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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola In Japan Trials Water Refills

Coca-Cola Japan has been developing Bon Aqua Water Bar, a self-service dispenser that enables customers to refill their own bottles with different water choices: cold, room temperature, hot and carbonated. Users can also choose to take a paper cup in two sizes, or a 380ml Bon Aqua bottles. The idea was piloted December last year at Universal Studios Japan and is also being tested at Tiger Corporation’s offices.

UK Advertising Standards Authority Rules Against Innocent Ad

ASA has banned an ad from Coca-Cola’s innocent brand for being misleading and for ‘greenwashing’. An animated otter sang lyrics that ASA thought would lead consumers to believe purchasing the drink would benefit the environment. The industry watchdog ruled on the ad after 26 viewers complained and said that although it “acknowledged that innocent was undertaking various actions, which were aimed at reducing the environmental impact of their products, that did not demonstrate that their products had a net positive environmental impact over their full lifecycles.” 

Danone

Volvic Touch Of Fruit Sugar-Free Range Adds New Flavor

Danone’s Volvic Touch of Fruit sugar-free portfolio now includes Peach & Raspberry Vitality with added vitamin B6. Each contains less than four calories. The product is available in 1.5-litre bottles exclusively in Asda stores until it’s rolled out more widely in March 2022.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group

KDP Posts Strong 2021 Results On Cold Beverages Sales Growth

Keurig Dr Pepper reported 9.2 percent sales growth in 2021, attributing much of the growth to its cold beverages. Fourth quarter sales were up 8.7 percent. The coffee systems business was up 6.4 percent in the year, with volume/mix growing 6.5 percent; packaged beverages posted 9.7 percent sales growth, including 17.1 percent in the final quarter on “continued strong in-market execution and market share expansion across the portfolio”. Beverage concentrates sales grew 12.2 percent on higher marketing investments and a stronger foodservice market. Latin America beverages posted a 20.5 percent sales lift for the year. CEO Bob Gamgort said KDP is starting 2022 with confidence in “the stronger, faster-growing business we have built.”

Monster

Monster Beverages Hit Sales Record In 2021

Net sales in 2021 of $5.54 billion, 21 percent higher than 2020, was Monster’s highest despite supply chain issues including freight and restrictions, shipping container shortages, obstacles at ports, delays in getting some ingredients and shortages of co-packing capacity. The company has also seen aluminum can shortages and elevated aluminum prices in recent quarters but believes this could moderate this year. The Monster Energy Drinks sales grew 21 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2020; sales by the Strategic Brands segment dropped 3.5 percent; and international sales were up 32 percent in the final quarter. 

Other Companies

Starryside Kids Beverage Brand Launched With Star Water

Star Water, Starryside’s inaugural product, is an organic beverage providing immunity-boosting benefits. It comes in three flavors - Rockin’ Root Beer, Beachy Peachy Strawberry and Magical Mango Pineapple. All contain vitamins C, D, and Zinc, and have no sugar, juice or calories. Founders Liz Seelye and Erin Fasano, inspired by Sir Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk and books, believe kids will be more creative if they are better hydrated and healthy, but feel the kids’ aisle is full of “sugary juice in non-recyclable boxes”. They partnered with friend and Ben & Jerry’s flavor specialist to create the flavors, and have put the drinks in smaller, kid-size cans.

$7 Million Financing Round To Support De La Calle’s Expansion Plans

De La Calle, a beverage startup, closed a $7 million funding round aimed at providing support for product portfolio and national retail distribution expansion. The company was established last year and is known for its tepache Mexican fermented probiotic drinks, which are certified organic, low in sugar and contain under 40 calories. Investment was led by private investment firm KarpReilly. It plans to launch four new flavors and to extend to five Whole Foods store regions in the U.S.: Southern and Northern California, the Northeast, and the Rocky Mountain and Mid-Atlantic regions. 

Betterland Milk: ‘Cow-Free’ But Not ‘Plant-Based’

A new milk alternative is calling itself “cow-free”. Betterland is based on animal-free dairy protein from Perfect Day, a whey identical to cow’s milk protein but made using fungi in bioreactors. The result is a milk alternative that functions differently from almond or soy milks. It froths more like cow’s milk and reacts like it when used in baking or cooking. Perfect Day’s protein is made using a “precision fermentation” process. It feeds sugar to microbes genetically engineered with cow DNA to generate the whey proteins. Betterland has produced two products: a whole milk and a “creamy” variant for baking. They contain coconut and sunflower oil, as well as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil. The 8 grams of protein is more than some plant-based milks, and the products are lactose-free, contain less fat than whole milk, and avoid some of the problems associated with conventional milk like cholesterol, hormones and antibiotics. 

Investment Company KKR Acquires Refresco

KKR has purchased a majority stake in Refresco, the beverage contract manufacturer, for an undisclosed sum and says it will support Refreso’s global expansion. A key focus will be sustainability, using more environment-friendly and responsible operations as well as sustainable sourcing. Refresco was established in 1999, since when it has become a global beverage manufacturer for retailers and branded beverage brands. It has a European and North American network of bottling, logistics and other assets, with over 70 majority-owned manufacturing sites in Europe, the U.S., Canada and Mexico. 

Graasi Barley Water Launched In Three Flavors

Graasi launched a ready-to-drink organic barley water in three flavors: Citrus Mint, Cucumber Lime and Lemongrass Ginger. Graasi Barley Water is sold with claims of being able to deliver hydration as well as immunity and other wellness. It’s made from organic barley grass juice powder, which has fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, and each bottle also contains 100% vitamin C, D and zinc daily values. The 16-ounce bottles can be bought on www.graasi.com.
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