Okay, we’ll call it a draw. Zola and Vita Coco have tied in the race to be the first to announce that they will be rolling out a product that combines two of the fastest-growing beverage trends, coconut water and lemonade. Zola is going ingredient-first, calling its product “Coconut Water Lemonade,” while Vita Coco is sticking with the brand, calling itself “Vita Coco Lemonade.”
Last week the Associated Press reported that San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera had started working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who issued subpoenas to several energy drink companies in 2012 as part of an investigation of his own, into the marketing practices, ingredients, and overall assessment of health risks that those products might present.
In its “Guidance for Industry: Distinguishing Liquid Dietary Supplements from Beverages” the FDA updated its 2009 draft guidance, explaining its current thinking on the topic as a way “to help dietary supplement and beverage manufacturers and distributors determine whether a product in liquid form is properly classified as a dietary supplement or as a beverage.”
From Southern California, Juiceology is two years into a marketing push that saw a cattle family from Brazil try its hand at a branded product in the U.S. Founded by Brazilian national Felipe Davila, the products include flash-pasteurized, aseptically-filled refrigerated juices that are blended with whole grain extracts for a higher fiber content to promote satiety. Another juice company, New Jersey-based Mojo Organics, recently launched behind a line of juices licensed from Chiquita Brands.
Company CEO Paddy Spence revealed to BevNET yesterday that the brand was in the process of implementing a new sweetener mix – “Sweet Smart” – which deploys a purer form of Rebaudioside A (more commonly known as Stevia) mixed with Erythritol and Monkfruit extract.
What does it say about the beverage business that the small companies on display at Natural Products Expo East, the little sibling of the massive West Coast show, could generate more energy than those who were attending the annual showpiece fiesta of a giant organization?
Coke has finalized its purchase of Zico coconut water, purchasing the remaining outstanding shares. Zico was purchased through Coke’s Venturing and Emerging Brands Group (VEB). Founder and current CEO Mark Rampolla will be moving into a role of non-executive advisor during the transition; G. Scott Uzzell will become President, rejoining Coke a year after he left VEB to become Zico’s Chief Commercial Officer and EVP of Sales.
First Aid Shot Therapy (F.A.S.T.), a brand of condition-specific shots that are designed to offer liquid versions of over-the-counter remedies, is launching in Boston behind a second round of funding, one that included a very familiar name in these parts.
Mere months after picking up an $8 million investment at a valuation of $100 million from Boulder Brands’ venture capital arm, the cold-pressed juice company has pulled in another, undisclosed investment from investment fund Alliance Consumer Growth (ACG), a consumer-product focused group that tries to find next-generation versions of existing categories and deploy minority growth capital as fuel for their growth.
Taking a gamble that the future of beverage – specifically, juice — is going to include snatching meal occasions from quick-serve restaurants and soda companies alike, First Beverage Ventures has invested in Project Juice, a combination storefront and packaged fresh juice operation from the San Francisco Bay area.
Schnell, the CEO of outsource consulting firm MetaBrand, has teamed with 6Pacific Capital, a West Coast private equity fund, to make investments in early-stage health and wellness companies doing business in food, beverage, and nutrition.
Eisner, who co-created the brand with Burke Eiteljorg as the Rising Beverage Co., Inc. in 2005, announced Friday that he was buying the company back from its current investors and that he would be taking over the position of President. Craig Berger was taking on a dual COO/CFO role while current president Reza Mirza was departing.
The stigma is receding. The notion of bubbles isn’t so bad. From the gourmet to the Stevia generation, fewer products are afraid to fizz. Even as sprawling soda giants like Coke and Pepsi have seen overall volume declines, existing gourmet products like Fentiman’s, Reed’s, GuS, Fever Tree, Maine Root and Q Tonic have all ridden the expansion of the natural and specialty channel to increasing sales.
VEB President Deryck van Rensburg has tapped Chuck Muth, Honest Tea’s VP of sales, with the responsibility for leading an internal group focused on selling VEB-affiliated brands to bottlers and Coke’s own distribution network. He will move into the role of SVP, Sales at VEB on Jan. 1.