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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola Welcomes Sprite To Its Billion-Dollar Club In India

Sprite’s lime-flavored drink joins Thums Up in capturing $1 billion in annual sales in India. Thums Up reached the mark in 2021. James Quincey, chairman and CEO, said “Sprite has grown to become a billion dollar brand in India driven by the success of a locally-adapted, occasion-based global marketing campaign." He also said Coca-Cola had a knock-out quarter in India, where it continues to invest. In the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, unit case volumes were up 9 percent, driven strong growth in India and China, and by sparkling soft drinks and hydration. 

Third Quarter Results Boost Coca-Cola Sales And Earnings Forecasts For The Full Year

Coca-Cola shares rose as the company raised sales forecasts after beating revenue and profit estimates in the third quarter, in which its volumes were up 4 percent and pricing added 12 points to growth. It now expects organic revenue growth of 14-15 percent this year, up from its previous forecasts of 12-13 percent. Coca-Cola also expects adjusted EPS growth of 6-7 percent this year, up from the previous 5-6 percent outlook. On the downside, it expects a negative 9 percent impact on earnings from currency impacts resulting from the strong dollar.

Not Everyone In The UK Is Delighted By Changes To Coke’s New Bottles

Coca-Cola is rolling out new caps on bottles across the U.K. To help prevent caps being discarded, they have been connected to 1.5L and 500ml bottles for Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and Dr Pepper. Some people have been complaining that the new caps are “annoying" and “get in the way”. Another thought it was the "worst idea ever." Others, however, have just snapped the caps off. The company says the switch should be completed on all plastic bottles by early 2024. 

Coca Cola In The Philippines Starts PET Recycling Operation

Coca-Cola’s Philippines business announced it was operating its new PET bottle recycling facility at full capacity. The plant in General Trias, Cavite, can recycle some two billion PET plastic bottles each year. It was established with Bangkok-based Indorama Ventures. Its pioneer status granted by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Board of Investments makes it eligible for tax incentives. By next year, Coca-Cola original taste and the Wilkins Pure bottled water brand will start using 100% recycled PET plastic packaging, excluding cap and labels. At the moment, about half of its portfolio in the country is in returnable glass.

Coca-Cola India Experiences Rapid Expansion Post-Covid

Coca-Cola India claims it has expanded its distribution network far more quickly post-COVID than it did prior to the pandemic. The company has placed a strong emphasis on rural areas and Kirana stores and works with these locations to upgrade their capabilities. It is also focusing on expanding its distribution through the non-summer months. While soft beverages are associated with summer months in India, the company is now working to build a second season around the country’s festivals that run until December. 

Coca-Cola China Sees Positive Growth Since Smartwater Launch

Coca-Cola China has experienced positive growth since it introduced Smartwater to the premium bottled water market in July. During Q2 of this year, the company’s sales of bottled water, sports drinks, coffee and tea grew by 7 percent year-on-year. Smartwater is currently produced in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, targeting urban white-collar workers aged 25-34 for on-the-go, fitness, at-home and social occasions. Premium water and hydration products are growing in popularity among Chinese consumers due to the pursuit for better living quality and growing worries over environmental pollution. 

Coca-Cola Details US Strategy For Costa Coffee

Coca-Cola’s US strategy for Costa Coffee came into sharper focus last week at the NACS convenience retail show. The company’s US strategy is leading with Costa Coffee’s Smart Café automated coffee kiosk program, but will still add standalone cafés. Smart Cafés use ground espresso beans, fresh milk, powder, and syrups to create more than 200 barista-quality beverages. Coca-Cola unveiled a newer version of the Smart Café, which is a stripped-down countertop unit for crew use or self-serve at smaller retail locations. Costa is accelerating the rollout of the Smart Café program as a solution to labor shortages now faced by operators of cafés, restaurants, hotels, airports, and university cafeterias. Coca-Cola is also developing what it calls a BaristaBot, a much larger and more automated machine that incorporates robotics and cloud computing with mobile app-based technology to provide touchless service on demand. Despite the focus on automated coffee kiosks, Coca-Cola will open select standalone Costa Coffee cafés to build a brand reputation amongst US consumers. Costa Coffee currently operates two cafés in Atlanta that serve barista-made beverages and breakfast, lunch, and bakery items. While other stores are planned, Costa is not looking to build a Starbucks-like network of cafes. 

