Connecticut lawmakers and the governor agreed this month to double the state’s beverage bottle deposit to 10 cents by 2024. The new law adds more bottle types to the deposit program and boosts the handling fee paid by beverage distributors to redemption centers. Proponents argued the law needed an update to encourage more returns and reduce litter. In general, US beverage manufacturers have been more open to bottle bills that focus on environmental outcomes and are operated by manufacturers. This month, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé were among 100 brands, retailers, recyclers, and investors to sign onto an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) statement published by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation. The statement calls for implementation of “mandatory” EPR schemes by which “all industry players that introduce packaging to the market provide funding dedicated to its collecting and processing after use.”
Sports drink challenger Electrolit has launched a summer marketing campaign touting the drink’s “pharmaceutical quality ingredients” as a solution for “hydration, hangover, heat exhaustion, and illness,” according to an announcement from the brand. The campaign will emphasize Electrolit’s new Zero line with no calories or sugar.
Coca-Cola gave away $2.50 digital credits to consumers as part of a summer promotion encouraging consumers to return to restaurant dining. The digital cash is intended to be used to add a Coke to a restaurant meal. The program was part of a broader ongoing push by Coke to support fountain customers, a critical channel for carbonated soft drinks.
Olipop, a non-GMO prebiotic sparkling tonic with fiber and sweetened with stevia, has launched a “ditch the zero” campaign urging consumers to switch from brands such as Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and Pepsi Zero Sugar.
Olipop, which counts a “cola” among its flavors, is among a breed of carbonated functional beverages looking to take traditional carbonated soft drink occasions.
Following a jobs-related plea by franchise bottler Coca-Cola Consolidated, commissioners in Surry County, North Carolina have rescinded an earlier ban on Coke vending machines at county facilities. Commissioners had imposed the ban in response to Atlanta-based Coca-Cola’s criticism of a Georgia voter law. Republican commissioners in Surry accused Coke of supporting a “bigoted leftist mob,” according to local news reports. Coke Consolidated executives argued that the ban hurt three dozen employees in the county even though the independent bottler didn’t join Coke in criticizing the law. Coke’s stand on Georgia’s law has prompted a debate in the Coke system about how to handle such politically-charged issues.
IRI named Mtn Dew Zero Sugar No. 3 on its Top 10 list of food and beverage Pacesetters for 2020. Monster Beverage’s Reign performance energy drink was No. 6, based on factors including sales growth and consumer connection. Five brands on the list were beverage related. Alcohol brands Bud Light Seltzer and Truly Lemonade took the top two spots. In the c-store channel, beverages captured nine of the Top 10 Pacesetter slots, even though the No. 1 spot went to a smokeless tobacco called Zyn. No. 10 was Coke Energy, which will be discontinued this year. The balance of the c-store Top 10 include: No. 2 Reign, No. 3 Bud Light Seltzer, No. 4 Red Bull Peach Edition, No. 5 Monster Energy Ultra Paradise, No. 6 Starbucks Tripleshot Energy, No. 7 Mtn Dew Zero Sugar, No. 8 Starbucks Frappuccino with a splash of Cold Brew, No 9 Red Bull Pear Edition.
PepsiCo has launched new Mtn Dew flavors Baja Flash (pineapple, coconut blend) and Baja Punch (orange, cherry, pineapple blend). The brand also partnered with Taco Bell to introduce a frozen drink called Baja Colada Freeze, which blends original Baja Blast with a “sweet tropical cream.” Marketing for the launches includes a room spray based on Baja Blast that can be purchased online. The flurry of Baja innovation comes as PepsiCo has stepped up investment in Dew, with a focus on heartland markets.
Canned cold brew coffee maker Rise Brewing sued PepsiCo this month over its new Mtn Dew Rise energy drink, alleging trademark infringement that could confuse consumers. A PepsiCo spokesman said the company intends “to vigorously defend our rights and trademark in this matter.”
A California appeals court has reversed a $9.5 million judgement against Coca-Cola and Monster over the use of Hubert Hansen’s name and image in the marketing of its brands. The case filed by Hansen’s heirs goes back to a lower court. Hansen founded a namesake juice company in the 1930s that would go through several iterations and add products including sodas and energy drinks before being renamed Monster Beverage in 2012.
The Wall Street journal reported this week that US manufacturers are having trouble competing with fast-food restaurants for workers given the slow growth in factory wages. Restaurants are recruiting heavily to fill mass vacancies as consumers return following pandemic-related lockdowns.
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