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Got Other Milk?

Beverage companies continue to form novel takes on dairy products and consumers translate their interest into acquisition. By adapting to the demand for nutrition, versatility of occasion and portability, alternative dairy brands have made headway in a former no-fly zone.

Bullseye: Life Juice Stays the Course, Lands National Deal with Target

Earlier this month, Life Juice founder Ety Salamone landed her biggest and — for cold-pressed juice — one of the most noteworthy retailers to date: Target. The brand is now distributed within the retailer’s 390+ PFresh concept stores, where Target sells refrigerated products and fresh produce. It’s a placement that, if successful, may have a significant impact on how Target and other mass retailers view the nascent category and its potential in that channel.

FDA to Revise Guidelines of Nutrition Facts Labels

Introduced to the U.S. on Jan. 6, 1993, nutrition facts labels have long served as one of the best ways for consumers to monitor their health by what they eat and drink. However, as time passes and the industries progress, the FDA recognizes that an update could further ensure the safety of consumers — the administration’s top priority — and mollify politicians and think tanks.

L.A. Libations Set to Launch New Horchata Energy Drink Nationally in 7-Eleven; Partners with Relativity Media in Joint Venture

Set for a national launch in 8,300 7-Eleven stores, Arriba is a new horchata energy drink that is targeted to reach a specific demographic in Latino consumers. L.A. Libations entered into a joint venture with film studio and entertainment powerhouse Relativity Media, which is investor in Arriba and will play a major role in the marketing of the brand with product placement in Relativity-produced TV shows and movies.

Juice Suits: Suja Accused of “Raw” Deception, Blueprint Complaint Dismissed

Fast-growing cold-pressed juice brand Suja is facing the potential of a class-action lawsuit that includes claims that the company has misled consumers by labeling its products, which are high pressure processed, as “raw.” Meanwhile, it appears that rival Blueprint, which was hit with a similar false advertising lawsuit last year, has dodged the legal bullet — at least for now.

Essentia Raises $3.2 Million in Convertible Debt; Projects $22-23 Million in 2014 Sales

Having recently announced its tenth consecutive year of growth, eight of which reached double-digits, Essentia is positioning itself for a booming 2014 — and well beyond. Earlier this year, Essentia, the top-selling enhanced water brand in the natural channel, raised $3.2 million in convertible debt and is perhaps prepping for a much larger round of funding later this year.

Alt-Dairy: Obstacles to Change

While it’s true that entrepreneurial beverage companies have taken encouraging steps in the dairy aisle, it continues to be a challenging place for emerging brands to find a shelf placement. There just might be more challenges than opportunities.

Kombucha Crossover

Health-Ade announced Wednesday that it has added Christine Perich, the CFO and COO at New Belgium Brewing Company, Inc., to its board of directors. Perich began working at the Fort Collins, Colo.-based brewery in 2000 and will continue to do so. Slekys Trout credited Perich’s vast experience and ability to troubleshoot the abundance of difficulties faced by an ambitious kombucha company.

Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley Report Continued Strength of Energy Drinks

Category leaders Red Bull and Monster have continued to rack up strong sales figures, according to recent reports by analysts with investment banks Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Wells Fargo Securities, LLC. The report from Wells Fargo, in particular, cited innovation, marketing increases and less negative press as boons for the category.

Consumer Reports Investigates Use of Caramel Color

The independent product-testing organization found that 12 brands of CSDs manufactured by The Coca-Cola, Co., Inc., PepsiCo, Inc. and Goya contain varying levels of 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI), a potentially-carcinogenic chemical byproduct of the production of certain types of caramel color as an ingredient.