Heartland Coca-Cola To Build New Production Campus

The Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company is planning to build a new production campus in Olathe, Kansas by 2024. The plans include a 600,000 square-foot campus that will modernize the company’s production process. The campus will replace Heartland Coca-Cola’s current Lenexa, Kansas facility, but its distribution center and headquarters will remain in Lenexa. 


Danone’s Carbon Neutral Claims Could Prove Challenging Legally

FoodNavigator-USA canvassed attorneys about a proposed class action lawsuit filed in the Southern District Of New York in which the plaintiff, Stephanie Dorris, claims that Evian bottled water is not ‘carbon neutral’, despite being certified as such by the Carbon Trust in 2020. The filing said that “reasonable consumers would understand and believe that the term ‘carbon neutral’ means the manufacturing of the product…is sustainable and does not leave a carbon footprint.” David Kwasniewski, a partner at BraunHagey & Borden, said lawsuits alleging greenwashing are increasing in number and the claim of carbon is potentially risky. He added that companies are “opting for more aspirational language”, for example from 'recyclable' to 'designed to be recyclable'. William Acevedo, a partner at Stratagem LLP, however, said “Danone and Evian appear to be sincere in their efforts to address the climate impacts of their operations” and challenged the plaintiff’s assertion that Danone doesn’t define what it means by carbon neutral.

Danone To Transfer Control Of EDP Business in Russia

Danone’s Essential Dairy and Plant-based (EDP) business in Russia will see effective control transferred, to maintain business continuity locally, benefiting employees, consumers and other stakeholders. The unit’s revenues represented around 5 percent of total company turnover in the first three quarters of this year. The move could mean a write-off of around €1 billion and result in the deconsolidation of the EDP Russia business. 

Keurig Dr Pepper

KDP Gets A New CFO, Current CFO Moves Up To CEO

Sudhanshu Priyadarshi has been brought into Keurig Dr Pepper from ammunition and sporting goods company Vista Outdoor Inc. to take over as CFO, succeeding Ozan Dokmecioglu, who became CEO earlier this year. Net sales in the recent quarter were up 13 percent, but this was based partly on higher prices, which the CEO says he is willing to continue. KDP increased prices by double-digits earlier this year for packaged beverages and concentrates. The new CFO will need to find out how to sustain price rises without adversely affecting volumes. 

Limited Edition Dr Pepper Bourbon Flavored Fansville Reserve Launched

Dr Pepper has unveiled its latest limited edition, Dr Pepper Bourbon Flavored Fansville Reserve. It is a nod to its connection with college football and is non-alcoholic. The brand says that it is “the perfect ready-to-tailgate treat that fans deserve”. It’s only available to fans at home by logging in or enrolling in the Pepper Perks program, and entering a scratch-to-win game, where a can of the drink is one of the prizes. 

Keuirg Dr Pepper Announces Strategic Partnership With Red Bull

Keurig Dr Pepper has announced a strategic partnership with Red Bull to sell and distribute Red Bull in Mexico, further leveraging and expanding KDP's partner network strategy. The sales and distribution partnership provides KDP with exclusive rights to distribute Red Bull Energy Drink products across independent retailers, wholesalers, regional key accounts and on-premise channels in the country, with some exclusions. The partnership also provides the company with the option to distribute future RTD beverage products that Red Bull launches in Mexico.


Blue Bottle Coffee Launches Craft Instant Espresso

Nestlé’s Blue Bottle Coffee announced the release of Craft Instant Coffee, Espresso. Karl Strovink, CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee, said: "We were never sure we'd crack the code on instant anything at Blue Bottle Coffee, but through curiosity, imagination and tireless effort, we've crafted a product that meets our high standards." Craft Instant Espresso allows people to create craft quality iced lattes at home. The brand focused on the extraction and drying processes to perfect the product: extracting using milder temperatures and pressure, treating the coffee delicately; and lengthening the freeze-drying process. It will be available in two formats - a 12-serving jar for $25 and a pack of five single-serve sachets for $15 - online or at U.S. Blue Bottle cafes. 

