This week’s issue touches on a couple of important beverage industry themes that we’re paying a lot of attention to these days.
The first is the blurring of product and distribution lines between non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverage categories. Driving this trend is a need by scaled players in both sectors to increase scale and efficiency, while tapping into a new base of both health-conscious and exploratory consumers. A great example is Anheuser-Busch InBev’s move to consolidate its company-owned wholesaler network to serve as an incubator of new brands that could eventually be scaled to ABI’s broader network. One such effort with an upstart hydration brand called ShineWater is a good example.
The second theme is the continued mainstreaming of natural food and beverage concepts to new channels. A Q&A today with executives from Zevia, which markets a colorless, stevia-sweetened soda with a huge presence at Whole Foods, delves into the company’s plans to go after immediate consumption in the convenience channel. Zevia also wants to grow its profile in the grocery channel. Now that they are a public company, they have the capital to make it happen.
Before I close, a programming note: We just announced our newest speaker for Future Smarts 2021, to be held on December 6. He is Greg Lyons, CMO for PepsiCo Beverages North America. I know him to be a dynamic speaker, a fierce advocate for his brands, and an aggressive competitor. Register HERE to see Greg, as well as our other influential executives from Coca-Cola, Danone, Canopy Growth, Swire Coca- Cola USA, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays. See you there.
-- Duane Stanford, Editor & Publisher
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