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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Historic Coca-Cola, NASA Partnership Inspires New Line In Asia

A 35-year-old partnership deal between NASA and Coca-Cola has inspired the latter’s launch of Starshine in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The packaging features stars on a pink background, and the launch will be supported by a digital-first campaign with global popstar, Ava Max, and an AR concert accessed through the Coca-Cola Creations' microsite or by scanning a code. The limited-edition drink has zero sugar. It was launched first in the U.S. in March and is the first product from Coke’s new global innovation platform, from which additional limited-edition launches are expected, supported by new experiences across both physical and digital worlds. Asian consumers will, for example, see Zero Sugar Byte, which will be introduced in the metaverse and then in physical retail. 

Coca-Cola’s Auburndale Facility To Be Expanded

Fifty new roles will be added through a $51 million investment in Coca-Cola’s Auburndale plant, following a 10-year 50 percent ad valorem tax exemption granted by the Polk County Board of County Commissioners. The investment will pay for two new production lines. 

Ukraine War Likely To Delay CCBA IPO

An estimated $3 billion IPO for Coca-Cola Beverages Africa will now probably happen in the third quarter of 2022, according to industry experts citing the war in Ukraine as the main reason. Russia’s invasion of its neighbor has hit investor confidence and IPO volumes across the EMEA region. CCBA is expected to list in Amsterdam and Johannesburg, following the IPO announcement in April 2021. Coca-Cola, which owns an almost two-thirds stake in CCBA, has seen its market value drop as a result of the war.

Keurig Dr Pepper

KDP And Tractor Beverage Agree Long-Term Sales Deal

Tractor Beverage Company, which claims to be the “only certified organic, non-GMO” range of soft drinks, and Keurig Dr. Pepper have signed a sales partnership. Tractor Beverage, which sells to foodservice, hopes the deal will allow it to use KDP’s distribution reach to expand and to hit $70 million sales in 2022, up from $40 million last year. The terms were not disclosed. 


Monster Energy To Balance Supply Chain Inflation And Elevated Demand

First quarter sales for Monster Energy were up over 22 percent in the face of higher supply chain costs. Its core energy drinks segment posted 20 percent sales growth, but the company’s costs increased, especially for freight ingredients and packaging materials. Operating expenses were up around 25 percent. Monster helped stabilize its aluminum supply with two new can suppliers in the U.S., which should also help reduce packaging costs in the second half of the year. Monster has been working on extending its energy portfolio to the coffee + energy drinks sub-category through the RTD Java Monster range, and the company’s CEO said that although supply chain challenges have delayed product innovation, Monster remains committed to growing the portfolio in international markets. 

Other Companies

Convenience Chain Launches Red Bull Infusion Drinks

QuickChek has introduced made-to-order Red Bull Infusion Energy Drinks, based on regular or sugar-free Red Bull. It is infusing Red Bull with a choice of several flavors for an iced or frozen drink. Signature flavor blends include Razzmatazz (Blue Raspberry and Orange); Wave Rider (Blue Raspberry and Coconut); Strawberry Dreams (Strawberry and Vanilla); Summer Punch (Strawberry and Peach); Coral Reef (Strawberry, Peach and Coconut); Peach Paradise (Peach and Coconut); Hyperdrive (Lemon and Orange); and Orange Creamsicle (Orange and Vanilla). There are also five classic flavor options: Blue Raspberry; Orange; Coconut; Strawberry; and Peach. QuickChek operates 161 stores in New Jersey and New York’s Hudson Valley and Long Island.

Britvic Believes Soft Drink Category Is Well Placed For HFSS Opportunity

Rather than seeing new HFSS legislation in England as an obstacle, one brand at least is viewing it as a major opportunity, especially as almost 80 percent of soft drinks sales are already HFSS-compliant, following the 2018 UK Soft Drinks Industry Levy. Britvic’s managing director Paul Graham says the industry is used to legislative change and has shown how reformulation and innovation can lead to sustained sales growth, and the response to HFSS rules will be no different. He adds that soft drinks have secured over 40 percent of total impulse sales and is well placed to bring new impulse options for retailers to sell and fill gaps in other impulse categories. Around 90 percent of the brand’s portfolio is already compliant, and it has set out tips to maximize success in the post-HFSS legislation world, such as: supporting compliant innovation by exciting consumers about healthier drinks; not completely ignoring consumers that want HFSS products; and maximizing occasions, like Christmas, Easter, with occasion-based solutions. Britvic also says that functional beverages are underrepresented in impulse compared with grocery stores, and brands can help retailers with better signposting for consumers, to help take advantage of consumers’ willingness to pay more for healthier products. Britvic says this is underscored by the success of products like the natural energy drink, Purdey’s, Naked Smoothies and Innocent Super Smoothies, and benefits like gut health and rehydration are emerging opportunities. CBD is another. 

Vieve Launches Vegan Protein Water

A 2018 U.K. startup has launched vegan protein waters, after surviving the headwinds over the past two years caused by Brexit and the pandemic. The products contain zero added sugar and fat, 10 grams of protein and 50 calories, and come in two flavors: wild cherry and peach and orange. Vieve says its loyal consumer base has been asking for a vegan protein water, and the founder said that “being able to offer this is a significant moment for the business, and one I am immensely proud of as it shows our commitment to bringing first to market innovation within the category”. The new line adds to the company’s range of flavored protein waters and protein powders, which are exported to markets in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. It has benefited from the switch to e-commerce spending caused by the pandemic, as well as greater consumer awareness surrounding personal health.
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