We’ve decided to go deeper into the world of influencer marketing during our Future Smarts conference next month. Influencer firm CreatorIQ, prebiotic soda brand Poppi, and TikTok style influencer Preston Konrad will sit for what I am sure will be a captivating panel discussion. Look for ...
I’m happy to announce an addition to our Future Smarts conference on Dec. 11. Ghost Lifestyle Co-founder and CEO Dan Lourenco will join us to discuss ready-to-drink Ghost Energy, launched in 2020. The brand has made a splash with its candy company partnerships and Anheuser-Busch JV. We’ll talk about making inroads in a competitive category dominated by Monster Energy and Red Bull.
I’ll ask Coca-Cola North America President Jennifer Mann about her plan to accelerate total beverage growth at Coke’s largest global operating unit at a time when market conditions demand both precision and agility.
PepsiCo North America Beverages Chief Supply Chain Officer Karen Jordan will discuss lessons learned from one of the worst global supply chain disruptions of the past century.
Keurig Dr Pepper Chief Strategy Officer Justin Whitmore will shed light on how partnerships with Electrolit, Nutrabolt, and Athletic Brewing will help maximize growth and value.
Next, I’ll ask our Wall Street analyst panel for views on how consumer sentiment affects beverage company pricing and volume strategies.
Melody Richard, SVP for U.S. Pantry at Walmart, will illuminate both sides of the supplier-customer partnership in a discussion covering key consumer, retail, and beverage category trends.
Then I’ll ask Coca-Cola Consolidated President and COO Dave Katz about the critical role innovation plays for the beverage bottler.
Buffalo Rock President & CEO Matthew Dent will talk about the importance of efficiency in a modern manufacturing and distribution environment.
And Paul Pisano, SVP of industry affairs and general counsel for the National Beer Wholesalers Association, will help make sense of the emerging crossover between two massive beverage sectors – alcohol and non-alcohol.
Concern over the potential negative impact to food and beverage sales from obesity medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy is overblown.
This summer, Morgan Stanley rightfully dug into whether the rapidly growing use of diabetes drugs for weight loss would dampen food and beverage sales in a country racked with obesity. Analysts at the firm estimate a -2.0% to -3.0% decline in carbonated soft drink and snack consumption in 2035 driven by the drugs. Other firms...
As you’ll read in today’s newsletter, BodyArmor’s newest product is not a liquid. It’s a powder, packaged in a single-serve stick. The sports drink brand is the latest to add the format, which is catching on with consumers looking for convenient and highly portable functionality.
Analysts at Consumer Edge Research wrote in March that single-serve, non-ready-to-drink beverages — while small relative to the entire US non-alcoholic beverage market — were growing...
Ninja's New Thirsti Drink System Takes on SodaStream
August 30, 2023
PepsiCo’s SodaStream has new competition from kitchen appliance maker Ninja. The Ninja Thirsti Drink System launched in late July. The company sent me a unit to try. Here are my observations:
— The primary difference in Thirsti versus SodaStream is that drinks are produced by the glass instead of by the bottle. With SodaStream and most other sparkling water appliances, including Aarke and Drinkmate, water is carbonated inside a multi-serve bottle. The user removes the bottle and pours in flavor syrup, shaking the mixture by hand. With Thirsti, water is drawn from a reservoir that is refillable and removable for fridge chilling. Changeable concentrate pods automatically release...
Beverage companies are all about innovation, and so is Beverage Digest. In addition to creating a dynamic speaker lineup for our Dec. 11 Future Smarts conference in Manhattan, we are adding a new-for-us networking opportunity for attendees.
The plan is to host a welcome reception for all registered attendees on the Sunday night before our Monday event. We’ll announce more details soon. This gathering will be a chance to share drinks and bites with old industry friends and forge new relationships. We also recognize that with so much remote work these days, Future Smarts is an ideal opportunity for far-flung team members to connect — and perhaps even meet and socialize for the first time.
As for our program, we’ve announced two more high-level executive speakers: Coca-Cola North America President Jennifer Mann, and PepsiCo Beverages North America Chief Supply Chain Officer Karen Jordan. We’ve also assembled a stellar Wall Street panel. Here’s a sneak peek at the insights I intend to uncover for attendees.
For the past decade, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have diverged in the US when it comes to soft drink distribution strategy. Coke owns no soda distribution operations, leaving that in recent years to independent franchised bottlers. On the other hand, PepsiCo owns and operates most of its US bottling distribution system. Now that both companies are seeking a growth path through alcoholic beverages, their strategies in the US have diverged once again.
As you’ll read in today’s issue, PepsiCo is going all-in on the distribution of alcoholic beverages such as Hard Mtn Dew with its Blue Cloud Distribution subsidiary. The company appears...
For years, juice has been off limits for consumers who avoid sugar. Juice drinks, which generally contain very little actual juice and high sugar content, were certainly a no-no for these consumers. Then even 100% juice fell out of favor, despite a health halo, as warnings about sugar mounted, especially when it came to children. Sales of 100% OJ have declined for almost two decades, before the Covid pandemic brought a short reprieve. PepsiCo even sold off a majority stake of its Tropicana business to private equity firm PAI partners in 2021 to focus on higher growth products.
But there is now some innovation to keep an eye on, with major juice brand Tropicana recently launching a Zero Sugar line of lemonade and fruit punch juice drinks with no artificial sweeteners. The products contain either 3% or 5% juice and are sweetened with stevia instead of sugar. Tropicana marketers pitch the new Zero Sugar line as “guilt-free.”
I don’t usually review products, but I’ve tried the new Tropicana Zero Sugar line and the drinks are good. This is surely due to advancements in no-calorie sweetener technology.
Tropicana is no stranger to stevia, having launched a stevia-sweetened product called Trop50 way back in 2009 just after the FDA made no objection to the natural sweetener’s use in food. The lower-sugar product (50% less than pure OJ) became a bright spot for the brand’s OJ lineup — but it still contained sugar. Trop50 addressed not only the sugar barrier, but also an aversion to artificial sweeteners expressed by some consumers (whether justified or not).
Stevia technology — and sweetener systems in general — have come a long way since. Tropicana’s line of ...