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Coca-Cola Turns To Alcoholic Drinks In Japan, As Nonalcoholic Segment Stagnates

April 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola Japan this summer will launch Lemon-Dō, an alcoholic beverage that emulates the classic Japanese beverage chu-hai, also called "the lemon sour." The move to alcoholic beverages is based n the company’s reckoning that Japan’s soft drink and nonalcoholic market offers no growth potential. Three varieties Lemon-Dō to be sold include: Teiban Lemon (five percent alcohol/10 percent fruit-juice), Salty Lemon (seven percent alcohol/7 percent fruit juice), and the lightweight, Honey Lemon, only three percent alcohol and sweetened with honey and sugar. All will be sold in 350 ml cans, with retro-styled labels, at $1,50 each. According to the company, the chu-hai and low-alcohol beverage market is valued at more than a billion dollars.
Jake Adelstein, "Coca-Cola Experiments With New Boozy Drinks As Japan's Beverage Market Becomes 'Saturated'", Forbes.com, April 26, 2018, © Forbes.com LLC
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Fonterra Ups Capacity For Producing Fruit And Dairy Beverages In New Zealand

April 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

New Zealand dairy products producer Fonterra Brands has partnered with a local start-up to build a plant in Whakatu to make fruit and dairy beverages for the N.Z. market. Apollo Foods will apply its beverage filling technology in making and filling a range of containers on one production line. The plant will be able to produce millions of liters of beverages each year. The partnership was prompted by the rising global demand for dairy and fruit beverages, according to a Fonterra spokesman. The Apollo Foods plant is currently producing Fonterra’s Mammoth brand of flavored, low-sugar milk, with a shelf life of six months.

"Fonterra eyes dairy beverages", Rural News Group, April 24, 2018, © RuralNewsGroup
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Coca-Cola Posted Solid First Quarter Financials

April 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola announced it is on track to meet financial targets for the year, thanks to its refranchising strategy – net revenues declined by 16 percent as a result – and growth in new and core beverage brands. The company reported first quarter profit of $0.47 a share on revenue of $.6 billion, both numbers beating analyst estimates ($0.47 a share and $7.35 billion, respectively). The healthy numbers excited investors: shares rose by 1.6 percent after the results were announced. The stock was down more than four percent this year. In addition to selling off company-owned bottlers, Coca-Cola has invested in start-up beverage companies and relaunched its Coke Zero and Diet Coke brands with new flavors and packaging. First-quarter growth of the Coke Zero Sugar brand reached double-digits, and volume growth of Diet Coke in North America returned to positive territory.

Jennifer Kaplan, "Coca-Cola’s Focus on Healthier Drinks Pays Off ", Bloomberg, April 24, 2018
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Blossom Water Debuts Reformulated Lower-Calorie Version Of Essence Water

April 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Westwood, Mass.-based Blossom Water LLC has introduced a reformulated version of its essence water based on blossom botanicals. Blossom Water Version 2.0 has cut the sugar and calorie content by half and is now sweetened without erythritol or agave using a “proprietary, next-generation sweetener blend” containing 10 calories and two grams of sugar. The company says the new version also contains inactivated GanedenBC30, a probiotic strain that offers a functional benefit for the immune system “on a par with that of probiotics.”
"Innovation Blooms This Spring via Blossom Water Version 2.0", News release, Blossom Water LLC, April 24, 2018, © Blossom Water LLC
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C-Store Poll Shows Modest Rise in Coca-Cola, Monster 1Q Sales

April 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A Wells Fargo Securities poll of 15,000 U.S. convenience stores found that first quarter Coca-Cola sales rose 2.3 percent in the channel, and retailers were pleased with the company’s recent relaunch of Diet Coke. Twenty percent of respondents plan to allocate incremental shelf space to the line. Some respondents complained about the company’s decision to take Smartwater “out of a beautiful sealed box with blue clouds,” a move that hurt stores’ ability to create displays. C-stores also reported that Monster Energy sales increased 5.4 percent in the quarter, and several praised the positive impact of RTD coffee innovations, such as Espresso and Caffe. Fifty-seven percent said Monster did the best job in introducing new innovations in the quarter, and 100 percent said they expected to give Caffe Monster shelf space.

Martín Caballero, "C-Store Survey: Coke, Monster Spur Incremental Growth", BevNET.com, April 23, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Nature’s Own Introduces “Artisan-Inspired” Breads

April 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Bread maker Nature's Own has added two new varieties to its “artisan-inspired” product line. Perfectly Crafted Thick Sliced Multigrain and Perfectly Crafted Thick Sliced White contain no artificial preservatives, color or flavors, no high fructose corn syrup, and are Non-GMO Project Verified. The “bakery style” breads feature thick slices, soft texture, a distinctive flour dusting, and fresh-baked aroma, the company says. [Image Credit: ©   Nature's Own ]
"Nature's Own Introduces Perfectly Crafted Artisan-inspired, Thick-sliced Bakery Bread", News release, Nature's Own, April 23, 2018, © Nature's Own
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Boxed Water Company Carves A Lucrative Niche In Packaged Water Market

April 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Maryland-based beverage start-up Rethink Brands says it has found a lucrative niche in the $2.5 billion bottled water market by targeting health- and eco-conscious parents with zero-calorie, sugar-free flavored water in recyclable boxes. Co-founder Matthew Swanson says parents who wanted to give their kids water had to give them plastic bottles or sippy cups, but “Rethink Kids Water solves all those problems.” The Rethink Kids Water line provides a more healthful alternative to juices that contain sweeteners and other additives. Swanson says demand for the products has been strong enough for the company to double its offerings with four new flavors. The products are available in more than 10,000 stores, including CVS, Wegmans and Target. 

