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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Swire Pacific Buys Coca-Cola Indochina For $1 Billion

Hong Kong conglomerate Swire Pacific will buy Coca-Cola Indochina, Coca-Cola’s bottling operations in Vietnam and Cambodia, for $1 billion. Swire will acquire the assets through its two wholly owned subsidiaries, Swire Beverages Holdings and Swire Coca-Cola, one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the world, with exclusive rights to manufacture, market, and distribute Coke products in most provinces of mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and part of the western U.S. The move is Swire’s first investment in the rapidly growing Southeast Asian beverage market. The deal is subject to anti-trust approval and will take place within six months of the signing of the agreement.

Dave & Buster’s Tests Coca-Cola Micromarket With Automated Checkout

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. announced it is testing checkout-free convenience store technology at its Hollywood, Florida location. The Game & Go micromarket has opened in partnership with Zippin, which is providing the checkout-free technology, and Coca-Cola, which is providing the beverages. The Game & Go store will offer pre-packaged snacks, beverages, and canned beer and wine. The store is designed for guests coming to play but who don’t want to eat at the restaurant. If this six-month test goes well, Dave & Buster’s will roll it out to other locations.

Remilk Partners With CBC Group To Create Animal-Free Dairy Line

Animal-free dairy startup Remilk has teamed up with Israeli Coca-Cola bottler CBC Group - which also owns leading dairy processor Tara Dairy - to develop a line of drinks, cheeses, and yogurts featuring 'animal-free' dairy proteins for the Israeli market. The products will feature Remilk's whey protein (beta-lactoglobulin), which is made via a genetically engineered strain of yeast via precision fermentation. The feedstock for the microbes is proprietary information but is known to be from a non-agricultural land source of sugars. Depending on regulatory approval, Remilk’s products are set to launch within 12 months. The company estimates that by 2024, it will sell its proteins at the same price that it costs dairy farmers to produce milk proteins. Remilk also has US ambitions and has recently obtained self-affirmed GRAS status for its beta-lactoglobulin and submitted its GRAS notification to the FDA.


Evian Promotes Its Sparkling Water With Las Vegas Residency

evian has launched evian Sparkling, the brand's first non-flavored sparkling carbonated natural spring water. To celebrate its latest innovation, the brand is also unveiling the evian Sparkling Water Residency in partnership with Tao Group Hospitality. The first-ever water residency will last from July 12-August 12 at TAO Beach Dayclub at The Venetian® Resort Las Vegas. The evian Sparkling Water Residency features a replica of the French Alps, Swarovski crystal-covered evian Sparkling bottles and evian "water service" presentation available to order. evian Sparkling is available at Tao Group Hospitality properties in 330ml and 750ml glass bottles and is rolling out at select hotels and restaurants nationwide. 

Keurig Dr Pepper

Keurig Dr. Pepper Announces Sweeping Executive Leadership Changes

Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. has announced changes to its executive leadership team, in advance of the company's CEO transition. As announced in April, Ozan Dokmecioglu will transition from the position of CFO & President, International to the position of CEO on July 29, at which time Chairman & CEO Bob Gamgort will transition to the role of Executive Chairman. Derek Hopkins, President, Cold Beverages has decided to leave KDP at the end of the year, but will continue to serve in an advisory role in 2023 to Gamgort and Dokmecioglu. KDP will separate Hopkins's current role into two – President, Commercial and a more focused President, Cold Beverages role. Current Chief Customer Officer Andrew Archambault will be promoted to the President, Commercial role. KDP has launched an external search for the President, Cold Beverages role and expects to fill it before the end of the year. In addition, Mauricio Leyva, currently President, Coffee, will assume an expanded role as Group President. Chief Research & Development Officer David Thomas will retire, but has agreed to remain with KDP while it conducts an external search for the role. George Lagoudakis, Senior Vice President of Finance for Cold Beverages, has been appointed to the interim role of KDP CFO, as the company continues its external search for the role. All other Executive Leadership Team members will continue in their current positions.

Other Companies

TapouT Performance Drinks Expands Distribution in Arizona

As a result of its partnership with Kalil Bottling, Splash Beverage Group, Inc. will expand the distribution of its TapouT in 86 locations across Arizona. All four SKUs of TapouT Performance Drinks will now be available in CobbleStone AutoSpa locations, Carioca Convenience Stores, and all of the 4-Sons Convenience Stores. 

Natural Sports Drink GoodSport Launches In Wisconsin

Natural sports drink GoodSport is launching in retailers across Wisconsin. GoodSport claims its drink contains 3 times the electrolytes and 33 percent less sugar than traditional sports drinks, with no artificial flavors, colors or dyes. GoodSport's patent-pending formula uses ultra-filtered deproteinized milk to harness the naturally occurring electrolytes and carbohydrates in milk, but without its heavy consistency and protein content. The result is a clear, light beverage that is lactose-free and provides a good source of calcium and B vitamins. Dairy companies often ultrafilter milk and leave behind the part of the milk used to make GoodSport. By rescuing and upcycling ultra-filtered deproteinized milk, GoodSport contributes to the sustainability efforts of the dairy industry. It is sold in 16.9-ounce bottles in four flavors: Lemon Lime, Fruit Punch, Wild Berry and Citrus. 