Nestlé Plans Acquisition Of Seattle's Best Coffee From Starbucks

Nestlé’s plan to acquire the Seattle's Best Coffee brand from Starbucks is part of the Swiss company’s focus on sustained profitable growth in coffee. It also strengthens the companies’ Global Coffee Alliance “by allowing both companies to focus on their core strengths.” Seattle's Best Coffee will add to Nestlé's portfolio of coffee brands in the U.S., which also includes Nescafé, Nespresso and Blue Bottle. The companies formed the Global Coffee Alliance in 2018, since when it has brought a range of premium coffee products to new markets, such as whole bean coffee, roast and ground coffee, and Starbucks capsules for Nespresso and Nescafé Dolce Gusto systems. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to normal approvals. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Nestlé’s Wunda Yellow Pea Milk Unveils New Packaging

Nestlé has unveiled a new look for its yellow pea-based milk alternative Wunda. The new design will highlight Wunda's neutral taste and nutritional values, making it easier for consumers to navigate supermarket shelves. Wunda is high in pea protein, fiber, calcium, low in fat and sugar, and is a source of vitamins D, B2, and B12. The new refreshed Wunda pack design is available in major supermarkets from this week.

Other Companies

Pureboost Boosted By $2 Million In Crowdfunding

Energy drink mix brand Pureboost raised over $2 million in a Wefunder crowdfunding round. The company generated more than $12 million in sales in its first three years, with $7.34 million last year, and expects $100 million in sales by 2026. Pureboost contains natural green tea caffeine, vitamin B12 and over 25 vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. It has no dairy, soy, gluten, sugar or sucralose. There are eight flavors across three lines: original, immune support and organic superfoods. They can be purchased at Costco.com and Amazon.com, with expanded distribution to over 2,500 stores by the end of 2022, including Walgreens and select Walmart stores. It plans further expansion next year to Wegmans, Kroger, CVS, Target and Whole Foods Market. The crowdfunded finance will support the expansion in distribution as well as higher marketing, innovation and inventory expenditure. 

Nutrabolt’s XTEND® Range Launches New Hydration And Recovery Product

XTEND® Healthy Hydration™ from Nutrabolt adds to the brand’s line of hydration and recovery amino acids. It’s available in three flavors: Lemon Lime, Strawberry Banana and Raspberry Lemonade. The on-the-go electrolyte supplement is a zero-sugar hydration boost, contains “an excellent source of D & B Vitamins”, and marks the XTEND® brand's entry into the fast-growing premium hydration market. In powder form, it delivers enhanced hydration without sugar or artificial sweeteners, flavors or dyes. XTEND® products are available at Cellucor.com/XTEND and on Amazon, and in-store at Vitamin Shoppe nationally. 

Dutch Startup Introduces Beanless Coffee Pods

Northern Wonder, based in the Netherlands, has launched Coffee Free Coffee, featuring a blend of roasted cereals, legumes, roots, and fruits, such as lupin beans, chickpeas and blackcurrants. It’s available in four varieties: filter blend and Nespresso-compatible capsules, with and without caffeine. For those wanting caffeine variants, Northern Wonder adds synthetic caffeine. The brand aims to help address the impact of coffee production, including deforestation. It has secured pre-seed funding from a Dutch government-affiliated investment agency and now wants a seed round to expand further and fund R&D. 

Jones Soda’s Mary Jones Line Launches Super-Sized Cannabis Beverages

The Jones Soda Co. is expanding its Mary Jones line of cannabis drinks with a new 16-ounce can, containing 100mg of THC, much more than some brands. Bohb Blair, chief marketing officer, says the new line is aimed at cannabis consumers “seeking a more potent libation or those looking for refreshments to share.” The new products extend the range from the 12-ounce cans launched earlier this year, which contained 10mg of THC. Mark Murray, president and CEO, said he’s confident that the company’s Cannabis Division “will be instrumental in our growth in 2023 and beyond.” 

