Occasionally, my late grandfather drank an ice-cold Miller Lite after mowing his yard on a humid Memphis day. He’d pour it into a mug and tap in a bit of salt. He had quit any social drinking decades earlier, but that cold beer spelled refreshment to him.
Refreshment has never been my only reason for drinking beer. Which is probably why the appeal of non-alcoholic beer has puzzled me, especially at the same price as a regular beer. Beer commands the price it does in part because of the functionality of alcohol. For refreshment, I’ll take a sports drink, or a soda. That’s why I wrote in this column last year that I am a non-alcoholic beer skeptic. I write today to tell you that I am becoming a believer — with a caveat.
Nutrabolt, the energy drink company that received an $863 million investment from Keurig Dr Pepper in December, has refreshed its C4 Smart Energy line. The drinks claim “to sharpen mental focus and elevate alertness.” A key plant-based ingredient in the drink is InnovaBean, which the company says is a green coffee bean that...
‘Dink’ Latest Example of Beverages Targeting Exploding Pickleball Community
April 6, 2023
The exploding popularity of pickleball in the US has created a gold rush for beverage companies looking to capitalize on the sport, which is a miniaturized version of tennis played with a hollow plastic ball, oversized ping-pong-like paddle, and bespoke set of rules. A large part of the appeal of pickleball is the democratic nature of the game, which proponents say draws a diverse group of players from across the spectrum of age and athletic ability. That reach, coupled with the social nature of pickleball, is good for consumer packaged goods brands, too, say Pennsylvania craft beer brewers and beverage co-packers Joe and Abby Feerrar. The husband-and-wife team is launching what they believe to be the first non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverage created with pickleball players specifically in mind. “Dink,” named for the shot that is a staple of the small-court game, will debut this weekend at a pickleball event...
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...
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.