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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


HONEST Teas To Be Phased Out

Although it’s keeping the HONEST Kids range, Coca-Cola has decided phase out HONEST teas by the end of the year. Instead, the company will divert attention to the Gold Peak national brand and Peace Tea regional brand as the core of its North American RTD tea strategy. Gold Peak was launched in 2006. It became a billion-dollar brand in 2015. Peace Tea has a strong Gen Z customer base in the Midwest, Northeast and Southeast regions. Sales of both brands grew during the pandemic, offering multi-serve at-home consumption options and immune-boosting benefits. HONEST teas are primarily in single-serve bottles and have seen headwinds caused by glass supply constraints. The company has faced supply constraints too for Gold Peak, which has had to “prioritize production and distribution of certain product SKUs” and has been “unable to meet consumer demand”. 

Coca-Cola Freestyle 8100 To Leverage Drive-Thru Trends

As drive-thru consumption increases, Coca-Cola Freestyle is offering a new, crew-serve dispenser, called Freestyle 8100. Advanced technology helps streamline the process to reduce waiting times, improve order accuracy and make it easier to use. It offers over 200 beverage options. New features include optional POS integration to simplify order fulfillment; new SmartPour Technology that senses the volume of ice in the cup to prevent over-filling; and a new design, including a 24” HD touchscreen. It’s being trialed by select customers including Wendy’s, Burger King, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s and Taco Mac. Full rollout is set for the last quarter of the year. 


Silk Canada Launches Dairy-Free Drink For Plant-Curious Dairy Consumers

Danone Canada has launched Silk Nextmilk™, a plant-based and dairy-free drink that the brand claims does not compromise taste and creaminess versus dairy alternatives. Jeremy Oxley, SVP of Marketing at Danone Canada, said that six in 10 Canadians “are reluctant to try plant-based beverages as they feel the taste differs too much from the products they're used to”. During development, dairy experts analyzed dairy-based drinking experiences to design the plant-based formulation after testing hundreds of ingredient pairings to most closely mimic the taste of dairy milk. The non-GMO Project verified product is sold in the refrigerated aisles in major retailers nationwide. It provides a good source of vitamin B12, riboflavin and calcium, and also contains vitamins A and D, zinc and fiber, with 3 grams of sugar per 250 ml and is free from lactose, gluten, carrageenan and artificial coloring and flavors.


Monster Energy Launches Aussie Style Lemonade In The US

Americans can buy Aussie Style Lemonade, a new product from Monster. Monster Energy's Chief Marketing Officer, Dan McHugh, says that Monster had to make a lemonade in its own unique style, and “Aussie Style Lemonade is 100% Monster Approved.” It is sold in cans featuring ocean graphics that invoke the Great Barrier Reef and is made with real juice together with the brand’s energy blend. 

Other Companies

TeaPot Is A New Cannabis-Infused Iced Tea Line From Boston Beer

The Boston Beer Company is launching TeaPot, a range of cannabis-infused iced teas, in some Canadian provinces from July. The first product will be Good Day Iced Tea, based on real lemon black tea infused with Pedro's Sweet Sativa, which is sold in Canada as Color Cannabis. TeaPot will be sold in 12-ounce cans containing 5mg of THC. Additional variants will be introduced in the following months. CEO Dave Burwick said the company’s objective remains to “be the most innovative consumer-focused beverage company on the planet" and even though “beer is our middle name” it continues to launch hard teas, hard ciders, hard seltzers and canned cocktails. It will focus on Canada for the product while it awaits “further progress on US regulations.” 

Chlorophyll Water Now Available at KeHe

KeHe shoppers will be able to buy Chlorophyll Water, which claims to be the first-ever bottled water in the US to receive ‘Clean Label Project Certification’. Bottled at the mountain source, Chlorophyll Water is based on purified mountain spring water and enhanced with chlorophyll. The product is fortified with vitamins A, B12, C and D. Social media popularity has highlighted a range of possible benefits, such as skin health, improved metabolism and immunity, weight loss, detoxification and energy. KeHe has 16-distribution centers in North America and claims to be one of the largest pure-play grocery and natural distributors in the market, with access to over 30,000 retailers across the US.

Theory Wellness Launches Hi5 Energy Cannabis-Infused Energy Drink

After selling one million cans of Hi5 cannabis-infused seltzer in Massachusetts over just nine months, Theory Wellness is introducing Hi5 Energy this month. It contains 80mg of caffeine and 5mg of THC and will be sold in regular and sugar-free citrus varieties. The brand claims that nano-emulsified THC provides faster therapeutic effects. Brandon Pollock, CEO and co-founder of Theory Wellness, said that cannabis drinks are becoming more popular across a broad range of consumers because they can be consumed discreetly. Infused cannabis drink sales were worth some $915 million last year, and the category is forecast to grow at a 16.9 percent CAGR through 2026. Cannabis is being seen as a healthier alternative to alcohol for some social occasions in states in which adult use is legal.

Alkaline Water Company Takes Alkaline88 Into The Sports Category

Alkaline88 Sport is a new drink that brings together alkaline water and functional ingredients to the US. The Alkaline88 brand, launched in 2012, is now in more than 80,000 US retail outlets and is the 10th largest enhanced water brand. CEO Ricky Wright said that the move into sports drinks was a response to the growth in the category, from “85 million gallons in 2019 to 188 million gallons in 2021”, and a forecast that sports drinks will overtake energy drinks in 2022. Wright also highlights the FreshCap tech, which stores ingredients in the cap, as a unique feature of the brand, allowing consumers to mix in functional ingredients. Alkaline88 Sport is all-natural, sugar-free and contains no preservatives or calories. There are four flavors (Fruit Punch, Jolly Watermelon, Very Berry, Limon Citrus). Functional ingredients include Guarana and Ginseng, as well as vitamins B-12, B-6, B-5 and B-3, stored in liquid form in the FreshCap – the ingredients infuse when the cap is twisted open. 

GoodSport Aims To Disrupt Sports Drink Category With Milk-Based Option

Founded last year, Chicago-based GoodSport is inspired by some athletes’ preference for chocolate milk in recovery.  The brand claims the 97 percent dairy drink is a ‘first of its kind’ sports drink, offering a natural alternative to provide the electrolytes and carbohydrates essential for hydration, supported by studies that indicate how milk is better at hydrating than typical sports drinks and water. Its consistency and protein content, and that it slows digestion, have been barriers to dairy for hydration in the past, but the formulation removes protein and fat during ultra-filtration that results in a clear fluid containing the electrolytes and vitamins. It uses monk fruit extract and erythritol as sweeteners, and each 16.9-ounce bottle contains 90 calories. 

Lavazza To Unveil RTD Cold Brew Line

Coffee brands have been extending into the RTD category in North America, and Lavazza has joined them with a range to appeal to Gen Z. It offers four styles - original, nitro, cappuccino cold brew with milk and double shot cold brew with oat milk. Camille Vareille, head of marketing for Lavazza in the US, said “we wanted to bring our Italian roots into the category while we adapt to the local North American market.” It represents its latest attempt to appeal to younger coffee drinkers, with colorful cans that contrast with Lavazza’s normal packaging. The line is available at Lavazza’s US website, Amazon and select retailers like Stop & Shop, as well as in Lavazza’s seven US cafes. 
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