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Period: April 22, 2018 to April 29, 2018
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends
Companies, Organizations  

C-Store Poll Shows Modest Rise in Coca-Cola, Monster 1Q Sales

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.

"C-Store Survey: Coke, Monster Spur Incremental Growth",, April 23, 2018

Boxed Water Company Carves A Lucrative Niche In Packaged Water Market

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. 

"Start-up focus: Rethink Water revolutionizes sugar-free beverages for children", Food Ingredient First, April 23, 2018

Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing  

Fonterra Ups Capacity For Producing Fruit And Dairy Beverages In New Zealand

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

Earnings Release  

Coca-Cola Posted Solid First Quarter Financials

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.

"Coca-Cola’s Focus on Healthier Drinks Pays Off ", Bloomberg, April 24, 2018

Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy  

Bai Brands Is Newest Defendant In Malic Acid Lawsuits

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.

"Bai Brands Latest Target in Malic Acid Lawsuits; Dr Pepper Blasts 'Meritless' Complaint",, April 20, 2018

Market News  

Canadian Start-Up Company Expands Its Line Of Oral Health Teas

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

Nestlé Waters NA Buys Delivery Business Of Connecticut-Based Spring Water Company

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.

"Meriden Spring Water Company Sells Portion of Business to Nestlé",, April 17, 2018

Marketing & Advertising  

Premium Coconut Water Company Spurns Traditional Retail Channel

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.

"CoAqua Targets Premium-Seeking Audience Relying on Direct-To-Consumer Online Channel",, April 20, 2018

Coca-Cola Unveils New Cans In Celebration of 23 Chinese Cities

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’",, April 19, 2018

Products & Brands  

British Company Healthy Sales Group Revives Ancient Fermented Drink

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

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