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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


$5.6B Buys Coca-Cola Full Control of Bodyarmor

In its third biggest acquisition ever – it tops the purchase of Costa Coffee in 2018 for $5.1 billion – Coke gains market share in the sports drink category, although PepsiCo’s Gatorade remains the market leader with a roughly 70 percent share. Coke bought a 15 percent stake in Bodyarmor in 2018, becoming its second-largest shareholder. According to the company, Bodyarmor’s retail sales this year are expected to be more than $1.4 billion, up about 50 percent this year.

On-Pack Competition Launches Holiday Season For Coca-Cola Europacific Partners

CCEP’s “Win a meal, give a meal” competition offers supermarket and restaurant patrons a chance to win e-vouchers from Love2Shop. Coca-Cola will donate a meal for every entry to its long-term charity partner, FareShare, which was set up to fight hunger and food waste by redistributing surplus food to frontline charities. The competition is running across 2.7 million Christmas packs of Coca-Cola Original Taste and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, in plain and price-marked sharing bottles and multi-pack cans.

Coke Hopes To Slim Down Its Media Spending Via Global Review

The mission of Coca-Cola’s global marketing and media review, which will affect four major advertising holding companies and thousands of smaller shops, is to streamline the unmanageable number of agencies that have been working with the company. The company spent $2.78 billion on advertising in 2020, down from $4.25 billion in 2019 and $4.11 billion in 2018, according to its annual reports. Despite the scale, little has come from the process so far. Speaking on an investor call, CEO James Quincy said the marketing review would start to bring “a structural amount of change next year in the way we interact in our marketing and enabling spend in ecosystems.”

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners Divests Australian Beer, Apple Cider Business

The Australian CCEP unit plans to sell its Baskerville, WA-based brewing subsidiary Feral Brewing Co and stop selling beer and apple cider in Australia.  A spokesman said the decision followed a strategic review of the businesses after the merger of Coca-Cola Amatil with the European business earlier this year. Exiting its 20-year-old beer and apple cider business will better position the organization to grow its spirits, alcohol ready-to-drink (RTD), and non-alcohol ready-to-drink (NARTD) businesses.

Lawsuit Alleges Fanta Labeling Falsely Claims Drink Contains “100 Natural Flavors”

Coca-Cola brand Fanta piña colada-flavored soda is not made with “100% Natural Flavors,” nor does it contain an appreciable amount of pineapple and coconut ingredients, a 13-page class action lawsuit alleges. According to the complaint, the soda’s label, which claims that it’s made with “100% Natural Flavors” and features an image of half of a coconut next to a pineapple wedge, falsely characterizes the product because the drink contains undisclosed artificial flavors and lacks real pineapple and coconut ingredients. Consumers would not have bought Fanta piña colada-flavored soda, or would have paid less for it, if they knew it was worth “materially less than its value” as represented by Coca-Cola, the suit alleges.

Resurgence Of Coke’s Out-Of-Home Sales Boost 3rd Quarter Performance

Thanks to a recovery in its devastated away-from-home channels, like restaurants and movie theaters, Coca-Cola is emerging “stronger than ever” from the pandemic, CEO James Quincey said in prepared remarks accompanying the financial report. The company highlighted strength in markets where coronavirus-related uncertainty has been abating. Wall Street had expected earnings per share in the third quarter of $0.58, while the company posted $0.65 cents a share. Revenue topped $10 billion, compared to a forecast $9.75 billion. Other numbers: sparkling soft drinks volume increased six percent in the quarter; nutrition, juice, dairy, and plant-based beverages grew 12 percent; hydration, sports, coffee, and tea volume grew six percent. Coffee grew 19 percent, driven by the continuing reopening of Costa cafes in the U.K.

