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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Loses Bid To Cancel U.S. Trademarks Of Indian Brands

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled that Coca-Cola Co's sales of Thums Up and Limca sodas in India and other countries did not justify canceling Meenaxi Enterprise Inc’s U.S. trademarks for soft drinks with the same name. Coca-Cola bought the rights to Indian brands Thums Up and Limca in 1993 and have since expanded the beverage to other countries in Asia and Africa. Meenaxi has been selling drinks with the same name to Indian grocers in the U.S. since 2008 and received federal trademarks for them in 2012. In 2016, after a request from Coca-Cola, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled Meenaxi’s registrations after finding it was trying to ‘dupe’ U.S. consumers. However, the U.S. Court of Appeal just revived Meenaxi’s trademarks after finding Coca-Cola failed to prove it suffered any loss in business in the U.S. from Meenaxi’s products.

Changing Markets Foundation’s Report Exposes Coca-Cola For Greenwashing

Changing Markets Foundation has published its report on greenwashing, which exposes Coca-Cola amongst other companies, for making misleading packaging claims. The report states Coca-Cola has spent millions promoting an innovation that claims its bottles are 25% marine plastic but does not mention that the company is the world’s biggest plastic polluter. CMF explains common greenwashing claims are made with little proof of how the packaging addresses the crisis in plastic pollution, which obscures the real impact of plastic from consumers. The report also called out other companies, including Tesco, P&G and Unilever. CMF states it will continue to expose these false claims to empower consumers’ right and ability to judge products. 

Coca-Cola Launches Limited-Edition Flavor With Marshmello

Coca-Cola has partnered with electronic music producer Marshmello to release a limited-edition strawberry and watermelon flavored beverage. The drink comes in collectible white 12-ounce cans with a black-dripped script, similar to the style of Marshmello’s signature helmet, and an illustration of Marshmello. The drink is part of the company's ongoing "Creations” program, which aims to reassociate its classic beverage with youthfulness. In February, the company launched its first “Creations” project, a space-inspired drink called Starlight. Two months later, Coca-Cola announced the sale of Zero Sugar Byte, a “pixel-flavored” soda. The Marshmello beverage will go on sale on July 11th and will be supported by paid advertising on YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat. On July 25, fans who purchase the drink can scan the QR code on the can to be transported to the Coca-Cola Creations online hub where Marshmello’s latest track can be streamed. 

Coke Canada Bottling Invests CAD 42 Million In Lower Mainland Operations

Coca-Cola Canada Bottling has announced a CAD 42 million (USD 32 million) investment in its Lower Mainland operations to meet growing customer demand in British Columbia. The investment includes a CAD 24 million manufacturing line and an additional CAD 18 million sales, warehouse, and distribution facility, both located in Richmond, British Columbia. The manufacturing line is expected to be operational in spring 2023 and will enable the company to produce pre-form bottles, increase capacity, and reduce packaging emissions. The new sales, warehouse, and distribution center should open in spring 2024 and will offer expanded storage and enable the transition of the products from production to placement. 

Keurig Dr Pepper

Keurig Releases Intelligentsia K-CUP Coffee Pods

Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. and Intelligentsia Coffee have announced the launch of Intelligentsia in K-Cup® pods for the Keurig® brewing system. Intelligentsia is a Chicago-based, artisanal coffee brand that practices responsible sourcing. The launch marks the first time a super-premium brand is available in Keurig’s lineup. New innovations within the Keurig brewing system ensure it will deliver the quality consumers expect from Intelligentsia. Keurig’s MultiStream™ technology uses five streams instead of one to thoroughly and evenly saturate the grounds to extract full flavor and aroma. Additionally, signature BrewID™ technology recognizes the specific K-Cup pod brand, variety and roast, and customizes the brew settings accordingly. Intelligentsia K-Cup pods will be available in retailers across the country and online on Keurig.com, Intelligentsia.com and Amazon.com, and will be offered in two varieties: House and El Gallo. 

