Keurig’s Kold Streak
Fortune magazine recently took a look at the ongoing troubles over at Keurig Green Mountain, where the company’s stock is currently trading at a 52-week low. Investors were seemingly less than impressed with new details about the the company’s Keurig Kold system, a counter-top, pod-based machine that will enable consumers to create cold beverages — including well-known drinks like Coca-Cola — at home. Much of that disappointment came from the system’s announced $300 price tag, which caught many investors and analysts by surprise as previous estimates projected the Keurig Kold to run consumers around $200.
ABC Confiscates Andrew Keegan’s Kombucha
California’s Department of Alcohol Beverage Control raided the Los Angeles temple of new age religion Full Circle earlier this month, seizing two kegs of blueberry kombucha made by nearby brewer Kombucha Dog and issuing a citation for selling alcohol with a license. Full Circle’s communications and development director Jason Dilts spoke to VICE about the bust, calling the incident “disturbing” and saying they were unaware that a license was required to sell kombucha, the “sacred tea.” Full Circle was founded in 2014 by actor Andrew Keegan, known for his role in 90s TV dramas “Party of Five” and “7th Heaven,” as well as the 1999 film “10 Things I Hate About You.”
Gamers Guzzle Up
With mounting scrutiny of energy drinks, brands are looking to ingratiate themselves with a population that remains unfazed by things like sugar and high caffeine content: gamers. The New York Times recently profiled brands like G Fuel and GungHo, which have promoted their energy drink brands heavily within the gaming community through the sponsorship of gaming competitions, conventions and “professional e-athletes”. A 2014 study from the University of Minnesota found a strong bond between energy drinks and the gaming culture. Researchers found that boys who consumed energy drinks regularly spent four more hours a week playing video games than those who consumed energy drinks less than once a week.
Target’s Health Kick Ticks Off Food Giants
Target’s efforts to carry healthier foods has come at the expense of some of its top suppliers. According to The Wall Street Journal food giants like Campbell Soup. Co., General Mills Inc., and Kellogg Co. have been notified that the retailer will be allocating less of its resources to promote their products, as it increases its focus on healthier offerings geared at attracting millennials and differentiating its offerings from Walmart.
“That doesn’t mean that mac and cheese is being eliminated, but clearly assortment is being shaped around what consumers are looking for,” Target CEO Brian Cornell told the Journal.
The news apparently came as a big surprise to the aforementioned suppliers, many of whom are reportedly now considering putting their marketing dollars into retailers that will prioritize their brands.
Berkeley on Pace to Collect $1 Million from Soda Tax
Last November, Berkeley, Calif. became the first city in the U.S. to pass a tax on soda, as three fourths of Alameda County voters approved a ballot measure to place a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks. Now, those who supported the measure are seeing the fruits of their labor, as NBC Bay Area News reports that Berkeley brought in $116,000 in its first month since the tax went into effect. The money collected from the tax will go towards funding health programs and the city’s public school system.
Suja is Social
iMedia Connection recently examined the online footprint of brands within the fruit juice category, with a primary focus on how Suja is outperforming its larger category competitors when it comes to social media. In one example, the comparison pits the San Diego-based HPP juice brand against Dole, and while the two companies publish roughly the same number of posts across their social media channels, Suja sees significantly higher engagement rates from its audience despite having less than a third of the amount of followers. The author of the post credits Suja for its ability to connect with its consumers so effectively without the deep marketing pockets of some of its counterparts.
Muscle Milk Stuff
CytoSport, the makers of Muscle Milk, continue to report gains even in the face of controversy. Quartz recently explored the issues surrounding Muscle Milk’s ingredient list, including its absence of any actual milk and a 2010 report finding that Muscle Milk Chocolate powder contained levels of arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury near or above those deemed safe by the U.S. Pharcaopeial Convention. Even so, food giant Hormel, which acquired CytoSport in August, reported a 32 percent increase in sales in its specialty foods division in an earnings report released this week, much of which was credited to the addition of Muscle Milk products to its portfolio.