Elizabeth Green, "Start-up focus: Rethink Water revolutionizes sugar-free beverages for children", Food Ingredient First, April 23, 2018, © CNS Media BV
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Functional Sparkling Water From Sweden Targets America’s Diabetics

April 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Sweden’s Good Idea blood sugar management drink is tackling the America’s 30 million diabetics and 90 million pre-diabetics who need to manage blood sugar levels. The carbonated dietary supplement blends five specific amino acids with chromium to reduce post-meal blood sugar spikes significantly. The beverage is intended to be consumed before and during a meal when blood sugar levels tend to ebb and flow the most. Aventure’s research, conducted with scientists at Lund University, included nine clinical trials showing that Good Idea can help reduce blood sugar by 20 – 30 percent. Despite the functional benefits of the drink, parent company Aventure AB is positioning it as a sparkling water for a mass audience.
Mary Ellen Shoup , "Good Idea brings functional beverage delivery format to blood sugar management", Nutra-Ingredients USA, April 23, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Bai Brands Is Newest Defendant In Malic Acid Lawsuits

April 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Bai Brands is the latest in a string of food and beverage companies targeted by lawsuits accusing them of violating FDA ingredient labeling rules. Each of the suits, filed on behalf of four different plaintiffs by one attorney, claims that certain products should be labeled as “artificially flavored” because they contain the petrochemical-derived ingredient malic acid. There is some disagreement, however, as to whether malic acid is a flavoring itself, or merely a flavor enhancer, which would put it outside of FDA regulatory jurisdiction. There is also disagreement over whether the suits will advance in the courts. A spokesman for Dr Pepper Snapple Group, owner of Bai Brands, said the lawsuit has no merit, and the company would ”defend against it vigorously.” Other companies sued include Campbell Soup (V8 Splash drinks), Kellogg’s, and Frito-Lay.

Elaine Watson, "Bai Brands Latest Target in Malic Acid Lawsuits; Dr Pepper Blasts 'Meritless' Complaint", FOODnavigator-USA.com, April 20, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Premium Coconut Water Company Spurns Traditional Retail Channel

April 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Three-year-old premium coconut water company CoAqua doesn’t want to be seen in the low-rent district of traditional retail stores alongside lookalike coconut water brands. Company founder Grier Govorko says there’s not much difference among competitive brands, most of which claim to be a “sports replacement drink.” To differentiate itself CoAqua is sold only in luxury resorts and restaurants in Southeast Asia, and in the U.S. direct-to-consumer online channel. The target demographic is younger health-conscious consumers willing to pay $48 online for a 12-pack case. The packaging – single-serve, recyclable clear glass bottles with metallic pull-tab caps – also sets the brand apart. Govorko is not only committed to recycling, he feels his coconut water tastes naturally sweeter because it is pasteurized in glass bottles.

Mary Ellen Shoup, "CoAqua Targets Premium-Seeking Audience Relying on Direct-To-Consumer Online Channel", FOODnavigator-USA.com, April 20, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Unveils New Cans In Celebration of 23 Chinese Cities

April 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Coca-Cola China has unveiled limited edition Coke can designs that celebrate the diversity of 23 Chinese cities.  The “visually captivating” packaging, created by McCann Shanghai and illustrator Noma Bar, is being promoted with a film celebrating city cultures, as well as print, billboards and a partnership with Chinese technology firm Baidu. The firm developed an augmented reality (AR) experience in which consumers may interact with the 23 city cans. According to a Coca-Cola design executive, the idea behind the city can is to capture the “essence” of each metropolis through its culture, food, “idiosyncrasies,” and landmarks.

"Coca-Cola China celebrates city cultures through ‘Faces of the cities’", Marketing-Interactive.com, April 19, 2018, © Marketing-Interactive.com. Lighthouse Independent Media Pte Ltd
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Canadian Start-Up Company Expands Its Line Of Oral Health Teas

April 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A Toronto start-up focused on oral microbiome research has added three fruit flavors to its Qii line of beverages created to reduce dental plaque. DoseBiome, a resident within Johnson & Johnson Innovation, was founded by a veteran of both PepsiCo and 3M’s Oral Care business who wants to replace the “bad habit” of drinking sugary beverages with a good habit of consuming beverages that promote a healthful oral environment. Ted Jin says research proves that Qii reduces dental plaque by 52 percent with each serving. Brewed in the U.S. using certified organic loose-leaf teas, Qii has 30 calories per serving, is non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and low-glycemic. Qii is available in 4-packs of 8-ounce cans at $9.99. The new flavors – added to lemongrass ginger and oolong tea – are white peach, pomegranate and lychee tea.

