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Beverage Innovation

Tracking The Drinks Marketplace


Campaign Group Views Coke’s 100% Recycled Plastic Bottles As The “Bare Minimum”

Coca-Cola’s plans to sell all its 20oz. Coca-Cola bottles in 100% recycled plastic are coming to fruition with a major rollout at US retailers. Bottles will have a label highlighting the move, although neither the label nor cap will be made from 100% recycled plastic. Rollout should be completed by the end of the summer and Coca-Cola’s Smartwater brand will later this year introduce 100% recycled plastic bottles in New York and California. The company hopes the change will lessen the pressure from campaign groups that highlight the extent of pollution from the brand’s bottles and its ranking by the Break Free from Plastic group as the top plastic polluter in the world last year, for the sixth year running. Break Free from Plastic, however, says the changes are the “bare minimum” and “plastic recycling is never going to make a dent in the plastic pollution crisis.” Instead, the group is urging Coca-Cola and other brands to turn to “reusable glass bottles in scalable reuse systems.”

Reports Indicate HBBC Might Build A Third Plant In Telangana State

A spokesperson for Hindustan Coca-Cola said HCCB was assessing the possibility of establishing new manufacturing capacity on a green field site in the state of Telangana but refused to give further details. According to local reports, however, the investment could reach Rs7 billion, or $84 million. It follows a Rs16 billion investment in its second Telangana factory near the capital, Hyderabad and a December 2023 announcement of a new facility in Maharashtra. HCCB currently has 13 factories in the country.

Swire Sees Difficult Times Ahead For Coca-Cola Sales In China This Year

A major Coca-Cola bottler on the Chinese mainland, Swire Pacific, is facing a challenging market this year as economic growth in the country slows, according to Karen So, Swire’s managing director. Swire Pacific performed well overall last year but the Chinese business saw revenue fall by 5 percent and attributable profit by 16 percent. Based in Hong Kong, Swire owns the exclusive right to make, market and distribute Coca-Cola’s products in 11 provinces in China and in Shanghai. Swire is still investing in China, including the Coca-Cola bottling factory in Kunshan, in the eastern province of Jiangsu, with capacity when completed for 1.6 million tonnes annually and costing an expected 2 billion yuan, around $280 million. 


Monster Energy Ultra Uses Allows People To View Its New Flavor, Ruby Red, In A Unique Way Using AR

Fantasy Ruby Red, the latest zero-sugar offering from the Monster Energy Ultra range, is receiving an immersive augmented reality experience. Visitors to the hub on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, Los Angeles, saw a 10-foot-tall can that allowed them to experience through AR and mixed reality a world featuring characters on the new textured cans. They could see digital and physical artistry using their mobile devices. Dan McHugh, Monster Energy CMO, said: "We wanted to create one of our most impactful and immersive launch experiences to date…Pushing the boundaries of innovation is part of the Monster Ultra DNA.” The AR platform was created by AR/T HOUSE and offers passers-by the chance to explore the characters on the can and try the new flavor. 

Other Companies

Midwest Circle K Stores Will Be First To Sell New Recon1 Energy

Florida-based energy drink company REDCON1 announced the launch of REDCON1 ENERGY, debuting in almost 500 Circle K stores in the Midwest states of Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky from March 18. REDCON1 pledges to support the military, donating a share of sales proceeds to military-based charities. 

Thai Drinks Is Focusing On Regional Expansion In Asia, Through The Gen Z Demographic

Thai Drinks’ head of division for non-alcoholic beverages said the country’s carbonated soft drink market will see growth of 25 percent, driven by the weather and intensive brand marketing. Nielsen IQ data shows the company grew sales by 15 percent for the 12 months to January 2024, ahead of market growth of 12 percent. Est Cola maintained its 8.6 percent market share and continues to focus on regional expansion and the Gen Z consumer, both in Thailand and Asia more widely. 

Two New Iced Coffees From Victor Allen’s Feature Breyers And Magnum Brands From Unilever

Trilliant, which owns the Victor Allen’s coffee brand, has introduced Victor Allen’s Breyers Cookies & Cream and Magnum Double Caramel RTD iced coffees. Both new iced coffees use real cream and sugar. Director of brand marketing, Zac McAuley, said it’s excited about offering the new innovations “to help deliver indulgent experiences never before possible within RTD iced coffee” beyond “the basic mocha, vanilla and caramel…and we’re excited to continue to tap into these trends with such indulgent and historic Unilever brands like Magnum and Breyers”. In 2023, Victor Allen’s collaborated with Mars Wrigley on RTD iced coffees in Twix and Snickers variants. 
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