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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Nepal Launches AR “Food Randomizer” Lens With Rakuten Viber

More than 10 million Viber users in Nepal will be able to enjoy Coca-Cola’s augmented reality (AR) Viber lens (filter), whose theme is “Coke and Meals.” Users of the filter can ask friends, colleagues, or family to get them a popular combination of Coke and a meal. The filter works by randomly generating popular Coke and Meals Combos in Nepal such as Coke and Momos, Coke and Pizza, Coke and Chowmein, etc. When the generator stops at a Coke and Meal combo, the user can save the lens and send it off. The filter also allows users to put their faces on the filter. The AR lens was virtually launched during the “Rakuten Viber X Coca-Cola: Strategic Partnership” press conference on November 16.

Minute Maid Reanimates HiC Ecto Cooler As Ghostbusters Movie Tie-In

Coca-Cola's Minute Maid division is bringing back the neon-green beverage as a promotional tie-in with the November 19 release of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the latest installment of the franchise. The ectoplasm-colored drink is being given away to fans following DrinkHiC on social media, packaged in an exclusive commemorative 12-oz. bottle for the first time. Ecto Cooler was popular among kids in the 1980s and 1990s, and remained in production until it was discontinued in 2001. The new Jason Reitman-directed film picks up in a future where ghosts have returned to haunt humanity. 

Coca-Cola Sees Digital Platforms As A Way To Engage Consumers

The company is experimenting with new digital platforms to bridge online and offline experiences while engaging and selling to consumers eager “to be together” virtually or physically. According to Aedamar Howlett, Coke’s VP of Europe and head of online-to-offline (O2O) digital transformation, the company’s strategy for the 21st century is to create networked teams globally that will work to meet the digital opportunities ahead. This “Network Effect” and O2O aims to create the ability to “operate as fluidly as possible” between the offline and online worlds. This means leveraging technology to develop “more meaningful” direct one-to-one relationships with consumers and convert transactions through online experiences and communications.


Danone Sells Aqua d’Or To Royal Unibrew

The sale of the Denmark-based water and beverage business, which is expected to close in 2022, is part of Danone’s strategic portfolio review. Aqua d’Or produces still and sparkling water and has a focus on healthy beverages, which aligns with Royal Unibrew’s focus on no-/low-calorie drinks. The brand, which has around 75 employees, operates a production plant in central Jutland, Denmark.


Nestlé China Targets Young Mothers With Convenient Liquid Milk For Babies

The Beijing-based company sees growth potential for the infant liquid milk category, especially among mothers in their twenties demanding more convenient and functional solutions. In fact, immune benefits, nutrition profile, and convenience are the top three factors that Gen-Z mothers consider when selecting infant formula. Beba Supreme Pre contains five types of human oligosaccharides (HMOs) that represent  some of the most abundant across the three major structural categories in human milk. They are chemically and structurally identical to those found in human milk. Nestlé China showcased Beba Supreme Pre, produced by a German subsidiary, during the recent China International Import Expo (CIIE).

Other Companies

So Good So You Adds Adaptogenic Mushroom Variant To Probiotic Shots Line

The Minneapolis, Minn.-based producer of immune-boosting probiotic juice shots says its first formulation powered by adaptogenic mushrooms will debut exclusively at Sprouts Farmers Market stores. Immunity Blueberry Clementine includes 300 mg of organic shiitake, maitake and reishi mushrooms and provides 100 percent of an adult's recommended daily value of vitamin D3. Adaptogens help maintain the body's homeostasis and prevent long-term damage by minimizing the effects of mental or physical stress. Certain mushrooms have cancer-fighting antioxidant properties and support a robust immune system response to infection, inflammation, and abnormal cellular growth, the company says. 