"Revolutionary Drink Reduces Up to 52% of Dental Plaque with Each Serving", PR Newswire, April 19, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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British Company Healthy Sales Group Revives Ancient Fermented Drink

April 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

A British company has introduced a fermented soft drink that is “evolved” from a recipe dating back to ancient Greece and colonial America. Switchle from Healthy Sales Group is made with sparkling water, apple cider vinegar, honey, fruit juices, and botanical extracts. It is available in three flavors, including a blend of turmeric, ginger, and peach. The beverages are sold at the online supermarket site Ocado in the U.K. and independent health food stores at $2.50 a can.

"Switchle Range of Fermented Soft Drinks for Adults Launches in UK", FoodBev, April 18, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Danone’s Water Sales Up Significantly

April 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber said several factors contributed to a three percent rise in the company’s share price and signified continued growth. Among the factors were the premiumization of Danone’s offering in early childhood nutrition in China, broad-based growth in waters, and gradual improvement in essential dairy and plant-based activities. The water business, which includes the Evian brand, experienced a four percent rise in sales, but dairy sales in Europe, though improving, still dropped 0.3 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. Faber said demand for baby formulas in China – fed by a sharp rise in birth rates – helped boost like-for-like sales by almost five percent. 
"China’s baby boom lifts French dairy group Danone", Financial Times, April 18, 2018, via Financial Times, © Financial Times
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Nestlé Waters UK Hopes New “Emoji” Pure Life Bottles Will Attract Kids

April 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters UK’s new limited edition “emoji” bottles for its Pure Life purified water line are designed to appeal to family shoppers and especially to children. According to the company, 65 percent of British children (ages five to 16) do not drink enough water. Four “water buddy” designs will be included on the 33 cl bottles, which will be released intermittently throughout the year. The company says bottled water is the fastest growing segment within the $10.4 billion U.K. soft drinks category. It believes the new bottle designs will help retailers drive sales and “appeal to new shoppers.”
"Nestlé Waters UK creates ’emoji’ inspired water bottles", FoodBev, April 18, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Company Adds Reduced-Gluten Wheat To Its Ingredients Portfolio

April 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Agricultural food ingredients company Arcadia Biosciences has introduced reduced-gluten (RG) wheat lines to its GoodWheat ingredients portfolio. The company says flour made from the RG wheat will be available by the end of the year. The wheat was developed in part with funding from NIH’s Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders Institute. The RG product is a non-GM wheat in which allergenic glutens have been reduced by 75 percent. Overall gluten content has been reduced by 60 percent, but the California-based company says the levels of glutens important for bread making are not changed.  [Image Credit: © Arcadia Biosciences ]
"Arcadia Biosciences Expands GoodWheat™ Portfolio with Reduced Gluten Wheat", News release, Arcadia Biosciences, April 17, 2018, © Arcadia Biosciences
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Raw Pressery Juices Are Now Being Sold By Subscription In India

April 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Indian beverage company Rakyan Beverages, maker of the Raw Pressery cold-pressed juice brand, is among a handful of juice marketers in the country that are turning at least partly to a subscription-based sales and delivery model. According to Euromonitor, selling fresh juice via subscriptions to health-conscious consumers is gaining traction because plans can be customized to fit individual buyers. Rakyan offers juice subscriptions of one to three months.
"Parched this summer? Online juice delivery startups are here to save the day", YourStory, April 17, 2018, © YourStory Media Pvt. Ltd.
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Nestlé Waters NA Buys Delivery Business Of Connecticut-Based Spring Water Company

April 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Nestlé Waters NA has acquired the home and office delivery businesses of Meriden, Conn.-based Triple Spring Spring Water Co. The company, whose name comes from the three springs on its property, originated as a farm in 1918 and began selling bottled water locally in the 1940s. In 1974 it began selling water statewide, and later in New York and Long Island. A Nestlé Waters spokeswoman said a subsidiary, ReadyRefresh, would handle the acquired portions of Triple Spring. However, customers will still be able to purchase Triple Spring water from an onsite company vending machine at any time.

Leigh Tauss, "Meriden Spring Water Company Sells Portion of Business to Nestlé", MyRecordJournal.com, April 17, 2018, © The RJ Media Group
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Wahaha To Expand Into Health Products, Invest In High-Tech Companies

April 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The founder and chairman of China’s Hangzhou Wahaha Group says he wants to “ramp up efforts on health products” to battle problems such as diabetes, obesity, and insomnia. The Chinese health product market was valued at $64 billion in 2017; more than 16,000 products are registered and approved for production. Zong Qinghou said Wahaha invest in high-tech and advanced manufacturing companies by partnering with experienced industry leaders. Wahaha is the largest beverage producer in China.
"Nutrition to be top focus for Wahaha", China Daily, April 13, 2018, © China Daily
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Multiple Interwoven Trends Combine To Pummel Carbonated Soda Sales

