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BevNET Podcast Ep. 21: Trendspotting — Where’s the White Space?

Amid a saturated market for RTD cold brew coffee, we decided to take a look at a few beverage categories that we see as ripe for disruptive and timely innovation. Listen to our take, which includes examples of a few companies quietly taking advantage of white space in traditional categories, in the latest edition of the BevNET podcast.

A Check-In with RAU Chocolate

Rau co-founders Daren Myers and Brian Watrous stopped by BevNET’s West Coast office in San Diego this week to share the latest from the growing San Diego-based brand.

Barefoot Bucha Settles Lawsuit, Agrees to Change Brand Name

Conscious Cultures, the maker of Barefoot Bucha, a Virginia-based kombucha brand, has agreed to settle a trademark infringement lawsuit filed against the company by Barefoot Wine owner E. & J. Gallo. Conscious Cultures issued a press release on Tuesday which stated that founders Ethan and Kate Zuckerman have not admitting to any wrongdoing, but agreed to change the name of Barefoot Bucha.

Nielsen “All Channel” Data: Softening Sales Across Most Categories

Wells Fargo Securities highlighted slowing growth in the energy drink category in a new report detailing Nielsen xAOC (expanded all outlets combined) year-over-year sales data for the four-week period ending on August 13. While dollar sales growth was modest or in decline across most beverage categories, Wells Fargo noted energy’s soft performance recently, up just 3.3 percent in the measured timeframe.

Honeydrop Goes Chainwide at Sprouts

Honeydrop, which produces a line of high pressure processed, cold-pressed lemonades sweetened with honey, today announced new chainwide distribution at natural retailer Sprouts Farmers Market. The beverages are now available at all 250 Sprouts locations across 13 Southern U.S. states stretching from California to Georgia.

BevNET Podcast Ep. 20: Can Nostalgia Nudge The Needle?

The return of Crystal Pepsi came with a few updated graphics, but it’s clear that PepsiCo is aiming for nostalgic appeal. In this podcast, we discuss what, if any, impact retro and throwback products and packaging might have for a brand. We also examine similar attempts of reviving dated imagery and discontinued products by companies seeking a sentimental response.

People Moves: Executive Shifts at Mamma Chia

Beginning this week at Mamma Chia is Lance Dermeik, who has come aboard as the company's new vice president of operations. Dermeik joins Mamma Chia, a maker of chia-based beverages and snacks, after eight years at Hain Celestial as director of contract manufacturing where he oversaw operations on more than 40 contract manufacturers and 15 natural and organic brands.

Press Clips: PepsiCo’s Stubborn on Soda; BevCos Dot Inc. 5000

Earlier this month, PepsiCo introduced a new packaged format for its Stubborn line of craft sodas. Scott Finlow, vice president of innovation and insights for global foodservice at PepsiCo said that the company views craft beverages as an important part of the company’s future, telling Fortune that “Craft is not a fad. It is here to stay.”

Former Whole Foods Execs Join Beyond Brands Group

Errol Schweizer continues to fill out his post-Whole Foods resume, joining another pair of former executives with the chain to work with natural products veteran Eric Schnell’s new consulting conclave, Beyond Brands.

ROAR Announces Upcoming Launch of ROAR Organic

At next month’s Natural Products Expo East trade show in Baltimore, the New York-based brand will debut an organic line extension of “electrolyte infusions” targeting an older demographic and tilting toward more female consumers, the founder says.

Gourmet Guru Founder Discusses UNFI Buyout

Last week natural products distributor United Natural Foods Inc. announced the acquisition of Gourmet Guru, a natural and organic food and beverage distributor and merchandiser serving the Northeast.