Coke’s Quincy Expects Supply Chain Impact Through 2022

CEO James Quincey says Coca-Cola is dealing with supply chain challenges and higher inflation that will lead to sporadic product shortages on grocery shelves through 2022. Nevertheless, the company’s third quarter earnings and revenue topped analyst estimates and it raised its forecast for fiscal 2021. Shares of Coke were up two percent in afternoon trading on October 27.

Keurig Dr Pepper

Keurig Dr Pepper Posts 3rd Q Net Sales Increases Across The Board

The Plano, Texas-based beverage company said net sales of packaged beverages grew by 6.9 percent in the quarter, while sales of coffee systems rose 5.3 percent. Overall, KDP reported a 7.6 percent rise in net sales to $3.25 billion for the quarter, while GAAP operating income increased 5.6 percent to $795 million in the quarter, compared to $753 million in the year-ago period. The company raised its 2021 net sales guidance for the third time this year and says it now expects constant currency net sales growth of between 7-8 percent – up from the 6-7 percent growth forecast in KDP’s Q2 results.

Other Companies

Black Rifle Coffee To Go Public In $1.7B Merger

The Salt Lake City, Utah-based veterans-focused coffee seller plans to go public through a merger with a blank-check acquisition firm. According to reports, the combined company would be worth about $1.7 billion. The deal with SilverBox Engaged Merger Corp I will be financed by up to $345 million in cash held in a SilverBox trust account and commitments of about $300 million from other investors. As part of the deal, seven-year-old Black Rifle plans to reorganize as a public benefit corporation that would remain a for-profit enterprise but continue to support social good. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2022.

Yili Group Buys 31% Stake In Chinese Dairy

The Chinese dairy giant (Hohhot, China) has purchased a 31 percent stake in goat milk formula company Ausnutria Dairy, becoming its largest shareholder. Yili’s Hong Kong-based Jingang Trade Holding Co will partner with Ausnutria (Sheung Wan, Hong Kong) to expand its growth into the infant formula and nutrition sectors. Jingang will acquire a total of 531 million shares held by previous shareholders at a price of HK$10.06 ($1.29) per share, which represents approximately 30.89 percent of total shares.

AB InBev Unveils Energy Drink In India

The Belgium-headquartered brewer’s Budweiser Beats’ is the first energy drink in any market from Budweiser. To capitalize on the fast-growing energy drink and non-alcoholic beer categories, alcoholic beverage companies like Heineken and Kingfisher have begun exploring healthier and non-alcoholic beverage options. Beats is the first among differentiated non-alcohol and low-alcohol offerings in the pipeline from AB InBev’s product portfolio in the country. A goal of AB InBev is “to reduce the harmful use of alcohol by at least 10 percent in six top cities across the world by the end of last year.”

Woke Up! Energy Shot Rebrands, Expands Distribution

The Tampa, Fla.-based energy shot brand made with herbs, mushrooms, and vitamins, has partnered with food and beverage distribution network Mr. Checkout (Oviedo, Fla.), gaining access to 61,000 stores. A rebrand highlights the growing plant-based trend, now reflected on their green-colored packaging. The brand launched in the retail, vending, and online channels earlier this year, with an all natural, plant-based caffeine shot with zero sugar and a proprietary formula packed with herbs, healthy mushrooms, amino acids, and immunity-boosting vitamins. The shot comes in an organic berry flavor, ready-to-go in a 1.93 fluid ounce bottle equal in caffeine to one and a half cups of coffee.

Sprecher Brewing Acquires Beverage Brands From WIT

The Glendale, Wis.-based craft soda company’s acquisition of several beverage brands from WIT Beverage Co. (Redding, Calif.), including Green River and the WBC craft soda brands, is expected to fuel major nationwide expansion plans. According to Milwaukee Magazine, Sprecher’s craft sodas are the top brand in the Milwaukee market. The acquisition of the brands from WIT Beverage Co. will make the combined portfolio the No. 2 in the Chicago market. Sprecher craft sodas include Root Beer, Orange Dream, Cream Soda, Cherry Cola, Grape, and more.
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