Plus, Blue Cloud Now Permitted by TTB in 40 States (Map)
April 6, 2023
PepsiCo’s Blue Cloud alcohol distribution subsidiary will not acquire Corwin Beverage’s beer distribution business in southwest Washington state, Corwin CEO Keith Richards confirmed to BD. PepsiCo’s recent agreement to buy back Corwin’s Washington-based Pepsi franchise (see Territory Changes & Deals) sparked speculation as to whether PepsiCo would acquire Corwin’s beer business to distribute Hard Mtn Dew and perhaps...
Bottled Water Category Shines, While RTD Tea, Enhanced Waters Shed Volume
March 16, 2023
US non-carbonated beverage categories tracked by BD posted strong retail pricing growth in 2022 as manufacturers sought to offset higher costs for everything from packaging to transportation. In the face of higher pricing, volume sales declined meaningfully for...
Back in my Bloomberg News days a decade ago, a colleague and ex-options trader, who was often intrigued by health and profit hacks, brewed a cup of Keurig coffee one morning and whisked it with grass-fed butter. He extolled the virtues of the concoction for both health and mental acuity. He believed it gave him the kind of physical edge that folks on Wall Street and Silicon Valley are forever striving to unlock.
Before long, seemingly everyone looking for an edge was talking about that trend and the brand fueling it, Bulletproof. Founder David Asprey had been energized by the yak-butter tea he drank during a meditation excursion in Tibet. Asprey introduced US consumers to grass-fed butter coffee by way of Bulletproof in 2013. The company included a healthy fat called MCT oil to provide energy to the brain and body. Bulletproof became a cornerstone of the keto diet fad, a modern on a low-carb diet. Keto encouraged consumption of quality fats and protein.
Bulletproof sold plenty of coffee beans, pods, and MCT oil. However, the company’s ready-to-drink offering, launched in 2017, hasn’t caught on and may have been too late, despite the brand’s keto-on-the-go promise. Instead, Super Coffee has dominated the MCT-infused keto coffee space. A 2018 appearance on Shark Tank, investments from the likes of NFL quarterback Aaron Rogers and pop star Jennifer Lopez, and a 2020 national distribution partnership with Anheuser-Busch has propelled that brand to the forefront.
That’s why Starbucks’ launch of olive oil infused coffees at a cafe in Italy is especially eye-catching. Called Oleato, the barista-prepared drinks — in hot and iced forms — appear to take cues from the MCT coffee craze, although Starbucks’ pitch is all about mouthfeel. “The alchemy of Starbucks arabica coffee and premium Partanna extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) creates an entirely new experience, taking on a depth and dimension that simply must be tasted to be believed,” the company’s website states. The drinks are headed to California in the spring.
As I tweeted last week, Oleato is just the kind of innovation that could one day jump to the RTD market by way of Starbucks’ JV with PepsiCo. That successful partnership has...
If you have young adults in your life, hopefully they have introduced you to bubble tea, also known as boba tea. This combination of tea, milk, and gelatin-like tapioca pearls, invented decades ago in Taiwan, can by now be found in strip mall cafes all over the US. Almost always there are high school and college students inside slurping boba beads through oversized straws. Franchised versions of the concept have of course followed.
Having visited a few of these bubble tea cafes with my kids, I was primed to notice several ready-to-drink and make-at-home versions seeking to capitalize on the boba trend — and to take drink occasions away from iced and bottled coffee. Here are a couple:
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 ...