GLOW Beverages Debuts Its Functional Sparkling Beverage Line

A new range of functional sparkling beverages has hit the market. GLOW® Beverages Inc. has launched six sparkling flavors: Spicy Watermelon, Mango Apricot, Ginger Lemon, Cherry Lime, Pineapple Blood Orange and Tiger's Blood. It has also introduced GLOW® PH, an Ultra Smooth Alkaline Water. It uses white bottles for the hydration products and black for the energy products, which contain B12 and green coffee bean extract. GLOW® Sparkling Hydration and Energy contain no artificial colors or flavors, and no sweeteners. They do contain vitamins and minerals to support immune function as well as antioxidants, amino acids and electrolytes. It’s also launching GLOW® Shots, which contain caffeine, but zero sugar, carbs and calories, and has announced Kylie Jenner and Dak Prescott as ambassadors and equity stakeholders. Consumers can buy the products on www.drinkglow.com, and at Costco's in the Bay Area from October 18th, with a roll out in Walmart, Ralph's (Kroger), 7-Eleven and Albertsons locations across the U.S. next spring.

Refresco To Acquire Tru Blu Beverages

Global beverage solutions provider, Refresco Group B.V. has agreed to acquire Tru Blu Beverages Pty Ltd., an Australian non-alcoholic beverage manufacturer. Refresco entered the U.S. six years ago and now has over 70 manufacturing sites around the world, with around half in North America and the rest in Europe. This new acquisition and Tru Blu’s three sites give Refresco a platform to enter a third continent. Refresco says it plans to continue to expand “its global and strategically located footprint to better serve existing and new customers through a range of formats and channels,” and will continue to make selective investments and acquisitions. 

Primo Water Corporation Acquires Crystal Spring Water Company

Primo Water Corporation announced it has acquired the assets of Crystal Spring Water Company. Crystal Spring Water Company manufactures and distributes bottled spring water to customers in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. The acquisition will add approximately 2,500 customers to Primo Water Corp., strengthening its footprint in the Northeast region.

Pulp Culture Expands Portfolio With Protein-Boosted Hard Juice

Expanding its bev-alc portfolio, Pulp Culture has released "BUILD," which the company claims is the world's first protein-boosted hard juice. It was developed with alternative protein supplier The EVERY Co. The products are available online nationally, with an offline rollout coming. Brendan Brazier, former Ironman triathlete and Pulp Culture co-founder, said it’s “highly bioavailable, nature-equivalent and quality animal protein—without the animal—in a wild-fermented, naturally alcoholic, zero-sugar probiotic beverage with botanical adaptogens.” As well as animal-free EVERY Protein, BUILD contains Pulp Culture’s own combination of functional superfoods, super fruits, super mushrooms and probiotics. 

Bang Energy Parent Company Files For Bankruptcy

Bang Energy’s parent company Vital Pharmaceuticals has filed for bankruptcy. Court papers reveal that Vital Pharmaceuticals owes more than $500 million in legal damages to its competitor Monster Beverage Co. and California juice maker Orange Bang. The company owes another $115 million to PepsiCo Inc., its old distributor. Meanwhile, Bang’s share of the energy-drink market, once nearing 10%, now sits just above 6%. Bang’s current lenders have agreed to put up $100 million to fund the bankruptcy, but on the terms that the company will be put for sale if the debt cannot be refinanced in the next three and a half months. 

Energy Drink Sales Rise Despite Health Risks

Energy drink sales are continuing to rise despite doctor’s warnings of health risks. According to NielsenIQ, Energy-drink sales in the U.S. were 17% higher in August compared with a year ago, and up 56% since summer 2019. However, doctors still warn against drinking too many energy drinks due to the high caffeine and sugar content that can lead to high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, anxiety and insomnia. While healthier alternatives with added vitamins and lower sugar are boosting growth in the energy-drink market, doctors still claim these alternatives aren’t necessarily better due to uncertain long-term effects of artificial sweeteners. 
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