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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Coca-Cola’s Sprite Brand Gets Its First Global Brand Platform

Sprite, owned by The Coca-Cola Company, has launched its first ever global brand philosophy. ‘Heat Happens’ reminds people to be cool when facing heated moments in life. It’s aimed at Gen Z consumers and features witty scenarios, such as long queues, eating spicy food or losing internet connection. It’s not a one-off campaign but a long-term brand philosophy to drive marketing and other communications.


Another Quarter Of Organic Growth Sees Danone Raise Full-Year Growth Forecast For 2023

According to Danone, the company’s 18-month-old Renew turnaround program has led to improved full-year 2023 revenue guidance, following forecast-beating third-quarter sales growth. Danone now expects 6-7 percent like-for-like sales growth, up from the previous 4-6 percent estimate. Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO, said that the quarter saw “the seventh consecutive quarter of delivery, with sales up 6.2 percent on a like-for-like basis, notably supported by the sequential improvement in volume/mix.” The strategy adopted a ‘fix it or flog it’ approach to its portfolio. Prices were up 6.6 percent on the year-ago period, including 8.4 percent in China, North Asia and Oceania. 

Keurig Dr Pepper

Analysts Explain The Pricing Power KDP’s Refreshment Beverages Business Is Demonstrating

Industry analysts Morningstar commented on Keurig Dr Pepper’s latest results, highlighting a disappointing performance from the coffee business, which saw sales fall for the third consecutive quarter. Group sales were up 5 percent, including a 6 percent rise in beverages, offsetting the 3 percent drop from coffee. Refreshment beverage volumes were down 1 percent, but pricing added 7 points to sales growth in the quarter and 12 percent in the past year. Morningstar attributed this pricing power to “brand investments, constant innovation (zero-sugar recipes and new fruit flavors), and new categories such as energy drinks (C4) and sparkling water (Polar)”. 

KDP Enters Long-Term Sales, Distribution Deal For Electrolit

Next year, Keurig Dr Pepper is to start selling and distributing the premium hydration beverage Electrolit in a long-term deal with brand owner Grupo PiSA, filling “a key white space category” for KDP. Electrolit has a strong consumer following from Hispanic consumers in some regions and entered the US market almost a decade ago. It is now a top five brand in the $11 billion US retail sports hydration category and growing at double-digit pace. Its retail sales are some $400 million. As well as athletes, the brand also targets party-goers. 


Monster Brands Are Complementing Each Other And Hitting A Range Of Consumer Needs

Monster is intensifying its efforts in the better-for-you beverage category through its Bang acquisition as well as with zero-sugar and coffee innovation. Through Bang, Monster launched Reign, and then Reign Storm. Monster’s Sam Pontrelli, senior VP of communications, said the Monster and Bang brands are complementary, with Monster catering to its loyal fans and Bang better known for cleaner energy and zero sugar, allowing it to thrive in the better-for-you segment. Allison Erfort, Director of Marketing, Coffee & Teas at Monster Energy, said the company will extend its portfolio to new flavors and occasions, and that “we are starting to operate in so many different segments that a lot of times we're still educating consumers on the depth and breadth of what Monster Energy Company is…We have so many different brands within our portfolio that are hitting different consumer needs states."

Other Companies

Soft Drinks Containing Prebiotics and Probiotics Are Seeing Very Strong Sales Growth

With prebiotics and probiotics gaining more attention, consumers are looking for beverages to deliver their benefits. In the US, sodas with prebiotics and probiotics grew 210 percent in the year to April 2023, according SPINS data. Water sales with prebiotics and probiotics were up 18 percent. 

Student Death Renews Calls For Greater Scrutiny Of Energy Drinks

The energy drink market is drawing unwanted attention relating to safety issues raised when a student died after drinking a Charged Lemonade from Panera Bread. 21-year-old Sarah Katz’s family alleged in a lawsuit she was not appropriately warned by Panera’s marketing about the drink containing almost 400mg of caffeine. She had a heart condition, long QT syndrome type 1, which made her normally vigilant about caffeine, according to her roommate. Frances Fleming-Milici, director of marketing initiatives at UConn’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health, said consumers were joining the energy drink category from different demographics, drawn in by “supposedly natural, better-for-you” drinks for improved focus, and that’s a very different type of marketing to that used by Monster or Red Bull, for example. Charged Lemonade is marketed as plant-based, powered by clean caffeine found in guarana and green coffee extract, but guarana caffeine is “more powerful because it reacts differently in your stomach,” according to one dietitian. There has been renewed scrutiny of the category with Senate majority leader, Chuck Schumer, demanding this summer that the FDA investigate Prime for its “eye-popping” caffeine content, health claims, and advertising”, especially to kids on social media. Fleming-Milici argues that the industry’s self-regulation system is ineffective.
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