I’m a skeptic when it comes to non-alcoholic craft beers, spirits, and wines. How big can this market get without the functional benefits of alcohol, especially when sold at about the same price?
I recently posed the question to Athletic Brewing Co-founder and CEO Bill Shufelt during a panel I moderated for Credit Suisse in New York. His non-alcoholic beer brand has raised more than $70 million since launching in 2018 and accounts for almost half of the still-small US non-alcoholic beer market. Shufelt told me that most of his consumers don’t shun alcohol. Sometimes they just need a break and they like beer. He sees lots
You’ll note an extreme focus on carbonated soft drink pricing in today’s newsletter. That’s because there is no shortage of news, and soft drinks remain a massive and profitable category for US manufacturers and retailers.
On page 7, bottlers discuss the recent Memorial Day holiday weekend and how soda consumers and retailers are responding to higher list prices and fewer “hot” promotional deals. BD shares what we learned from an informal survey. The news so far is positive, even if precarious.
On page 10, we publish our annual soft drink concentrate pricing review, which reflects the inflationary environment facing the industry and its stakeholders. Increases for major soda brands like Coca- Cola, PepsiCo, and Dr Pepper as high as...
Which of these are not true?
1. Tropicana offered a cereal made to be eaten with orange juice.
2. Gatorade applied for a trademark for a virtual beverage.
3. Coke Zero Sugar launched a flavor called Byte that it says tastes like a computer pixel.
A $4.99 unpromoted 12-pack of soda in the Atlanta suburbs used to be remarkable. Then came the $5.99 12-pack. Surely that had to be the ceiling, we thought. Now recently the $7.49 12- pack has emerged. There is no way prices can go even higher. Right?
We’ve written a lot in the last six months about unprecedented carbonated soft drink price elasticities. During the past decade...
Beverage Digest is developing new editions of the Coke and Pepsi System books to be released soon.
For those unfamiliar, this research tool maps Coca-Cola and Pepsi franchise territories in the US. The book includes volume breakdowns for the top-10 bottlers in each system, bottling plant locations, and an inventory of headquarters locations.
Last year, BD added a subscription component to the product license that includes updates throughout the year without additional charge. An annual purchase means your maps...
While still early, there is growing evidence that leveraging established brands for new alcohol products is a winning way to break through tired or saturated categories.
As you will read in today’s issue, demand for PepsiCo’s Hard Mtn Dew appears to be outpacing the company’s ability to add distribution (story below). That’s a nice place to be and likely not by accident. PepsiCo and partner Boston Beer have launched in states where non-alcoholic Dew is already a strong seller, so there is built-in demand.
This week’s issue covers important discussions swirling within the US bottling systems for Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. One story relates to Coke’s new alcohol beverage strategy (pg. 6). The other involves to PepsiCo’s distribution strategy for Gatorade (pg. 2). Make sure not to miss them. Separately, recent product launches including Coca-Cola Starlight (pg. 15) and Nitro Pepsi (pg. 16) got me thinking about how important it is for snack and beverage brands to reach young consumers. As a beverage writer, I am fortunate to have a built-in focus group...
The New York Times recently published a story under the headline, “Beverages With Benefits: Do They Really Work?” The piece addressed what it described as the “flourishing” functional beverage market, made up of everything from prebiotic sodas for gut health to nootropics for brain acuity. The newspaper rightly points out that such products are an extension of the health supplement market that has generated profits for decades. As this functional beverage market grows, entrepreneurs and large beverage companies alike have been...
One of the big themes BD will mine this year is the new aggressive approach by non-alcoholic beverage powerhouses to find revenue growth in the alcohol beverage market. What appeared last year to be an experiment is quickly looking like strategy.
Of particular interest now are the divergent paths taken by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Monster Beverage, spurred by the fragmented nature of the US alcohol distribution system.
Coke has quickly expanded its Topo Chico licensing test started a year ago with Molson Coors. That deal now includes Simply, a household name in the chilled juice segment. And Coke has partnered with a second brewer and spirits company, Constellation Brands, to create a canned cocktail headlined by Fresca. In both cases, distribution will be handled by the brewers’ networks.
PepsiCo’s go-to-market strategy couldn’t be more different than Coke’s. The company has opted to build its own alcohol distribution and merchandising network around a flavored malt beverage called Hard Mtn Dew. (Be sure to check out our Blue Cloud map published last month and available only to subscribers.) Boston Beer will develop and produce the drink under license from PepsiCo.