Almonds, monsters and juice… oh my!
Move over, soy… almond products are hotter than ever. In its quarterly earnings call, WhiteWave Foods CEO Gregg Engles announced that almond-based food and beverages sold under the company’s Silk brand grew by an astounding 55 percent in the first four months of 2013 compared to the same period last year. While net sales of all Silk branded plant-based products grew by 13 percent in the first quarter of 2013, Engles called out the “torrid growth” of its almond business, and noted that sales of its almond products are “quickly approaching the size” of its soy-based foods and drinks, according to an article on FoodNavigator-USA.com.
Although demand for almond products appears to be thriving, it’s rather unlikely that we’ll see an almond-based energy drink anytime soon. The same can be said about Monster Beverage Corp’s Monster Ultra Pink, a planned extension of the company’s Zero Ultra line. First announced in December, the female-targeted, zero-calorie, zero-sugar energy drink turned some heads with its hot pink-colored can. However, Monster has shelved plans to bring the product to market, according to BeverageDaily.com, although it’s not entirely clear as to why it did so. In its fourth quarter 2012 earnings call, Monster CEO Rodney Sacks said that the company decided to defer the launch of Ultra Pink “for now.” In its place, Monster will introduce a similarly-named line extension called “Monster Ultra Blue” sometime in the first half of 2013.
While Monster’s use of the word “ultra” to label an energy drink line is more about branding than anything else, it’s perhaps the best adjective to describe the level of quality and freshness of Suja’s range of raw juice products. In order to maintain the integrity of the products, the high-pressure processed juices must remain at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. As a way to protect its premium positioning in the market, the company recently introduced a program called “TempTrips” in which a temperature-tracking radio frequency device is randomly placed in one box of each pallet shipped to its retailers, including its largest, Whole Foods Market. Upon receipt, retailers are asked to return the device to Suja to make sure that the temperature inside the box has not gone above 39 degrees. As an incentive, for every TempTrip device that Suja receives back from Whole Foods, the company will make a $25 donation to the retailer’s Whole Planet Foundation, a global micro-lending program.