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:
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...
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..
Bottling executives within the US Coke and Pepsi soft drink systems have experienced a business environment during the past three years like no other in their tenures. A global pandemic shut down most fountain sales and drove consumers to retail, where a sudden sales spike stretched infrastructure and workforces. Then supply chain disruptions forced bottlers to...
Category Challenger to Evolve From ‘Great Product to a Lifestyle Brand’
September 7, 2022
Pisa Pharmaceuticals has hired former Red Bull marketer Christian Patiño Webb as CEO of the company’s Electrolit “instant hydration” business globally. He will be based in Houston and report to Pisa’s board of directors. His background in the consumer packaged goods industry includes...
Spoiler: The PepsiCo-Backed ‘Retronasal Smell’ Technology Works
August 18, 2022
BD recently wrote about the U.S. launch of Air Up, the German maker of a refillable bottle that uses pods to flavor plain water by smell instead of taste. PepsiCo is an investor in the company, which describes its technology, based on a scientific concept called “retronasal smell,” this way: “The flavored air travels from your mouth up to your olfactory center, where it’s perceived as flavor.” From packaging to materials, Air Up embodies an assortment of beverage trends that resonate with Gen Z and Millennial consumers: Healthfulness, design, personalization, technology, and sustainability. To better understand the Air Up offering, BD bought and used the product, which the...
Meanwhile, Pepsi Faces Turbulence in Latest Soda Results at Retail
August 2, 2022
As consumers face unprecedented 40-year-high price inflation for everything from gas to groceries, beverage industry watchers have kept their eyes on an important canary in the coal mine for branded drinks – growth in private label offerings. When consumers’ bank accounts are pressured, they look to lower-priced store brands to stretch the grocery budget. This year had been different, as shoppers for many...
Pepsi Adds Mid-Year Hikes for Brisk Concentrate, and Finished Rockstar, Bang
June 7, 2022
Concentrate pricing for major soft drinks brands including Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola, and Dr Pepper rose in the US by between +6.4% and +8.0% in 2022 compared to 2021, according to pricing memos obtained by BD. Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Coke Zero Sugar rose...
Private Label CSDs Fails to Make Inroads Amid Inflationary Crisis
June 7, 2022
Private label carbonated soft drinks (CSD) at US retail were unable to make progress in the first quarter of this year even though shoppers are facing unprecedented inflation at the grocery. As shown in the table, Private label CSD dollar sales barely grew in a category that was up more than...