SunOpta Continues To Spend On Plant-Based Beverage Production Capacity

Despite labor and raw material shortages, the Minneapolis, Minn.-based snack and beverage company continues to invest in production capacity for its line of plant-based drinks. Expansion of the company’s Allentown, Pa., plant, used for aseptic beverage processing, will be completed this year, and a plant expansion in Modesto, Calif., and a “mega-plant” in Texas also are expected to be operational in 2022. The company said demand was “exceptionally strong,” especially in oat-base, oat milk, and fruit snacks. But despite a rise in sales for the 3rd quarter to $198.5 million from $191.7 million last year, SunOpta posted a loss of $3.8 million, up from last year’s $2.8 million loss. SunOpta’s fruit-based foods and beverages segment reported sales of $83.6 million, a drop of 9.7 percent. 

Austria’s Waterdrop Microdrinks Hydration Brand Debuts In U.S.

The Chicago-based company sells a line of compact, dissolvable cubes that – “microdrinks” – that add flavor and vitamins to water. The cubes are sugar-free, low-calorie, and formulated with botanical extracts. Varieties include Focus, with vitamins C, B1 and B5, plus lime, acerola, and green coffee; Love, with vitamins B6 and C, thiamin, potassium, pomegranate, goji berry and acerola; Glow, with vitamins B1, E and C, mango, cactus fruit and artichoke; Boost, with vitamins B6, B12 and C, plus blackcurrant, elderflower and acai; Youth, with vitamins C, B12 and B3, peach, ginger, ginseng and aloe vera; and Zen, with vitamins B1, C and biotin, star fruit, thyme and lemongrass. The company also sells glass and steel water bottles and accessories on its website, and in its own retail stores, including a flagship location in Miami, Fla.

Good Idea Functional Seltzer Relaunches IN U.S.

The relaunch, by the founders of Oatly and a co-founder of Fiji Water, comes three years after the beverage debuted in the U.S. in 2018 as "The Swedish Sugar Buster." The drink claims a scientifically proven ability to reduce blood sugar levels with a blend of five amino acids and chromium. The relaunch features new packaging and flavors, including wild Nordic Raspberry, Sea Berry, and Black Currant. It also contains zinc and electrolytes. The beverages are available online, with retail locations to be announced. The zero-calorie, zero-carb drinks contain no sweeteners, caffeine or artificial colors, according to the brand. 

7-Eleven’s Caffeinated Sports Drink Arrives On Store Shelves

The Irving, Texas-based convenience store chain’s new Replenish + Caffeine sports drink is available in Pineapple and Prickly Pear flavors. An extension of the company’s Replenish sports drink line, the caffeinated version is formulated to help restore electrolytes and energy lost in exercise. Both flavors contain 140 mg per 28-oz. bottle of natural caffeine extracted from green coffee beans and are high in vitamins E, B3, B5, and B6. Replenish + Caffeine drinks are free from artificial flavors, synthetic colors, and high fructose corn syrup.

Every Company’s Taste-free Protein Debuts In Pressed’s New Smoothie

The San Francisco-based food technology company partnered with the cold-pressed juice and plant-based snacks brand to deliver the Pressed Pineapple Greens Protein smoothie. Besides the animal-free egg white protein, the new smoothie contains fresh fruits and vegetables, and no additives. The protein is functionally equivalent to an egg white protein from chickens but made in a more sustainable way. Every’s “nearly invisible” protein has no aftertaste, no gritty texture and requires zero need for masking agents, sugar or artificial sweeteners. Pressed will sell the smoothie for a limited time at select locations across Los Angeles and New York markets for $7.95. 

Odyssey Wellness Enters Functional Mushroom Beverage Market

The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based beverage company, which also produces a line of sparkling beverages made with organic ingredients that support energy and focus, says ready-to-drink line of organic functional mushroom elixirs harness the power of adaptogenic mushrooms providing support for energy, focus, immunity, and mood. The functional mushroom brew line includes four flavors featuring different types of functional mushrooms, including lion’s mane, cordyceps, reishi, turkey tail, chaga, maitake, and shiitake. 
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