April 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Despite 90 percent market penetration in the U.S., the mature carbonated soft drink (CSD) industry needs to innovate to reverse 13 years of declining sales volumes, according to analysts who advise suppliers to combat adverse trends by offering more healthful options, varied flavors, and other benefits. Innovation in these areas must involve effective marketing to Generation Z and Millennials, and to increasingly diverse ethnic populations. Factors contributing to stagnated CSD value sales have included the rise of the health-and-wellness movement, the declining effectiveness of value-adding strategies, and increased competition. Health-conscious consumers are spurning sugary CSDs and artificially-sweetened diet CSDs – about 20 percent of consumers have trimmed soda intake. Mintel says the number and range of competitive beverages, many claiming to offer health benefits, is “a prime challenge to the CSD market.”
"2018 Soft Drink Report: Carbonated soft drink manufacturers adapt to formulation, engagement trends", Beverage Industry, April 11, 2018, © BNP Media
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Nestlé Waters’ Plastic Packaging Is Recyclable, But Consumers Need To Recycle

April 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters has announced plans to make 100 percent of its packaging across the business recyclable or re-usable by 2025. But another goal – no packaging ending up in landfills or as litter – requires help from consumers. PET has the potential to be a reusable resource, but it’s a major challenge: industrywide only half of bottles are recycled. The company says nearly all of its bottles are recyclable now, and it is working on the exceptions. But to achieve the goal of zero-landfill-disposal, the company said it needs the cooperation of consumers globally. To that end, it is “raising their awareness” via brand platforms and corporate educational programs such as those implemented in Italy, Argentina, U.K., and Thailand. In the U.S., the company uses “clear and consistent How2Recyle instruction” on half-liter bottle labels of major brands.
Rachel Arthur, "Nestlé Waters on ‘unlocking the economic, social and environmental benefits of PET as a reusable resource’", Beverage Daily, April 11, 2018
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Coca-Cola India Begins Campaign To Build Thums Up To Billion-Dollar Brand

April 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola India’s new no-sugar variant of the Thums Up Charged cola is a first step in executing its goal of making Thums Up a billion-dollar brand by the end of 2020. The company is investing to boost customer loyalty, launch new packs, expand distribution (to Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka), and increase bottling capacity. Coca-Cola India is supporting the launch of Thums Up Charged with a marketing campaign featuring cans and PET bottles illustrated with four Marvel Avengers superheroes. The campaign will include TV commercials starring the Avengers, and social media promotions on the brand’s social media pages on the YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram platforms.
"Coca-Cola India unveils no-sugar variant of Thums Up Charged", FoodBev Media, April 11, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Dunkin' Donuts Tests Snacks in Boston

April 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Dunkin’ Donuts is testing a $2 afternoon snacking menu in several Boston-area locations that features donut fries, Munchkin dippers, pretzel bites with honey mustard sauce, waffle-breaded chicken tenders, ham-and-cheese rollups, and gluten-free brownies. The test is designed to gather input from consumers, franchisees, and employees prior to a possible national rollout. A Reddit user review gave thumbs up to the pretzel bites and the donut fries, and thumbs down to the “gross” waffle-breaded chicken that was “way too greasy.” The batter is the “same batter used in the pancake bites that they used to have.” The company recently unveiled a value menu offering Wake-up Wraps for $2, breakfast sandwiches for $3, and croissant sandwiches for $5. [Image Credit: © Dunkin’ Donuts]


 
"Dunkin’ Donuts Tests Snacks in Boston", NACS, April 09, 2018, © NACS
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Coke Classic Ad Campaign Begins In U.K. As Sugar Tax Goes Into Effect

April 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has launched a four-week ad campaign touting Coke Classic, just as the U.K.’s sugar ax takes effect. The “We Do” campaign – the theme is “to celebrate and reinforce the uniqueness and specialness” of Coke – began on April 6. Ads will run on large outdoor formats (billboards, streets, roads, highways, transit, etc.) and on social media. Images of Elvis Presley are displayed with the tagline “They don’t make ’em like they used to. We do.” The new sugar levy will cost CCEP about $144 million, based on last year’s volume sales of 424.3 million liters. The sugar content of Coke Classic, whose sales rose just one percent in 2017, falls in the higher of two tax levels: sugar content greater than eight grams per 100 ml.
"Coke Classic kicks off OOH push as sugar tax takes effect", The Grocer, April 06, 2018
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Plant Protein Drink Start-Up Invades The Traditional Protein Snack Market

April 5, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Plant-based protein beverage company Koia, founded just 18 months ago, quintupled its sales in its first year and is on track to triple sales this year. Launched with distribution through Whole Foods Market, the company’s first two products were refrigerated almond milk beverages made with vanilla beans, cacao beans, and coconut, fortified with a plant protein blend. With the help of a $7.5 million investment by two venture capital firms, the company recently added two new products – cold  brew coffee and cinnamon horchata – and expanded distribution to include Earth Origins Market, Natural Grocers, Erewhon Natural Foods, Fresh Thyme, Giant, Stop & Shop, and Wegmans. Its “aggressive growth” strategy takes advantage of a market trend of protein beverages invading the protein bar and “bag of something” snack territory. 
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Koia CEO: ‘We have aggressive growth, and you’re only able to accomplish that if the market likes the product’", BusinessDaily.com, April 05, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola’s Investment In Spotify Is Reaping Rewards