Innova Market Insights Reveals Health Strategies In Beverage Market

At IFT First, Innova Market Insights presented its “Health strategies in beverages”, which highlighted that health and wellbeing is no longer limited to the body. Based on 2021 research across 11 countries, the research firm found that while physical health remains a top focus, holistic health is on the rise, including mental, emotional and spiritual health. Its research also showed that positive natural nutrition is important to consumers. A 2021 Innova Health & Nutrition Survey of U.S. consumers found 44 percent of respondents indicated that they try to limit or reduce products or ingredients that are bad for them, while 15 percent indicated they choose natural products to avoid additives and preservatives as much as possible. Additionally, Innova research found that immune health is one of the fastest growing segments, up a compound annual growth rate of 57 percent between April 2019 and March 2022. The firm also sees more opportunity to converge energy with immune health. 

Better Juice and GEA Establish Sugar-Reduction Innovation Center

Israeli start-up, Better Juice, and GEA Group AG, Germany, have established a new pilot facility, inviting juice manufacturers to test Better Juice’s sugar-reduction technology, an enzymatic process that uses all-natural ingredients to convert simple sugars (fructose, glucose, and sucrose) into prebiotic dietary fibers and other non-digestible molecules, while maintaining the flavor, body, and nutrients of the fruit. Better Juice claims its technology can reduce up to 80 percent of sugars in natural fruit juices as well as in fruit-based compositions, such as purées. The innovation center, located in Ahaus, Germany will have Better Juice employees and GEA expert engineers on site to guide and educate visiting companies during their trials. The center will make sugar reduction more accessible for companies, while decreasing R&D costs and time. The center will be fully operational within the month. 

Primo Water Corporation Acquires Highland Mountain Water

Sustainable drinking water solution company Primo Water Corporation has announced it has acquired Highland Mountain Water. Highland Mountain Water is a leading independent distributor of Primo's Mountain Valley® premium water brand. The acquisition fits within Primo’s existing footprint and will help expand distribution. 

Plink! Launches With Functional Effervescent Tablets

Start-up Plink! has launched with its functional, nationally flavored effervescent tablets. Plink!’s tablets contain electrolytes and are low sugar and low calorie. Plink! claims its tablet format reduces its carbon footprint, requiring 99 percent  less packaging than canned and bottled drinks. The beverage is sold in 18 packs and is available in three flavors - Pineapple Grapefruit, Watermelon and Pomegranate Berry – and is currently selling direct-to-consumer on its website but hopes to be in stores by the end of the year. 

Celesta Co. And Nurish Brands Partner To Create Sleep And Relaxation Beverage Line

Celesta Co. LLC and Nurish Brands have partnered to create a line of functional beverages for relaxation and sleep support. The beverages will utilize Celesta’s ingredient blends and be sold under Nurish’s Feel brand. Celesta is a supplier of science-based technologies that improve sleep and relaxation, including its branded ingredients SlumberMor and RnRMor. Celesta’s blends target multiple, specific pathways to overall wellness, such as sleep induction, sleep duration, stress reduction, body recovery and mood stabilization. Additional details about Celesta and Nurish’s beverage line will be announced later this year.

EARI Beverage Group Acquires Blossom Botanical Water

Diversified beverage and media company EARI Beverage Group has announced its acquisition of the Blossom Botanical Water brand. Blossom sells its flower and fruit infused waters along the U.S. East Coast and Midwest and has generated roughly $4 million in gross sales since inception. The acquisition will expand EARI’s footprint in the functional and craft beverage market segment. EARI plans to expand Blossom’s distribution, launch new variants and develop more sustainable packaging. 

South African Soft Drink Company PURA Beverages To Enter U.S. Market

South African soft drink company PURA Beverages is preparing to enter the U.S market. PURA Soda is low-calorie and contains less than half of the sugar of average soft drinks. Last month, the company attended the Summer Fancy Food Show (New York) and the KeHE Holiday Show (Chicago) trade events to meet with retailers, and claimed it secured $1million worth of sales. PURA Kids will be going into Target in quarter one of 2023, with PURA Soda in consideration for the October reset. PURA also claims it is in the process of working through the listing requirements with multiple additional retailers, including Walmart. The company hopes the U.S. market will make up 70 percent of its revenue in the next three years. 

The Human Bean Introduces New Infused Energy Flavors

Drive-thru coffee franchise The Human Bean has launched new summer-themed flavors of its Infused Energy beverage – Buzz Berry (blue raspberry and vanilla), Smash Melon (strawberry and watermelon) and Peach Perfect (peach and mango). The Human Bean is also encouraging customers to experiment with their own custom flavors, with add-ins including Strawberry Kiwi, Mango, Coconut Blackberry, and Pomegranate. All drinks are available iced, blended, or as an infusion in The Human Bean's Real Fruit Smoothies.

