Vying for Attention: Functional Mocktails, Seaweed, Upcycling, Canned Sports Drink, Hard Honey
March 16, 2023
Natural Products Expo West was nearly back to pre-pandemic form this year with more than 3,000 exhibitors and 65,000 attendees. The show, held last week in Anaheim, California, hosts the vanguard of consumer health and wellness trends, mostly in packaged food and beverage. Had you been at Expo West in 1999, you would have seen bottled organic tea brand Honest in its infancy, a dozen years before Coca-Cola would eventually acquire the company in full from co-founder and fair trade tea evangelist Seth Goldman. While many brands at the show will fail, they often still represent trends that will one day go mainstream and generate meaningful growth, usually at premium pricing. As a result, Expo West is a magnet for strategic companies, private equity investors, distributors, and retailers looking for the next big trend or growth brand. With all of this in mind, BD walked the show floor — 10 football fields in size — for three days, spending most of that time in the “Hot Products” zones, where the smallest and newest companies exhibit. Here’s what caught our attention:
Powdered Beverage ‘Headroom is Unlimited,’ CEO Says. Brand Represents Possible Long-Term Disruption for RTD Sector.
March 16, 2023
Liquid I.V., the powdered water enhancer acquired by Unilever in 2020, is closing in on $1 billion in net sales, according to the company. The brand will reach the milestone in the “near future,” the company said, while declining to define that timeframe. The “hydration multiplier,” which promises to hydrate as much as 2.5 times faster than water and is used by some consumers as a hangover remedy, is the largest single-serve drink mix brand on the market with a...
Beverage Digest is walking the show floor along with about 65,000 other attendees at Expo West in California this week. We'll investigate natural ingredient trends that could one day drive the growing and profitable functional packaged beverage market. We're also looking for what's new within existing ready-to-drink segments and product lines, and talking to the founders and leaders who propel the sector.
We'll share our observations in live updates here, so check back through the next couple of days.
Subscribers can email us if there is something specific you'd like to ask about. For those attending the show, feel free to send any noteworthy observations as well.
Little Increase in Retailer Pressure Over Pricing. Promotions Remain Strategic.
March 2, 2023
Input Costs Still Elevated, Tracking Inflation. Volatility Expected.
Independent Coca-Cola and PepsiCo bottlers generally anticipate average annual retail carbonated soft drink pricing growth of between +3.0% and +6.0% during the next five years, an informal BD survey found. US CSD pricing at retail in 2022 reached almost +15.0%. Some bottlers said pricing growth will likely trend in the +7.0% to +9.0% range. Outliers predicted...
March Brings Investment Growth for Coke’s Sports Drink Brands, He Says
March 2, 2023
Bodyarmor-Powerade a ‘One-Two Punch’ Vs Gatorade With Two-Tier Pricing
BodyArmor leaders will look to double the brand’s awareness and make it a household name now that they have completed an integration with Coca-Cola’s Powerade, BodyArmor Sports Nutrition CMO Matt Dzamba told BD in an exclusive interview. “We can't just be a brand that athletes of the Nth degree understand,” he said of BodyArmor. “So we're widening the aperture and speaking to a broader audience, like gatekeepers and active adults.” He also said...
Exclusive Interview: BA Sports Nutrition CMO Matthew Dzamba
February 21, 2023
BodyArmor leaders will look to double the brand’s awareness and make it a household name now that they have completed an integration with Coca-Cola’s Powerade, BodyArmor Sports Nutrition CMO Matt Dzamba told BD in an exclusive interview. “We can't just be a brand that athletes of the Nth degree understand,” he said of BodyArmor. “So we're widening...
Until Then, Brand Targets C-store Channel for Fountain Agua Fresca, Soda, Frozen Drinks
January 12, 2023
CEO Says Tractor ‘Not Looking to Get into Any Battle’ With Soda Giants.
Tractor Beverage, the maker of organic, non-GMO bubbler drinks for fast-casual restaurant chains such as Chipotle, has its eye on the ready-to-drink beverage market as part of its new partnership with Keurig Dr Pepper, Tractor CEO Kevin Sherman told BD. Initial internal discussions could begin as early as this quarter, although a timetable for any RTD decision or launch..
Category Pricing ‘Still Has Some Legs,’ Bottler Says. Category ‘Still Affordable,’ Says Another
January 12, 2023
The big story of 2022 was surprisingly low price elasticities in the US for carbonated soft drinks as manufacturers raised prices to offset runaway costs for everything from labor to packaging. At retail last year, CSD pricing jumped almost +14.8% last year, driving category dollar sales up more than...
G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, PepsiCo’s largest fully independent US franchise bottler, is preparing to distribute Hard Mtn Dew on the same “blue trucks” that distribute Pepsi-Cola and other non-alcoholic brands. In an interview at BD’s Future Smarts conference in New York on Dec. 5, G&J CEO Tim Trant said the Cincinnati-based company has applied for beer distribution licenses ...