April 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola and other early investors in Spotify were bound to make a profit when the music-streaming service went public on April 3. Coke reportedly invested $10 million in 2012, when Spotify’s valuation was about $3 billion. The investment marked “a watershed moment for the intersection of brands, tech and music,” according to Billboard magazine. Major brands were used to spending millions on sports sponsorships, while music sponsorship was experimental. Coca-Cola partnered with Spotify because it believed in co-founder Daniel Ek’s vision of cloud-based access to all music, and the goal of global reach, “an area where Coca-Cola could help Spotify expand.” It was a good bet. Coke’s early ante could be worth as much as $100 million-$150 million, though it will be a while before the share price settles. 
Andrew Hampp , "How Coke's $10 Million Spotify Investment Will Pay Off For Music, Brands & Tech", Billboard, April 02, 2018, © Billboard
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Companies Partner To Import Himalayan Mineral Water

April 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
India’s Tata Waters and Preston, Wash.-based Talking Rain Beverage Company have partnered to import Himalayan Natural Mineral Water to the U.S., initially via regional retail distribution in Chicago and Southern California, and nationally through Amazon.com. The companies say Himalayan Natural Mineral Water “travels for 20 years through the mountains,” filtered by layers of rock, sand, and silt, picking up magnesium, calcium, and sodium from Himalayan sea salt and a balanced pH. The product is available in 500 ml ($1.59), 500 ml 4-pack ($5.69), and 1 liter ($2.39) sizes.
"Himalayan Natural Mineral Water Brings Unprocessed Water from the Himalayan Mountains to the US", Press Release, April 02, 2018, © Tata Waters
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California Judge Orders Cancer Warnings On Coffee Products

April 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A California Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a nonprofit consumer watchdog that is suing Starbucks, Peet’s, and other coffee chains over the presence of the carcinogen acrylamide, formed when coffee is roasted. The judge ruled that coffee sold in the state must carry a cancer warning label because the defendants did not prove that coffee was healthful or that it posed no risk of cancer. One critic of the decision said an acrylamide study on rats by the American Cancer Society used doses equivalent to “1,000 to 10,000 times higher than levels people might be exposed to in foods.” The next phase of the trial will determine if coffee companies are liable for damages to consumers. Plaintiff Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) is seeking $2,500 for every person exposed to acrylamide since 2002.
Brad Avery, "Press Clips: California Coffee Must Carry Cancer Warning", April 02, 2018, © BevNET.com
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Coke’s April Fool’s Prank Involves Some Hip New Flavors

April 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola played an April Fool’s prank on the media and consumers with an announcement of new flavors of Coke Zero Sugar for the "brunch-loving, superfood-snacking Millennial" members of the “Instagram generation.” The faux flavors announced were Coke Zero Sugar Avocado (with “creamy undertones of amazing avocado”); Charcoal (“loaded with activated charcoal”); and Sourdough “superbly sour and bursting with fermented flavors.” In a statement, Coca-Cola said the new flavors offer the “perfect tasty, sugar-free refreshment” as well as an ideal accessory for social media photos “guaranteed to see the ‘likes’ rolling in.”
"No, Coca-Cola aren't launching Avocado, Sourdough and charcoal flavours", The Mirror, April 01, 2018
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Nestlé Waters NA Makes Progress On Factory Sustainability Efforts

March 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Third-party accrediting organization Alliance for Water Stewardship has certified a Nestlé Waters NA factory in Ontario, Calif., along with facilities in Canada, for sustainability achievements. Last week AWS certified Nestlé’s Los Angeles and Cabazon, Calif., factories. AWS is an alliance of businesses, nonprofits, public-sector agencies, and academic institutes. The organization’s audit of the California facilities showed combined savings of more than 54 million gallons of water between 2016 and 2017, according to Nestlé Waters. Eight Nestlé Waters facilities worldwide have met the AWS standard; two more plants in North America are expected to be certified by the end of this year.
Paul Schott, "Nestle Waters factories gain sustainability certifications", Stamford Advocate, March 30, 2018
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Canada Dry Adds Another Flavor Combo To Its Lineup

March 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Canada Dry announced the launch of a Ginger Ale and Lemonade flavor, combining real ginger and lemonade made with real juice. The product launch is supported with digital and television ads created by Deutsch and featuring “Ginger Man,” a “likeable guru” offering “guidance on how to taste nirvana.” The integrated campaign comprises national television commercials, audio streaming program advertisements, and an extension across social, digital and media channels. Canada Dry, a brand of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, says it has enjoyed eleven years of growth, thanks to innovation in flavor combinations.
"Canada Dry defies the odds with eleven years of growth in a challenging category", March 29, 2018, © Dr Pepper Snapple Group
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Electric Vehicles Threaten Beverage Sales At Gas Station C-Stores