Rocket Drink Group Prepares To Launch Nitro-Style Coffee Across Australia

Australian-based beverage company The Rocket Drink Group is preparing to distribute its canned cold brew coffees, named Mak and Rocket, in grocery stores across the country. Rocket Drink’s founder, Michael Wiss, claims the beverages evolved from a chain of cafes he owned in Western Australia which, back in 2003, were the first in the nation to serve nitro coffee on tap. Wiss launched Mak Draught coffee four years ago, which is made from carbonated water, freshly extracted espresso, dark malt, organic agave syrup, hops and organic vanilla. Last year the draught was rebranded, reformulated, and packaged in slimline cans as Mak Italiano Black. Sold in stores in Tasmania, including some Woolworths, the product has now found its way into 24 Victorian Woolworths stores on a trial, with expansion into another 100 outlets planned for September. The second product, Rocket, was launched last month. Described as a natural coffee energy drink, Rocket contains carbonated water, high-grade specialty coffee, organic coconut syrup, and natural flavors. Further no/low sugar and sports drink variants are planned, with future flavors using the coffee berry cascara, blueberry, strawberry and dark cherry. 

Soda Folk Reformulates Root Beer Flavor And Redesigns Packaging

Soft drinks brand Soda Folk has reformulated its root beer flavor ahead of the UK government’s HFSS clampdown. Soda Folk has reduced the sugar content in the new formulation by 63 percent and has run taste tests that found 95 percent of consumers believed the new formula had the same taste or was better than the original. In addition to the reformulation, the root beer pack has been redesigned, with every can featuring public hero Jim Elliot. After being furloughed during the 2020 lockdown, Elliot began a clean-up operation of Grimsby’s historic waterway, the River Freshney, from his canoe. With the lower sugar content and new ‘hero’, Soda Folk aims to associate the company with kindness and authenticity.  

Flow Beverage Corp Launches Vitamin-Infused Water

Flow Beverage Corp has launched Vitamin-Infused Water line in three organic flavors - Cherry, Citrus and Elderberry. Flow Vitamin-Infused Water has zero sugar, calories and preservatives and contains 120% of the daily recommended daily value of Vitamin C. Flow Vitamin-Infused Water is available online through its website and in-store in Fred Meyer locations. This launch will be supported by several activations including social media and digital campaigns. The Canadian retail and direct to consumer launch is currently planned for later in 2022.

Riff Energy+ Is Now Verified Non-GMO

Purpose-driven coffee company Riff announced its latest offering, Riff Energy+, has officially been non-GMO verified by the Non-GMO Project Program. Riff Energy+ is a vegan, climate-friendly energy drink made from upcycled cascara (coffee fruit). The addition of the verified Non-GMO Project Program seal furthers Riff’s mission to support the planet and consumers’ health and wellness. Riff’s verification follows its recent carbon neutral certification by Carbonfund.org Foundation’s Carbonfree® Product Certification Program. With this certification, Riff has become the nation’s first certified carbon neutral energy drink and functional beverage. 

Hydralyte Launches Hydralyte Plus Liver Support for Hangover Recovery

Hydration solution brand Hydralyte has announced the release of Hydralyte Plus Liver Support for hangover recovery. It combines Hydralyte’s rapid dehydration formula with liver supporting antioxidants milk thistle, prickly pear, turmeric and ginger. It also contains seven electrolytes, B vitamins and 6 antioxidants to help reduce inflammation and cell damage caused by alcohol. The beverage is meant to be consumed once before bed and once in the morning. Hydralyte Plus Live Support is available online at Hydralyte.com and Amazon, and in-store at Rite Aid, CVS, Publix and other retailers.

Start-Up Eve Launches With Functional Recovery Soda In Hong Kong

Hong Kong-based start-up Eve has recently launched with its Functional Recovery Soda. Eve is formulated with a blend of Japanese pear, monk fruit, black pepper, turmeric, and a variety of vitamins and minerals including C, B6 and B12, magnesium chloride and potassium chloride. Eve is marketed as an alcohol aid and mood booster that can be used as a hangover prevention drink, energy drink and cocktail mixer. It claims to support healthy liver function, boost immunity and combat fatigue. Eve Functional Recovery Soda is currently available on its website for HK $265 for 12 cans.

Go Mate Launches With Energy Drink Line

Energy drink company Go Mate has officially launched with its all-natural energy drink line. The company uses yerba mate, nootropics and fruit to provide the same effect as other energy drinks while reducing the energy crashes some other brands cause. Go Mate’s beverage is available in two variants - Relax, a passionfruit flavor to help unwind and rebalance, and Awake, a lemon flavor to promote sustained focus. Go Mate will launch in collectable cans that feature unique characters. Targeting the gaming sector, Go Mate will also partner with streamers and competitive gamers and host global tournaments. 

Vimto Applies For Energy Drink Trademark

Vimto has applied to register the name ‘Vimto Energy’ as a trademark with the International Property Office under class 32, accounting for energy drinks and sports drinks. A Vimto spokeswoman stated the brand’s move into energy drinks will help it achieve long-term, sustainable category growth by meeting consumers’ evolving needs. The trademark application comes after Vimto recently unveiled new bottles for its squash range, with the aim of highlighting the brand’s healthy hydration messaging.
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