB InBev's Anheuser-Busch (St. Louis, Mo.), which has previously leveraged its extensive AB One distribution network with third-party products like wine, RTD cocktail brand Beatbox, and a dietary supplement, has agreed to distribute the hydration drink ShineWater. The RTD beverage contains flavor fusions, electrolytes, antioxidants, and a full serving of vitamin D. with zero grams of sugar. The Bay City, Mich.-based company would not disclose whether Anheuser-Busch invested in the company. Companies such as AB InBev, Molson Coors and others, struggling with declining beer sales, have gravitated toward other beverages – many outside the alcohol category – to provide a platform for future growth. The deal will expand ShineWater’s availability on the West Coast, in the Northeast, and in Oklahoma.

Positivity Alkaline Water Commits To Closed Loop Recycling

The Atlanta, Ga.-based bottled water brand says it and parent company StarWalker are pioneering a closed loop system in which they reimburse customers for returning used bottles for recycling. There is a $3 reward for every 15-pack of Positivity Alkaline Water bottles returned with the caps and in their original plastic case. StarWalker collects the bottles and returns them to their regional bottling facility where they are recycled into rPET plastic to create new bottles.

Lab-Grown Coffee Proven Feasible

Researchers in Finland have responded to the increased global demand for coffee beans – and its sustainability challenges – by developing coffee using cellular agriculture. Scientists at the Finnish Technical Research Centre (VTT) say they are applying the same sort of technology used to create cell-based meat, seafood, dairy proteins, and egg proteins. In coffee, the cellular agriculture concept is the same. Once the coffee cell lines are established, they are transferred to bioreactors where they produce biomass nurtured with nutrient media. The undifferentiated coffee cells are then analyzed, harvested, and dried. The dried powder is roasted and brewed to make filter coffee. The new coffee has been evaluated by VTT’s sensory panel, and initial results look promising, though there are many hurdles to leap before commercialization.
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