March 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
There’s plenty of time to prepare, but industry watchers see the gradual shift to hybrid and electric vehicles as a dark cloud on the horizon of CPG companies and convenience store retailers. The shift will mean fewer fueling visits at gas station C-stores and a significant drop in purchases of nonalcoholic RTD beverages, according to Morgan Stanley. Energy drink companies such as Monster Beverage would be at the greatest risk – half of Monster’s sales are derived from gas stations and convenience stores – but companies like PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple could also be hurt. Food Dive advised snack and drink manufacturers to look at exclusive partnerships and special product discounts and promotions to attract more people into convenience stores.
Dan Alaimo, "Electric vehicles could hurt beverage sales at the convenience store", March 29, 2018, © © 2018 Industry Dive
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Coca-Cola Supports U.K. Plan To Test Deposit Return Program To Boost Recycling

March 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola says it is fully supporting British government plans to test a deposit return program in the U.K. that will include glass, plastic, and metal containers. The company’s vice president for Europe, Julian Hunt, calls the plan a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to deal with growing worries about plastics by working with the government on package recovery and recycling. Deposit return initiatives elsewhere in Europe have sharply increased in the number of bottles recycled. Current systems in the U.K. had reached between 60 percent and 70 percent of plastic bottles recovered, “but that's not high enough," said Hunt.
Adam Parsons, "Coca-Cola: Bottle return scheme is a 'once-in-a-generation opportunity'", March 28, 2018, © © 2018 Sky UK
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Nestlé SA To Sell Two Brazilian Water Brands To Local Firm

March 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé SA’s subsidiary in Brazil has agreed to sell its Sao Lourenço and Petropolis water brands and three factories to Grupo Edson Queiroz for an undisclosed sum. The deal must be approved by antitrust agencies. In addition, Grupo Edson Queiroz will have a license to produce Nestle´s water brand Pureza Vital, and distribution contracts for Perrier, S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna in Brazil. The company owns competitor water brands Indaiá and Minalba.
"Nestle agrees to sell Brazilian water brands to local company", Reuters, March 28, 2018, © Reuters
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Danone Sheds Two-Thirds Of Stake In Japanese Dairy Products Company

March 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Danone says it will use the proceeds – $1.66 billion – of the sale of two-thirds of its stake in Japanese probiotics dairy producer Yakult Honsha Co. to reduce debt and invest in organic growth. According to Bloomberg, the discounted stock sale took place after activist fund Corvex Management accumulated a stake in Danone, which is struggling to boost revenue. Danone remains Yakult’s biggest shareholder.
"Danone Sells Yakult Shares at Discount, Raising $1.66 Billion", Bloomberg, March 28, 2018, © Bloomberg
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Coca-Cola Extends Line Of Dasani Sparkling Waters With New Flavors

March 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola’s announced it has added three flavors to its Dasani Sparkling water brand, launched in 2014. The addition of pomegranate blueberry, pear kiwi, and original extends the line of zero-calorie, unsweetened, naturally-flavored carbonated waters to 14 flavors that offer a “versatile” alternative to sodas. Dasani Sparkling competes directly with the popular LaCroix brand and with PepsiCo’s newly-launched “bubbly” flavored sparkling water. Sales of Coca-Cola’s Dasani and SmartWater sparkling waters increased by 42 percent in the past five years. Water and non-soda sales, including coffee and tea drinks, grew two percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Eric Mandel, "Coca-Cola adds more flavor to its sparkling water portfolio", Atlanta Business Chronicle, March 27, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Fixing And Managing The Water Supply Offers Opportunities For Businesses

March 22, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé Waters NA chief sustainability officer Nelson Switzer sees two major opportunities that businesses can take advantage of within the $600 billion water industry. First, companies can deploy data and technology to help monitor and deliver water as efficiently as possible. And, secondly, the “massive water infrastructure gap” in the U.S. and around the world needs to be closed. The leaks in the infrastructure are wasting water: anywhere from 18 percent to 40 percent, a range “within the norm for most municipalities in North America.” That presents opportunities for companies to investigate infrastructure leaks, investigate replacement needs, and develop solutions to replace, repair, or bypass the problems. Those solutions are well under way, Switzer says. Many technological start-ups are focused on the water business, and many are part of the Imagine H20 accelerator program.
Mary Ellen Shoup, "Nestlé Waters North America CSO: ‘Water is a Renewable Resource so Long As You Manage the Supply Properly’", BeverageDaily.com, March 22, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Nestle Launches Two Nitrogen-Infused Nescafé Coffee Beverages

March 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Nestlé has launched a coffee drink in two flavors infused with nitrogen in the U.K. and Ireland. The nitrogen infusion gives Nescafé Azera Nitro’s flavors a smoother taste, according to the company. The Nitro Latte is a creamier version of the drink, made with coffee sourced through the Nescafé Plan, a responsible coffee production and sustainability initiative. Nestlé Professional will offer chilled Nescafé Azera Nitro Americano on tap in British and Irish bars, pubs, restaurants, and across the hospitality sector.
"Nestle Brings Innovative Nitrogen Infused Coffee to the UK – Introducing ‘Nescafé Azera Nitro' Americano and Latte", News release, Nestlé, March 20, 2018, © Nestlé
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Coca-Cola Joins State Dept., Blockchain Firms, In Effort To Reduce Forced Labor

