A federal judge in Florida has ruled that Monster Beverage’s Reign energy drink did not infringe Bang Energy’s trade dress, Reuters reported. Bang’s owner, Vital Pharmaceuticals, made the allegation in a 2019 lawsuit that went to a bench trial last year. Monster launched Reign in response to market gains by Bang. In dismissing Bang’s claims, the judge went on to say that Bang’s package was a “refinement” of Monster Energy’s original packaging.
On Aug. 5, Monster Beverage reported a +34% increase in net sales during the second quarter, with Monster Energy (including Reign) growing +33%. International sales grew +66%. Co-CEO Rodney Sacks said the company expects aluminum can shortages to reduce the company’s ability to fully meet demand in the US as well as in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa division “for the next few months.” The shortages in the second quarter extended into July and adversely impacted sales, even as they grew, Sacks said.
Maine and Oregon have become the first states to adopt so-called extended producer responsibility (EPR) laws. The measures require producers of products with packaging, including PET, to pay into a state fund for recycling and waste handling. Similar laws are pending in New York, California, and four other states.
Recycling technology firm Olyns and PepsiCo are testing an advanced reverse vending machine at some Safeway stores. The soda machine- sized units can collect and compress aluminum cans, PET bottles, and glass. The device uses “artificial- intelligence image recognition” to sort materials, and it employs an app-based touchless user interface. Customers can get rewards for returning packages or collect deposit refunds by way of PayPal in bottle bill states. Gig-economy workers empty the machines and take the materials to recycling centers after receiving alerts through an app.
Soylent CEO Demir Vangelov told Fortune that the meal replacement company has been profitable since the second quarter of 2020 following an overhaul of the business and higher pandemic related demand. Soylent also just launched in Rite Aid nationally, adding to existing distribution at Walmart and Target.
Texas-based Pickle Juice Company recently announced the opening of a 66,000-sq-ft production plant for its anti-cramping ready-to-drink beverage. The facility doubles production capacity amid pandemic-fueled demand, according to the company.
Gaming-focused energy drink challenger G Fuel is launching Black Ooze and Red Ooze flavors of its ready-to-drink offering in 16-oz cans. The flavors are inspired by the coming Marvel superhero movie sequel called Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
Coke and Pepsi received an earned media bonanza with a recent Tik Tok post about the southern delicacy of pouring salty peanuts into a sweet cola. A consumer’s video featuring peanuts and Pepsi-Cola, followed by another using a Cherry Coke, went viral and led to online news stories. One Tik Tok commenter called the combination “hillbilly boba.” Hardcore beverage industry watchers no doubt noticed one pandemic-era revelation from the consumer’s Tik Tok video – she used Cherry Coke because the store was out of Coke.
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