Other Companies

Ecotone UK Launches New Super Green Tea Range

Ecotone UK has expanded its Clipper Teas portfolio with its new range of super green teas, containing naturally sourced vitamin C. The organic and Fairtrade certified range includes varieties Organic Green Tea Reviving, with orange, acerola, guarana and matcha, and Organic Green Tea Defending, with blackcurrant, acerola and matcha. Each tea bag is made from plant-based, biodegradable, unbleached and non-GM materials, while also containing at least 15 percent of the daily recommended vitamin C intake of 12mg.

CULT Artisan Beverage Company Launches Botanical Infusions Line At Sprouts

CULT Artisan Beverage Company recently launched its new Botanical Infusions line in Sprouts nationwide. CULT’s Botanicals Infusions is a plant-based, natural hydration beverage with antioxidants, electrolytes and zero sugar and caffeine. The drink comes in three flavors: Strawberry Lemon Honeybush, Blackberry Açaí Elderberry, and Pomegranate Hibiscus.  

Texas Ranch Water Co. Transitions to Rancho La Gloria’s Portfolio

MPL Brands has announced its agave-based hard seltzer brand Texas Ranch Water Co. will transition to its Rancho La Gloria portfolio, which is renowned for its agave-based ready-to-drink cocktails. With an updated look and new flavors, Ranch Water will offer Rancho La Gloria a new vertical for growth as the hard seltzer boom continues. The canned drink has a 5% ABV, with only 100 calories and two grams of carbs per serving. In addition to the four core flavors – Grapefruit, Lime, Tangerine and Watermelon – Rancho La Gloria is introducing two limited editions flavors - Pickle Back and Spicy Mango. Rancho La Gloria Ranch Water can be found at major retailers including Target, Publix, Kroger and Ralphs.

Atomo Coffee Raises $40 Million In Series A Round For Beanless Coffee Beverage

Food technology company Atomo Coffee Inc. raised $40 million in its recent Series A funding round, enabling further investment in its beanless coffee product development, manufacturing scale, and official launch of its beverages, beginning with two ready-to-drink cold brews. Available now, the initial products include Classic Black and Ultra Smooth, both brewed from plant-based, upcycled ingredients that reduce environmental impact but maintain the taste and caffeine consumers expect. Atomo claims the beverage results in 93 percent less carbon emissions and 94 percent less water than regular coffee. In a recent blind taste study conducted by National Food Labs, Atomo's cold brew out-ranked competitive conventional cold brew products on a preference rating of 2:1, with panelists not being able to recognize Atomo was made without conventional coffee beans. Atomo’s cold brew is now available through the company's website and will be available at select retail locations later this year.

Mortal Launches Power Line of Functional Prebiotic Sparkling Waters

Colorado-based kombucha brand Mortal has announced the release of Power, a line of functional prebiotic sparkling waters. Mortal Power is a lightly fruit flavored sparkling water that, depending on the flavor, contains magnesium, electrolytes, natural caffeine or collagen. The beverage is also gluten-free, certified organic, and 1% For The Planet certified, with 30 calories or less and between 2 and 4g of natural added sugar. Mortal Power is now available in Colorado retailers, United Super Markets and Sprouts. 

Inside The Plant-Based Water Market

Beverage Marketing Corporation’s (BMC) report titled “Coconut, Aloe and Other Plant-Based Beverages in the U.S.” notes that the plant-based beverage market will continue to be fueled by the need for wellness and functionality. The U.S. plant-based beverage market can be separated into two segments: coconut water and plant water, which includes tree waters, aloe beverages and cactus water. Coconut water is the most established segment, holding 77.1 percent of plant-based beverage consumption, and has seen mainstream success with its expansion into new formats such as kids beverages and sports drinks. However, plant water has been the fastest growing segment within the market, seeing volume grow 42 percent from 2016 to 2021. Plant waters provide different flavor and nutritional profiles than coconut water and often have shorter supply lines. Notable start-ups include hemp-derived water brand Cann-Ade and barley water brand Graasi. However, as the difference between plant-based beverages blur, BMC highlights the need for innovation, consumer engagement, variety of flavors, and an emphasis on benefits to effectively compete. 
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