March 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is working with the U.S. government and two blockchain companies on a project whose goal is to use the technology to develop a secure registry for workers to help reduce the use of forced labor. The U.S. Department of State will provide expertise on labor protection to the project. Nearly 25 million people work in forced-labor conditions worldwide, 47 percent in the Asia-Pacific region. For food and beverage companies, the forced-labor problem exists in areas that produce sugar cane. Blockchain technology can create a validated chain of evidence that will encourage supplier compliance with worker contracts. Coca-Cola will conduct 28 country-level studies on child labor, forced labor, and land rights for its sugar supply chains by 2020. Blockchain companies involved in the project include the Bitfury Group and Emercoin.
"Coca-Cola Will Verify Suppliers with Blockchain", Al Jazeera, March 17, 2018, © Al Jazeera Media Network
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Coca-Cola Accepts Study Findings That Bottled Water Contains Micro-Plastics

March 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has accepted the findings of a study that showed that its bottled water Dasani tested by scientists at SUNY Fredonia contained micro-particles of plastic. Dasani was only one of the brands tested: 93 percent of analyzed bottles contained plastic particles. Commissioned by the nonprofit media organization Orb, the study tested 250 bottles bought from 19 locations in Kenya, Indonesia, India, the U.S., Lebanon, Thailand, China, Mexico, Brazil, and Amazon.com. Only 17 bottles were free of plastics. Dasani water sourced in Kenya had the highest concentration of micro-plastics, with 335 pieces for every liter. A Coca-Cola spokesman told the BBC that it maintains very high bottling standards, but microplastics "may be found at minute levels even in highly treated products." There is no evidence that ingesting microplastics can cause harm.
William Osoro, "Coca-Cola Admits Presence of Plastics in Dasani Water", SDE, March 17, 2018, © Standard Media Group
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Kraft Heinz Gearing Up To Enter Healthful Snack Arena With Nut-Based Treats

March 16, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The burgeoning health and wellness trend in snacks has caught the attention of one of the major players. Kraft Heinz plans to launch healthful snacks that feature nuts as their main ingredient, mainly almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pecans. The planned launches were showcased at the recent Snaxpo meeting in Atlanta, Ga. Prototypes included Korean gochujang-spiced nuts, maple bacon-flavored roasted pecan clusters, and energy balls. In preparation for the entry into healthful snacks, the Kraft Heinz Ingredients business unit has been processing nuts for several years at its plants in the southeastern and southcentral U.S. It will use proprietary salting and roasting techniques to create the snacks. [Image Credit: © Kraft Heinz]
Douglas Yu, "Kraft Heinz Ingredients Eyes Nuts as Snacks to Deliver Health", BakeryAndSnacks.com, March 16, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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STōK Debuts New Cold-Brewed Coffee, Tea Lines

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Cold brew beverage company STōK has added two cold brew drinks, including a high-protein coffee, and a range of teas. The new cold brewed teas, dubbed STōK Yerba Mate Cold Brew Teas, will be available in two flavors, Slightly Sweet and Peach. The drinks contain 75 percent more caffeine than standard RTD iced teas. The STōK Protein Cold Brew Coffee contains 16g of protein per serving, the equivalent of “two large eggs and a slice of bacon,” according to the company, which is owned by DanoneWave. The new lines will be available in the U.S. in 48 oz bottles beginning this month.
"Danone-Owned Stok Releases Two New Cold Brew Drinks in the US", FoodBev, March 14, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Lucie Austin Returns To Manage Coca-Cola’s South Pacific Region Marketing

March 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola has confirmed that Lucie Austin will replace Lisa Winn as head of South Pacific marketing. Winn, a former Unilever employee who was with Coca-Cola since 2002, became marketing director for the South Pacific region in July 2014. She was responsible for numerous marketing achievements, including the “Color Your Summer” campaign and implementing the “One Brand” in the region. Austin is rejoining the South Pacific team after serving as marketing director from 2008-2013. She went to the U.K. as marketing director for North West Europe and the Nordics (NWEN), then in 2015 became Western Europe marketing director. Winn left the company to spend more time with her family and pursue consulting opportunities.
Nadia Cameron, "Coca-Cola Confirms Returning Marketing Chief Will Lead South Pacific", Chief Marketing Officer, March 14, 2018, © IDG Communications
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Further Localization Of Beverage Portfolio Is Coca-Cola’s Plan For Indian Market

March 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The head of Coca-Cola India confirms that the company plans to introduce domestic  ethnic drinks and fruit juices with a goal of localizing two-thirds of the product line in the country. About half of the portfolio today comprises local brands like ThumsUp, Limca, Maaza, and RimZim that are formulated, produced, and sold in in India. T Krishnakumar said the goal is to have about a third of Coca-Cola’s product in India remain “basically global.” Its plans for juice are based on the realization that Indians “have a huge love for fruits,” he noted. The company’s “Ras Ras Mein India” program involves selecting a fruit in each state and converting it into juice.
"Coca-Cola Plans to Localise 2/3rd of Its Products Portfolio in India", The Economic Times, March 11, 2018, via PTI, © Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.
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N.Z. Okays Merger Of Kraft-Heinz And Cerebos Gregg’s Food, Instant Coffee

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
As long as Kraft-Heinz divests licenses for some sauce brands owned by Cerebos Gregg’s, the company can acquire the food and instant coffee businesses of the Suntory-owned business, New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has ruled. Under the ruling, Kraft Heinz would have to divest the licenses for the Gregg’s brand of tomato ketchup, steak sauce, barbecue sauce, and the F. Whitlock Worcestershire sauce brand. Cerebos Gregg’s will become part of the Heinz Wattie division. The commission said that without the divestitures the acquisition would “result in a substantial lessening of competition in each of these markets.”
"Kraft Heinz Cleared to Purchase Cerebos Gregg’s from Suntory", FoodBev, March 09, 2018, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Coca-Cola Fortifies Its Coconut Water Beachhead With New Zico Flavors

March 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola is laying the groundwork to be a major player in the soon-to-be $7 billion global coconut water market, adding new flavors to its Zico brand family and building its portfolio of healthful, better-for-you beverages.  The company expects coconut water to be a $1.5 billion market domestically by 2020, though the climb will be a steep one, requiring lots of new customers who may have a tough time getting used to the flavor of coconut water. The solution to the problem is new flavors: it recently added chocolate, watermelon-raspberry, and jalapeño-mango to the line. In addition, newly-announced organic veggie juice-coconut water blends (ZICOCocoLixir) fuse two health-centric drinks: coconut water and cold-press juice. It may seem odd for sugary soda company Coca-Cola, but it says it is simply pursuing the new mission of becoming a “total beverage company” globally.
Kate Taylor, "Coca-Cola Wants to Dominate a $7 Billion Industry with a New Type of Beverage that's Taking Over the World", Business Insider, March 09, 2018, © Business Insider Inc
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Unilever Saves 30% With Its In-House Creative Content Production Agency

March 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Unilever, the world's second largest advertiser is reducing the number of its advertising agencies from 3,000 to 1,500, by handling content production with U-Studios, its in-house creative agency. The 17 U-Studios in 12 countries now creates content for some of its brands. Savings are reinvested in marketing and in-store spend. And with online sales increasing by 80% last year, Unilever is also investing heavily in digital, leveraging its in-house People Data Centers for real-time analytics of consumer relationships.
Gideon Spanier, "Unilever claims 30% saving from handling content production in-house", Campaign Live, March 08, 2018, © Haymarket Media Group Ltd.
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Hain Celestial Debuts 75+ New Products At Trade Show

March 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Hain Celestial Group said it is unveiling more than 75 new products at Natural Products Expo West, natural, organic and healthy products industry trade show. Among the new products to be featured are Arrowhead Mills Protein Flour and Protein Pancake and Waffle Mix; Bearitos snacks brand’s non-GMO Baked Veggie and Cheddar Baked Corn Puffs; Celestial Seasonings’ Vermont Maple Ginger Herbal Tea and Lemon Lavender Lane Herbal Tea; and Earth's Best Organic brand’s Gentle Infant Formula and Non-GMO Plant-Based Infant Formula. [Image Credit: © Hain Celestial]
"Hain Celestial Features 75 Exciting New Products at Expo West 2018", News release, Hain Celestial, March 08, 2018, © The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
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If Customers Want Fresh Beef, McDonald’s Will Serve It

March 6, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Beginning in May, McDonald’s will make its quarter-pound hamburgers from fresh beef in a move to satisfy customers who have gotten picky about eating processed food. The move will make logistics more complicated for the company and its 14,000 restaurants who have positioned themselves as the place to go for reliable, fast, cheap and delicious food. The company is convinced its basic business is selling burgers, and if consumers want the better quality – and pricier – offerings at fast-casual chains, McDonald’s will offer that. So, franchisees are installing new refrigerators and containers to store the fresh meat. It’s worth the effort, the company feels, to serve burgers that compete well with fast-casual offerings “without sacrificing the consistency and speed McDonald’s customers expect.” [Image Credit: © McDonald's]
Patrick McGroarty, "McDonald’s Puts Fresh Beef on the Menu", The Wall Street Journal, March 06, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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Will Big Food Get Ahead Of The Niche Curve At Natural Expo?

March 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Vexed by consumer preferences evolving toward more-healthful, less-refined foods, and other threats, big manufacturers, retailers and investors have flocked to the Natural Products Expo West – a gathering place for natural, organic, and niche food and ingredient purveyors – to gather hints of what might be the next game-changing food trends. It’s bad enough that Big Food has to deal with rising retailer fees and trucking costs, competition from deep discount food retailers and now even Amazon. There’s also the fact that sales of food made with less-processed ingredients have risen 15 percent since 2014. The top 25 food and beverage companies in the U.S. collectively lost $5 billion in market share to smaller brands from 2012 to 2016. “It’s not a niche thing anymore. It’s mainstream,” said a Kroger exec. “That’s where the customer is going.”. [Image Credit: © Natural Products Expo West]
Heather Haddon et al., "At Food Expo, Companies Jockey for the Next Big Thing", The Wall Street Journal, March 03, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company Inc.
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